Carson River, East Fork

The East Carson River originates in the Sierra Nevada in California at higher than 10,000 ft in elevation. Pioneers (mid to late 1800s) originally fished for native trout, however, mining activities, logging, channelization, water diversions, introductions of other fishes, and overharvesting contributed to the demise of cutthroat trout and limited the range of mountain whitefish. Rainbow trout and brown trout have been the primary sport fish since the early 1900’s.


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Type of water
Fishing Report

Fish are happy on the Carson and fishing should be good on the river through the remainder of fall and early winter. With the low flows, anglers should expect to use lighter leaders and tippets paired with small flies and lures. Fly fisherman should look for any hatches to occur in the afternoons and evenings with the sinking nigh time temperature.


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
1976Rainbow Trout7.808-17-20234952
2976Rainbow Trout808-15-20232976
4012Brown Trout9.708-02-20234012

Pertinent Information

The East Carson River fishery in Nevada runs 21 miles to its confluence with the west fork near Genoa. The upper portion of the river downstream to Gardnerville is primarily adjacent to Forest Service land. The river then meanders through private and Washoe Tribal lands in Carson Valley. The State of Nevada owns the entire river channel making it open to the public, but be aware not to trespass on private property to access the river. The river is from 30 to 60 feet wide with the possibility of having tremendous spring flows (over 1,000 cubic feet per second, cfs), usually making it impossible for wading until summer when flow drops between 50 and 150 cfs. Fishing is generally best at trout stocking sites, which include Ruhenstroth Dam (a.k.a. Broken Dam), found upstream of Gardnerville, and Centerville Bridge (a.k.a. Lutheran Bridge) in Gardnerville. This is a put-and-take fishery and anglers generally catch trout close to the size they were stocked. The best baits include Power bait, night crawlers, salmon eggs, small spinners, and spoons. Fly-fishing at times is best using dry flies, mayfly and caddisfly nymph patterns, and streamers. Fingerling brown trout are generally stocked in remote areas upstream of Ruhenstroth Dam and near the NV-CA border, but fishing is more challenging in this region. Remote camping is allowed on Forest Service property in the upstream area, but roads there are rough and can be messy during the spring with melting snow.