Guided Backpacking Over-Nighters on the Upper Kern



Guided Backpacking / Fly Fishing Adventures on the Upper Kern

This is the trip for the adventurous who want a shot a big, nasty, wild native Kern River Rainbows that don’t see a lot of artificials or people for that matter.  and have a heck of a fun few days doing it.  I have fished all over the world and i will tell you that nothing fights like a Kern River Rainbow.  It’s wild.  It’s native.  and it lives in a wild, fast river that goes up to 10s of thousands of CFS down to hundreds.  Some times easy to hook the big ones are difficult to land.  I’m convinced the 12″ to 14″ Kern River rainbow provides a 1 in 5 catch rate.  They just go ballistic and don’t give up.  i’ve had 60+ takes on dries on days on the Upper Kern and had my lunch handed to me on days too.  You just never know what that wild river will give you.  But, after 20+ years of fishing the Upper Kern I do know where the fish typically hold and how to fish in all conditions and seasons.

For over 20 years i have experienced the pure joy of fly fishing the Upper Kern River.  I lost count of how many nights i have spent in a tent on the Upper Kern years ago.  I have shared the experience with many.  I’d like to share it with you.  There is only one way to get there: by hiking.  By way of the Forks trail, it’s too much hike in and out in one day.   Overnighting it provides so much more in terms of fishing and the wilderness experience.  I will tailor the trip for your hiking wants and ability.  we can go as far up river as the river will give us and that ~40 pounds on your back will give you.  The Huck Site i have developed for over a decade is only 4.2 miles from the trailhead.   The first primitive site on the river is just 2 miles from the trailhead.  We can move camp every day or day trip it from one site we camp at for a number of nights.

I don’t care if you are a beginner or expert to backpacking or fly fishing or both.   All are welcome.  if you are a beginner to backpacking I’ll get you savvy on this trip so you can DIY it the next time and beyond.  I’ll also teach you how to do the backpacking thing cost effectively.  Trust me the gear adds up…just like fly fishing gear does.  Whether you are a beginner to fly fishing or an expert you’ll learn a lot.  The Upper Kern is not an easy place to fly fish.  I’ll teach you how to be proficient there.  When you can successfully fish the Upper Kern you can fly fish anywhere.  No matter what, we’ll do a lot of planning.  Especially if you are a beginner to backpacking.  If you are up for it I’ll also teach you about the flora, fauna and geology of the area.

Over 20 years ago my backpacking mentor, Rudi Van Der Walt, told me, “Tim, if you want to experience one of the few places in the world that has big wild native trout, we’ll have to backpack it.”  He was talking about the Upper Kern and he taught me a lot about backpacking, the wilderness and survival.  i have been “hooked” ever since.

How long we fish each day depends on you.  I’m easy and flexible that way.  I’m that guy that has to be dragged off the river.  if you want to fish all waking hours then throw mice in total darkness I’m your guy.  if you want to hike 2 hours up river to fish 2 hours,  I’m your guy.  if you want to take two hour breaks between fishing sessions I’m your guy.  No matter what we’ll have fun.

trips include:

  • all flies and terminal tackle
  • loaner rods if you don’t own them
  • all food – but, it’s backpacking so you’ll need to share the load
  • gear guidance and planning for success

​1-2 People 1-nighter $1,500.  Each Additional night $750
Additional non fly fishing guided Person(s) + $250.00 / night

Special configurations no problem.  Contact me to start the planning process.


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