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Labor Day fishing

Doug Busey
Peggy Bristol from Wellington holds up a 57-pound halibut that she caught on the Kenai River in Alaska. Bristol also caught a 13-pound and 10-pound silvers on what she called, "a trip of a lifetime."
Peggy Bristol

Hello fellow anglers, Welcome to Labor Day weekend. As we know from all of the smoke in the California and Nevada skies. We have to be fire aware, wherever your adventure takes you this weekend. One very important rule that many may not know of, is simple. If you are pulling a trailer, twist your chains a couple of turns to raise them up off the pavement, but will still give you enough slack to work properly and safely. This will prevent sparks that have started many roadside fires. If you plan to camp, you might want to leave the firewood at home. Nevada has a restriction that does not allow any campfires, and many California counties have followed their guidelines. This includes being in a designated camp area that still may have fire pits. September 5th is free fishing day in California. All regulations need to be followed for the body of water you are fishing.

LAKE TAHOE: The fishing has been good for early morning anglers off the Tahoe City area all the way around to Cal/Neva Point. A flasher or a dodger with a live or scented minnow 12 inches behind it. You need to get right on the bottom and stir up some sand. Anglers have started in 120 ft and gone down to 220 ft as the sun rises. Toplinning on the south end may get you some good results. The NDOW recently planted at Cave Rock, which brings in the larger feeding fish.

CAPLES LAKE: The water is getting low already and could be an issue. The smoke has finally cleared and the fishing has been slow, although there have been a ton of fish rising in the evenings. Chris and Rich have been out and marked a couple of large congregations of Macs in the deeper slots, but haven’t been able to move them. Our evenings have finally been cooling off enough that we should see the water temps finally dropping a bit, that should help. Also had some guests that did pretty well down below Kirkwood lake on Caples Creek. The campground is still closed at this time. The CDFW is scheduled to plant the lake this weekend with catchable trout. For more information stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: The early morning or late evening bite has been the most productive.

RED LAKE: The algae has resided and has been the clearest it has been in years through the summer. Fishing has been fair to slow. Night crawlers or salmon eggs have been most productive. I also like to throw a gold kastmaster along the dam area. I would still use cation and not drink the water or swim in the lake. Last year they had a severe blue-green algae outbreak.

BLUE LAKES: The water level is low and the fishing has been slow. The upper and lower lakes were planted a month ago and are scheduled to be planted again next week by CDFW. Remember, no campfires are allowed in the area, You may be cited.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water level is very low, but the fishing has been good for those that do not mind a little walking. The CDFW planted the river last week with 500 lbs of catchable rainbows. Salmon eggs or a half a nightcrawler has been most productive. For more information stop by the Creekside Lodge.

EAST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water levels have been fluctuating height and temp wise. This is due to letting some water out of Kinney Reservoir. I would recommend fishing very early or later in the evening. Fishing has been very good for anglers throwing nightcrawlers or small spinners. The fly anglers have been nymphing with good results. The CDFW planted the river last week with 500 lbs of catchable rainbows. Alpine County is scheduled to plant the river this week with 2-3 lb rainbows. For information stop by the Creekside Lodge.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: the lake level is low and the campground is closed. The day use and ramp area is open from sunup to sunset. The weeds are thick and the fishing has been slow. Last year the lake had a blue green algae outbreak and has recovered mostly. But I would still use caution.

TOPAZ LAKE: The water has gone down a little, but the fishing has been fair for anglers going a little deeper with flashers and a night crawler or Rapalas. Shore anglers have been doing fair with powerbai t in the deeper areas.

HEENAN LAKE: Located on Monitor pass on highway 89. The lake will open to fishing this weekend. There are some regulations to follow while fishing this body of water. It is only catch and release, artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. Open only Friday-Saturday and Sundays through the last Sunday in October. Fishing is allowed from sunrise to sunset. Be prepared to catch 10 inch to 10 lb Cutthroat trout. Shore fishing is a little hard due to the weeds. I would recommend using a float tube, kayak, canoe or a small carry down boat. No gas motors allowed, but electric motors are allowed.

JUNE LAKE AREA: The focus in The Loop now is the Holiday Weekend and with it the June Lake Loop Monster Trout Contest held Sat. and Sun. Trout plants are ramping up for this event so get a line in the water.

JUNE LAKE MONSTER TROUT CONTEST 2020: Headed by Jeremy at Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop the contest is replacing the normal Opener event held last Sat. of April each year. No fee or registration is needed. Prizes will be awarded for ten categories including kids. All catches must be weighed and tagged at Ernie’s by 5:00 pm Sun. 9/6. Winners will be announced at 7:30 pm that evening in front of Ernie’s. In preparation for the Trout Contest Desert Springs, Oregon Rainbows are being brought in this week to all The Loop lakes thanks again to Ernie’s Trout Stocking Fund (mainly due to donations by customers) and from the businesses and individuals in the June Lake Loop.

Silver Lake Resort will be adding to that with a load of their own.

Mono Co. put fish in Gull and Silver Lakes Aug. 13th.

June Lake Marina is adding to the plants through releases from their trout pens and/or Rainbows from Desert Springs.

JUNE LAKE: Big Rock Resort, 760)648-7717. With one of the most beautiful settings in The Loop the Resort offers cabin and boat rentals and an adjacent launch ramp. Pedro there says catching has been slow except for those trolling with lead core or downriggers to 50’ early in the morning and later in the evening. Best lures are Thomas Bouyants, Tas Devils, Speedy Shiners, and Arctic Fox Trolling Flies. We both expect things to pick up during the weekend for bait fishing what with the trout plants this week.

JUNE LAKE: June Lake Marina, 760)648-7726. They are pretty much continuously putting fish in either from their pens or Desert Springs. As far as fishing much like over at Big Rock as far as trolling goes and they are seeing stringers with some state stockers and Desert Spring Rainbows. Best fish of note is a Cutthroat in the 7lb range brought in by Greg yesterday towing that lead core.

GULL LAKE: Gull Lake Marina, 760)648-7539. Gull is typically my go to lake to fish always get’n something outta there. Talked to Joe at the Marina Monday and looks like folks are bringing in Rainbows brought in by the state and county and an occasional resident Cutthroat or Brown. The fish log reveals trophy Rainbows have been caught up to 10lbs mostly with Salmon Peach Powerbait.

SILVER LAKE: Silver Lake Resort, 760-648-7625. They’re dropping in Oregon Rainbows each two weeks to try to offset the lack of state plants. Andrew, through his Resort website report, suggests patience and perseverance are the keys to success for the trophy trout. Nightcrawlers, Pinch Crawlers, Mice Tails, and garlic scented Powerbait are all working on long leaders. Mix things up till you find what’s working and fish deeper, cooler water. Plenty of beauts being caught here up to 9lbs including a nice 8lb-9oz stringer with a Cutthroat mixed in.

RUSH CREEK: Been slow at the creek without those state stockers coming in. Still worth giving it a go for the resident fish and any of those Oregonians migrating down from Silver Lake. Whatever method is being used, keep moving to find them.

GRANT LAKE: Grant Lake Marina and Campground, no phone. Marina and boat ramp are open only to long term guests at the campground. There are some workable launch sites at a few of the beaches. Fishing has slowed at Grant I’d say due to Summertime conditions and lot’s of water toy activity especially in the upper Grant section mostly on weekends. Some success has been reported trolling early, early or dropping a nightcrawler in the submerged Rush Creek channel near the inlet. Things should gradually change what with recent stockings, cooler temps coming, and less activity on the lake.