French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Report Guide

French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Report Guide – California

Hey there, fishing enthusiasts! Welcome back to another exciting fishing guide. Today, we’re diving into the beautiful French Meadows Reservoir in California. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, French Meadows Reservoir offers something special for everyone. So, let’s get started and explore everything you need to know about fishing at French Meadows Reservoir!

About French Meadows Reservoir Fishing

French Meadows Reservoir is a stunning man-made lake located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. This reservoir is known for its clear, cold waters and breathtaking mountain views, making it an ideal spot for fishing and outdoor recreation. Surrounded by lush forests and rugged terrain, it’s a perfect escape for those looking to connect with nature.

Constructed in 1964, French Meadows Reservoir is part of the Middle Fork American River Project. The reservoir is managed by the Placer County Water Agency and plays a vital role in water storage and hydroelectric power generation. Its pristine environment and abundant fish population make it a popular destination for anglers.

French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Details

Here are the key details about French Meadows Reservoir:

  • Water Surface: 1,408 acres
  • Shoreline: 22 miles
  • Average Depth: 100 feet
  • Max Depth: 144 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 5,280 feet
  • Location: Sierra Nevada, California
  • Coordinates: 39.1254° N, 120.4136° W
  • Accessibility: Accessible via Mosquito Ridge Road
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities:
    • Boat ramp
    • Picnic areas
    • Restrooms
    • Campgrounds
    • Hiking trails
    • Scenic viewpoints

Types of Fish in French Meadows Reservoir

French Meadows Reservoir is home to a variety of fish species, providing excellent fishing opportunities. Here’s a look at the types of fish you can catch and where you might find them:

  • Rainbow Trout: These popular game fish are commonly found throughout the reservoir, especially in deeper, cooler waters. They are often seen near the inlet where fresh water flows in.
  • Brown Trout: Typically found in the deeper parts of the reservoir and around submerged structures. They are more active during the early morning and late evening.
  • Kokanee Salmon: These fish are usually found in deeper, open waters and are more active during the cooler months.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Often found near rocky shores and submerged vegetation. They prefer warmer, shallow waters and are most active during the summer months.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

Using the right bait, lures, and tackle can significantly improve your chances of catching fish at French Meadows Reservoir. Here are some recommendations for each type of fish:

  • Rainbow Trout:
    • Baits: PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and salmon eggs
    • Lures: Small spoons, spinners, and flies
    • Tackle: Light to medium rod with a 4-6 lb test line
  • Brown Trout:
    • Baits: Live minnows, nightcrawlers, and crayfish
    • Lures: Jigs, crankbaits, and streamers
    • Tackle: Medium rod with a 6-10 lb test line
  • Kokanee Salmon:
    • Baits: Corn, maggots, and scented dough bait
    • Lures: Small spoons, dodgers, and hoochies
    • Tackle: Medium rod with a 6-10 lb test line
  • Smallmouth Bass:
    • Baits: Live worms, crayfish, and minnows
    • Lures: Plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits
    • Tackle: Medium-heavy rod with a 10-20 lb test line
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TRUSCEND Fishing Lures for Bass Trout Multi Jointed Swimbaits Slow Sinking Bionic Swimming Lures Bass Freshwater Saltwater Bass Lifelike Fishing Lures Kit
  • 8 SEGMENTS LIFELIKE LURES: Designed with 8 segment multi-jointed body, TRUSCEND fishing lure can sink slowly and move flexible in water. In addition, life-like swimming actions make it attracting more catches and provoking predator fish to strike.
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Berkley PowerBait Power Minnow Fishing Bait, Black Shad, 2in | 5cm, Irresistible Scent & Flavor, Realistic Action, Split Tail Design, Ideal for Bass, Walleye, Trout, Panfish Species and More
  • BERKLEY POWERBAIT POWER MINNOW FRESHWATER SOFT PLASTIC BAITS: Featuring lifelike details, these pre-rigged Power Minnow baits have 3D eyes and holographic inserts to attract attention, making them an essential tool for any angler.
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TRUSCEND Fishing Jigs Lures with Handmade Lead Heads Paddle Tail Spinner Baits for Bass Trout Walleye Musky Soft Plastic Fishing Lures
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TOOLSSIDE 1 Dozen Rubber Maggots Fishing Bait #10 (12 Pcs) Crappie Jigs, Fishing Maggots, Bulk Fishing Grubs for Trout, Crappie, Pan Fish, Bluegill, Fresh Water Fishing Lures Set (Hooks and Worms)
  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations

French Meadows Reservoir offers several prime fishing spots that are sure to help you reel in a big catch. Here are some of the best locations to try:

