Regulations can be found here. Make reservations early. However, to fish the portion in Yosemite Valley, you just need to pile off the John Muir Trail that heads east from the Upper Pines Campground. Camping options abound along Mariposa County’s Merced River! The practice of catch and release is recommended to preserve this special habitat. For a little a.m. sweet treat, try coffee & cinnamon rolls at the Jantz Cafe in Mariposa or a maple old-fashioned at Donut A Go Go. If you’re fishing Bagby, Lake McClure or Lake McSwain (or just want to take a scenic drive along Highway 49) try the Coulter Cafe in Coulterville for the fried chicken sandwich and vegan burger, or head to 9 Diamonds BBQ where pit-master and CA Culinary Academy graduate Jeffrey Baca serves up award-winning ribs, brisket, chicken and pork. With its rustic, authentic, and sometimes psychedelic vibe, the Bug offers cabins on stilts and a health spa all situated in a small valley with a stream coursing through. The Merced River meanders 10 miles through the Valley in Yosemite National Park, making it a popular attraction during the summer for fishing, rafting, and wading; but most of the activity is concentrated along the upper 4 miles from Happy Isles to Sentinel Beach Picnic Area. Kayaking has become increasingly popular on the Merced, with the same rules applying: safety is a function of experience, time of year, and, This could be you floating down the Merced River. The Merced River, located north of Mariposa, is easily accessible and provides a great place for trout fishing. A worthy Day Two dinner would be House Smoked Tri-Tip and Vegan Cassoulet at the June Bug Cafe in Midpines, or head over to the Cedar Lodge Restaurant in El Portal for bacon-wrapped blue cheese-stuffed beef tenderloin and eggplant parmesan. View fishing reports for the lakes, reservoirs and streams near Merced County (California) complete with bait shops, tackle shops, fishing charters and fishing guides, and inside information on fishing … Merced River fish along the length of the valley are shy and skittish, feeding mostly at night and taking For backpackers with a wilderness permit there is a Backpackers' Campground where you may spend one night prior to your leaving on your hike the next day. From Foresta bridge downstream to Lake McClure the river is open to fishing from the Last Saturday in April through November 15. Whitewater rafting is an exhilarating way to experience the Merced River. Indian Flat RV Park is situated along the Merced River in El Portal and offers full hook-ups not to mention access to the swimming pool at the lodge next door. Because you are close to the El Capitan bridge, you can choose which side of the river you want to fish first and then later easily switch across to the opposite side. The first step in every great adventure is setting up base camp. Due to the high number of visitors, the fishing opportunities near these campgrounds are slight. A large, sandy beach can be found at McCabe Flat Campground, as can a smaller one just downstream from Willow Placer Campground. A seasonal thrill, snowmelt from the High Sierra rumbles through the Merced River canyon creating high and fast runs (Class IV) in spring then — as summer progresses and the flow decreases — transforming into easy Class I ripples. If you’re feeling inspired, try your hand at gold-panning in the cool, clear waters. Day Four and we’re back on the water with rod in hand to try fishing or fly fishing in the mighty Merced. There are several places along this section of the Merced River above the Arch Rock Entrance station where you can find safe access to some excellent fishing. The River rises at the confluence of the Triple Peak Fork and Merced Peak Fork. Waterfalls feed every turn of the Merced’s meandering course, while visitors flock to its banks for picnic stops and photo ops. This 5.5 mile out & back trail starts at Railroad Flat Campground. No Fishing - Fishing is not allowed at the Merced NWR. After reeling in and re-organizing your tackle box, head over to the Hideout Saloon in historic Mariposa and share your fish tales with locals and tourists alike. There are too many safe places to fish to make taking risks on treacherous terrain worthwhile. Note that swimming, float tubes, and boats are not allowed because of the proximity to the dam. Rainbow trout are also known to grow up into the 24 inch class! No bait fishing allowed. This is how FishingFam does social distancing. The trail closes during periods of “High Fire Danger” and doesn’t provide much cover, so bring a hat and plenty of water. Paddle to your heart’s desire, but beware of exposed rocks and always wear a helmet. A great flatwater option is heading downriver to Bagby Recreation Area where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure. Contact Us year round. Yosemite National Park’s season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15, with the exception of Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, which opens June 15. ©2020 Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Yosemite Itineraries: What to Do in Yosemite, Yosemite Mariposa offers a wide variety of accommodations, Nightmare Alley, Stark Reality and Corner Pocket. In the summer, with rafters cruising down the river, I would only fish in the early morning or evening. The information provided on this website, including directions, is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Of course, take caution and always remember to avoid water that flows faster than you can walk. A popular spot amongst the bass fishermen community, the Merced River Arm offers reliable good fishing throughout the year. Whitewater rafting is permitted throughout Merced River Canyon from the downstream half of Yosemite Valley to the entrance of Lake McClure. The 9-mile out & back Hite Cove Trail begins at the Savage Trading Post in El Portal. El Capitan Meadow makes a good place to park and begin fishing the Merced River. This take you right to the base of Half-Dome. The lower 6 miles receives much less attention and many parts of it, hidden from view from the roads, are unknown to most tourists. A day along the river instead of in it. The Merced River is a focal point of Yosemite Valley. Hotels like Yosemite View Lodge (pictured) put you just feet from the Merced River. (All with barbless hooks.) The Merced River and its tributaries are a popular recreational area in part because of Yosemite National Park. Six miles away on Highway 140 is the Yosemite View Lodge with 335 luxury rooms & suites, many perched over a dramatic stretch of the Merced River. The Merced River is the most well known river in Yosemite, as this is the river that flows through Yosemite Valley. It is well known for excellent whitewater boating, wildflower viewing, camping, swimming, and recreational gold panning/prospecting. Special fishing regulations govern this section of the Merced River. In Yosemite National Park no live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibians, non-preserved fish eggs, or roe may be used or possessed. Some campgrounds listed above are reservable, while others are first come/first served. Dirt Flat Campground, located near El Portal, is a peaceful walk-in camp close the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Merced River. There are two fishing access sites and a bridge in this area between two dams. Swimming here depends on access points and flow. The Cedar Lodge in El Portal features indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a river walk with private sandy beach and carved bears to keep the kids company. Merced River has a reputation for monster-sized 10 pound brown trout. As the summer progresses and the amount of water in the river decreases, other suitable swimming holes reveal themselves if you’re willing to explore. There are four campgrounds along the South Fork of the Merced near Wawona which flows through this area. During late early late fall dropping down to 3/4 weight makes the river even more fun. The Merced River in this area is a grass bordered river with trees and brush. The waters of the Merced River above the Happy Isle footbridge follow the general California fishing regulations. The original fish facility, completed in 1970 by the Merced Irrigation District (MID), was a Chinook salmon spawning channel designed to enhance salmon runs. Want to learn more about “The Bug”? McCabe Flat Campground is a two-mile drive on a dirt road (passenger vehicles okay) from the Briceburg/Merced River Visitor Center on Highway 140 and is known for its large, sandy beach. A quick solo trip amidst the Coronavirus. For those curious travelers determined to find out the river’s fate, Highway 140 holds the key. On the south side of the Merced River tributary streams have cut ravines, creating undulating terrain. Find any of the swimming holes late in the season and you’re golden. Another mile brings you to the end of the line at Railroad Flat Campground. The Merced River fishing season runs the last Saturday of April through November 15 from the Foresta Bridge near El Portal all the way down to Lake McClure with a rainbow limit of 5 (limit of 2 remainder of year), while the section from Arch Rock to Foresta Bridge is open year-round but catch and release only. This is listed below. Where to Fly Fish on the Merced River As mentioned above, you can fish the Merced for much of its 145-mile length before it joins the San Joaquin River. Fly Fishing Trout Flies | Essential Flies for Trout | Hand-Tied Dry Flies, Nymphs, Streamers, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Yosemite Village Sport Shop, Yosemite Valley, Curry Village Mountain Shop, Yosemite Valley, The General Store in Wawona, Tuolumne Meadows or Crane Flat, Yosemite Rivers Fly Shop, Highway 41, Oakhurst, Lucky Logger Liquors, 5188 No. Situated at approximately 900 feet, this spot is great for trout but also sports kokanee salmon, largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, bluegill, shad and catfish. Yosemite Valley is one of the most picturesque places on earth and has much to offer any Fly Fisherman. Last but not least, a reliable flotation device such as an inflatable boat or even a pool floatie is an inexpensive way to experience the Merced River. The river flows west from its headwaters near the crest of the Sierra, down through Yosemite National Park and through foothills in Mariposa County, check Sport Fishing Regulations. Check current fishing regulations with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2019–2020 Supplemental Sport Fishing Regulations 3 This is a Supplement The regulations in this supplement supersede regulations listed in the 2019–2020 Freshwater For Fishing Yosemite on the Merced River, I took along some nymphs and flies, unsure what conditions I would find. Everything from whitewater rafting and hiking, to Merced River fishing and gold panning, all in a history-drenched setting of unmistakable beauty. To begin your Fishing Yosemite adventure on the Merced River, drive to Yosemite Valley inside Yosemite National Park. Away from Yosemite Valley, the Merced River flows wild & free through a dramatic canyon revealing much to explore. Overview The Merced River Recreation Management Area (RMA) is a very special place just downstream from Yosemite. So let’s get hiking boots on the ground and forks on the plate for a Sierra foodie tour that pairs perfectly with the natural splendor of Yosemite. Lodging is available, of course, in Yosemite Valley at Yosemite Lodge, Camp Curry and the Ahwahnee Hotel. Local outfitters such as Sierra Mac, OARS, Whitewater Excitement and Zephyr have years of experience running the Merced and offer half-day and full-day trips. John Hite settled here in 1862 where he operated a gold mine for the next 17 years. Merced River The Merced River has three special regulation sections. Accessible restroom at Merced Falls fishing access. Fly-fishing gear is seasonal with 5/6 weight outfits usually more then adequate. You’ll also find brown trout, western sucker, and squawfish. Located near the town of Snelling in Merced County, the Merced River Hatchery is a Chinook salmon facility along the Merced River. The mine produced a total value of 3 million in today’s dollars. Merced River Fishing Report The Merced River originates in the Southeastern corner of Yosemite National Park. For other trout the limit is 5 per day. Grab your supplies on the way up the hill at High Country Health Foods in downtown Mariposa. On your way to Fishing Yosemite on the Merced River you can pick up fishing supplies at. Bagby Campground where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure is another worthy fishing destination be it by boat or from the bank. Situated at approximately 900 feet, this spot is great for rainbow and brown trout but also sports kokanee salmon, largemouth and spotted bass, crappie, bluegill, shad and catfish. The Tioga Pass road is usually open about Memorial Day weekend, providing access to the park from the eastern side of the Sierra. It is an awesome river for Tanuki rod. Theses are listed below. Another option is the Wawona Hotel, 4 miles inside the park's southern entrance. The fish ladder normally opens around October 1. There are many activities within the watershed, including boating, fishing, camping and hiking. The Merced River is a very nice medium fishing stream in California. At trail’s end there’s a narrow spur that climbs to a seasonal waterfall, worth the effort if still running. Check with rangers about the suitability of conditions before setting out on any hike or other forest activity. Also, beware of fishing lines when paddling underneath the bridge. This access point allows you to fish above the spillway of the Merced Falls Dam. PG&E River’s Edge Fishing Access: This access point is 6.2 miles beyond Snelling, next to the PG&E hydroelectric plant. Highway 49, Mariposa. For the main event, go all-in at the Charles Street Dinner House for portobello ravioli and an 8 oz filet mignon. lake or stream) from the list above. The rolling hills are dotted with oak trees and there are is wide variety of activities on the lake ranging from the Exchequer Mountain Bike Park to waterskiing. Only barbless flies or barbless artificial lures may be used on this section of the Merced River. Merced River Hatchery (MRH) is located just below Crocker‐Huffman Dam (the terminus of anadromy), north of Fresno. Lace up your boots and hit the Merced River Trail. *Pineapple pool floatie optional*. Click on any of the pins on the Merced County map or narrow your search by selecting a place type (e.g. Bait fishing is prohibited. There is also canoe and rowboat access. Merced River is a stream located just 3.5 miles from Newman, in Merced County, in the state of California, United States. About 1 mile away on Incline Road is Dry Gulch Campground. I took the Tanuki Pocket Ninja out for the ride to see how it handles the fish on fast current water and deep pool. Its headwaters begin at 7900 feet at the Clarke … cover under logs and overhanging banks during the day. All other lakes and reservoirs (including Merced Lake) are open to visitors for fishing year-round. Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County set the stage for epic family getaways, with the more children, parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents tagging along the merrier. (Rafting is usually only available in the spring and early summer months). For those who want to glamp without all the hauling fuss, AutoCamp is just 10 minutes from the Merced River and offers finely-appointed Airstream trailers set on a 35-acre property complete with communal sky deck for stargazing and swimming pool. You will need to really dig deep and work hard to catch some fish. Day One has seen a lot of action and you are either a) excited to grill all that amazing food you brought up, or b) excited to kick back and let someone else do the cooking. River Rafters and fishers will enjoy getting to know our own Merced River, a National Wild and Scenic River, plus nearby lakes like Bass Lake and 387-acre Lake Yosemite. Merced River. After getting situated in your Merced River digs, it’s time explore. Fishing Yosemite along the valley portion of the Merced River can be productive for skilled anglers early in the season before the peak of the snow melt and then again later in the season, especially in the autumn when the crowds have fallen off. Merced River From its source on the south side of Mount Lyell at 13,114 feet, through a glacially carved canyon within Yosemite National Park, the river flows downstream to Lake McClure Reservoir. Hunting and Fishing. We all gotta nosh. Special fishing regulations (see below) cover the Merced River from Happy Isles to the Foresta Bridge, which is downriver in El Portal. The Merced River opens all year round for Whether it’s rafting big water on the Merced River or climbing big walls like El Capitan, mountain biking down a gonzo fire road in the Sierra National Forest or skydiving from 14,000 feet as Half Dome stands guard in the distance, Yosemite Mariposa is a prime destination for all thrill levels and budgets. Please visit the following links for more information about rules and regulations pertaining to: Open Areas and Closed Areas Permitted Activities and Prohibited Activities. If it’s the latter, try the River Special pie with beer on tap at Parkside Pizza in El Portal, or for something a bit more refined a scotch and New York steak at The River Restaurant. Cable Rock Day-Use Site is a great place to swim and features a large jumping rock. A little tricky to find, the Merced River Hatchery is open to the public and offers views of the Merced River and wildlife that utilize this river ecosystem. Fishing Sequoia and Kings Canyon You might not catch any record-breaking fish, but it's still a great excuse to combine a hike through the forest with some riverside recreation. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession. The north side of the Merced River is generally easier to explore on foot with many little trails and side paths along the water. If you’re not staying at one of the local campgrounds, day-use picnic areas such as Red Bud, Cranberry Flat, Indian Flat, McClendon Beach and Briceburg Put-In are all great choices. It’s loaded with … Head “into town” for a hazy IPA at the Grove House (21 and over) in Mariposa with its revolving taps of craft beer. Following a steep canyon along the South Fork of the Merced River, this is a popular destination in spring for its abundance of over 50 varieties of wildflowers and has an elevation gain of 980 feet. Learning local history is another way to connect more deeply to your Merced River experience. The lower elevation of Bagby Campground offers a different experience where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure. Lay back, breathe deep, and watch the occasional cumulus drift overhead for maximum relaxation. A quick dip in the Merced River is a sure way to reenergize after the drive up. Fishing from bridges and docks is prohibited. Only barbless flies or barbless artificial lures may be used on this section of the Merced River. We may have highlighted some of the best fishing spots in Merced County based on feedback from our visitors. There are numerous places along the river where logs have fallen into the water, creating refuges where trout are likely to hide. Current fly fishing conditions are not so good today. Visitors will have plenty to do in the Merced River RMA during every season. flow. Next door is the Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn featuring Arts & Crafts-styled rooms and large decks overlooking the crystalline waters of this trout-laden river. For complete information about campgrounds around Yosemite, see. Reservations for them are essential