Union Valley Reservoir is an excellent lake for those anglers that would like to try their luck at nice sized rainbow trout, trophy mackinaw lake trout, kokanee, brown trout, and even smallmouth bass. Union Valley Reservoir is located at 4,900 feet of elevation in El Dorado National Forest. The lake is a popular camping and fishing spot for anglers from the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay areas, as well as a hot spot for local El Dorado County fishermen. If you like fishing at high mountain lakes, with beautiful blue waters, surrounded by a healthy pine tree forest, to get out above everything and breathe in the beautiful crisp clean mountain air, this is the right lake for you. Union Valley Reservoir fishing is a unique experience, and has a healthy population of trophy fish species.
Union Valley Reservoir Fishing for Mackinaw Lake Trout
The California Department of Fish and Game regularly plants the lake with Mackinaw fingerlings, and nice sized catchable rainbow trout. The Mackinaws in the lake can reach 10 to 20 pounds or more for those anglers who are able to unlock the secrets on how to catch the highly elusive predators. If you would like to try your luck at catching a big trophy Mackinaw your best bet would be to fish from about 12:00 in the afternoon until about 6:00 in the evening. You should troll an M-2 Flatfish, or other hardbait lures, for the trophy mackinaws. Another good bet would be to troll nightcrawlers behind flashers at about 100 feet. Sometimes a Rebel will work good as well. The key is to fish as slow as you can. The fish can be found all over the lake, with the higher concentrations of fish being found in the fingers.Trophy Mackinaw Lures for Fishing Union Valley Reservoir
Union Valley Reservoir Fishing for Rainbow Trout
If you are like me, and you can't wait until noon to begin your fishing, Union Valley Reservoir has more than just mackinaw. I like to get up early and fish for rainbow trout and troll for kokanee. The best area on the lake for rainbow trout is up by the lake's powerhouse. The best way to hook up with a good rainbow is to troll a nightcrawler behind a set of flashers, or a good sized spoon. The depth to troll will vary throughout the year, but I can usually find fish at about 15 feet deep. Apex Lures and Needlefish usually work good at Union Valley as well.
Union Valley Reservoir Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
If you are looking for smallmouth bass, you have come to the right place. The lake is very clear so it is hard to sneak up on the big smallmouth that are lurking in the lake, but they are there. Four inch rubber worms, and other soft bait lures, work best for smallmouth. Hard bait lures are another top pick for fishing for smallmouth at Union Valley Reservoir. If your fishing from shore, your best bet is an inflated worm with a sliding sinker to allow the fish to bite without feeling any resistance. The worm should be floated about eighteen inches off the bottom. You can also do well along the shoreline with lures. Pick a lure that puts off a good shine, or looks like a small rainbow trout or minnow. Kastmasters, spinners, small jointed Rapalas, small jointed Rebels, needlefish, and spoons are a good choice. The lure should be retrieved at a medium speed. These fish are predatory, and the speed and movement will entice a strike. These same lures are also great for trolling, with my top favorites being anything that resembles the small rainbow trout, or a minnow. Fly fishing works great at Union Valley Reservoir as well. The best spots for fly fishing would be up towards the creek arms. The best types of flies would be anything that has recently hatched, or any type of land insects (ants, grasshoppers, beetles, worms, mayfly nymphs, and caddis nymphs, and the best colors are the dark brown and olive colors. The fish can be challenging to catch, until you find what works best for you.
Union Valley Reservoir Fishing for Kokanee
Kokanee fishing starts to turn on in the weeks leading up to spring and continues to be good throughout the summer. Kokanee are best caught from a boat while slowly trolling lures. The best way to target kokanee is to use your fishfinder to find the schools of kokanee within the lake, which can typically be found up in some of the larger coves. Then target them with the the small spinners and squid type rigs below, tipped with a hot pink dyed shoepeg corn, like with this Kokanee shoepeg corn recipe. These Kokanee fishing lures are the perfect matched combo for Union Valley Reservoir Kokanee Fishing. A small pink dodger, paired with a small pink squid or spinner rig. Blue, white, and purple, are other great color matches for fishing for Kokanee at Union Valley Reservoir.
Union Valley Reservoir Camping
Camping at Union Valley Reservoir is a great experience. High up in the mountains, surrounded by the smell of pine trees, and campfires. There are campgrounds at the lake at the Fashoda, Jones Fork, Sunset, Wench Creek, Yellowjacket, and Wolf Creek campgrounds. There are four boat ramps on the lake and they are located at Jones Fork, Peninsula, Yellowjacket, and West Point. We have an excellent selection of great camping gear, fishing gear, and hunting gear. There is not a store or a marina located at the lake but the Icehouse Resort is nearby and it does have groceries and fishing tackle available. For camping and other information you can call the El Dorado National Forest Pacific Ranger District at, (530) 644-6048. If you would like fishing information on Union Valley and other Crystal Basin lakes you can call the Icehouse Resort at (530) 293-3321. All sites are shaded by groves of towering Ponderosa pine, fir, oak, and cedar trees. The campground is in Eldorado National forest, which boasts over 400 miles of hiking trails, an abundance of lakes and rivers for fishing and swimming, and incredible scenery. Here, the climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters.
There are many different fishing guides that offer guided fishing trips on Union Valley Reservoir. FishingBooker is a service of local guides that you can choose from and schedule your next guided fishing trip. Book a Union Valley Reservoir Fishing Guide today to catch some quality fish and learn about this excellent fishery. Shop for fishing tackle in our Fishing Gear and Tackle store that would be perfect for catching more fish at Union Valley Reservoir.
Cottages and Vacation Home Rentals At Union Valley Reservoir, CA
Looking for a vacation rental on Union Valley Reservoir, or any destination you wish to go? Vrbo has vacation homes, cabins, and cottages for many locations that would be great for your next family vacation. Start your adventures today. About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Union Valley Reservoir Fishing Experience Awaits!