Where to Fish?

The best fishing spots around Lake Tahoe are usually kept as secret as a gold miner's claim. But the following locations have been shared with us. For more detail, consult the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit map available from most Forest Service offices.

Follow these links for more information:

Upper Truckee River

The Upper Truckee is fed from the waters of Meiss Country south of Highway 89.  Fishing is good in the deep pools during the early part of fishing season.

Echo Lakes

Just a short drive off of Highway 50, you can try both boat and shore fishing here.  Shore fishing is usually good from the dam.  Please respect the rights of private property and homeowners around the lake.

Sawmill Pond

A stocked pond for children 14 years of age and under.  Adults are allowed to help children fish but not allowed to fish themselves.  The pond is located one mile south of South Lake Tahoe along Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

Fallen Leaf Lake

The best fishing is from a boat, but occasionally fish can be taken from the shore with a good cast.  The lake is a short walk from Fallen Leaf Lake Road or Fallen Leaf Campground.  Fishing within 250 feet of the dam is illegal.

Lake Tahoe

The best fishing is in deep water from a boat.  For shore fishing, try places where the shoreline drops off quickly such as Rubicon Point on the west shore or Cave Rock on the east shore.  A day use fee is charged at both of these areas.  Fishing is closed in the lake within 300 feet of its tributaries and upstream to the first lake from October 1 through June 30.  The rest of the year the entire lake is open.

Fishing Techniques

The skillful angler minimizes the disadvantages to Tahoe's wonderfully clear water in the following ways:

  • Avoid fishing during times of mirror like calm, unless fishing deep for Mackinaw.  Even a slight surface riffle will break up shadows cast on the bottom and will partially obliterate the angler from view.
  • Use a light monofilament line.
  • Use very long line for trolling or make very long casts if fishing from shore.

Truckee River

Lake Tahoe's only outlet, the Truckee starts its journey from Lake Tahoe's dam at Tahoe City and continues along Highway 89 to the town of Truckee.  Fishing is closed year round from the dam to 1,000 feet downstream.  Certain other sections of the Truckee are closed year round.  Check the fishing regulations for specific information.

Carson River, West Fork

Flowing through Hope, Faith and Charity Valleys, this portion of the river receives considerable use.  It is located south of Lake Tahoe along Highway 88 and also flows along Blue Lakes Road.

Carson River, East Fork

Closed to all fishing above Carson Falls.  From Hangman's Bridge (south of Markleeville) downstream to the Nevada state line, there is a minimum size limit of 14 inches and you must use artificial lures with single barbless hooks.

Blue Lakes

A series of lakes located south of the Lake Tahoe Basin, 12 miles off of Highway 88.  At over 8,000 feet they are some of the highest lakes accessible by automobile.  Camping is available nearby.  Fishing is reported to be good off of the dams where the two lakes connect.

Other Rivers

All of the rivers listed above, with the exception of the special regulations noted, are open from the last Saturday in April to November 15.

Other Lakes

Most of the backcountry lakes are open and support Rainbow, and Golden Trout.  Shore fishing is your only choice unless you want to pack in a rubber raft. Fish in these high country lakes are taken only by the most skillful anglers!


Contact the Forest Service at:

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 543-2600 (voice)
(530) 543-0956 (TTY)

Direct specific fishing regulation questions to: