Try Kinney Reservoir for some late summer/early fall trout fishing

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

If you are a trout fisherman seeking late summer/early fall, quality trout fishing, this week's tip is right up your alley.

I'm going to tell you about one of my all-time favorite fishing locations in this area. It's easy to reach and the trout fishing can be very good, in addition to some very nice scenery along the way.

Here is some information on a special body of water, which is known as Kinney Reservoir:


Kinney Reservoir is located at about 8,000 feet, near the top of Ebbetts Pass on Calif. S.R. 4.


Drive south from Carson City to Woodfords, Calif., on a combination of U.S. 395, Nev. S.R. 88 and Calif. S.R. 88.

At Woodfords, turn left and take the combination of Calif. S.R. 4 and S.R. 89 to the Town of Markleeville.

Then, continue right on past Markleeville to the junction of S.R. 89, which leads to Monitor Pass.

Just go straight ahead on S.R. 4, until you reach the reservoir.

Note: Be forewarned that from the Wolf Creek Turnoff to the top of the pass, S.R. 4 becomes a very narrow, winding, steep highway.

If you are afraid of heights, you might want to go somewhere else.

There are some impressive drop-offs, along the upper section of this highway.

Vehicles over 25 feet in length are not advised on this highway.

This is about a 50-mile drive from Carson City (one-way).


You can fish anywhere from shore, a float tube, inflatable raft, canoe or car-top boat.

Be advised there is no place to launch a boat from a trailer, so leave it home, unless it is a car-top.

WHERE and how TO FISH:

Anywhere along the entire shoreline as a shore fisherman, or in a float tube, inflatable raft, canoe or car-top boat.

If you are a bait fisherman, try using red Salmon eggs or orange Power Bait on the bottom.

If you are a spincaster, try using small, red/white or rainbow-colored, No. 2 TOR-P-DO lures.

If you troll, try small, silver flasher blades with either worms or small, black/silver or black/gold, F-4 Flatfish lures.

If you're a fly fisherman, you might want to try black Woolly Bugger or Woolly Worm flies.


Mostly average-sized rainbow trout and some Eastern brook trout. The limit is five trout.


You must wear your California fishing license where it is readily visible above the waist.


If you go in the early-morning hours, take a light jacket. It can get nippy if the wind is blowing.


I fished at the reservoir last Thursday with longtime fishing and hunting partner, Norm Budden of Carson City.

On his first cast of the day, Norm caught and released a very nice rainbow trout.

We were spincasting from the dam with small red/white lures.

Later, about 10 a.m., we took the short hike to nearby Lower Kinney Lake (where Norm had never been before), and the fishing was SLOW!

A Quick and easy alternative TO THE RESERVOIR:

If you are getting "skunked" at Kinney Reservoir, a quick and easy alternative is to hike to nearby Lower Kinney Lake.

To reach that lake, just walk across the dam and just keep walking on the small, dirt road.

It will take you to Lower Kinney Lake, which is about one-half mile from the reservoir.

This is a short hike with several, short, steep sections.

Take it slow and easy if you are not accustomed to hiking at high altitude. If you get winded, take a break and enjoy the scenic views.

Lower Kinney Lake:

This lake contains a good population of very nice-sized Lahontan cutthroat trout.

The best fishing is all along the left side of the lake, either from shore or from a float tube or a small inflatable raft.


Why not give Kinney Reservoir or Lower Kinney Lake or both of them a try this weekend.

It sure beats staying home and watching the "Boob Tube."

If you do go and if you are lucky and catch some trout, let me know how you did and I'll include it in my weekly fishing reports.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you the name of the nearest U.S. Forest Service campground to Kinney Reservoir.

If he responds, "Silver Creek Campground, which is located just several miles way," you lose the bet, plus you had to drive past it to reach the reservoir.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment