Stanislaus River California Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Stanislaus River

The Stanislaus River, northwest of Yosemite National Park, is one of the largest tributaries of San Joaquin River, flowing 65 miles and draining much of the western Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  • The Stanislaus River lies northwest of Yosemite National Park
  • The river is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River
  • You’ll catch rainbow, brown and brook trout in these waters
  • Whitewater rafting and floating is popular on the Stanislaus


In California, Stanislaus River offers much in the way of recreation for anglers, rafters and other outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a short drive from Yosemite with many scenic attractions along the way.

Location & Information

Stanislaus River CA, located on the borders of Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, runs between Highways 108 and 4 within the Stanislaus National Forest. From Yosemite, take California Highway 140 to Big Oak Flat Road, and continue on California Highway 120 to Highway 108. Around Knight’s Ferry you will find access to the river in a number of spots.

The river is accessible year round.


  • Fishing
    Stanislaus River California offers some wonderful fly-fishing, the season starting the last Saturday of April and running to 15 November. The Middle Fork has built a reputation of being the best fishing waters on the west side of the Sierras. You’ll find rainbow, brown and brook trout in these waters.
  • Rafting
    The North Fork of the Stanislaus River is popular with whitewater rafters. There are a number of spots along the river to get in some exciting rafting. Find floating around Knight’s Ferry and down at Salmon Beach in Caswell State Park.

Fun Facts

Stanislaus River in California contains a lot of dams! There are dams at Donell Lake, Beardsley Lake, New Melones Lake and Tulloch Reservoir. Another dam, the Goodwin Dam, is above the point where the Stanislaus meets the San Joaquin River.