Photo ofHerring Creek Reservoir, Tuolumne County, CA

Fishing Herring Creek Reservoir

Tuolumne County

Photo of Herring Creek

Herring Creek Reservoir

Herring Creek Reservoir and its drainage, Herring Creek, offer good fishing in Tuolumne County, away from the popular destinations like Pinecrest Lake and Beardsley Reservoir. The open, safe shoreline of Herring Creek Reservoir and the easy access to both the lake and Herring Creek make it a great place to take the whole family for a day of fishing. Open spaces along the shoreline are enjoyable for spin casting and fly fishing alike.

In My Creel

  • Berkley Power Bait
  • salmon eggs
  • # 16 Royal Coachman
  • #16 Adams
  • #14 light Cahill
  • #14 Black Wulff

For fishing in Herring Creek I wanted to try my luck with bait, but once I reached Herring Creek Reservoir I switched gear and practiced my fly casting.

Getting to Herring Creek Reservoir

Herring Creek Reservoir has both rainbow and brook trout. At one time camping was allowed all along the road leading into the reservoir, but now most of the road has been closed and camping is only allowed in a small area far from the lake.

As a result, Herring Creek Reservoir has seen a drop in visitors, making it a much more desirable destination for fishing. On my most recent trip to the area (July 7, 2010), no one was camping at the Herring Creek Reservoir Campground, and I had the lake to myself. Fish were rising on the northeastern side of the lake, anxious to take my #16 Adams.

Photo of Herring Creek

Herring Creek

Drive up Highway 108 in Tuolumne County 2.5 miles east of Strawberry to the Herring Creek Road turnoff. Herring Creek Road starts out as a good, paved road, but after 4.5 miles turns to dirt. It's somewhat bumpy, but good enough for any vehicle to travel. After going 7 miles from Highway 108, take the right-hand turn down the hill.

In a minute you will see a left-hand turn to Herring Creek Reservoir. Ignore it. Drive another hundred feet or more to the second turn, which is a much better road. Turn left onto that road. It will take you to the Herring Creek Reservoir Campground. Park within the campground. There are no fees.

On foot, follow the road east through the campground to a gate. Continue a little more than half a mile to Herring Creek Reservoir, which will appear on your right. You can fish along Herring Creek on your way into the lake. Parts of the bank have been designated to be restored, but all they ask is that you tread lightly.

Photo of Herring Creek

Herring Creek

Accommodations and Supplies

If you're looking for a place to stay, you can find lodging at Strawberry or Pinecrest or up the mountain at Dardanelle or Kennedy Meadows Resort. For standard motels you'll have to head down to Twain Harte.

For complete information about camping and fishing around the Herring Creek and all up and down Sonora Pass, see Sonora Pass Vacations.

There are two campgrounds close to Herring Creek Reservoir: Herring Creek Reservoir Campground and Herring Creek Campground. Neither facility has piped water. Both have vault toilets. There is no fee charged for either campground. To find Herring Creek Campground continue down the road you were on before you turned off for the reservoir (4N12). Herring Creek Campground is only a quarter mile away. Both campgrounds have attractive sites right next to Herring Creek. Camping is no longer allowed by Herring Creek Reservoir itself.

California's Best Camping logo

To find the very best campgrounds in the area and all across California, visit California's Best Camping.

On your way to the Herring Creek you can get fishing supplies at the following places:

Recommended Books for Fishing the Sierra Streams and Lakes

Photo of Herring Creek


An interesting fishing sidetrip from Herring Creek is to head down to Waterhouse Reservoir. Follow the same road (4N12) 2 miles past Herring Creek Campground. Then turn right onto a side-road, following it about three-quarters of a mile to the trailhead. The hike is along a sometimes unimproved trail down to the lake. You descend almost a thousand feet. You can fish Waterhouse Reservoir for rainbow trout.

If you enjoy fishing small streams, you could try your luck on a couple of the tributaries to the Clark Fork. A good trail follows Disaster Creek up to its headwaters, and another trail parallels Arnot Creek. The two trails meet about 5 miles up from the Clark Fork.

Photo of Herring Creek

Herring Creek

Other Nearby Featured Trips in Tuolumne County: