Directions: From Jackson at junction of Highways 49-88, take Highway 88
East and go 50 miles to Silver Lake or 62 miles (past Silver Lake and Kirkwood) to Caples Lake on right.
Caples Lake (ele:7900 feet) is about 600 acres in size. It can be float tubed near
the two dams and the inlet at the eastern end of the lake but is primarily fished by boat due to the size and nature of the lake.
Often there are winds which can make flyfishing difficult. Ice-out during the late Spring brings the fish
into the shallower areas. Best fishing time is early morning or late afternoon. Try streamers such as Olive
Woolly Buggers and Matukus with a full-sinking line. Mackinaw Trout inhabit
the lake but can only be found deep in the lake by trollers.
Silver Lake (ele:7,200 feet) is similar to Caples Lake in size and in that it contains Mackinaws and
large Browns. It is also a trolling-type lake but does offer some float tubing possibilities around the
boat ramp areas and the inlet stream near Treasure Island. Crystal Woolly Buggers are popular.
Caples Creek: A tributary stream of the Silver Fork of the American River with small pools, runs,
and pocket water. Caples Creek contains wild Rainbows (7-10 inches) in the upper portions and Browns
(8-12 inches) at the confluence of the Silver Fork. The creek is rather brushy near the dam of Caples
Lake but is more open where the Caples Creek Trail provides access. Take the Silver Fork Trail from
Martin Meadows off Hwy 88.
Silver Fork of the American River: The Silver Fork leaves Silver Lake as a small tailwater with
small waterfalls falling into large pools. Many of these pools contain Browns 8-12 inches, and Rainbows
7-12 inches. It meets Caples Creek through a number of short plunge pools with larger pocket water
downstream of Caples Creek. Below the junction of Caples Creek, the Silver Fork enters a deep gorge that might require climbing ropes to provide access.