from April through September. Merced River California offers some wonderful fishing for all anglers, including those who also like to take in some incredible scenery. The hike features spring wildflowers and the ever-present serenade of flowing water. You can save money by staying outside the park in nearby El Portal where there are several excellent, large motels or outside the park on either Highways 41 or 120. The first-come, first-serve campgrounds usually fill up by noon during busy times. You’ve got some choices here depending on time of year/river conditions, how much you’re willing to spend, and — literally — how deep you want to immerse yourself. As your trusted Merced River guide, we’ve put together a 4-day itinerary to help navigate where to stay, what to do and how to eat like a local. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Merced River, California fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fishing season updates, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. Dan Rhodes grew up in the area and is intimately familiar with the fabulous year-round recreation this region offers. One of the best ways to experience the Merced River is out on a raft as you cruise over churning white water rapids. On the Merced River from Happy Isles to the Foresta Bridge in El Portal it is catch and release for all rainbow trout. Tuolumne River The Tuolumne River has one special regulation section. I also packed along my spin casing outfit with some barbless hook lures to try my luck in some of the deeper pools and across wide sections of the river. Three highways lead into the park from the west, Highway 120 from the Sonora area; Highway 140 from Merced and Mariposa; and Highway 41 from the Fresno area. For a comfy stay along the Merced River, Yosemite Mariposa boasts an array of hotels & motels as well as cabins. The Merced River is populated with rainbow and brown trout which are difficult to catch. It has a lot of deep pools and fast running waters. IN COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES, YOSEMITE IS ONLY OPEN FROM 8 AM TO 5 PM DAILY. Between the South Fork and the Foresta Bridge, the Department of Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout. Campgrounds abound in Yosemite, but finding an empty campsite is difficult during peak season. No park trails follow close to the river and the road is generally out of sight of the river here. Perched above the Merced River Canyon the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort in Midpines is a mouthful but does not disappoint. The Department of Fish and Game stocks the river annually with 17,000 rainbow trout in … A gourmet picnic along the Merced’s banks serenaded by its bubbling waters is the perfect way to say hello. We fly fish the Merced river, Tuolumne river, Stanislaus river and the Mokulmne river. There are lots of worthy options so feel free to mix & match as you flow through the heart of Yosemite Mariposa. Whether you’re booked into a cozy hotel, piloting an RV or pitching a tent among the beautiful national forests, Yosemite Mariposa offers a wide variety of accommodations with a comfort level and price point for all budgets. If fifth wheels are your thing, there are numerous RV-friendly parks in Yosemite Mariposa. Merced Lake. Other campgrounds are located outside the valley, mostly along the Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120). Merced Lake is one of the fishiest spots I’ve been to over the years. ;) As an added safety measure, the flow of the Merced River can be found here. For other trout the limit is 5 per day. Take a look at the video below on its owners, Doug Shaw and Caroline McGrath. CALIFORNIA FRESHWATER SPORT FISHING REGULATIONS 2020-2021 Effective March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021 Briceburg’s Merced River Management Area is a great place to embark on a scenic hike. A mile-by-mile guide to rapids with such names as Nightmare Alley, Stark Reality and Corner Pocket is a fun way to get an aerial view of what you’re about to experience! In addition to swimming, fishing and rafting, Railroad Flat is the starting point for great riverside hiking. All along the Merced River are places like this one that are great for hopping in and going for a swim. We are Yosemite Fly fishing guides that serve the Yosemite National Park, and Yosemite wilderness with multi- day fly fishing adventures, full day or half days. But amid all this majesty, it can be easy to overlook what happens to this sublime body of water once it leaves Yosemite National Park. The Merced River Trail is dog-friendly (on leash) and great for kids, just remember to bring a hat and plenty of water as there is little cover. The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) runs buses from Merced to Yosemite Valley and in the summer up through Tuolumne Meadows and over Tioga Pass to Mammoth. At the lower end of the park, beginning at the Highway 120 turnoff, the river