Celebrate independence by reeling in a big one | RecordCourier.com

Celebrate independence by reeling in a big one

by Doug Busey
Doug Busey caught this 10.8 pound Mackinaw at Silver Lake off of Highway 88 above Kirkwood.
Special to the R-C

Hello fellow anglers. Sorry, but I have been off fishing for a couple weeks. Which I will share in the reports this week.

We are now in summer, and there are a few things we have to remember. The most important thing is, no fires are allowed outside of designated camping areas. Even while in a camp area, try to use common sense. Reason I say that, I was fishing and camping at Bridgeport reservoir last week. The winds came up early around two in the afternoon. They averaged 15 to 30 mph through the evening, and there were a few people having camp fires.

With all the dry grasses in the surrounding area, and sparks flying, we were very lucky not to have had a disaster. Sometimes, we just have to think to ourselves, is a campfire that important?

One other important item is to stay hydrated. While out on a hot day, make sure you have plenty of water on hand. Even with temperatures only in the mid-80s. The sun can tear you down fast without drinking plenty of fluids. Especially boaters without a canopy to protect from the suns direct rays. Most important is the sunscreen: use SPF 50 or above. I saw a few unfortunate people that probably wished that had used their sunscreen. Make sure to apply multiple times a day. I prefer to use the spray because it is easy and simple to apply.

Some good news for fellow anglers. Many of the upper lakes are thawed and are fishing well. One last reminder, the rattlesnakes are out and have been seen all over the valley and up into Alpine County as well. Watch your step. If you want to see what happens to a victim of a snake bite, go online and lookup “fishing writer survives a bite from deadly snake.” I can tell you, it can put a damper on a fishing trip, and may cost you your life. This writer was lucky he was not alone.

Now lets check out your fishing report.

LAKE TAHOE: Fishing has been good for Mackinaw 1- to 8- pounds North Shore shelves, South Shore shelves are heavily loaded, with prespawning Macks. The full moon has slowed the fishing bite somewhat as they are stuffed with shrimp and crawdads. Cal Neva point, Dollar shelf, Agate bay, Ski Run shelf, Tahoe Keys shelf and Cave Rock shelf are loaded with mature Mackinaw as well. About 90- to 250-feet are the stacked depths depending on the area and thermal springs. Slow bait presentations with flashers and minnows or dodgers and minnows bounced off the bottom every now and then. Lures consisting of flat fish and stick baits can be successful at times as well. For more information contact Blue Ribbon Fishing charters at 530-544-6552.

SILVER LAKE: The lake thawed a couple weeks ago. I fished with Tom Blotter, from Minden, just after the ice out. We trolled large stick baits over the rocky areas. Tom got into a large fish which he fought for awhile until it threw the hook. We got back into it and fished for a couple more hours. We stopped and threw some spoons on the north end of the lake, where I was lucky enough to hook into a large mackinaw. After 25 minutes or so and help of Tom guiding the boat. We landed a 10.8-pound mackinaw using an ultra lite pole and 8-pound test. That was a true rush of adrenaline I will remember for along time.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake has thawed and the resort is open for boat/kayak rentals, lodging and boat launching. They have a general store for most of your needs. The campground is still closed and may not open this year. The CDFW has stocked the lake last week with rainbow trout. The day use area has opened for the season. The water level is up and the fishing has been productive from shore a well as from a boat. For more information stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: The road has not opened as of this week for the season yet.

BLUE LAKES: The road is open to the fourth gate up to Faith Valley. That is approximately seven miles off highway 88.

PLEASENT VALLEY, WOLF CREEK ROADS: Are open for the season. Use caution on Wolf Creek as the road can be very narrow in areas due to mud slides and repairs.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The road has opened for the season. No fishing reports as yet have come in.

UPPER TRUCKEE, TROUT CREEK, TAYLOR CREEK: All located on the south end of Lake Tahoe, fishing will open on Monday. I practice catch and release on these areas because the trout are all native and are not stocked by CDFW. I also use barbless hooks on my lures. It is not the regulations for these waters, only my suggestion. These fish are the future of Lake Tahoe and it fishery.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The area up in Hope valley from Blue Lakes road to Sorensons resort is excellent right now. The CDFW and Alpine County will be stocking more than 3,000 pounds of trout over the next seven days. The water is clear with a slight green tint, much different from what is seen down in the Minden Valley area. For more information stop by the Creekside Lodge.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The river is a little high, but very fishable. Also a different story in coloration. With our cooler temperatures the river has a green tint and will be stocked by CDFW. Alpine County will be stocking close to 4,000 pounds of rainbow trout during the next week. Fishing has been very productive for anglers using power bait or drifting a night crawler close to the bottom. Salmon eggs also has been working well. For those tossing spinners, you might want to use a little heavier lure to get it off the top of the water. For more information stop by Todd’s Bait and Tackle.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The water is up and the weeds are growing. The lake is schedule to be planted this week by CDFW. Due to the rising water temps, the fish have been more active in the early morning hours or late evening. Not to say the bite will not come on in the afternoon. Remember that those weeds may be a pain in the back side, but they are your friend. That is where the fish stay on those hot days. So don’t curse the weeds, use them to your advantage.

