Fly Fishing at Vermilion Valley
Thomas Edison Lake is the perfect base camp as it is centrally located close to several fishable streams and lakes. The Lake itself has a 15 mile per hour speed limit for boats which keeps things nice and mellow. In our area you will find the following species of trout: German Browns, Eastern Brook, Rainbow and Golden Trout. The back country enthusiasts will appreciate that Quail Meadows and the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails are but a gentle one-mile walk from the dock at the back of the lake.
Suggested Tackle and Gear
All the basics work in this region!
- Rods/Reels: A 4-6 weight fly rod will serve you well. The lighter rigs are good for the streams while the heavier ones might help you when seeking larger fish with larger flies. A floating fly line is a safe bet and should you wish to experiment, sinking lines for the lake may also serve you well. Backing is smart if you are hog hunting in the lake.
- Bugs: A simple variety of flies is all you need. Basic western patterns such as Elk Hair Caddisses or Parachute Adams can go a long way. Nymphs such as Hare’s Ears and PT Nymphs are also good for sub-surface. We like to say: A size #16 is a safe bet for anything. Streamers such as wooly buggers in black and olive in small to large sizes are also solid bets. This is the Sierra Nevada where it’s more important to get the fly in front of a fish than struggle with fly selection. Basic 7.5 to 9ft leaders in 3-5x will suffice. Should you care to get more specific, the fish sometimes key in on tiny black Caddisses in a #18 as well.
- Large flying ants in a #12 or #14 (seasonal, usually in summer). Hopper devotees certainly can have their moments and the fish at Edison know what a juicy grasshopper means. Feel free to slap one of these on the water if you want to! Edison has a sub-catchable program where the DFG plants thousands of small rainbows in the 3 inch range. Want to find the predators? Use a streamer that looks like a small fish.
- Basic High Sierra gear: Your essentials apply such as a good secured hat, sunscreen, water, line clippers, forceps, a change of clothes, layers and first aid kit. Last but far from least: Polaroid sunglasses! These are the weapon of choice of all anglers. And finally, at over 7,500 feet, Edison Lake is at an unusually high altitude for a California reservoir so take into account thinner air and stronger sun.
- To wade or not to wade? Getting into the water is part of the fun on a warm summer day. This means you can even have a good day of angling with little more than a pair of shorts and sneakers. That said, added stability and comfort come with wading boots coupled with neoprene socks or ultimately, full-on fishing waders to stay 100% dry. If a cloud passes in front of the sun or the evening starts to kick in, you might find yourself chilly. Use good judgment and do your best to stay comfortable. Finally, fine fish can be caught by simply standing on the bank and never getting wet at all.
Bonus TriviaLake Edison still holds the record for the largest Brown Trout caught in the State of California!
Feel free to jump-start your fly fishing experiences in the region with a guide. Remember a California fishing license is needed for anglers over 16 years of age.
For More information: https://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/fishdescrip.html