Big Tujunga

Fishing opportunities in SoCal and up 395 to Mammoth

Big Tujunga

Postby Guest » Sun May 16, 2004 9:13 am

I've been exploring the Big Tujunga Creek for the past few weekends and I've found quite a few small wild rainbow trout. There are plenty of fingerlings and fish in the 4-6" range, and a few that are upwards of 8". By "plenty" I mean that every pool, even those that seem too small or shallow to hold a single fish, have two or three fish, and the larger pools can hold eight or ten fish, not counting the dozens of trout fry.

I haven't seen much evidence of bait fishermen, e.g., discarded power bait jars and packaging for eagle claw baitholder hooks, but the absence of larger fish means either (1) they are being harvested, (2) the conditions of the stream just don't support growth beyond 8", or (3) they are real good at hiding. Certain areas of the stream have a lot of trash and graffiti, but it seems isolated. Accessing the stream is difficult, so I suppose most fishermen don't figure it's worth such a great effort to catch small fish when other areas of the creek a few miles downstream are being stocked by DFG.

I had a pleasant surprise on Saturday, May 15 when I caught two trout at one time when one fish took my dry "indicator" fly and another one simultaneously took the pheasant tail nymph suspended on a dropper. Two fish in the net on a single cast!

I'll probably wait until the fall before returning. Perhaps by then some of the fish will have put on an inch or two.

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Postby SoCalFF » Sun May 16, 2004 10:10 am

I have not fished this area for the past 3 years. I fished it below the bridge and above the first picnic area. As you stated thewild fish are small. I've always wanted to hike to that reservoir to see what was in it! Take-care!

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Postby Joe » Sun May 16, 2004 11:11 am

I used to fish Tujunga Creek above the Picnic area (where they stock) in the spring. I'd hike quite a distance upstream until it was impassable (a good 2+ miles upstream) and catch many small wild fish, never anything over, say, 7" if that (I suspect, Mr. Guest, this is where you've been exporing?) However, once away from the picnic area it was quite beautiful. That was 5 years past. The next year, in June, it was bone dry. Very disappointing. The following year I checked it out in early March and the wild fish were gone; the only fishing down there were the locals literally fighting over the stocked fish (it is quite hillarious watching them fish with powerbait from the bridge). I've checked out this stream in higher areas only to find tagging artistery. I refuse to fish on a stream with graffiti. It takes the naturalistic aspect out of the activity in my opinion. My conclusion is, there is no doubt some reproduction, most likely near the mouth of the reservoir. I agree, this is one area I wouldn't mind checking out someday. This was probably once a fine wild trout stream....Joe

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That's cool...

Postby Chris Parsons » Sun May 16, 2004 1:12 pm

Hi Joe...

I used to live in Pacoima. Big T was a place I'd go to practice my cast on moving water- or just satisfy my withdrawals. (your getting warm!) Look for RB in cold water. Especially during the summer heat. Cold water holds oxygen. Oxygen=bugs. Bugs=trout. It hurt's my heart and eyes to see graffiti. Bring a wire brush with you and just give the river a little TLC... trust me.. It will change how you feel... You will instantly connect with a damaged place when you actively offer a little therapy. Those trout need you. That little stream holds sentimental value for me.. take care of her. :)

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Postby Richard » Mon May 17, 2004 6:32 am

Hey Chris, great advice regarding the wire brush and the soul-soothing benefits a little TLC brings. Right on.

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Postby DaveC » Mon May 17, 2004 11:40 am

I started this thread. I thought I had logged on, but apparently I was able to post a new thread as a "guest" without being logged on.

Anyway, there is certainly graffiti and trash where the trail from the road meets the stream. Fortunately it seems to be concentrated in that one area, which appears to be a swimming hole, but within a few hundred yards there was no more trash or graffiti. I did see fish rising in the swimming hole, but I too didn't especially want to fish in a garbage dump.

Aside from being an eyesore, the graffiti indicates gang turf, so if I was going to do any graffiti abatement I'd be careful to make certain I wasn't caught in the act.

Interestingly, there are two or three wrecked vehicles down near the creek. No fatalies I hope; I figure they were either stolen by joy riders and ditched over the edge of the highway, or else some people are defrauding their insurance company.

I wouldn't want to do it alone, but sometime I'd like to spend a whole day exploring further up stream. I admit to hoping to find a very isolated pool that holds some really big fish AND which is not so overgrown to make casting an impossibility. The larger fish I spotted were in places that were very overgrown.


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Re: Big Tujunga

Postby FishBreaksWater » Thu May 20, 2004 5:32 pm

A couple of years ago, during the 4th of July weekend, some friends and I dayhiked an area of Big Tujunga. We 'dropped in' from a point on Angeles FOREST (not Crest) Highway coming up from LaCanada/Flintridge a mile or so before a large concrete arch bridge spanning the creek. This bridge was easily 500' or so above the stream -- I mean, bungee-jumping high.

Anyway, we dropped down a STEEP hill down to the small stream and hike upstream maybe two, three miles. We returned the same way except we hiked up out of the canyon on a STEEP trail that lead up to the arch bridge. No one was fishing, but I kept my eyes open for fish; I didn't see any at all. The water was very low, too, and warm, and there was a lot of algae. But it looked semi-ok; I could see how there *might* be some fish in this water, perhaps in better years. There was very little trash and no graffiti that we could see.

That really STEEP climb discouraged me (especially climbing out), and I haven't really thought about going back since then, but your post has this old man wondering...and wondering always seems to get me into trouble. :)


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Why no big fish in Big Tujunga?

Postby LADave » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:57 pm

The big 'uns stay down in the reservoir (the one down in the canyon), except on spawning runs. The small trout you were catching are smolts working their way downstream. The gene pool may be somewhat diluted by upstream stocking, but the native fish were probably Southern Steelhead that got stranded behind the dam. It's a poor substitute for an ocean, but better than nothing.

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Re: Big Tujunga

Postby manotheskip » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:47 pm

Has this creek fixed itself since the fires? Last I checked, last year, i saw some fry, but couldn't tell if it was trout or not. Anyone go this spring/summer?

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Re: Big Tujunga

Postby Champion1 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:32 am

The water was very low, too, and warm, and there was a lot of algae. But it looked semi-ok; I could see how there *might* be some fish in this water,????

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