Thursday Thrillers are midweek fishing outings to local waters such as the San Gabriel River. These streams can be reached in less than 90 minutes drive time from the San Fernando Valley, which allows us to get out and back in a day and still have several hours to fish.
For details, please contact Tom Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
West Fork – San Gabriel River
This is a tailwater fishery that flows from Cogswell Reservoir eastward about 8 miles to its confluence with the North and East forks at Highway 39, approximately 12 miles north of Azusa. It is a relatively small stream; 20 to 30 ft across in most places. A service road, open to hikers and cyclists, parallels the stream from the highway to the reservoir. The section upstream from the second bridge (about 1 1/2 miles from the parking area) to the reservoir is under special regulations: zero limit, artificial flies or lures with single barbless hooks only. The stream is open for fishing all year. A dense canopy of trees protects the stream over most of its length which can make access and casting challenging in some sections.
The West Fork is home to Rainbow Trout. These fish are essentially wild as there has been no stocking since 2008.
Wildlife in the canyon to be aware of include black bears, bobcats and rattlesnakes.
A light rod (2 to 5 wt) rigged with a floating line and leader tapered to 5X or 6X will work just fine.
Most trout fly patterns in sizes 16 and 18 will work. Best bets are Adams, Elk Hair Caddis w/dark body, BWO, and Red or Yellow Humpy. Others to try are EC Caddis, Black Ant, Royal Trude, and Stimulator.
Bring insect repellant (the black flies can be vicious), polarized sun glasses and sunscreen. Water, snacks and/or lunch are essential for a full day of fishing.
Wading is not necessary but may be an advantage in some sections. Waist highs or hippers are OK most places or you can wet wade.
From the San Fernando Valley, drive east on I-210 to Azusa. Exit at Hwy 39, turn left and cross under the freeway. Drive north (toward the mountains) through Azusa about 4 miles, then up San Gabriel Canyon Road (Hwy 39) another 8 miles. Parking is located on the left side of the road just north of the highway bridge that crosses over the West Fork. You will need an Adventure Pass, Golden Age or other Interagency pass to park. There are picnic tables and restrooms adjacent to the parking area. The service road on the south side of the stream can be accessed via a footbridge from the parking area.