When I was a kid, my uncle Flip would take my cousin and me to Sonora Pass. We would camp and fish along the stream, shoot BB guns and hike the trails in and around Dead Man’s Creek. My cousin and I got really good at catching the trout out of the stream. They were mostly planted fish but as we got older we would hike down where it wasn’t too easy to get to, and catch Brook Trout that were most certainly native. My uncle taught us about camping, cooking and catching fish. Probably some of my fondest camping memories were formed there. Located in the Stanislaus National Forest on Highway 108 in Northern California, Sonora Pass is a great place to visit. Fish the stream with red salmon eggs on a small hook and very little weight. Be quiet, I didn’t start catching fish there til I learned how to sneak up on a hole and stay out of plain sight. Fish are tough to catch if you are making a lot of racket. The easily accessible fishing spots are near the 8000 ft. elevation sign. You will also a few camp sites there. Back in the day, reservations were not needed, I doubt they are today. I believe a fire permit is required and can be obtained at any ranger station along the route up there. If you have children, take them fishing. I am grateful my uncle took me. This is one of my favorite fishing spots I have ever been to.
The sign at the top of the pass, pictured here, is a few miles past where the stream is next to the road. They plant fish in the stream periodically or at least they used to. The road over the pass, HWY 108 is closed during the winter so plan accordingly. Temperatures during the day can reach into the high 90′s with night-time lows in the 40′s.