Kinney Lakes Unveiled: A Tranquil Escape for Anglers

Discover the hidden gem of Kinney Lakes, a group of serene lakes tucked away in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Markleeville, California. With three distinct bodies of water—Upper Kinney Lake, Lower Kinney Lake, and Kinney Reservoir—each offering a unique fishing experience, Kinney Lakes present a picturesque escape for anglers seeking Lahontan cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. Dive into the details with our comprehensive guide to ensure a successful and fulfilling fishing expedition.

Fish You Can Expect to Catch

  • Upper Kinney Lake: Home to Lahontan cutthroat trout, known for their vibrant coloration and spirited fighting. These trout typically measure 10 to 12 inches in length and weigh 1 to 2 pounds.
  • Lower Kinney Lake: Inhabited by Lahontan x Rainbow trout hybrids, a crossbreed of two prized trout species. These hybrids range from 10 to 15 inches in length and weigh 1 to 3 pounds.
  • Kinney Reservoir: Stocked with rainbow trout and brook trout, providing a diverse fishing experience. Rainbow trout are typically 12 to 18 inches long and weigh 1 to 3 pounds, while brook trout measure 8 to 10 inches and weigh up to 1 pound.

Insights from the Locals

  1. Optimal Fishing Times: Late spring to early fall is the prime season for fishing at Kinney Lakes, with ideal water temperatures and increased trout activity.
  2. Strategic Fishing Times: Early mornings and late evenings offer the best chances for successful fishing, as trout are more likely to be feeding during these periods.
  3. Effective Techniques: Both fly fishing and spin casting are effective techniques. Choose flies or lures that imitate the lakes’ abundant aquatic insects and baitfish.
  4. Adapt to Water Conditions: Be prepared for varying water conditions, as levels in Kinney Lakes can fluctuate due to snowmelt and irrigation.

Specific Things Unique to This Area

  1. Remote and Serene Setting: Kinney Lakes provide a remote and tranquil fishing experience, away from crowds and noise, allowing anglers to immerse themselves in nature.
  2. Breathtaking Landscape: Surrounded by granite peaks, alpine meadows, and lush vegetation, the lakes offer breathtaking views, enhancing the overall tranquility of the fishing experience.
  3. Part of Alpine County Fish and Wildlife Area: Kinney Lakes are part of the Alpine County Fish and Wildlife Area, offering additional opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Specific Locations

  1. Lower Kinney Lake and Upper Kinney Lake: Accessible via a short hike from Kinney Reservoir, these lakes offer scenic views of surrounding mountains and forests.
  2. Kinney Reservoir: Easily accessible by car from Highway 4, the reservoir provides shore fishing opportunities from the dam and along the shoreline.
  3. Inlet and Outlet Streams: These streams offer access to migrating fish and are home to smaller trout and brook trout.
  4. Coves and Inlets: Sheltered spots where trout tend to congregate, especially during hot summer days.

Additional Tips

  1. California Fishing License: Ensure you obtain a California fishing license before embarking on your fishing trip to Kinney Lakes.
  2. Respect for the Environment: Leave no trace of your visit and dispose of trash properly, respecting the pristine environment of Kinney Lakes.
  3. Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of bears and other wildlife in the area. Store food properly and make noise while hiking to avoid surprising animals.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Embark on a fishing journey to Kinney Lakes, where the serene lakes and diverse trout species promise a unique and rewarding fishing experience. With a focus on optimal fishing times, effective techniques, and respect for the environment, Kinney Lakes invite anglers to enjoy the tranquility of their secluded setting.