Silver Fork American River

Fishing the Silver Fork American River

Located just off Highway 50 near Kyburz, the Silver Fork of the American River is a small river that contains a mix of stocked trout by the campgrounds and wild fish in the other stretches. It’s a nice place to stop for some fishing on the way to Tahoe.

About the Creek

For the most part, the creek alternates between slower moving meadow stretches and faster moving granite-walled channels. There are a lot of obvious deep pools here that hold a lot of fish. If you want to catch stockers, find the campgrounds and the bridges and fish the pools next to them - nightcrawlers and mice tails will do the trick, drifted through the pool. The fish aren’t huge but they can be a lot of fun for the kids.

In the other parts of the river, there are a lot of small, but beautiful wild trout. They readily attack flies, small jigs, and spoons. I’ve caught mostly rainbows and brookies, but I’m sure there are some browns out there.

For some reason most of the fish here seem to like attacking lures and bait right off the drop. So don’t keep your line in the water too long - keep casting!

On another note, this river very pretty. Much of the river is not developed and fairly isolated, so it’s a great place to disconnect from the world not far from home in the Bay Area.

A pool under a bridge on the Silver Fork

A pool under a bridge on the Silver Fork


The official website. There are two campgrounds here right on the river - the China Flat and Silver Fork Campgrounds. Both are first-come-first-serve.

Check out my stream trout fishing guide.

For the trout:

Panther Marin, 1/16 oz

A classic trout spinner. I like a retrieve with many erratic jerks with these spinners, to let the blade flutter as much as possible. Traditionally the gold blade with black body and yellow spots has been the most effective for me, but the other colors should also work.
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Powerbait Micetails

A less messy version of Powerbait, which is basically a piece of soft plastic infused with the Powerbait flavoring. I prefer the micetails in moving water, as they have a more natural appearance and drift more naturally.
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Disclaimer: the above purchase links are mostly Amazon Affiliate links that help me keep this website running. I use all of the above products every time I go fishing.

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