Location and Overview
A part of Piru Creek, Frenchman Flat is located less than an hour’s drive from Los Angeles (check out the map). Exit I-5 on Templin Highway, go west, and turn north on Golden State Highway (Old Highway 99). A parking area off the highway to the left is located right above Frenchman Flat. Anglers can fish either direction from the parking area, but if you choose to go upstream make sure you are aware of the special regulations noted below.
Fishermen rate Frenchman Flat:
Fishin’ Frenchman Flat
Rainbow trout are the main attraction in this part of Piru Creek, although some anglers have reported taking small (6-8 inch) largemouth bass in parts of the creek as well. The California Department of Fish and Game stocks trout in the Frenchman Flat area from late fall through spring; see their website for the fish planting schedule.
Anglers going after trout on light tackle have had good luck with salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and Power Bait. Fly fishermen report good results with an assortment of #14 or #16 flies including the tan or brown caddis, parachute adams, bead head pheasant tail, and royal coachman. While most of the trout caught are pan size, several in the three to four pound range have also turned up.
Frenchman Flat Weather
Southern California weather is typically pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from the 50’s and 60’s in winter to the 90’s during the summer months. This area can get fog at times, as well as wind and rain which can make it downright cold during the winter, but at an elevation of about 2100 feet Frenchman Flat has few of the vagaries of weather that are typically found at higher elevations. Make sure you check the weather forecast before going out and plan accordingly.
Click here to see current weather conditions and forecasts for the town of Castaic, CA.
Lodging and Camping
The closest campgrounds to Frenchman Flat are at Castaic Lake, Lake Piru, and Pyramid Lake (follow the links for more info, including rates, location, and reservations). The Castaic Lake RV Park in the town of Castaic, CA offers full RV hookups for those who like to camp in comfort.
The closest hotels to the Frenchman Flat area can be found in the town of Castaic, but for those willing to drive a little way the possibilities increase exponentially, especially since Los Angeles is less than an hour away. If you plan on staying in an area hotel, always call ahead or go online and make reservations.
Licensing and Regulations
All fishermen in the Frenchman Flat area must possess a valid California fishing license while fishing. Additionally, be aware of some special regulations and closures in effect in the area:
-The stretch of Piru Creek from Pyramid Dam downstream to the bridge located 300 yards below the dam is closed to all fishing.
– The stretch of Piru Creek from the bridge located 300 yards below Pyramid Dam downstream to the falls located 1/2 mile above the Old Highway 99 bridge is catch and release only. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.
The rest of Piru Creek, including the Frenchman Flat area, is open to fishing day and night, all year long. A five-fish bag limit applies.
Additionally, Piru Creek is located within the Los Padres National Forest. All vehicles parked within the National Forest boundaries must display a current Adventure Pass. These cost $30 and are good for one year, and can be purchased online or from any of numerous vendors throughout southern California. Click here to find an Adventure Pass vendor in your area.
All the most current California fishing regulations are available on the Department of Fish and Game’s website.