Trout Fishing At New Spicer Meadow Reservoir



This week we headed west towards Ebbets Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a weekend of trout fishing at New Spicer Meadow Reservoir.  My wife has this fishing bug that I cannot seem to quell. 

Get Your Trout Fishing Gear At Ebbets Pass Sporting Goods

Ebbets Pass Sporting Goods is the the best place for local trout fishing supplies and information.  Evidently, the proprietor, Bill, is the go to guy when it comes to fishing in this area. He is passionate and very knowledgeable about hunting, fishing, and anything that has to do with outdoor living. 

We arrived at Ebbets Pass Sporting Goods Store early in the afternoon and met Bill.  True to his word, he hooked us up with a nice assortment of fishing gear and loaded our reels with the proper trout fishing line.  

This sporting goods store is small, but is packed with everything from fire arms to  snow boards. 

The Best Rod And Reel Combo For Trout Fishing

He noticed my wife’s deep-sea fishing poles. Not wanting to insult us or hurt my beloved wife’s feelings, he courteously installed trout fishing line over the existing heavy fishing line. Additionally, he sold us just a few necessary items for trout fishing in the rivers and lakes.

I asked him about some lightweight poles for trout fishing and he suggested some very inexpensive Diawa rod and reel combos. It did not cost much more than it would have to install fishing line on our ocean fishing poles. I bought 2 of them and was very happy.

Use This Set Up For Catching Trout

Bill also gave us copy drawings of how to set up our salmon eggs and power bait on the fishing line.  The drawing looks similar to this image.

trout fishing setup
photo compliments of

As usual on our camping trips, we usually spend more time eating than anything else.  Camping makes me so hungry.  The coup de grace of all the meals were hamburgers topped bacon, eggs, onions, and wedged in between a home made sour dough biscuit.  Idy called them “over the top burgers”.




Trout Fishing On The Stanislaus River 

We were so excited about this fishing trip, that we  hurriedly left the house without all the proper fishing equipment.   It’s a good thing there are knowledgeable people like Bill around to outfit us and send us off with the right stuff. He suggested that we drive another 30 min. up the road and camp at Stanislaus River campground. We arrived there and were very happy that it’ still free. In haste, we prepared our fishing poles and attempted to try our hand at fishing on the Stanislaus River. We scored goose eggs. Nada. All we saw were minnows. Didn’t matter to us. We got to fish. I called everything off at 6 PM and said it’s time to eat.

Everything tastes better camping!



My boys cooking cowboy chili




Stanislaus River National Forest Campground

My wife  is an amazing cook. She had lamb chops ready to go. My boys quickly gathered firewood and we had the StoveTek fired up and ready to cook our evening dinner. My wife  cooked lamb and potatoes in the wok. She commented that food always tastes better outdoors. I agree. Nonetheless, this was a meal that was good enough to serve to any guests back home. We were so relaxed and ate at such a leisurely pace, that we did not finish dinner until it was nearly dark. This would’ve been okay, if we did not have to do the dishes. By the time that we had everything cleaned up, and organized, it was approximately 9:30 in the evening.

Stanislaus River campground is a nice and tidy camp situated on the Stanislaus River. Most of the camp sites are fairly large and private. We chose the last site that was adjacent to the river and did not have any neighbors. When we woke up  in the middle of night, I noticed the stars were out and so beautiful. It was pitch black everywhere around us except for the twinkling of the over head stars. Everything was still except for the river water rushing over the rocks. It is almost hard to believe that we are only 2 1/2 hours away from home.

Day 1

It’s nearly 5 in the afternoon, and we did not catch a single fish all day. I’m sitting in my camp chair watching my 2 boys play near the river. I don’t think that they have a care in the world about catching fish. They just want to have fun. They are building a little city by the river. I’m sure that if we can’t fish that they would still be happy. Building the city near the river is just as much fun as fishing.

I sat by the river with a cup of coffee listening to water running through the rapids. Sitting by river drinking coffee is as much fun for me as fishing.

Day 2

After sleeping in until 7 AM, we loaded up our van and drove to New Spicer Meadow Reservoir for a day of trout fishing. 

The reservoir sits in a granite basin with snow covered peaks in the back ground.  It’s beautiful.

Most of the people fishing in the reservoir were using power bait attached to a small hook.  Our set up was basic: 3 foot leader attached to an egg-slider weight. 

We did not start fishing until 11 AM.  We took way too long to set everything up.  Most of the folks fishing near the reservoir got their catch early in the morning.  We did not get one bite.  We fished for approximately 4 hours before we returned to Stanislaus River campground to rest.



I spent the afternoon relaxing and drinking a cup of fresh ground coffee.  The boys were busy collecting firewood for the StoveTek and our massive evening bonfire.  My wife cooked a batch of honest-to-God cowboy chili.

We grazed on cold cantaloupe and cucumbers from the cooler.  Munched sliced cheese, salsa,  and Costco Organic tortilla chips.  After washing dishes, we warmed ourselves next to a glowing warm bonfire.

We had family devotional time reading out of the book “Teaching Hearts And Training Minds.”  Camping is a blessing from the Lord and train our family in by reading God’s word.

Family Cooking on Stove TEK Wood Burning Stove

Check out these photos using the StoveTek.   It’s a beast and will cook your meal fast.  We bought the StoveTek Delux because you can adjust the heat via the door on the bottom.  You can use it on the ground or the top of the picnic table.




Day 3

At approximately 6 AM following morning, my wife is getting restless and wants to go fishing. She stares at me and wiggles until I wake up.  Back home, she never gets out of bed till she gets breakfast in bed from one of the kids. 

Riding on my wife’s enthusiasm, I loaded what little equipment that was left outside, and we headed right back to New Spicer Meadow Reservoir for another day of fishing. 

I cast a line loaded with sparking power bait. A perky little trout interrupted my coffee break biting on my line and swallowing the hook.  I almost spilled my coffee when that line started jiggling. Catching fish is exciting makes my heart beat faster.

The 2 men next to us were also catching a lot of fish. I told everyone to get ready to catch  trout.  We caught a grand total of one trout for the entire weekend.

trout fishing at new spicer meadow reservoir

Night Fishing At Spicer Meadow Reservoir Dam

After dinner, we decided to try night fishing upon the recommendation of some locals.  We parked near the Spicer Meadow Reservoir dam.  The sun was just setting.  All of our poles were ready to go. 

In a matter of minutes it went from a nice sun set to almost pitch black.  This is our cue to transition to bedtime. 

We camped next to a local family in an RV.  Seems like most of the locals disperse camp just like us.  We often pass as locals because our van just blends in and does not look like a camping rig.

Trout Fishing Family Paradise At Spicer Meadow Reservoir

I recommend New Spicer Meadow Reservoir to anyone looking for a great place to camp and fish.  If you know what you are doing, you will catch a lot of fish. Spicer Meadow Reservoir is an awesome place for trout fishing, camping, picnicking, and family enjoyment.   Bring lots of live bait and an inflatable raft to increase your trout fishing odds.


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