Photo of Dollar Lake and Fin Dome, Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Fresno County Fishing

Photo of  Rae Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Rae Lakes

Outfit Yourself for Fishing Adventures

Greatest Lakes

For complete information about fishing, camping and boating on California's most popular lakes, including Millerton, Pine Flat, Shaver, Huntington, Florence, and Lake Edison, , see
California's Greatest Lakes.

logo saying California's Greatest Lakes

California Record
Golden Trout

The California record golden trout (9 lbs. 8 oz.) was taken from Silver Lake in Fresno County in 1952.

Fresno County includes so much great High Sierra fishing that it could keep the most avid angler moving from stream to lake for years and years without ever fishing the same place twice. It includes much of Kings Canyon National Park and most of the John Muir Wilderness.

Lower down Fresno County encompasses such popular fishing lakes and reservoirs as Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Millerton Lake, and half of Pine Flat Reservoir. In the high country fishing is popular at Lake Edison, Florence Lake, Courtright Reservoir, and Wishon Reservoir. Naturally I like to get off the beaten trail and find the less often visited places in Fresno County to do my fishing. And there's no shortage of great destinations in Fresno County.

The California record Golden Trout was caught in Fresno County. Can you guess from which lake it was taken? (answer below)

logo photo that says Featured Trips

Bear Creek

  • Near Lake Edison, 90 miles east of Fresno
  • Miles of deep pools, riffles, and tumbling cascades
  • Base camp near your car and fish all day, or backpack to a creekside camp

Evolution Valley

  • Considered the most scenic spot in the Sierra Nevada
  • Miles of lively creek fishing and several big lakes
  • Wonderful backpacking destination in northern Kings Canyon

Fourth Recess Lake

  • Dramatic hike over Mono Pass to this remote lake
  • 1½ miles of shoreline, a lake rich with trout
  • Close to excellent fishing in Pioneer Basin

Graveyard Lakes

  • Elevation 10,000 feet in the Ansel Adams Wilderness
  • A cluster of lakes offering varied and rewarding fishing
  • Only a day's hike from the trailhead at Lake Edison

Lake 10315

  • An incredible lake known only by its elevation
  • Deep in Kings Canyon National Park, off the main trail
  • Rarely visited, rarely fished

Rose Lake

  • Situated at 10,500 feet deep in the John Muir Wilderness
  • Makes a great day trip from a backpacking base camp on Bear Creek
  • Many other lakes nearby, inviting stream fishing

Sandpiper Lake

  • A beautiful, high-elevation lake far back in the John Muir Wilderness
  • Great fishing along with access to numerous other nearby lakes
  • Part of a backpacking fishing trip up Bear Creek

South Fork San Joaquin River

  • Located near Florence Lake, 90 miles east of Fresno
  • Miles of great mid and late summer fishing along riffles and pools
  • Flows along the side of the famous John Muir Trail

Photo of Evolution Lake

Evolution Lake, Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon National Park

There are three main trailhead centers on the western side of the Sierra that I use for Kings Canyon National Park: Cedar Grove, Courtright Reservoir, and Florence Lake.

Cedar Grove is the gateway to dozens of great fishing destinations. For day trips you can hike up the Kings River toward Mist Falls, fishing along the way. Up the Bubbs Creek trail you can do multi-day backpack trips to East Lake, Charlotte Lake, and Sphinx Lakes, fishing the creeks along the way in-between. Or you can head up the Paradise Valley trail and spend several days there seeking out the less popular fishing holes. Hearty hikers could try the Granite Basin trail and drop over the pass into the Middle Fork of the Kings country. Others make the popular Rae Lakes Loop, which includes Dollar Lake and Fin Dome shown in our masthead photo.

Courtright and Florence Lakes Trailheads

From Courtright Reservoir you can follow trails through the John Muir Wilderness and into Kings Canyon over Hell For Sure Pass, but you run the risk of becoming so enamored with the Blackcap Basin in the John Muir Wilderness that you might never go any farther.

Leaving from Florence Lake you enter the north end of Kings Canyon National Park, soon reaching the spectacular Evolution Valley, one of our featured trips. Or you could veer off up Goddard Canyon or make your way up Piute Creek to try your luck fishing for golden trout.

John Muir Wilderness

Blackcap Basin, mentioned above, and its neighboring Red Mountain Basin are dotted with beautiful lakes which make great fishing destinations. From Lake Edison or nearby Bear Creek Diversion Dam you can follow trails up to the high country north of Kings Canyon. I have included a number of destinations in that area among our featured trips, including Fourth Recess Lake, Bear Creek, Rose Lake, and Sandpiper Lake.

Recommended Books for Fishing Fresno County