Kern River - Johnsondale Bridge to Rincon Trailhead



From Kernville

From Kernville, drive along Sierra Way for 20 miles to Johnsondale Bridge. Parking is available just across the bridge on the north side. From the parking lot, walk over the footbridge to the south side of the river and the start of the trail.

Some Noteworthy Spots above Kernville on the way...

  • Dry Meadow Creek special regulation section
  • Salmon Creek
  • Chico Flat

Kern River - Johnsondale Bridge to Rincon Trailhead

The Kern River above the Johnsondale Bridge flows through a narrow river valley that has steep, rocky hillsides. Willow and cottonwood dominate the streamside vegetation. The river has many large boulders, cold water, and swift currents.

Fishing upstream of Johnsondale Bridge on the Kern River

Just Upstream of Johnsondale Bridge

The four-mile section of the Kern River upstream of Johnsondale bridge, located about 20 miles north of Kernville, is a Catch-and-Release wild trout fishery managed under special regulations. This part of the river is large and powerful with deep pools and fast runs and has good access from the trail heading upstream from the bridge.

This section of the Kern River offers beautiful native rainbows

Kern River Fishing Regulations

The SPECIAL REGULATION FOUR MILE SECTION from the Johnsondale Bridge upstream to the point where the River trail 33E30 heads east to join the Rincon trail, fishing from the last Saturday in April through November 15 is a 2 trout limit, minimum size of 14 inches, using ONLY artificial lures with barbless hooks. In this same SPECIAL REGULATION FOUR MILE SECTION, fishing from November 16 to the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April is CATCH AND RELEASE ONLY using artificial lures with barbless hooks. It is the responsibility of the angler to be aware of all fishing regulations which apply to these waters.

Rainbow caught and released on the Kern River