Be careful on water when fishing the Fourth

It was choppy out on Topaz Lake on Saturday. John Flaherty photo

It was choppy out on Topaz Lake on Saturday. John Flaherty photo

Hello fellow anglers.

I have been out on a fishing adventure for a few weeks. We took a drive up to Oregon and the Northern California coast. We went fishing for steelhead, salmon, halibut, black cod and lingcod.

On one trip out of Brookings Ore., we headed out about 15 miles off the coast for halibut. Forecast was for calm seas. Which is a good thing when you are in a 21-foot jet boat. After driving out about 10 miles, I questioned the calm seas. I thought it might have been my driving. But we all agreed that 6–8-foot waves were a little too much, so we headed back in to fish for lingcod.

We did catch a few fish before the 25 mph winds drove us back in. By this time the waves were in the 8–10-foot range.

My cousin drove us back in, riding on top of these waves. He had more experience maneuvering on bigger waters. If you ever wanted to feel like you are surfing, this is as close as you will get without a board.

We did fish a few more times on our trip and caught a few nice fish. Unfortunately, the salmon and steelhead run had ended.

After we got home, I received a call from my cousin. He had taken the boat down the Rogue River and the boat lost seven of the eight fuel injectors and they had to get a tow back home. We were so lucky that this did not happen out on the ocean. Always be prepared whether you are on the ocean, or just a small lake in the Sierra.

We had a Coast Guard radio and were wearing our life jackets. We also told our family where we were going and when we would return.

Now for some local exciting news. Fourth of July weekend is here, and the Carson River Resort will be celebrating in style. Sunday they will be having a BBQ with all the fixin’s. They will have a bagpiper playing throughout the afternoon, then at 3 p.m., they will start live music from a local musician. At 6 p.m. the Lost Reverends of the High Sierra will start playing into the evening. This is to celebrate the Carson River Resorts 100-year anniversary, which they have not been able to do properly due to the pandemic and the Tamarack fire. The town of Markleeville will be having specials and celebrations over the entire weekend. All are welcome. The only thing they ask is, don’t bring any fireworks. If you are caught using them, or in your possession, you will receive a special memento of a $1,000 fine by our friends in law enforcement. Now let’s check out our local lakes and streams.

SILVER LAKE: The water level is high; the ramp is open. As I passed by last week, there were at least 30 anglers on the spillway fishing and having a good time. Fishing for macs has been fair for anglers that are on the lake before sunrise. Black and silver Rapalas have been my favorite tool in the deep channels. Rainbows have been doing fair for shore anglers with Powerbait or inflated crawlers.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake is at full capacity. The resort is open for boat and kayak rentals. The general store is open for those items you forgot to bring. They have cabin rentals. The Caples Lake campground is open but on a first-come first-serve basis. The EID day use facility is open for launching and relaxation. Fishing has been fair to good, depending on the day you’re there. Best areas have been by the Woods Creek area and along the west side for trollers. The spillway or the west side on the dam is better for shore anglers. There is no water skiing allowed on the lake and they have a 25 mph speed limit. For more information, stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOOD LAKE: The lake is open for camping and fishing. Perfect area for a good day hike up to Frog Lake, Winnemucca Lake, Round Top and 4th of July Lake.

BLUE LAKES: The road is open all the way up to Blue Lakes, including Sunset and Tamarack Lake. The fishing is slow to fair. Best bait for shore anglers is salmon eggs. Small boats are allowed on the lake. Flashers and a crawler or Rapalas are best for trollers.

RED LAKE: The lake was planted a couple weeks ago with catchable rainbow trout by CDFW. Salmon eggs or worms are best for shore action. Kastmasters have been successful. Be cautious of the blue green algae in the lake. Do not allow pets to drink or swim in the lake. After you clean your fish, rinse them in freshwater. The lake offers rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The road is open. I have not received any fishing reports from the lake. The area offers dry camping with no campfires.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground area is closed due to the Tamarack fire for the remainder of the season. Toxins associated with a blue-green algae bloom in the reservoir have been determined to be well above the danger level, according to Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Johnson. Under a warning issued on Wednesday, no one should eat fish or shellfish from the reservoir, nor should they allow pets or other animals to drink or enter the water. For more information, stop by the Creekside Inn.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: The river is running a little low, but the fishing has been good. The CDFW planted the river this week and Alpine County planted the river last week. Drifting salmon eggs or Powerbait with a split shot into the deeper water has been productive. Small spinners have always been working well in the faster waters. For more information, stop by the Creekside Inn.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK: fishing has been off-the-hook good. Last week it was running clear and at 240 cubic feet per second. This week it is still clear and at 164 cfs. Green or yellow Powerbait, salmon eggs on a small split shot has been most productive. Elk hair caddis with a copper jon dropper has been most productive for fly anglers. The CDFW planted the river this week with catchable rainbows. Alpine County planted the river last week with larger rainbows. One thing I am tired of seeing is small dead fish laying on the bottom up and down the river. If you do not want to keep the smaller fish, use a barbless hook or use a small spinner. Practice the proper technique of catch and release. Don’t forget to stop by the Carson River Resort to have your picture taken with your catch to go in their book of fame and to be in the next Naw report. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort.

HIGHLAND LAKES: Road is open now. The lower lake has small brook trout and a small campground area for dry camping. The road is mostly dirt for about eight miles in. Salmon eggs are most productive. The upper lake is just nice to look at, keep the fishing in the lower lake.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river is running a little low and the fishing has been slow. Mice tail in the currents have been productive. Or small spinners.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. Remember that California free fishing day is July 2nd. There will be a lot of people on the roads this weekend. Slow down and make sure you get to your designation safely. Drink plenty of fluids (beer does not count) to keep hydrated. Save the beer, for back at the campground. Wear your bug spray and sunscreen. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to

Hope to see you on the waters this weekend. Good fishin’ and tight lines.



Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment