and Overview Looking
for year-round trout action in the scenic eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains
of California? Then look no further than Pleasant Valley Reservoir,
located just a few miles north of Bishop, CA along U.S. 395 (check
out the map). In an area renowned
for its phenomenal fishing, Pleasant Valley Reservoir has long been
an old standby for anglers who want some quality early or late season
trout fishing. The reservoir is also home to the Blake
Jones Trout Derby, held each year in March.
get to Pleasant Valley Reservoir, take U.S. 395 about 6 miles north
from Bishop and turn off on Pleasant Valley Rd. Follow the road about
a mile and a half to a parking area near the dam. Alternatively, you
can go another 3 miles north and turn onto Gorge Road, which will
take you to the north end of the lake near the inlet.
Fishermen rate Pleasant Valley Reservoir:
Pleasant Valley Reservoir
Compared to many
reservoirs, Pleasant Valley is little more than a wide spot in the
Owens River, with about 115 surface acres.
Don't let its small size fool you, though! Anglers have known for
years that it is full of trout. The California Department of Fish
and Game stocks the reservoir rainbows all winter long, and there
is also a plentiful population of browns. Click
here for the latest DFG stocking information.
is permitted from shore or float tube only. A popular place to fish
is right off the face of the dam, where the trout tend to congregate.
Try tossing lures here such Kastmasters, Super Dupers, Thomas Buoyants,
or spinners. Fly and bubble combos produce well in the morning and
evening hours when the fish come to the surface to feed. A variety
of natural baits work well, too, including salmon eggs, nightcrawlers,
and crickets or grasshoppers. Those who prefer processed baits should
try Power Bait or Yum Troutkrilla.
inlet area is another popular spot for serious fishermen. A series
of access trails make getting around the reservoir easy, although
there are no other amenities for anglers here.
Pleasant Valley Reservoir Weather
The weather along the Owens River is milder than farther up in the
Sierras, allowing for comfortable fishing all year
round. At an average elevation of about 4000 feet, it can still get
pretty cold in wintertime, with low temperatures falling to freezing
some mornings, but daytime winter and spring highs are usually comfortably
mild. Summertime high temperatures can get up in the 90 to 100 degree
range during July and August. Although the weather here is more predictable
than higher up in the mountains, you should still check the weather
forecast before heading out and plan accordingly.
to see current weather conditions and forecasts for the town of Bishop.
The closest campground to Pleasant Valley Reservoir is the Pleasant
Valley Campground (aka "Pleasant Valley Pit") administered
by the Bureau of Land Management. It is conveniently close to the
dam at the south end of the lake, and also gives good access to that
stretch of the Owens River immediately below the dam. Other campgrounds
in the Bishop area include Highlands RV Park, Brown's Millpond Campground,
the J-Diamond Mobile Home Park, the Shady Rest Trailer Park, and Brown's
here for more info on all of these). For those willing to go a
little farther away to camp, Tuff
Holiday are all U.S. Forest Service campgrounds located farther
north near Tom's Place and Crowley Lake.
closest hotel and motel accomodations are available in the town of
All anglers age 16 or older must have a valid California fishing license. There is a five-fish
daily trout limit at Pleasant Valley Reservoir, with a maximum possession
limit of 10 fish from March 1 through October 31. The rest of the
year the bag and possession limit is five fish.
aware that if you go above or below the reservoir to fish the Owens
River, a number of special regulations apply to different areas. For
more information check out our Owens River
page, or see all the latest CA fishing regulations at the Department
of Fish and Game website.