Guy Jeans, owner of the Kern River Fly Shop, host of the Kern River Fly Shop Podcast, and vocalist of the band Stoneflys; is here to take us on a wild ride up and down the Kern River. We talk about the 10 native species in California including the golden trout. We find out what fishing is like in different parts of the Kern River, the seasons and hatches, gear, techniques, and flies they use. Guy talks about what they have going at Guy Jeans School of Fly Fishing.

We also dig into Guy’s newfound passion for podcasting – talk about some of the remarkable guests he’s had on the podcast. Plus, we hear some of his band’s original songs and I got to tell you.. they’re pretty awesome!


Click below and listen to the Podcast about the Kern River with Guy Jeans:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Kern River Show Notes with Guy Jeans

05:15 – There’s a great fly fishing club in Ventura called, Sespe Fly Fishers – they helped Guy get started in tying flies, building rods, casting, etc.

05:45 – We talk about Ska music

06:45 – The Kern River is in the Sierra mountain range, Southern Sierra – 3 hours North of Los Angeles. The river is about 170 miles long.

07:30 – The most popular fish that people come to fish for is the native California Golden trout, the Kern river rainbow, and the little Kern Golden trout

09:30 – Guy went permit fishing in Xcalak Mexico

permit fishing

11:00 – They also have the tailwater called the lower current, below a giant lake where they fish smallmouth and largemouth bass – they fish here in June


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12:00 – They also fly fish for carp in Lake Isabela – they held carp fly fishing tournament in May

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15:00 – They do 4×4 trips where they have full outfitter camps with a chef and tents

16:00 – Their hot season is in July, August, and part of September. March and April is a prime time to fish in their section on the Kern river – salmon fly hatch and mayfly hatch

17:00 – People took some of the Golden trout and put them in places like Wyoming and Montana

17:55 – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a program called, Heritage Trout Program – a mini contest within California that challenge people to catch the 10 native trout species in California. If you catch 6 of the 10 natives, you get a certificate that has prints of the species you caught drawn by Joseph Tomerelli

19:00 – Guy mentions the 10 Native Trout in California

  1. Kern River Rainbow Trout
  2. Little Kern Golden Trout
  3. The Golden Trout
  4. Coastal Cutthroat Trout
  5. Goose Lake Redband Trout
  6. McCloud River Redband Trout
  7. Steelhead Trout
  8. Eagle Lake Trout
  9. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
  10. Paiute Cutthroat Trout

20:20 – There are 2 forks – North Fork Kern River (flows into Kernville and comes down from Mt Whitney) and South Fork Kern River (doesn’t get blown out, you can fish it anytime)

23:10 – It’s mostly dry fly fishing for the wild golden trout – from downstream to upstream. Presentation is the key.

24:30 – The typical flies they use are stimulators, smaller stimulators, parachute adams, royal wulf, and ants

25:15 – The gear recommended are super light – 2 wt or 3 wt

25:30 – The biggest golden trout you can probably catch is 15 inches – typical is 6 to 12 inches

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28:10 – Tim Landwehr was on the podcast at WFS 273 where we talked about smallmouth and largemouth bass

28:30 – Guy is holding casting clinics in California

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29:00 – They use pontoon boats because of the river structure

30:00 – They have an Instagram called Kooks of the Kern where people post funny photos of what they do on the Kern river

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33:00 – There’s a wild trout section in the wilderness area part of the North Kern and they fish stonefly patterns. Nymphing works good there too. They also have chinook and kokanee salmon in lake Isabela.

36:20 – In Fall, they have caddis, mayflies, and some tricos later in the season

37:30 – Their website is the best resource they recommend to people who want to learn more about Kern river fishing. You can listen to their podcast there too.

39:10 – Guy had a guest on his podcast who’s a fishing game warden – he told a story of when he confronted some gang members that were fishing

39:40 – I read a book years ago called, Wildlife Wars: The Life and Times of a Fish and Game Warden

41:00 – Guy tell us about their location which is close to the ocean and they would fish the surf in Ventura – they fish corbina, surfperch, and leopard sharks

41:40 – We had an episode about corbina and surf fishing with Al Quattrocchi at WFS 219

42:55 – People sometimes come to Guy’s studio to record the podcast

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43:44 –  Kern River Podcast is on Waypoint TV and Anchor. I use Libsyn for the WFS podcast and Buzzsprout for another podcast we do

47:40 – Guy tells us about his music journey in the 80s and 90s – Ska music

ska music

51:00 – Merle Haggard has a song called, I’ll Never Swim Kern River Again – scroll below to listen

56:15 – Eeland Stribling was on the podcast at WFS 309 – Eeland is a standup comedian

57:30 – Guy was on the Heidi and Frank show called Stay or Go – apparently, people like their songs – click here to listen to more of their songs on YouTube

59:10 – Guy tells the story of when they played at a huge venue in Mexico and their amps blew up because of electric surges

1:00:50 – For sidelines, Guy did some commercials in Hollywood as the fly fishing guy in the background. He also worked with actors like Christian Bale in the movie, Vice – he taught Christian how to cast

1:05:00 – Guy shares some tips – Fish from downstream to upstream, stay hidden – be stealthy, good presentation, good cast

1:03:00 – May and June are the best times to fish for the golden trout – the Fall is good for the kern river rainbows. Summer time is good for the carp and smallmouth bass

1:12:30 – They have a brewery in Kern called, The Kern River Brewery – they won many years in a row at the Great American Beer Fest. One of their best beer is the Citra IPA (social shoutout)

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Photo courtesy of


You can find Guy on Instagram @kernriverflyshop

Website at

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Resources Noted in the Show

California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Videos Noted in the Show


Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 284 – Fly Fishing River Stripers with Hogan Brown – Striped bass, Barbless Podcast

WFS 274 – Fly Fishing the Sierra Nevadas with Brian Fischer from Sonora Fly Co.

WFS 316 – Victor Babbitt on Tahoe Fly Fishing and the Missouri River


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


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Kern River Conclusion with Guy Jeans

So there you go. Another great interview with a fellow podcaster. I always get excited whenever I talk to people who share the same interest. Hopefully, we could put together an episode with me as a guest on his show too. But we’ll see.. I’m not sure if I make a good guest. What do you think?

I’m really amazed at all Guy has going – the fly shop, the classes, the podcast, the band. He surely is living the life he loves and like he said, none of it feels like work.

Oh and Guy’s band, Stonefly.. man they create good music! Their songs are definitely going on my playlist. If you haven’t heard them yet, you’re missing out on some good stuff!

But then back to the Kern River.. if you want to catch some of those beautiful golds, you know where to find them. Try and catch all 10 California native trout species. Let us know how about your experience. Send me a message at or DM me on Instagram @wetflyswing