Free fishing in California Saturday
September 5, 2013
CALIFORNIA FREE FISHING DAY: Saturday. All rules and regulations apply to whatever body of water you fish. Limits, catch and release, hook or bait restrictions. But on this day, a license will not be required.
Hello fellow anglers. I have to tell you, it is hard to fish when you can barely see the water through all the smoke.
Renee and I took a few days to venture out to camp and fish. I have been telling our friends, Geary and Deanne Ness, about beautiful pristine Highland Lake near Ebbetts Pass.
The turn off is three miles over the top of Highway 4, then another half-mile on paved road and four miles on a well maintained dirt road. It is accessible by truck in 20 minutes or a Honda car in 45 minutes.
When you get to the lake, you feel as though you have driven onto a glacier top mountain with high peaks surrounding this three-quarter-mile long lake.
This time was a little different. Ash was falling and visibility very limited. We could see the lake, but no mountain tops.
We fished for a couple hours, caught a few small brook trout and ventured on to another fishing hole. Renee and I stopped at Kinney Reservoir on the way back.
The water was very low and no parking available since anglers could be found every 200 feet around the lake. I had a previous report this lake was doing well for rainbows. I guess it still was.
We tried Silver Creek for an hour, with Renee getting a couple bites, and then fished the Carson River's east fork near the Carson River Resort. Renee caught a 2.5-pound rainbow and I got a few pan sized rainbows.
Over the next few days Geary, Renee and I fished all down the east Carson and caught more than 30 fish, with a few in the 2.5- to 3-pound range. I am sorry to say Deanne did not have that enjoyment as work called her back to Minden.
We met many new friends as we stayed at the Carson River Resort RV park. Joe and Mary from Hollister, Calif. were our neighbors for those days.
Their family joined us one evening for fish stories and good old country music. A great experience we had, and all of these places were a short drive from the Carson River Resort.
In the mornings the blue sky would shine, however, by 11 a.m. the smoke covered us like a thick blanket. We saw many limits of fish brought in by anglers, in fact there was a line at the fish cleaning station. Fishing just does not get any better.
Oh, but it does. The CDFG and the Alpine Fish Commission planted both the east and west fork the day after we left.
CDFG is scheduled to plant this weekend for the California free fishing day on Saturday. For more information on the Carson River Resort call 530-694-2229. They offer river camping, RV camping and cabins, with a general store.
One last word of advice when fishing the Carson River. If the fishing suddenly turns off, look for small swimming creatures called river otters.
We encountered a mom and her two pups while fishing one of our good fishing holes, so we moved to another place while they fished in our spot.
A few other places that have been productive in our local area:
CAPLES LAKE: On Aug. 28, the El Dorado Irrigation District in partners with Kirkwood PUD stocked the lake with 1,650 pounds of trout. With 33 percent of that plant being 2 to 4 pound fish. Many anglers have reported good success. Jeff Knutson from Forrest Hill, Calif. caught a 4-pound rainbow trolling a blk/yellow rapala. While Stacy Drinkwine from Gardnerville reeled in a nice 4-pound rainbow trolling a night crawler by the Woods Creek area. Carol Morales from Corona, Calif. caught a 1.5 rainbow by the dam using green powerbait.
The CDFG has also planted the lake this week. The Caples Marina is open for boat launching as well as boat rental. I would suggest using the county ramp for larger boats as the water level continues to drop. A word of caution to watch for large submerged rocks and cliffs when you venture to the Woods Creek area to Emigrant Cove. Always have someone watching your bow. For more information, call Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.
SILVER LAKE: On Aug. 28, the El Dorado Irrigation District in partner with Kirkwood PUD stocked 1,550 pounds of rainbow trout. With 33 percent being trophy-sized. The lake has limited access for shore fishing. The best area is over the bridge. There is a parking area to your left, from where you can access areas around the shore to fish.
BLUE LAKES: This week the CDFG is scheduled to plant the upper lake with catchable-sized rainbow trout. Both lakes were planted a few weeks ago. Salmon eggs or night crawlers have been successful. Word of caution, this time of year the yellow jackets are out in full force.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake level is high still. The weeds are still very active. The CDFG planted the lake last week with pan sized rainbow trout. Anglers have reported catching several trout in a matter of 45 minutes and then the fish move on. This is a sign for you to move 20 feet to your right or left until you can find the school again.
HEENAN LAKE: Opened last weekend. Located on top of Monitor Pass, this lake has restrictions; it is open Friday-Sunday only, sunrise to sunset, artificial lures or flies with a single barbless hook, catch and release only. The lake is open September through the last weekend in October. On opening day anglers reported catching 5 to 30 fish in a day. Remember, catch and release means unharmed and released back into the lake. You can take a picture of your catch while the fish is in the water. Killing any cutthroat trout, even accidental, is cause for a citation. Trout in this lake can run into the several pound range.
I hope your next adventures will be as memorable as our last trip. If you have question in our local fishing world call the NAW-Line at 775-267-9722.
See you on the waters. Good fishin' and tight lines.