Paying tribute to the ‘Fishing Padre’ |

Paying tribute to the ‘Fishing Padre’

Don Busey is seen on the shore during one of his many fishing trips, many of which inspired a passion for fishing that was picked up by his son, Doug "Mac-the-Naw."
Special to The R-C |

Hello, fellow anglers. Summer has now officially arrived and we are feeling it. When the temperatures reach 90 degrees in Tahoe, it is time to fish the higher lakes.

I hope you had a special time last week on Father’s Day. I personally have been helping out at various kids fishing events in our area for the last couple of weeks.

I started out with the Sawmill Pond Kids free fishing derby in South Lake Tahoe. Sawmill Pond has special meaning for me. As a young person growing up, my mother and father would drop my friend, Mike, and I off at the pond to fish, while they went into town to shop. My father started me at an early age learning how to fish. He is the one who turned me into the fishin’ fool I am today. He would wake me up at 3 a.m. to head out to show me his favorite fishing holes, many we found together, and I still fish them today.

Alpine County also was a very special place in my younger days, just as it is today. My friend and I would get dropped off at the bridge on Highway 88 on the West Carson River at around 6 a.m. We would work our way through Hope Valley to the Highway 89 bridge, where we would be greeted by mom and dad around noon with a couple of sandwiches and a soda. We would talk about the ones that got away and show them our catch for the day. For this reason, I have become a volunteer for the Alpine County Kids free fishing derby at Indian Creek Reservoir.

I have also had the privilege to be a part of the Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. This all started with a father and his son at the age of 4-years-old going to a lake at five in the morning and catching his first fish. I still remember that day, as well as the exact spot where that fish was caught. I was so excited to catch a fish, I put my pole down and grabbed the line to bring in that fish. I held that 6-inch blue gill for about a half hour before we put it on my first stringer.

I knew I was hooked after that experience, and I was. Later, I would ride my bike after school to a few local fishing holes, until the day I got my drivers license. Then, there was no place too far to capture that experience once again.

Today, I am not just a local angler, I usually have a fishing license for two to four states each year. This is all because my father took me fishing. What better way to give back than to help young anglers get the experience I did when I was their age? If you get a chance, become a volunteer at any of our local kids fishing derbies. I can only say thank you to my father, Don Busey, or Padre, as I call him. You gave me the best gift of all. Today, my father is 89 years young and does not get to fish like he used to. But I get to share my stories with him and see the grin on his face when I light up like a 4-year-old kid telling my fish stories. Happy belated Fathers Day.

LAKE TAHOE: The bite is on, but you need to get on the lake as early as possible. The north end of the lake has been most productive. The Tahoe Shelf to Cal Neva Point, Sand Harbor to Logan Shoals has had fair action. The average mackinaw has been in the 1-5 pound range, with a few up to 15 pounds. Top liners have been doing good if you can get on the lake before the sun comes up, because by 9 a.m., the bite is off. All of the boat ramps on Tahoe are open. You will need to check the operating hours for each one. Call Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters at 530-544-6552 for more information.

SILVER LAKE: The lake level is up and the ramp is open. Mackinaw fishing has been spotty. If you put in the time, it will pay off. Trollers have been using F9 or F11 Rapalas near the inlet or on the drop-offs.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake is ice-free and Caples Resort is open for the 2017 season. They offer boat launching and rentals. They have a general store for most items you need or have forgot to bring. I do not have a fishing report as of yet. But I plan on fishing this weekend. Stop by the Caples Lake Resort for more information.

WOODS LAKE: Road is closed.

RED LAKE: The lake has been ice-free for a couple weeks. The California Department of Wildlife scheduled a plant of rainbow trout last week.

BLUE LAKES: The road is open to the third gate into Charity Valley.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake level has come up a little and the weeds are growing fast. Many anglers have been doing good to fair for rainbows, averaging 12 to 14 inches, with a few in the 2- to 3-pound class. Powerbait for shore anglers and for the float tubers, they have been doing good with a black or brown Woolley Bugger flies. If you decide to take a swim or float tube without waders, I recommend you check for leaches. I caught a couple of the larger rainbows last week and found that is what they have been feeding on. Stop by Todd’s Bait and Tackle for more information.

I would like to thank the Walmart on Topsy Lane in Carson City for its donation to the Kids Fishing day this year.

WEST CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA: The rivers are still running high and cloudy in Hope Valley, and very fast in the canyon. The CDFW scheduled a plant of rainbow trout this week. Fishing has been slow with no recent reports.

EAST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA: The rivers are running fast and high. Due to the extreme runoff this year, they have not been planted this season. As soon as the waters come down a little, the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce and Fish and Game Commission have a ton of fish they will be planting.

TOPAZ LAKE: The water level has been up to capacity then down a little over the last couple weeks. A few reports for shore anglers on the east side of the lake in the county park. They have done fair in the early morning and evening with Powerbait. Trollers have been using flashers and a night crawler in deeper waters for average sized rainbows.


Silver Lake: Had two loads of Oregon Rainbows put in with another to come next week, making it the go-to for 4- to 7-pounders. Pinched Crawlers, Trout Nuggets, and Thomas Buoyant have been scoring.

Rush Creek: Creek is swollen with runoff but is still fishable. Bring your waders or hip boots and be very careful when near the banks watching for undercuts that could collapse. Trout Teasers and Power Eggs have been working tossed upstream and drifted down. A few fly fishermen have reported doing well using the same method with San Juan Worms and adding egg patterns or nymph droppers with a split shot to gain depth.

Grant Lake: Trolling for browns and rainbows has been up and down from day to day lately. This is possibly due to changing water temperatures causing the fish to relocate. Your best bet is evenings with no sun on the water and a slight wind chop nearer to shore with Rapalas. The lake is due to receive Oregon fish during July and September.

June Lake: Has been hot along the east side for shore and boat fishing. Some nice cutthroats have been hauled in using Power Baits, Thomas Buoyant and a new jig called “Krakens.” Oregon trout are due in July.

Gull Lake: Trolling is successful with Thomas Buoyant and Tazmanians say 5 to 8 colors lead core depending on time of day. On Father’s Day the bite got a bit regularly with different colors Power Bait and Mice Tails. The key is to locate fish and then most anything works. So keep moving until you find ‘em. Oregon trout coming July and September.

When in The Loop, stop by Ernie’s for the tackle and info needed and visit our recently improved fly fishing department. Feel free to call at 760-648-7756.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. Have a picture of your catch? Send it to and if you have question or a report about our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at 267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.