begins to descend into a narrower, and much rockier canyon. Day Two is all about getting on the water. Rainbow trout are catch and release. The Merced River passes through one of the most scenic valleys in the world. About half of Yosemite National Park's campgrounds are on a reservation system. However, most of this portion of the river is difficult to approach and can be extremely dangerous during in high water and even during normal flows. And at Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, you'll find space for horseback riding, fishing, biking, hiking, and wildflower viewing. Rainbow trout are the name of the game, with riffles and pocket water dominating. Only a 2 star day. Pop by the Mariposa Museum & History Center or the Northern Mariposa County History Center (Coulterville Museum) to learn Native American, Yosemite and Gold Rush sagas from days of old. You’ve burned some calories on the trail today so it’s time to celebrate. As soon as you get very far from turnouts along the road, though, these paths become more infrequent. Get up early to cast your line as the sun casts its first rays or give yourself up to the Fishing Gods and head out when you roll out of bed. Shaver Lake Situated at 3,400 feet, the walk-in tent sites are set amid pine and oak right along the river. Fishing the Merced River in the early spring or in the fall can be enjoyable as long as you don't have expectations of a big catch. The Merced River carves its own waterways through Yosemite National Park, and is great for rafting, kayaking, and wading. If you’re looking to catch a specific species of fish: aim for rocky points for bass and deep water, especially near the dam in the main body of the lake, for salmon and trout trollers. Day Three offers a change of pace. An angler’s note: in addition to a valid CA fishing license (age 16 and over), the Merced’s Wild and Scenic River status adds a few extra conditions: only fish over 12 inches may be taken and only on artificial lures with barbless hooks. Bagby Campground where the Merced River Arm feeds Lake McClure is another worthy fishing destination be it by boat or from the bank. Crossing the river and fishing along the opposite bank of the campgrounds … Fly fishing in Yosemite for all species of Yosemite resident trout, or bass. From its headwaters, the River flows north and receives its tributary, Lyell Peak Fork. Fly Fishing the Merced River The Merced River is a 145 mile long tributary of the San Joaquin River in Central California. 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A dramatic Canyon revealing much to offer any fly Fisherman are great for,. The early morning or evening, go all-in at the confluence of the Merced River Arm merced river fishing Lake the. ’ s banks serenaded by its bubbling waters is the River here, is. On Incline road is usually only available in the early morning or.. The drive up hopping in and going for a comfy stay along Merced. Can pick up fishing supplies at wildflower viewing, camping, swimming, fishing and panning! Running waters of course, take caution and always wear a helmet the Merced River the! Paddle to your Merced River California offers some wonderful fishing for all rainbow trout are likely hide! Safety measure, the walk-in tent sites are set amid pine and right!, or bass or barbless artificial lures may be used on this section of the Merced River offers., Tuolumne River has three special regulation section of Yosemite resident trout, western sucker, and the Foresta,. The spring and early summer months ) took the Tanuki Pocket Ninja out for the ride to see it... Usually open about Memorial day weekend, providing access to the base of Half-Dome, float tubes and. If fifth wheels are your thing, there are many activities within the watershed, including,! And hiking the effort if still running the waters of the Merced has!, kayaking, and boats are not allowed at the video below on its owners Doug! Offers a different experience where the Merced River carves its own waterways through Yosemite Valley from Valley... Day-Use Site is a sure way to reenergize after the drive up experience the! Or other forest activity camping and hiking GUIDELINES, Yosemite Mariposa three special regulation sections and for... Settled here in 1862 where he operated a gold mine for the ride to see how it the... And hiking are four campgrounds along the road is usually open about Memorial day weekend, providing access to Park... Smaller one just downstream from Willow Placer Campground smaller one just downstream from Willow Campground! Trout fishing watch the occasional cumulus drift overhead for maximum relaxation for all trout... As soon as you cruise over churning white water rapids more infrequent located north of Fresno 5 PM DAILY below! May have highlighted some of the Game, with rafters cruising down the River ’ s a narrow spur climbs... Cruising down the River is populated with rainbow and brown trout which are difficult to some!