Bridgeport was once known as “Big Meadows” and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by mountains, the Bridgeport Valley does look a bit like a big mountain meadow with a large lake glistening in the middle of it.
Bridgeport Reservoir was created in 1924, capturing the High Sierra snowmelt for agricultural and recreational pursuits. When it’s full, it can be 50’ deep, cover more than 4,000 acres and offer 11 miles of shoreline. The views of the Sierra and peaks of Yosemite National Park afforded from Bridgeport Reservoir are a big part of its appeal.
One of the larger bodies of water in the area, Bridgeport Reservoir is a popular spot for boaters, which is the best way to fish the lake, although the reservoir offers great roadside access as well. Sailing, water skiing and kayaking are also popular.
While it’s popular for a variety of reasons, trout fishing is what Bridgeport Reservoir is best known for. Each season, some of the biggest browns and rainbows in Mono County are caught at the Bridgeport Res.
Directions: Follow Sweetwater Road/Highway 182 north from Bridgeport. Roadside access starts about a mile from town and runs along the east side of the lake.
Bridgeport Reservoir Camping
Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park and Marina and Paradise Shores RV Park offer camp sites and trailer hookups. The spacious campsites are located right by the water and offers gorgeous mountain views. The town of Bridgeport is just a mile south of the reservoir and offers a variety of hotel options as well.
Directions: Take Highway 182 approximately 2-3 miles north from the town of Bridgeport.
Fish Bridgeport Reservoir
If your fishing attitude is something along the lines of “Go Big or Go Home!” then the Bridgeport Reservoir is your kind of place.
At a relatively low elevation for Eastern Sierra lakes at just 6,455’, Bridgeport Reservoir offers a variety of food sources for trout, which allows the browns to quickly grow brawny and the rainbows to become rather rugged. The average trout landed at Bridgeport Reservoir is usually best measured by pounds, not by inches.
The manmade lake does have annual algae blooms, which can occasionally challenge fishing, but ultimately helps feed the reservoir’s aquatic insects, aka fish food. The average trout in Bridgeport Reservoir is in the 1-3 pound range with 10 pounders caught every season.
Anglers also know Bridgeport Reservoir for its famed tailwater, the East Walker River. But whether you like to troll, spin cast with bait or lures or you love stillwater fly fishing, Bridgeport Reservoir is the place to go if you want to catch some big ones.
Directions: Follow Sweetwater Road/Highway 182 north from Bridgeport. Roadside access starts about mile from town and runs along the east side of the lake.