HIGHLAND LAKES: The road is still closed as of this week.

TOPAZ LAKE: Tom and I fished with good success last weekend in the early morning and late evening. Rapalas or a flasher and half of a night crawler had best success. The water level has risen a few feet on the lake, but has tapered off this week. For boaters, use extreme caution on the lake, as we encountered a lot of debris from the run off from the Walker River diversion drainage. We saw large branches as we ventured across the lake. Shore anglers have had good success with power bait or inflated night crawlers.

CDFW STOCKING REPORT: Echo Lake lower, east and west of Carson River, Markleeville Creek, Alpine Lake, Silver Lake, Caples Lake, Indian Creek res.

NDOW STOCKING REPORT: Baily Pond, Marilyns Pond, Wilson Common Pond, Carson River east.

WALKER RIVERS: Both rivers are running high and muddy as of last weekend.

BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: Fishing was slow last weekend. Most fish came in on the anchored boats using a night crawler. Tom and I caught a few nice rainbows and a couple browns trolling Rapalas. Two weeks ago, the lake was on fire with many anglers catching trout from 2.5- to 4-plus pounds The lake can be slow and at the same time turn on to rainbows and browns in the 3- to 8- pound class. For more information, call the Bridgeport Marina and Campground at 760-932-7001. Meet the new owner Chase Pasley. It is amazing the turn around of what he has done with the resort.

JUNE LAKE AREA: June Lake: Big Rock Resort (760)-648-7717. Laurie and Mike showed me the most impressive Cutthroat of the season I’ve seen. A 4-pound 10-ounce beauty caught by Nona from Atascadero trolling a nightcrawler (probably threaded) with a watermelon mini-dodger down near the beach drop off. That’s fishing creatively. The Cutthroat fishing has been steadily improving with more and larger Cutts each year as the population grows.

June Lake Marina: (760)-648-7726. Abby says catching has slowed somewhat since the weekend but should pick up again as summer approaches. They are set to bring in some 1- to 2-pound Oregon Rainbows before Thursday, which will be released through their pens. The marina offers a nice gear rental package when renting a boat that includes all the bait and tackle needed to get going.

GRANT LAKE: Grant Lake Marina and Campground. No phone. The lake is full up and over the spillway. Best approach is by boat for best access. When it’s full like this some of the shore fishing gets cut down in particular along the west or highway side. The east or back side is accessible via dirt roads. Harold at the marina tells me trolling is the way to go for some nice Browns in the mornings 5- to 7-colors lead core with copper and copper/orange Speedy Shiners and the most popular lure in the Eastern Sierra, red and gold Thomas Bouyants. He adds that there’s a heck of a lot of fish out there and the bite should improve as the Rush Creek run-off slows and less food is being pushed into the lake.

SILVER LAKE: Silver Lake Resort (760)-648-7525. The fishing at Silver has been up and down the past couple weeks probably due to the increased run-off coming into the lake. I have no doubt it’ll pick up as the flow slows mainly due to the aggressive stocking of those Oregon Rainbows by the Resort. If you fish the lake or Rush Creek nearby stop in at the Resort store and check their fish book and photos. You’ll find there’s still some nice Rainbows and Browns being hauled in with the usual suspects of floating baits and nightcrawlers.

RUSH CREEK: Rush is flowing real high right now and is blown out in some stretches. There are folks fishing it so you may be able to hunt and peck for some slower spots. Throw your favorite lures or crawlers and/or salmon eggs with enough sinker to get down in the flow.

FLY FISHING: Stop in at Ernie’s for the latest. In the lakes some kind of floating device is needed. When you see fish feeding on the surface mostly in the mornings when it’s calm roll with dries including gnats, skeeters, caddis flies. I get more hits in lakes anywhere when stripping in with the fly slightly submerged. As the day goes on switch to streamer and buggers deeper with sink line or add some split shot dragged and twitched along. Also try a bead head wet fly with a nymph dropper. Fly fishing Rush Creek is tough so stop in and we can suggest alternatives in and out of The Loop. For more information contact Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop at 760-648-7756.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch send it to sports@recordcourier.com. I would also like to say thank you to the California game warden officers on Topaz lake as well as the Mono County sheriff’s department for stopping and asking for our fishing licenses and taking the time to answer a few questions. Good fishin’ and tight lines.