Your Guide to Fishing Access and Regulations for the Eastern Sierra Near Bridgeport Ca.

Bridgeport Calf. -Sierra Rec Magazine Spring Edition 2022 – fishing – The Eastern sierra region is a hot spot in the state of California for lake and stream fishing. Year round many of the lakes allow fishing, although many are covered in Ice and snow for parts of the year and difficult to get into. The streams and remaining bodies of water open the last week of April each year, a day referred to as “Fishmas” in the Eastern Sierra. If you are new to the area or visiting this Spring Fishing Guide can help you locate the perfect place to cast your line. Of course it is always good to know the local fishing regulations

What Type Of Fish Can Be Caught In The Eastern Sierra

Mono County is known for its world class Rainbow Trout trophy fishing. Brook, golden, and rainbow trout are the most common species in high Sierra lakes, while brown, cutthroat and lake trout were planted in fewer lakes. Today fingerling trout are stocked in lakes where they can survive and grow to a catchable size. Sacramento Perch can be found in Bridgeport Reservoir, Small Mouth bass are caught in Topaz Lake 30 roughly 30 minutes north of Bridgeport and Kokanee Salmon (A land locked species of Salmon are found in some lakes).


The largest brown trout caught in California was 26.8 pounds, hooked at Twin Lakes near Bridgeport. 

Where To Fish Near Bridgeport Ca?

Three Basic Choices for Fishing in the Bridgeport region; Lake Fishing, Stream Fishing or Back Country fishing. There are many Local guide books and publications for backcountry fishing. Out favorite is the Ultimate Eastern Sierra Fishing guide. Here is a short list of the locations we would fish in the Bridgeport region.

Lake Fishing Near Bridgeport

Twin Lakes – Opens Last Saturday in April through Nov. 15. Closed the rest of the year. – 5 trout limit – Located just 10 miles out of Bridgeport, Twin Lakes offers Trophy Fishing. These 2 lakes hold the top 2 spots for the largest Brown Trouts caught in California, weighing in at 26 lb 8 oz and 26 lb 5oz.  

Trolling is always great in these lakes.  Depending on the season you can always use Rapalas, Wolly bugger flies, Thomas Boyants or any bait resembling smaller trout or Kokanee Salmon.

Bridgeport reservoir – Opens Last Saturday in April through Nov. 15. Closed the rest of the year. 5 Trout limit – This Reservoir is most commonly fished from boats.  You can launch your boat at Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and the Public Boat Launch.  Both are located on Highway 182 and can be identified by signs.

Bait Fishing with Power Bait, Night Crawlers or Mouse Tails and trolling with Speedy Shiners, Thomas Boyants and Rapalas.

Upper & Lower Virginia Lakes – Opens Last Saturday in April through Nov. 15. Closed the rest of the year. 5 Trout limit – These Lakes are fished from shore and are also popular for Float Tubing.  Use your Night Crawlers, Power Bait and Mice Tails.  If your using a lure, try a Kastmaster or small Rapalas.

Topaz Lake – Open all year. – 5 trout per day, 10 in possession- Topaz Lake is located along Highway 395 at the California/Nevada border 42 miles north of Bridgeport. Topaz is a rather large lake, covering nearly 2,500 acres. That makes fishing from a boat the best option. Trolling is usually a great way to hook into the of Topaz Lake’s trophy brown and rainbow trout. For those who don’t have a motorboat of their own, the Topaz Lake Lodge rents them. Shore fishing is accessible on

Steam fishing Near Bridgeport

East Walker River – Last Saturday in April through Nov. 15. Closed the rest of the year.  Artificial lures only. Minimum size limit: 18 inches total length. – 2 Trout Limit. Fishing these waters offers a little something for all anglers, Fly, Bait & Lures. Travel on Highway 182 just East of town. Follow this Highway past the Reservoir and you will reach the River just beyond the dam.  This is also a favorite spot for Fly Fishing.

Robinson / Buckeye Creeks – These creeks offer some great deep holes where the fish love to hide.  Try a small Split shot with some salmon eggs.  You can also toss your favorite lure out here to get some action.

Robinson Creek from US Forest Service boundary downstream to Upper Twin Lake, and between Upper  and Lower Twin LakeSaturday preceding Memorial Day through Sept. 30.  Closed the rest of the year.5 trout
Robinson Creek all other sections Last Saturday in April through Nov. 15.  5 trout
Robinson Creek all other sections continued Nov. 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April.  Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.0 trout

West Walker River -West Walker River – Travel up HWY 395 North of Bridgeport about 16 miles.  This River winds through the Walker Canyon offering great terrain for Fly Fishing, Bait Fishing and throwing some lures.

