Water’s flowing, but trout are scarce at Chantry Flat


A fairly short, but deep pool almost under the first bridge. About 3 feet deep under the mini-waterfall, 8 feet wide, and maybe 12 feet long. (Courtesy Patrick Jackson)


By Patrick Jackson

Guest Contributor

On the weekend of Feb. 11, my dad and I went hiking and fishing up through Santa Anita Canyon up to Sturtevant falls. We arrived at Chantry Flat around 8:30 a.m. and reached our first fishing spot around 8:45. After fishing under the bridge for 15 minutes and seeing and catching no fish, we headed to the first dam. Fished here for about 15 minutes, no fish seen or caught. It was a re-occurring pattern for the rest of the hike.

Here’s the first dam we fished. The pool was very large, and I’m guessing 3-feet-deep in some spots. (Courtesy Patrick Jackson)

I started off the day with a Prince Nymph, but being it was my second time throwing a nymph, I decided to switch to more familiar dry fly fishing at the first dam. With a 7.5 ft. 5/6wt rod, 7.5 ft. leader and a tippet, I tried out a Prince Nymph (not sure if it was exactly that but similar to it), Parachute Adams, Adams, and a California Mosquito fly (all flies were on the small end, Im not exactly sure what size). My dad was primarily fishing with a spinning reel and small artificial lures.

5 thoughts on “Water’s flowing, but trout are scarce at Chantry Flat”

  1. Have to ask….had you caught fish…would you have shared that along with the locations? All I can think of is that there are 22 million people within an hour of your location. If only twenty decide to try your spot…..well you know what happens.

    1. Right, Jim, I’d have to say that this is the opposite of hotspotting. Any person who cares about mountain fishing knows these spots. That’s not the point. Between the drought, the Station Fire and the lack of any attempt by CDFW to place signage in these areas to catch and release, the fishery has been devastated.

      If we are ever to get a sustainable fishery back in the San Gabes, it’s going to take a lot of effort on the part of those who used to enjoy fishing in our own backyard.

  2. Nice article Patrick and good photos too! I think we’ve all had days like you describe: fun to get out, spend time with your Dad, pretty place, and no fish…. The neat thing is that when explore like that you’ll find some real neat spots – you just never know when. And that’s part of the fun.

    Better luck next time and keep getting out there!

    1. Hey you don’t have to tell people that there are trout there;) Go to the west fork, it is better there. Also Isaac, have you ever fished the sespe or piru creek?

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