California Opening Day approaching |

California Opening Day approaching

by Doug Busey
Special to The R-C

Hello fellow anglers.

A few things have ended and more to come.

April 14 marked the end of the Topaz Lake fishing derby. The last week ended with Jeremy Ritter from Gardnerville with the largest fish of the year weighing in at 5 pounds, which gave him first place for the week and bragging rights until next year.

Second place was Phil Oren from Arizona with a nice 4 pound rainbow. In all, there were 41 tagged trout caught this year, and 69 trout brought in at 2 pounds or bigger.

Even though the derby is over, the fishing goes on and will only get better at Topaz Lake with our warming temperatures.

For the more to come part is the California opening trout season, which starts on April 27.

This is when streams and rivers open for fishing in most of California, and the lakes in Inyo and Mono counties open also.

The new California regulation books are available at your local sporting goods store. Make sure you pick one up to know the new rules and regulations on the waters you are fishing. You will also note in this report that not all waters open on this date.

In talking with California game warden Erick Elliott, he has told me that he has come across many anglers that just blatantly break the rules, and a few just not reading the regulation book.

For this, he will gladly issue a citation which will make your adventure not so desirable. Just follow the regulations and we will all have a great day of fishing. If you see an angler not following the rules, i.e. snagging, taking over the limit or using bait where artificial lure or flies are only allowed, you have two options, call Cal-Tip at 888-334-2258 or in Alpine County you can call the Sheriffs Office at 530-694-2231. Local law enforcement has teamed up with CDFG to protect our local waters.

In this report you will not only get fishing info, you’ll also get info on what campgrounds and roadways that will open in Alpine County.

SILVER LAKE: The lake has partially thawed as of last Tuesday. There are parts of the shore with exposed shoreline. A great time to spring fish with small spinners or night crawlers. The Kit Carson Lodge is located right on the north end of the lake with many accommodations. For more information, call 209-258-8500. Lake offers mackinaw, rainbow and brown trout.

CAPLES LAKE: Located one mile from Kirkwood Ski Resort. The lake has open waters as of last Tuesday and is expected to be completely thawed by mid-May.

There are some exposed waters along the shoreline. use caution if shore fishing this time of year. Do not try ice fishing. For lodge information, call the Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888. The lake offers mackinaw, brown, rainbow and brook trout.

WOODS LAKE: Road is still closed due to snow.

RED LAKE: As of last Tuesday, the north end has 10 to 15 feet of open water along the shoreline. Spring time is the best time to fish this lake. As the weather warms up, the fishing tapers off to slow to nil. Again, do not ice fish until next year.

BLUE LAKES: The road is closed. Access to upper and lower Blue Lakes will be available in mid- to end of May depending on weather and road conditions. There are some primitive camp grounds off of the entrance to Blue Lakes, which has access to The west Carson river.

WEST CARSON RIVER: The water flows are running good for the opener. Alpine County will be planting with 2-to-4-pound rainbow trout. The CDFG will be planting the river heavily with catchable-sized rainbows trout 10 to 12 inches. Perfect camp trout. Sorensen’s Resort located in Hope Valley on Highway 88 is an all year resort with cabins and accommodations for all outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, you can call 530-694-2203. Also down the road is the sister resort called Hope Valley Resort. They offer a general store and tent camping and RV camping. They can be reached at 800-423-9949. If you are looking for not so rustic accommodations, the Woodfords Inn is located at the intersection of Highway 88 and 89 in Woodfords. They can be contacted at 530-694-2111. The river offers cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The road to the lake is closed until usually mid-June, due to bad road conditions.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground is scheduled to be open Friday, according to Forest Service officials. This lake is located three miles out of Woodfords off of Highway 89. They offer tent camping and RV camping. They have restrooms and showers for guests. The boat ramp is scheduled to open also on Friday. Fishing has been rated as fair over the last few weeks. Shore anglers have been using powerbait or night crawlers, fly anglers have done well using woolly buggers. The lake offers rainbow, brown, cutthroat trout and large mouth bass.

SUMMIT LAKE: Located above Indian Creek Reservoir, which is accessible only by a hike from the campground area or Curtz Lake off of Airport Road. Due to low water conditions, The CDFG decided not to stock the lake until the lake level improves.

TAYLOR CREEK, UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER AND TROUT CREEK: All tributaries that lead into Lake Tahoe are closed to fishing until July 1.

WOLF CREEK: The county is trying to open the first campground off of Highway 4 by opening day. The pass over Highway 4 will be closed until early May. Wolf Creek road is not scheduled to open by Saturday.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK: Flows are running well. The CDFG planted the river last week with 1000 pounds of catchable rainbow trout. Alpine County Fish and Game will be planting some larger trophy trout a few days before the opener. From Hangman’s Bridge down stream to the Nevada State line is open all year to catch and release.

Artificial lures or flys with barbless hooks. Above the bridge you may use any legal method of fishing and you allowed a five fish limit. Markleeville campground is scheduled to open prior to the opener, which offers primitive camping facilities. A place to pitch your tent or park your camper next to Markleeville Creek, which also will be planted. Further up the road out of Markleeville on Highway 89 is the Carson River Resort. The resort offers seven housekeeping cabins, RV camping with full hookups, a general store for your items you need or forgot to bring. They also offer tent camping right on the river. And the best local fishing information next to the Naw report. You can contact the Carson River Resort at 530-694-2229 or toll free at 877-694-2229.

CARSON RIVER NV SIDE: The river from the Nevada state line is open all year for anglers. From the broken dam all through Douglas County is a great fishery. NDOW has recently planted over 1,300 rainbow trout. For more information on this area call the Angler’s Edge located at their new address, 1598 Esmeralda Ave., Minden. They are in the Lone Tree Fine Arts Gallery. A perfect place, as they teach the fine art of fly fishing. Or you can call 775-781-7112.

I hope your opening day is an experience to remember. Alpine County can make that happen. Where else can you fish four rivers and five lakes in one day and still have time for a good barbecue with friends. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to If you have any questions or reports in our local fishing world call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722.