The Kern River is located in central California. It is east of Bakersfield about 50 miles. West of Ridgecrest 50 miles on Highway 178. It is the Gateway to the Sierra's. The Kern River has great fishing for Rainbow trout. The 20 mile section of river from Lake Isabella to the Johnsondale Bridge is open YEAR ROUND for fishing. The river is accessible from the road with numerous pullouts where you can just get out of your car and fish. The river above the bridge opens for the season on the last Saturday in April and closes mid November. There are many small streams in this area to fish with bait and flies. The section on the Kern above the bridge is for artificial only. The South Fork Kern River (upstream from Kennedy Meadows) and streams of the Kern Plateau are managed as wild trout streams, that is, they are not stocked but rely on natural reproduction to maintain populations. The South Fork Kern River provides a great opportunity for golden trout fishing whether you are backpacking, horseback riding, or want to drive to your fishing spot. The South Fork Kern and Golden Trout Creek are designated Wild Trout waters. The South Fork Kern is also a federally designated Wild & Scenic River.
Large pools and beaver dams can produce some huge trout. Goldens occur, but it is mostly a brown and rainbow trout fishery. Fish Creek and other tributaries can also provide excellent fishing. Watch out for rattlers as they are very common. Golden trout can spawn and survive in very marginal conditions so numbers are very high in the upper river and tributaries.