Peninsula Fly Fishers

Fishout: Spicer Meadows Reservoir & Highland Creek

  • June 12, 2014
  • June 15, 2014
  • Spicer Meadows Reservoir & Highland Creek
  • 4


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Spicer Meadows Reservoir & Highland Creek

FishMaster: Mark Wilson

FISHOUT UPDATE: Great new development, Member Richard Medeghini has volunteered the use of his cabin in Arnold, the closest town below Spicer Meadows to sleep over on Wednesday Night. So instead of leaving Thursday Morning as planned, we will leave Wednesday evening about 7 after traffic dies down and be there about 10:30. Get up next morning and be paddling on Spicer by 11 or 12. Plenty of time to set up camp and fish that evening. As mentioned, lots of fishing options between the creek, the reservoir and Lost and Sword Lake for the 2 full days.

You don’t have to be an experienced wilderness camper or kayaker to join this trip. Nor have all the camping gear and water gear. There are a few personal essential personal items that I will recommend but I have plenty of gear to lend. 

Call me with your questions. 650-235-0779

What: a boating Fishout to Spicer Meadows Reservoir & Highland Creek in Carson Iceburg Wilderness Area, Sierra Nevada with a maximum of 6 anglers. Will require paddling or peddling 8 miles. In and out. Possibility to catch or miss a trout on every cast.

Hiking with gear ½ mile. Camping and sleeping in tents. Cost: $30 to have first class camping cuisine. And share the gas to get up there.

When: Thursday, June 12- Sunday June 15 Leave Thursday morning. Thursday to reach Highland Creek. 2 full days fishing. Sunday pack up and return Sunday night.

Where: Off Highway 4 past Dorrington and before Bear Valley. 11 miles on Spicer Meadows Road (paved). To boat ramp. Paddle in 8 miles to mouth of Highland Creek. Entering the Carson Iceburg Wilderness Area.,-120.0371621,13z

Type of Fishing: Classic Sierra Trout Stream at its finest. Deep pools, riffles, pocket water. Wet and dry fly fishing are productive. Dry fly with indicator and bead head dropper is my most common set up.

Spicer Reservoir- fishing intermediate line for cruising Rainbows and Brook Trout. Average 12 to 15 inches. Fishing shoreline or from kayak. The mouth of Highland is especially productive.

Skill Level: Any level. Trout will reward the fly fisher with correct casts. Fly dragging will prevent hookup. Water is gin clear. Trout will spook. Stalking trout is common. Given the diversity of the creek, you can try & hone most all stream/river FF techniques.


Boats: I can accommodate 5 other people with my 2 tandem kayaks and 2 singles. The single and tandem Hobie Adventure Islands require peddling and sailing. My tandem Wilderness Systems Northstar and Pamlico will require pretty strong paddling ability. Especially on Sunday into a head wind.

Fishing: I use a 9’ 4 W rod with floating line on highland creek most of the time. 5/6 W for nymphing larger flies and deep pools as well as in the lake with usually an I line. Normal mix of dry and wet trout flies. I usually kill it with a Compardun #14, Cooper Jackets and beadhead pheasant tails. Size 12 – 14. #16 brassie.. I don’t use nor need waders but have some dry kayaking pants for paddling. Waders can suffice. I generally wet wade into the stream in the June. You will generally be fishing from the bank.

Clothes: Zip off quick drying pants are what I wear all the time. And an extra pair for the evening. Quick dry LS shirt and quick dry T shirt Long and short sleeve and Polar tech jacket. Wading jacket or water proof jacket for paddling and rare rain showers. I can provide anyone my detailed gear list.

Camping Equipment: light weight tent, sleeping bag and pad. The Fishmaster will provide the cooking equipment and plan and do most of the cooking.


4 hour drive. Reach Spicer Boat Ramp by mid-afternoon.

Pack kayaks and paddle up Spicer Reservoir in about 2 hours. (8 miles) Tail wind.

Arrive at mouth of Highland Creek. Unload kayaks into backpacks and walk ½ mile to campsite, set up camp and (maybe) fish the evening.

Friday and Saturday fish Highland Creek and Spicer Reservoir. Optional Hike: short paddle back to trailhead of Sword and Lost Lake, under the Dardenell Cones. Approx. 4 hours.

Sunday: break camp, hike back to boats, pack kayaks and paddle back. Usually into a strong head wind. 3 people will be sailing on Fishmaster’s Hobie sail/yaks.

Arrive boat ramp, pack cars (probably late afternoon) and drive home.

This is my favorite fishing spot that I want to share. I wouldn’t go there and paddle 16+ miles r/t 2 to 4 times a season if it wasn’t special.

If you have questions Please give me a call or drop me a note.

Looking forward to a good time,

Mark Wilson
Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2021
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