Virginia Lakes / Between Lee Vining and Bridgeport

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Map courtesy of

Virginia Lakes (Upper, Lower and Trumbull Lake + alpine lakes) The drainage offers 10 walk-in lakes within 1.5 miles.

Road condition:   Paved

Elevation: Upper 9,300

Lake size: Upper – 27 acres; Lower - 13 acres

Day hikes to fishing: Ten small lakes with easy access.  Visit Virginia Lake Resort web site for great hiking information. 


 Photo courtesy of Virginia Lakes Resort.

Region: Southern boundary for Toiyabe National Forest       

Drainage: Virginia Creek drains into Bridgeport Reservoir

Description: Virginia Lakes have three lakes that may be accessed by road.  The first is Trumbull Lake, and it is reached by turning right on a spur road to Trumbull Lake Campground.  The next lake accessed by road is Little Virginia Lake and resort.  It too is accessed from a spur road to the left.  Continuing straight ahead will lead to Upper Virginia Lake.  From Upper Virginia Lake a trail leads west to Red Lake, or you may take the trail to Blue Lake, which drains into Upper Virginia Lake.  From Blue Lake the trail forks either to Cooney Lake and the Frog Lakes or the northern fork will lead to Moat Lake at 10,450 feet elevation.

            Trumbull Lake is reached by a short hike on a trail from the campground, but it also has a rough road access to a parking area on the lake.  It is small at 12 acres and offers good shoreline access as well as exposure to lots of mosquitoes in the early summer.  Besides using repellant, one escape is to fish from a float tube.  It generally receives upwards of 10,000 planted trout annually.

            Lower or Little Virginia Lake is a 10-acre lake with a resort that offers boat rentals, but no motors are allowed.  It is a developed lake with summer homes and a small store.  It is annually stocked with 15,000 Rainbows.

            Upper Virginia Lake is the largest at 27 acres.  It offers good parking and easy access to the shoreline, and it is annually planted with 12,000 Rainbows.  Row boats may be rented, but motors are prohibited.  Red Lake is very close, and it too offers good fishing for small Rainbows and Brook trout.

Species: Rainbows and Browns

Closest town or supplies: Virginia Lakes Resort, Lee Vining or Bridgeport

Contacts: Virginia Lakes Resort (760) 647-6484; 19 rental cabins, boat rentals (no motors allowed)


Nearest campground: Virginia Lakes Campground.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Lakes Resort

Fishing season: The season opens the last Saturday in April and closes November 15.

Fishing Tips: Carolyn Webb of Virginia Lakes Resort offers good tips on her web site for fishing the local lakes and creeks.  Her bait preference is night crawlers, Power Bait and then salmon eggs in Little Virginia Lake.  She recommends a sliding egg sinker with an 18" two-pound leader on all bait rigs.  Until such time that I can make a color illustration, Carolyn recommends the following bait rigs.  (The order is from the weight to the hook. Use Improved Clinch Knot for connections.)

Worm Rig: 1/4 oz. egg sinker in front of a #14 Snap Swivel.  18-22" - 2lb leader, ending with a #10-14 worm hook.

Power Bait Rig: 1/4 oz. egg sinker in front of a #14 Snap Swivel. 18-22" - 2lb leader, ending with a #16 or 18 treble hook.

Power Worm Rig: 1/4 oz. egg sinker in front of a #14 Snap Swivel. 18-22" - 2lb leader, ending with a #14 dry fly hook.

Cricket Rig: 1 or 2 BB weights in front of a Barrel Swivel. 18-24" - 2lb leader, ending with a #10 worm hook.

Fly-Bubble, Dry Fly: medium clear bubble 1/2 - 3/4 full of water in front of a #14 Snap Swivel.  5-6' of 2-3 # leader ending with a #14-22 dry fly.

Fly-Bubble, Wet-Streamer: medium clear bubble 1/2 - 3/4 full of water in front of a #14 Snap Swivel. 5-6' of 2-3 lb. leader ending with a streamer fly pattern or nymph. 

Favorite fly patterns:  Denny Rickards Seal Buggers, Matuka and Zonker streamer, Marabou Leech, along with traditional nymph patterns such as the Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail and Zug Bug may be used with the Bubble-Fly technique.  (For more fishing tips, visit

Stocking information: 13,000 annually for Virginia Creek; 12,000+ annually for both Upper Virginia Lake and Lower Virginia Lake, as well as some larger plants from Mono County.

Nearby fishing: Trumbull Lake, Virginia Lake

Additional information:

Directions: From Lee Vining, drive north 12.5 miles on Highway 395 to the top of Conway Summit.  Turn left on Virginia Lakes Road and continue approximately eight miles to the lake. 










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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by David Archer published on February 12, 2008 3:12 PM.

Virginia Creek / Between Lee Vining and Bridgeport was the previous entry in this blog.

Lundy Lake and Mill Creek / Lee Vining Area is the next entry in this blog.

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