Opening day fishing approaches

Hello fellow anglers.

Just two more weeks until opening day for the California fishing season for most of our rivers and streams.

As of last week the east and west forks of the Carson rivers were running high, but clear.

We can only hope this year will be a good opener.

The last few years have been blown out due to rain and excessive run off.

I have talked to Todd at the Carson River Resort, he is gearing up and getting things in perspective for the season. If you want to make reservations you can do so now at (530) 694-2229.

They have tent camping, R.V. spots and cabins. But you better call quickly as they will fill up fast. And as usual will be the Naw-B-Que at the river cabin at noon till we are finished.

You bring me one cleaned trout and I will barbecue it with my new recipe. Fried potatoes will also be served but you must bring your own beverage. So get your fish stories together and bring an appetite. Now let's check out our local waters and some not so local.

LAKE TAHOE: Best areas for mackinaw have been the Cal/Neva Point, Sugar Pine Point trolling in 160 to 220 feet of water with the average fish being 3 to 5 pounds.

On the south end, Camp Richardson to the Ski Run area has been productive. Emerald Bay area and north has done fair for top lining for rainbows.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake is slowly thawing. The area around Woods Creek has open waters and has been fair to good for browns and rainbows for anglers throwing rapalas or kastmasters. All around, the lake is showing open water on a daily basis. Do not even think of ice fishing any more this season. The lake is extremely unstable at this point. In talking with John Voss, he said the lake is 16 feet down but is rising daily. It only needs to come up 8 to 10 feet to open the ramp, which John estimates by the end of this month or early May.

For more information, you can call the Caples Lake Resort at (209) 258-8888. John said he will keep the message machine updated on the lake's condition on a weekly basis.

RED LAKE: No more ice fishing this year. Open waters are showing around the edges as of last Monday. Actually, this is a good time of the year to fish the lake.

Find these open waters and toss a small spinner or a night crawler right off of the edge. Gold kastmasters or gold and red Panther martin spinners have done good for me in the past.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK: From Hangman's bridge down, the stream has brought out a lot of anglers lately. Remember catch and release only, barbless hooks.

SPECIAL NOTE: All streams leading into Lake Tahoe will remain closed to fishing until July 1, while others will open on April 28.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Fishing has been slow the last couple of weeks. I have seen a few small rainbows come out.

Last Sunday, a fly angler caught and released a estimated five-pound rainbow that I could see with my binoculars. Even though the Alpine County Fish commisson planted 1,000 pounds of brown trout three weeks ago, I have only heard of a couple that have been caught.

SPECIAL NOTE: The boat ramp and the campground are now open.

TOPAZ LAKE: This Sunday is the last day for the derby at the lodge. As many of you know the lodge is closed for repairs due to the fire.

The general store and gas station are still open to accept your tagged fish. The fishing has been slow with the fish moving to deeper waters. Best action has been for the trollers working a full day to get three to four fish with an occasional limit.They have been using flashers and crawlers. The shore anglers have been struggling to get fish. Not a great scenario, but you do have three days to get a $50 to $1,000 fish. For more information, call Chuck at the Topaz Marina at (775) 266-3550.

LAHONTAN LAKE: The walleyes have started hitting. Anglers caught many in the 17- to 21-inch range using live minnows. One angler caught a 7.75-pound walleye, but would not say where or what he was using. Don Quilici told me his best reports have been coming from beach four to beach six.

PYRAMID LAKE: Action slow. Fly anglers have had the best luck at the nets with copper johns or pheasant tails. Boaters have been doing fair in front of the nets, remember to keep on the outside of the buoys or the tribal patrol may pay you a visit.

FRENCHMANS LAKE: Many limits are coming in from all over the lake. Anglers have been using nite crawlers, green marshmallows, chartreuse or rainbow power bait and spinners. Trollers have been doing well at salmon egg shoal using flashers and a night crawler. The campgrounds are not open yet, but are planned to be by the end of the month. Dry camping is allowed in the unsecured areas. For more information call Wiggins Trading Post at (530) 993-4683.

WILDHORSE: Has now thawed out and has been doing good for trollers. Many limits have come in with all fish over the 15-inch size, mostly cutbows. A couple more months and the giant catfish will be biting. Every year I venture up with friends to break our own records. This year I have to break 17 pounds. For more information, you can call Dennis at the Wildhorse Resort at (775) 758-6472.

If you get a picture of your catch drop it off at the The Record-Courier or you can email it to I will have a full report on April 27 to give you all the updates on the California openers. Good fishin' and tight lines.

-- Doug Busey is The Record-Courier's fishing columnist. He can be reached at 267-9722.


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