Snow poses challenge to winter angling

The top of an RV peeks over the snow at a rest stop along Highway 88 in this photo submitted by David Fuentes and Karen Houdesheldt.

The top of an RV peeks over the snow at a rest stop along Highway 88 in this photo submitted by David Fuentes and Karen Houdesheldt.

Hello Fellow anglers.

Be careful what you wish for. In my last report, I wished for enough snowpack to fill our lakes and streams for the new year. Well, we got it. It has been a grueling few weeks for us all here in the Sierra. We received six months of rain and snow in a two-week period. I personally have been sandbagging and plowing snow, then back to the sandbags and just finished plowing last week. It’s nice to live in the country, but mother nature sometimes makes you work overtime to enjoy it.

This was the first year that I can remember, not going to Topaz for the New Year’s celebration and fishing. That was due to the three and a half days without power and what Mother Nature threw at us all. This will be a new year celebration we will not forget anytime soon. For those who have not purchased your California license yet, this year the new 365-day fishing license starts and is valid for one year from the day of purchase. In this short report, you will see why I have tried without success to get out and fish in our local Carson Tahoe area.

SILVER LAKE OF HIGHWAY 88: The parking area has not been cleared. The only thing you can see from the road is the tops of the bathrooms. The lake had about 5-8 feet of snow on top of it.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake had about 6-10 foot berms along the roadway. The lake has 5-10 feet of snow on top of it. Not one angler had attempted to go out. I received a picture from my friends David Fuentes and Karen Houdesheld from last weekend.

As they peaked over the rise at Red Lake, it seemed that a large RV had pulled over at the rest stop and got stuck in the snow or had engine problems. The picture they sent me only showed the top 18 inches of the roof sticking out of the snow. It might be a while before we can get out and do some ice fishing this year. Unless you want to shovel a lot of snow.

RED LAKE: As of last week, they had plowed behind the dam just enough to get in to use the snow cannon. The lake had 8-10 foot berms around it. Not sure how much was on the lake. I saw a picture of Karen Houdesheld sanding next to one of these berms. She is about 5-feet, 10-inches tall, and the snow was almost twice her height.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The paved road is only plowed slightly halfway in. The dirt road is plowed only partially in for the residents that live at the top of the road.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake has risen about 5-8 feet. The California side still has too much snow on the bank to drive down to. I saw where someone had driven down to the shore on the north end and got stuck in the snow and mud. A couple people had parked up on the road and walked down to shore fish. The Douglas County boat ramp is completely frozen over all through the cove area and out past the rock and into the camp area. No shore fishing on that side either for a while. The boat parking area still had a foot or so of snow on it last weekend.

ROAD CLOSURES: Highway 208 between Wellington and Yerington due to a landslide. Monitor Pass between Highway 395 and Highway 4/89, Ebbetts Pass Highway 4 from Alpine Lake to Highway 89.

Use caution on all roads in the Sierra, right now. Nighttime temps get down to 10 degrees and make for black ice. Always carry water, warm clothing, and a warm hat, a cell phone charger you can plug into your vehicle, flashlight and some food. You never know what might happen that may strand you for a time. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return or arrive at your destination, and never rely on Google maps to show you a shortcut. Most of all, good luck and enjoy your next fishing adventure, whenever that might be. If you have a photo of your catch. Send it to

Hope to see you on the waters soon.

Good fishin’ and tight lines


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