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Kern River flows finally backing off, fishing conditions improving

WON Staff Writer
Published: Jul 27, 2017
KERNVILLE — The Kern River has been wearing the record-runoff situation more than any watershed in Southern California, and the high flows are a blessing for Lake Isabella – which was down to around 5 percent of capacity – it put an end to trout fishing on the Upper River for months. It’s finally making its return to normalcy, and fly fishermen, while remaining cautious, are starting to catch trout again in the 20 Mile Section.

FLOWS ON THE UPPER KERN RIVER are starting to back off, and trout fishing in the 20 Mile Section is once again back on the radar. Here, Guy Jeans of Kern River Fly Fishing in Kernville displays a “catchable” size Kern River rainbow, but he says some bigger fish moved into the area during the high flows.

“Here we go, finally,” said Guy Jeans of Kern River Fly Shop in , but it’s dropping at a rapid rate and is down now to 1,800 cfs. Big and catch-able size rainbows have moved into this section during the high flows and are now being caught all the way up to the Fairview Dam.”


Jeans recommended targeting the new eddies that have been created along the banks for these fish, and he said there is no need to wade at this time. Jeans added the water temp in the upper river is a “perfect” 59 degrees, while air temperatures are still going over 100.


Conditions are not ideal, but the river has been blown out for so long, it’s nice to see it trending in the right direction and some fish caught on the long rod. For the latest on conditions and fly recommendations, visit or call Kern River Fly Shop in Kernville at (760) 376-2040 and visit


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