LOCATION: Peppermint Creek, Sequoia National Forest, CA
For this week’s post I’m taking you on a trip down memory lane. We’re going back to our old stomping grounds in California. If you’re not from that area I strongly encourage you to visit the Sierra Nevada’s at some point in your life. The area is picturesque and filled with national parks including; Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, and Lassen Volcanic. The area also has some fabulous fly fishing opportunities.
There are many famous trout fisheries in the Sierras such as the Merced River, Kings River, Tuolumne River, San Joaquin River, Owens River, Kaweah River, and I’ve already told you about the Kern River. However, some of the small tributaries of these mighty rivers can be equally as enjoyable to fish, which brings me to Peppermint Creek.
Peppermint Creek is a small tributary of the Kern River, which flows through Sequoia National Forest. The creek is relatively easy to access as it flows near several mountain roads and also borders two federal campgrounds. Lower Peppermint Campground is accessible by car and RV while Peppermint Campground requires backpacking in to the site. Both of these sites will provide you with access to the creek.
Peppermint Creek is predominately occupied by rainbows but you will also find the occasional brook trout mixed in especially further upstream near Peppermint Campground. The majority of the wild fish in the creek are in the 2” – 6” range but they have beautiful colors. The DNR also stocks the creek with catchable rainbows in the 8” – 12” range and if you find yourself at the creek shortly after a stocking the fishing can be great.
A smaller rod is advisable; a 4 or 3 weight will easily do the job, as the creek is not very big. Smaller flies also work best; you can’t go wrong with an Adams or a small attractor like a Royal Wulff.
The creek runs through some pretty heavy forest so you will have lots of branches to avoid when casting, but like I said the creek is pretty small and long casts aren’t really necessary.
Smaller streams like Peppermint Creek might not get the press their larger cousins do, but they can still offer anglers of all skill levels an enjoyable day on the water. And if you get sick of fishing, (not likely but possible) Peppermint Creek is very close to some great hiking trails and even a few Giant Sequoia groves. If you end up at Lower Peppermint Campground you can also take a short hike to Peppermint Falls.
When you get out in nature, the size and quantity of the fish you’re catching usually takes a backseat to the beauty and tranquility that the outdoors can offer. Like I always say even if the fishing is slow, you can enjoy views like this:
Until next time, happy fishing!
– A. Egli