  • Inlet Area: The inlet where fresh water flows into the reservoir is a hotspot for rainbow trout. The cool, oxygen-rich water attracts fish, making it a great spot to cast your line.
  • Dam Area: The deeper waters near the dam are ideal for targeting brown trout. Fish tend to congregate around the submerged structures and rocks in this area.
  • Rocky Shores: Smallmouth bass are often found near the rocky shores and submerged vegetation. Casting your line in these areas can yield great results.
  • Open Water: If you have access to a boat, explore the deeper parts of the reservoir where kokanee salmon tend to gather around drop-offs and submerged vegetation.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Here are some handy tips and recommendations to make your fishing trip to French Meadows Reservoir a success:

  • Time of Day: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, as many species are more active during these cooler periods.
  • Seasonal Patterns: Trout fishing is excellent in the spring and fall when the water is cooler. Summer can also be good, especially in the early morning or late evening.
  • Local Regulations: Always check the latest fishing regulations and obtain the necessary permits before you start fishing. Follow catch-and-release practices for certain species to help maintain a healthy fish population.
  • Weather Conditions: Pay attention to the weather. Overcast days are often better for fishing, as fish tend to be more active. Avoid fishing during extreme weather conditions for safety.
  • Pack Essentials: Bring sunscreen, plenty of water, snacks, and a first-aid kit. Don’t forget your fishing license and any necessary gear.

French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive fishing reviews from fellow anglers who have enjoyed their time at French Meadows Reservoir:

  1. John D. – “French Meadows Reservoir is an incredible spot for trout fishing. The scenery is beautiful, and the fishing is great. Caught several nice rainbow trout last weekend!”
  2. Lisa P. – “Took the family here for a weekend trip, and we had a blast. The picnic areas are perfect, and we caught plenty of smallmouth bass near the rocky shores. We’ll definitely be back!”
  3. James R. – “I love fishing at French Meadows. The kokanee salmon are plentiful, especially in the deeper waters. It’s a peaceful place to spend a day on the water.”
  4. Emily S. – “Great place for brown trout fishing. They put up a good fight and are fun to catch. The reservoir is well-maintained and easy to access.”
  5. Mike T. – “I’ve been fishing here for years, and it never disappoints. The bass are plentiful, and the setting is so serene. Highly recommend!”

Top-Rated RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds

If you’re planning an extended fishing trip, here are five top-rated RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds near French Meadows Reservoir:

  1. French Meadows Campground
    • Features: Lakeside camping, fishing, hiking trails
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits
    • Hookups: None (dry camping)
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles
  2. Gates Group Campground
    • Features: Scenic views, group camping, hiking trails
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits
    • Hookups: None (dry camping)
    • Distance to Lake: 5 miles
  3. Lewis Campground
    • Features: Close to fishing spots, hiking trails, scenic views
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits
    • Hookups: None (dry camping)
    • Distance to Lake: 8 miles
  4. Poppy Campground
    • Features: Lakeside camping, fishing, hiking trails
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits
    • Hookups: None (dry camping)
    • Distance to Lake: 3 miles
  5. Hell Hole Reservoir Campground
    • Features: Close to Hell Hole Reservoir, hiking trails, scenic views
    • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, fire pits
    • Hookups: None (dry camping)
    • Distance to Lake: 10 miles

French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Summary

French Meadows Reservoir is a fantastic fishing destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, or smallmouth bass, this reservoir has it all. With its beautiful surroundings, accessible amenities, and family-friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot for a memorable fishing trip. So grab your fishing gear, pack a picnic, and head out to French Meadows Reservoir for an unforgettable day of fishing and relaxation!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions about fishing at French Meadows Reservoir:

  1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at French Meadows Reservoir?
    • Yes, a valid California fishing license is required for anglers aged 16 and older.
  2. Are boats allowed on French Meadows Reservoir?
    • Yes, both non-motorized and motorized boats are allowed. There is a boat ramp available for easy access.
  3. What is the best time of year to fish at French Meadows Reservoir?
    • The best time to fish varies by species. Trout fishing is best in the spring and fall, while bass can be caught throughout the summer.
  4. Can I bring my dog to French Meadows Reservoir?
    • Yes, dogs are allowed in designated areas. Be sure to keep them on a leash and clean up after them.
  5. Are there any restrictions on the types of bait and tackle I can use?
    • Certain types of bait and tackle may be restricted to protect fish populations. Check local regulations for specific rules before fishing.

And there you have it, folks! Everything you need to know about fishing at French Meadows Reservoir. I hope you found this guide helpful and inspiring. Until next time, happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle French Meadows Reservoir Fishing Report Guide: