A Morning on the Stanislaus River

ABOUT: Just minutes from the town of Oakdale flows one of the best wild trout rivers in California, the Stanislaus River. Fed by the cold-water releases below Lake Tulloch, the rainbow trout thrive in a unique environment that is managed with catch and release regulations where anglers must use barbless hooks. Most of the rainbows average between 11 and 13 inches with fish over twenty inches a definite possibility. My clients and I have landed as many as 75 fish in a single day of fishing, while the typical day usually produces between 20 and 30, vibrant, hard fighting trout. What makes the Lower Stanislaus River unique is it challenges the angler with a variety of fishing techniques, as fish are often caught on dries, nymphs, and streamers in a single day. Striped bass are also targeted on each float trip, providing the angler the chance to catch fish on four different types of fly rods.

"I generally float the Stanislaus River
during the months of May, June, and July"

EQUIPMENT: Most of the dry fly fishing is done with three and four wt. rods with floating lines. Parachute Adams in sizes #18 and #20 as well as the Cutter EZ tan caddis in sizes #14 are the most popular patterns. For nymph fishing I recommend using a four or five wt rod, with a floating line. The most productive nymphs are orange caddis pupa in sizes #14 and #16 as well as prince nymphs in sizes #12 and #14. For streamer fishing for trout, I prefer to use a six or seven wt. rod with a fast sink tip. When targeting stripers, an eight or nine wt. rod with a 300 to 350 grain sinking line is the best choice and chartreuse over white, flashtail clouser is generally the fly of choice.A 23inch Rainbow Trout of the Stanislaus River

WHEN & WHERE: I generally float the Stanislaus River during the months of May, June, and July, in my 13 foot Koffler Aluminum drift boat. The drift from Knights Ferry to Orange Blossom provides the best trout fishing while the lower float from Orange Blossom to Oakdale offers the best chance to catch striped bass on a fly.

MEET: I typically meet my clients at the Orange Blossom takeout at 7 am. To reach the Army Corps of Engineer Park at Orange Blossom take Highway 99 to Manteca and then head east on Highway 108 through the town of Oakdale until you reach Orange Blossom Road just outside of town. Make a left on Orange Blossom and go approximately 2 miles until you cross over the river. The park is located just past the bridge at the junction of Rodden Road and Orange Blossom Road.


2016 Guide Rates
Full Day Trip: $550
Includes Equipment, Flies & Lunch


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