Northeast of Bakersfield and north of Kernville, the Kern River offers exciting flyfishing opportunities for trophy trout. The upper Kern River is a 20 mile section north of Lake Isabella and Kernville that is especially popular for its deep pools, long deep runs and short runs. Of special note is the Johnsondale Bridge section which is a 4 mile protected area with special regulations for the rainbow trout.
The lower Kern River is below Lake Isabella and runs 40 miles to Bakersfield. This stretch of the Kern River is know for fly fishing small mouth bass and rainbow trout. To access the lower Kern River from Hwy 99 in the City of Bakersfield, drive 15 miles east on Hwy 178 to the mouth of the lower Kern Canyon and the boundary of the Sequoia National Forest. Proceed slowly up the winding canyon highway to various recreation sites and river access points.
Overall, Kern River is the 2nd most popular fly fishing river of all 17 fly fishing spots in California.