Opening day prospects look good
Hello, fellow anglers, we have a little less than a week before the opening of California’s fishing season on Saturday.
There will be many anglers and campers out and about on opening weekend so make sure to slow down and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
As a reminder, check your regulation book for any waters you plan to fish. Some waters change limits or bait, while some do not open until a later date. For instance, all of the tributaries that run into Lake Tahoe do not open until July 1, including the Upper Truckee River, Taylor Creek and Trout Creek.
This report includes conditions I have as of today and some contact information to help you prepare for opening day.
LAKE TAHOE: The Cave Rock launch is open and clear. You do need to watch out for ice build-up early in the morning on the boat ramp from folks not draining their trailer before pulling out all the way. Trout fishing has very good to awesome on Lake Tahoe’s north shore, Cal Neva Point, Tahoe City Shelf and near Homewood. We have been using down riggers with custom chrome and white dodgers trailing minnows at slow speeds close to the bottom and bouncing it on occasion to create sediment cloud and bite activation. Also, 4-inch Flat Fish in white and chrome have provided some large fish. The north shore points are heavily loaded with mature fat lake trout, as we have taken a lot of limits in the 2- to 15-pound range that are stuffed with shrimp and crawdads. Shore anglers and small boats have, on occasion, hooked into shore cruising rainbows and hard-fighting German browns. Small dodgers with minnows or threaded worms can be deadly at times for the boaters. Also, smaller stick baits in rainbow or black and silver with new 8- to 10-pound line can bring amazing results for patient trollers on Lake Tahoe’s clear waters. Shore fisherman can get away with 6- to 8-pound test and then they best have a long handled net. Remember that the Cave Rock boat ramp gate and Lake Forest Boat Ramp hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Call Gene St. Denis at Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters 530-544-6552 for information.
SILVER LAKE: The lake had about 10 percent of open water last weekend. The ice is very unstable and I strong recommend everyone stay off. The ramp and parking area had approximately 14 inches of snow on it. The gate to resort’s road is still closed with snow covering the road.
CAPLES LAKE: The lake has some open water around the Woods Creek area. Most of the lake still had very unstable ice on it. There was a foot or so of open water around the dam area. The resort will put in its docks when the lake thaws out around mid-May. Call Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888 for information. The campground is closed.
RED LAKE: The lake still had ice on 90 percent of the lake, but should ice out quickly.
WOODS LAKE: Access to the lake and camping area is still closed.
BLUE LAKES: The road is open only to the first gate, which means camping is only available in the Hope Valley area.
BURNSIDE LAKE: The road is still closed.
CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: In the Hope Valley area the river was running very good through the meadow. As for the Woodfords Canyon area, waters was running very fast and unfishable, but that could change in a week. Alpine County is planning a plant of 2- to 6-pound rainbows before opening day. Stop by Creekside Lodge for more information.
CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The river was running very good with a slight green tint. There were no major transformations like last year, but with warmer temperatures, the river will rise. Alpine County plans to plant 2- to 6-pound rainbow trout for opening day. The road will be open 7.2 miles west of the Highway 89 junction to Monitor pass. Carson River Resort will be open with new ownership and a familiar manager at the general store. Todd Sodero is back at the helm, so come see the many changes. If you have a good catch, stop by and let them take a picture to be put in the book of fame and possibly shown here in the next Naw report.
MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river was running very good this week. Remember, there are areas of private property along the river so be sure to respect the privacy of the land owners. Alpine County plans to plant the river with 2- to 6-pound rainbow trout this week.
WOLF CREEK, HIGHLAND LAKES, PLEASANT VALLEY, SCHNEIDER COW CAMP: The roads are closed.
SILVER CREEK: The river was running good and clear this week. With the rising temperatures comes melting snow, which means the waters can rise and change in a day so use caution this time of year when fishing the river. Alpine County plans to plant the river with 2- to 6-pound rainbow trout this week.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground and boat ramp are scheduled to open on May 4, depending on weather. The water level has come up a little, but the lake is still pretty much weed-free. The fishing has been doing well from shore using various colors of Powerbait. It may be salmon peach in the morning and green in the afternoon. Many anglers have reported two- to five-fish days over the last week. The unimproved boat ramp is available on the dam side of the lake. Be prepared to get wet as the area is very shallow until you get out a ways. Be advised, if you drive in on the Diamond Valley side, stay to the right side of the road, as there are still a few drop offs near the left side due to all the water runoff we have had over the year.
TOPAZ LAKE: The Topaz Lodge Derby is over and the final results have not come in as yet. The lake level has actually come up, and I did not think they could put more water in it. There has been some cloudy water on the south end of the lake after the inlet was opened a few times last week. Make sure to watch for floating debris on the lake. The Douglas County campground is open and will now be taking reservations for campsites if desired. You can contact the Douglas County Parks Department for more information. Both California and Nevada licenses are valid on Topaz Lake. The fishing has slowed down a little from last week. I fished with fellow angler Tom Blotter last week and we got 13 fish into the boat, averaging 12 to 15 inches. The best action has been with Rapalas of flashers and half of a night crawler. Shore anglers have been using green Powerbait or inflated night crawlers.
NDOW PLANTS: Baily Pond, Wilson Common Pond, Davis Creek, Martin Slough, Mitch Pond, Liberty Pond, Marilyn’s Pond, Squaw Creek and Mountain View Pond have been planted over the last week.
JUNE LAKE AREA: As of last week, light snow was blowing across Gull Lake. According to forecasts, however, that’s going to change this weekend with temps into the 60s. This coming week looks like mild conditions. It should be a great opener with all the townsfolk and marinas getting ready for the season, including anticipation of the 40th annual “June Lake Loop Monster Trout Contest” on Saturday. This contest is open to all in The Loop with no registration or fees required. Simply catch a “monster” in one of The Loop waters including June, Gull, Silver, and Grant Lakes or Rush Creek and bring it to a weigh station at Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop or at one of the marinas. With 13 categories, including prized packages for kids, there’s plenty of fun for all. All lakes were ice free a couple weeks ago. June and Grant lakes did not ice over this winter which means top water temps are a few degrees above normal, resulting in more active fish for this time of year. There should be lots of holdovers lurking in all waters after last season’s late plants by the state and additional stocks of “Oregon Rainbows” brought in by Mono County and the local marinas. Along with the resident “wild” trout, there are rainbows, browns and cutthroats, all typically caught throughout the season. All types of fishing are available including shore, boat, tubes and kayaks, fly fishing and much more. Virtually the entire shoreline is accessible at Grant and June lakes. Rush Creek is flowing well and fully accessible. Lower elevation local hike-in lakes and creeks are reachable. Higher elevations may still be snowbound. The great thing about The Loop is all methods work somewhere all the time. You can still fish with dough baits, crawlers or eggs, chucking or trolling lures and jigs. Try tossing some flies in Rush Creek or from tubes in the lakes. It’s always best to check in at such local marinas as Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop 760-648-7756, Big Rock Resort at June Lake 760-648-7717, June Lake Marina 760-648-7726, Gull Lake Marina 760-648-7539, Silver Lake Resort 760-648-7525 or Grant Lake Marina. Phone service is not available, so just stop on by and say “Hi.”
I hope you have a great opening day experience this year. If you have a photo of your catch, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have a question or a report in our local fishing area call the Naw line at 267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.