Fish sometimes keep their mouths shut

San Rafael Calif., 10-year-old Puma Costuros holds up a 5.1-pound rainbow trout from the East Fork.

San Rafael Calif., 10-year-old Puma Costuros holds up a 5.1-pound rainbow trout from the East Fork.
Carson River Resort

Hello fellow anglers.

Renee and I took a few more trips around the Sierra over the last couple weeks, and yes there was fishing involved. We first camped for five days on the East Fork of the Carson River. A might brisk in the morning, but very toasty in the afternoon.

We walked the river up and down from Hangman’s Bridge to a few miles past the Monitor Pass turn-off.

Our last trip we went as far as Wolf Creek, but the fishing was not so good. We did catch a few fish ranging from 10 inches to a few pounds. Mainly drifting power eggs in the faster moving waters. A couple were caught on a Panther Martin silver-bladed and yellow- or black-body spinner. Talked to a couple fly anglers that said they could see the fish, but they would not hit anything they threw.

A reminder to always bring heavy clothing this time of year. The mornings got down to the low 30s, but the afternoons were in the mid to high 70s. You can always layer down, always be prepared for weather changes. Most of the fall colors had just started from Markleeville up and over Monitor pass. We then took a trip over Highway 88 to Mormon Emigrant Trail over to Highway 50 and into Placerville to play at Apple Hill. If you have not ventured up that way, I must tell you the beautiful drive we once knew traveling through tall pine trees has vanished.

The last two fires have leveled the mountain sides. It would almost bring a tear to your eye to see so many dead and burnt trees. The fall colors are predominant from Woodfords up to the Hope Valley area, but from Hope Valley up over the hill. Most of the leaves had already changed and dropped. Now as we approached the Apple Hill area, the fall colors came back in bright reds and yellows with gold and a few oranges.

We were planning to fish the American River off of Highway 49 going north, but the water level was low. So we headed in the other direction on 49 south to Jackson. Hoping to fish all the way home back down highway 88, but we got sidetracked a few times and got a very late start coming back.

But I did get the latest update on all the lakes over Highway 88, which I will share. Before we get to the fishing reports, there’s a new boating law in California which takes effect immediately and I wanted to pass it along to my fellow anglers.

As of 2023, a California Boater Card is required to be carried by motorized boat operators 50 years of age and younger. By 2025, all operators of motorized boats will be required to carry a California Boater Card, regardless of age. The California Boater Card is proof of successful completion of an approved boating safety course. You can now obtain your lifetime card for only $10. To see the complete list of approved courses and obtain your California Boater Card visit

SILVER LAKE HIGHWAY 88: The lake level was up and the boat ramp has plenty of water to launch. If you have not launched there before, stay to the left side when driving out to the lake. Use your depth finder to follow the canal. If you do not, you will run aground on a peninsula on the right side. This time of year you need to start just before the sun comes up for mackinaws. You can fish all day for rainbows. But the mack bite ends about 9 or 9:30. Fish the deep trough on the far side with black or silver Rapalas or AC Plugs. All campgrounds in the area have closed for the season.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake level is still at 90-percent capacity. The EID day use and launch area is scheduled to be open until Oct. 31 or the first snow. The Caples Lake Resort is open with boat rental and launching. The resort has scheduled a plant of 1,800 pounds of rainbow trout this week. Fall fishing is good for mackinaw and large brown trout. Best areas have been on the south side of the lake with perch or rainbow or black or silver Rapalas. The area across the rocks by Woods Creek can be productive. Shore anglers have been productive on the north side of the dam with inflated nightcrawlers. For more information stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: The lake is scheduled to close on the Oct. 31. The CDFW planted the lake recently with catchable rainbow trout.

RED LAKE: The lake level is at 90 percent capacity. The fishing has been slow. I saw a couple people fishing last week, mainly just enjoying the views and the warm afternoons.

BLUE LAKES: The road will remain open until the first snow flies in the area. The upper lake was planted recently by CDFW with catchable rainbow trout. Fishing has been fair to good for shore anglers using salmon eggs or nightcrawlers.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The road will remain open until the first snow flies in the area. The lake was planted recently by the CDFW with catchable trout.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake is still at a caution level for blue-green algae. I do not recommend fishing the lake until later in the season.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake level has dropped a few feet over the last few weeks. The NDOW has planted 10,000 ponds of catchable trout over the last month. Fishing has been good for boaters using Rapalas or flashers and a crawler. I would also try a Roostertail or Panther Martin spinner about 100 feet behind the boat on monofilament. Now make sure you use a ball bearing swivel about a foot or two up on your line, or your line will get line twist.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK: The river is running at 30 cubic feet per second. Not much fishing going on in Hope Valley. A few anglers have fishing between Woodfords and Sorensens with fair luck for average rainbows. Most anglers have been drifting salmon eggs on fly line or with mono and a very small pinch weight.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK: The river is still running high for this time of year at 120 cubic feet per second, it is usually around 70 CFS in October. The Alpine County Fish and Game planted the river a couple weeks ago. Fishing was furious for a day or so, then the fish just shut their mouths. Not sure if it was due to a temperature drop or change in water conditions. You can find and see many fish still in the river. But are reluctant to bite. Puma Costuros from San Rafael Calif., caught a 5.1-pound rainbow using a nightcrawler. I fished from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m. last weekend and caught two nice rainbows. But you do have to work for them. Nevada Fence Co. Manager Russ Morones Manager from Carson City caught a 3-pound rainbow using a Panther Martin spinner. For more information stop by the Carson River Resort.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river was running at 26 CFS last week. A few spots to fish, but many areas you can almost walk across without getting your ankles wet.

UPPER TWIN LAKES: Special report from Mono Village. Thomas Gunther was trolling with his companion Jasper the dog last week. He was using an AC Plug and caught a 33-inch, 22.10-pound brown trout. Thomas tried to photo the fish and release it, but the hook was too caught up in the gills. Thomas is known to be a catch and release angler.

NDOW FISH PLANTS: Liberty Pond, Paradise Pond, Marilyn’s Pond, Wilson Common Pond, Mitch Pond, Mountain View Pond, Seeman Pond, Davis Creek.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch send it to I hope to see you on the waters soon. Good fishin’ and tight lines!


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