Hey gang, if you have not been paying any attention, be advised that Saturday, September 24 is Free Fishing Day in the State of California.
Yep! Sept. 24 is the second free fishing day California offers this year. The first one was back in June.
So, if you would like to fish in California but haven't done so, yet, you can do it on Sept. 24 and you don't need to have a fishing license.
However, remember you will need to abide by all of the regular rules and regulations that govern whatever water you will be fishing.
For those folks who are interested in fishing on that day, there is an enormous number of California creeks, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and reservoirs in this general area.
You might want to narrow your choice down to one or more of the following "Don Q" suggestions:
If you like high altitude fishing:
Kinney Reservoir (8,000') near the top of Ebbett's Pass on S.R. 4.
Good fishing for small car-top boats, canoes, rafts or float tubes.
It is reached by a very narrow, winding and steep highway.
If you like short hikes:
Lower Kinney Lake (A short and easy, one-half mile walk from Kinney Reservoir Dam).
Excellent fishing for Lahontan cutthroat trout, especially for fishermen with float tubes or trollers in small, inflatable rafts.
If you like river (STREAM) fishing:
East Carson River near the Town of Markleeville: It runs along side of S.R. 4 and S.R. 89.
Be advised, that the area from Hangman's Bridge, just out of Markleeville, downstream to the Nevada stateline has special regs.
West Carson River along S.R. 88: It runs through scenic Hope Valley and down in Woodford's Canyon.
Trout are spooky and catching them can be a challenge.
If you like the KIT Carson Pass area:
Red, Caples and Silver Lakes, which are all along S.R. 88.
Shore fishing can be slow.
Best fishing is from small boats with silver flasher blades and nightcrawlers or small lures.
If you like to drive on A dusty, rough dirt road:
Crater Lake, about 2 miles from S.R. 88 via an unsigned road (between The Blues Lakes Turnoff and Red Lake).
This small lake contains lots of small Eastern brook trout.
If you like to fish at a cluster of lakes:
Upper and Lower Blue Lakes, Twin Lake, Meadow Lake, Tamarack Lake, Upper and Lower Sunset Lakes, Meadow Lake, Summit Lake and Lost Lakes: Which are all clustered in an area about 12 miles from Hope Valley.
Take the Blue Lake Road from S.R. 88 in Hope Valley.
All are best from shore with Power Bait or inflated nightcrawlers for the bait fishermen.
All are best from boats with small, silver flasher blades and nightcrawlers or small lures.
If you like to hike at high attitude:
Frog and Winnemucca Lakes: Are walk-in lakes, reached from the top of Kit Carson Pass on S.R. 88.
Frog Lake can be very good for shore fishing for rainbows.
Winnemucca Lake is excellent from float tubes or inflated rafts but can be very poor from shore.
At this lake, you'll catch Eastern brook or Kamloop trout.
If you like to troll from a boat:
Frenchman Reservoir and Davis Lake: Both are just north of Reno, near Portola, via S.R. 70.
Good boat fishing for rainbows.
If you are a fly fisherman with a float tube:
Heenan Lake on S.R. 89, located between Markleeville and Topaz Lake: It is a zero limit lake (Catch and Release only) with very large Lahontan Cutthroat trout.
Has special restrictions.
If you like to fish very early in the mornings:
Boca and Stampede Reservoirs: Located just off I-80, near Truckee.
Good boat fishing for Kokanee salmon, very, very early in the morning. You'll have to get up at a ghastly "Oh Dark Thirty."
Sept. 24 is NOT a free fishing day in Nevada. The one and only Free Fishing Day in Nevada for 2005 was held back in June.
Take the time on Sept. 24 to enjoy what California has to offer fishing-wise. If you like it, who knows, you just might break down and buy an annual, Non-Resident, California fishing license next year.
n Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can't name Don Q's all-time, favorite fishing location in California.
If he grins and says, "It's Winnemucca Lake near Kit Carson Pass," he wins the bet.
n Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.