Lower Stanislaus River – Goodwin Dam to Oakdale.
There are two distinct part to this section of the river. The first is in the canyon east of Knights Ferry. This gets much less traffic from families, rafters and other types of crowds, but is well-known by fly-fishermen. Some areas can be insanely productive, but the fish are carbon copy 10-12 inch fish. If you want to feel good about yourself, hike up near the dam and drop some little nymphs in the fishy runs. There are some bigger fish lurking, up to 18 inches, but they can be frustratingly snobby.
Lower sections of the canyon down to 2-mile bar can be fun. There are some really pretty fish, and you really can feel like you are a long way away from civilization.
Once the canyon opens just up from Knights Ferry, the scene changes. There are still plenty of smaller fish, but the traffic dramatically increases. There are occasional beer cans, graffiti, and trash but don’t completely ruin the experience. The water is still nice and it’s a great afternoon after work place to get into some fish.
Fly patterns – black birds nests, prince nymphs, red/blue copper johns, hares ear nymphs 12-18.