Little Walker River – The Little Walker River is a tributary of the West Walker River, approximately 15 mi long. Accessed via Little Walker river Road off HWY 395 Just south of the Sonora Pass (scenic route 108).

Backcountry Fishing Hotspots Near Bridgeport

Lane and Roosevelt lakes – This Pair of Backcountry Lakes are a popular 3 mile hike out of Leavitt meadows on Sonora pass. Easy hiking trail also popular horseback trail.

Green Lake – Green Lake is located just south of Bridgeport and Twin Lakes. Follow Green Creek up the canyon to Green Lake. spend a couple days back here fishing Green lake, East Lake and West Lake. All three lakes provide great fishing for Brooks and rainbows. 2.5 mile hike to the first lake with some elevation gain. Stunning fall Hike as well.

Emma Lake– A simple 2.5 mile out and back day trip trail, Emma lake is a great shore line fishing spot. Located North of Bridgeport and above the Little Walker River basin.

Poore Reservoir and Secret Lake – Just outside of the Hoover Wilderness in Pickle meadows area. Secret Lake and Poore Reservior can be accessed via the same trail. 3 mile hike. Brook, rainbow and Lahontan cutthroat. Large fish to be caught here

Kirman Lake – also part of the Pickle Meadows region. 2.5-mile hike, Brook, Lahontan cutthroat, Barbless flies or lures only, 16″ minimum, 2-fish limit. Kirman Lake tributaries are closed to fishing all year

Freemont Lake – Freemont is more a Backpacking trip with multiple fishing lakes close by. 8.5 miles back and 5 miles past Roosevelt and lane lake son the same trail. Freemont lake is a great place to fish for a weekend or to use as a base camp to numerous lakes around the area.

Leavitt Meadows Horse Pack team schedules trip that will carry your gear in and drop you off, then pick you back up.

Barney & Peeler Lake – Located up the canyon from Twin Lakes this popular hiking lake is also a great place for an afternoon of fishing. From the outlet of Upper Twin Lake is the trailhead to Barney Lake. Barney lies at 8,300′ elevation and is about 14.3 acres in size. The lake was named for Barney Peeler, a long time resident of Bridgeport, in 1925. There is a good trail that goes along Robinson Creek for 3.5 miles. It is a moderate hike of about 2 hours. Barney Lake has Brookies but there are also Rainbows and Rainbow-Golden hybrids. The trail continues for 2 miles onto Peeler Lake (Barney’s last name) which contains Brookies and Rainbows.

Tamarack Lake has it’s trailhead at the Lower Twin Lake Campground. The trail follows Tamarack Creek for 4 miles on a strenuous hike for a 2400′ elevation climb and contains Brookies. Tamarack Lake is 18 acres at 9,700′ and contains Brookies and Goldens. The upper Tamarack Creek also contains Goldens.

Blue Lake, Cooney Lake & Frog Lakes – Virginia Lakes Trail – Just beyond Virginia Lakes the trail will begin climbing to a series of mountain lakes, providing plenty of options for trout fishing in the high country. Cooney Lake is at 10’200 feet so many fisherman seem to stay below. But for those strong enough you could have these lakes all to your self on many days.

Fishing Seasons

  • Regular or In-Season: Bona fide trout fishing season is the last Saturday in April (dubbed “Fishmas”) through November 15th every year. This is when most waters in Mono County are open to anglers to catch-and-keep. 
  • Year-Round Fishing: There are several bodies of water where CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY are permitted year-round on public lands with barbless artificial flies and lures only. 
  • Topaz Lake: This large, sunny reservoir filled with rainbow trout, brown trout and Smallmouth bass located on the California-Nevada state line is open all year. A Nevada or California fishing license will work here. If you have a NV fishing license, you must also obtain a trout stamp to fish for trout. 

Fishing License Required

A California Sport Fishing license is required of anyone 16 years of age or over, fishing any waters in Mono County (Note: A California or Nevada Fishing License works on Topaz Lake). Purchase your license online now from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife or by calling CDFW Telephone Sales at 800-565-1458, or in person at most regional tackle shops.   
1-Day2-Day, 10-Dayand annual options available for both CA residents and non-residents. Pricing and more details at

Free Fishing Days

The two free fishing days this year are July 2, 2022 and September 3, 2022. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license (all other fishing regulations still apply though). Please see the CDFW website for more information.  

Sources: ; Flyfishingthesierra.con;, Bridgeport California



Publisher of Sierra Rec Magazine. An avid hiker and explorer of mountain lifestyle and adventure. I love to discover new trails, hike along rivers and hang a hammock along the shores of a mountain lake. I often great people on the trail and have found some of my favorite places from the advice of people I meet in the Wilderness. I love the sierra and just like sharing what I know.

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