Fishing in Mariposa
Included here are four fishing trails along 140, one on Hwy 41 in Fish Camp, and information on Fishing at Lake McClure, off Hwy 132. A visitor can purchase a five day or limited fishing license in Mariposa, Greeley Hill, Coulterville, or in Fish Camp. A majority of these fishing trails are in Native Trout Designated areas so only flies with- out barbs are permitted. Please check in with the U.S. Forest Service and review the rules when fishing the Merced River.
A catch and release method of fishing will assure that fish will be available for our future generation.
Merced River — Hwy 140
Merced River is accessed from Merced via State Highway 140 to Mariposa. The road parallels the river beyond this point. Highway 140 receives heavy traffic to Yosemite National Park and anglers should only park in turnouts where their vehicle does not impede traffic. Merced River is located within the California Department of Fish and Game’s Sierra District and various regulations depending on the river segment being fished.
Within Yosemite National Park
The season is open from the last Saturday in April through November 15 and only artificial lures with barbless hooks maybeused. The limit in this segment is 0 rainbow trout and 5 brown trout per day, with a possession limit of 10 brown trout.
From the boundary of Yosemite National Park (El Portal) to the Foresta Bridge
Fishing season is open year around, using only artificial lures with barbless hooks. The limit in this segment is 0 rainbow trout and 5 brown trout per day, with a pos- session limit of 10 brown trout.
From Foresta Bridge downstream to Lake McClure
The season is open from the last Saturday in April through November 15 with a limit of 5 trout per day and 10 trout in possession. In this river segment, fishing season is open the remainder of the year with a day and possession limit of 2 trout.
Fish Camp Bridge — Hwy 41
Fish Camp, located a few miles south of Yosemite National Park along Highway 41, is a small town with a genuine, rustic feel to it.
The creek is called Big Creek. The fishing is best in the early spring. Fish using flies and spinners. Leave your car at the bridge and fish downstream from there to the campgrounds, approx. 2—3 miles. Be sure to stay away from private properties.
Lake McClure — Hwy 132
Lake McClure and Lake McSwain
Both are renowned for their excellent bass, trout, salmon and panfish fishing, offering excellent opportunities to catch daily bag limits and large trophy fish. Both lakes have fish stocking programs and catching native and hold over fish of all species in common. Trolling and shore fishing are popular successful methods for pursuing fish. Bass fishermen know the Merced River Arm offers reliable good fishing most of the year. The rocky points are the likely habitat for bass. Trollers do well in the deep water in the main body of the lake, especially down near the dam. Other popular trolling areas are to work the area from Horse- shoe Bend down the narrows to Barrett Cove and east of the dam in the Cotton Arm.
Fishing from the bank in places like McClure Point and the little inlets south of Barrett Cove can produce some great catches. Some of the best creek inlets are Cotton Creek, Rancho Del Oro Gulch, Piney Creek, and Temperance Creek.