Weather is turning and so is the fishing |

Weather is turning and so is the fishing

Doug Busey
Ted Martell of Gardnerville sent in this photo of a full stringer at Topaz the last day of the season.

Hello fellow anglers. The season is changing just like the leaves in Alpine County. Speaking of changing, Don’t forget to change your clock ahead this weekend. Renee and I took a drive up to Apple Hill located in Placerville Ca a couple weekends ago. We were planning on doing some fishing in the higher lakes. But as we approached Caples lake, we were engulfed in a heavy cloud of smoke from the Caples fire. The smoke was so heavy, we could not see either Caples or Silver Lake.

As we approached Hams Station on highway 88, the smoke started to clear. needless to say, there was not any fishing involved on the trip up. We enjoyed the Placerville area and Apple Hill when the power came back on. On our way home back to Nevada, we took the Mormon Immigrant trail. From there we could see where the fire was actually located. It was a little south west of Silver lake about five miles as the crow flys from the highway in the Caples Creek area. A reminder of why fire restrictions are so important, even as we go into the fall-winter season. Although it was a cool 35 degrees at about 4 in the afternoon on Mormon Trail. The fuels in our forest lands are like a tinder box waiting for an unattended campfire or just off roaders driving over dry brush. We need to stay vigilant to protect our forest lands. The smoke had cleared for our return trip and we could enjoy the fall colors throughout highway 88 into the Carson Valley area.

SILVER LAKE: The water level is down a few feet. Small boats can launch at the ramp. Use caution when venturing out to the main lake. Watch for the prop eating rocks and stay in the channel. Tom Blotter and I ventured up last weekend to try our luck. We discovered that the water was to far down to launch an 18 foot boat. So we headed to Caples Lake.

CAPLES LAKE: The water level is still high for this time of year. the Caples lake Resort is open for boat rentals and launching. The EID public launch is open. Tom and I fished from 6:30 a.m. to about 1 PM. We trolled Rapalas, flashers, Spinners and received no strikes. We trolled most of the lake deep as well as shallow areas. We beached the boat in Immigrant Cove and walked the shore throwing spoons. I would rate Caples Lake as extremely slow.

RED LAKE: No fishing is advised at this time due to algae.

BLUE LAKES: The road is open to the lower lake. Fishing has been slow over the last few weeks. Shore anglers have caught some rainbows using salmon eggs or inflated night crawlers.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground is now closed for the season. Fishing has been fair for shore anglers. I do not recommend float tubing for awhile, until the lake has turned over. Remember to rinse and clean your fish with fresh water from home.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water level is very low. I would recommend to take a hike to fish the deeper pools. There is still a lot of nice rainbows holding throughout the river from blue lakes road area to the Woodfords area.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water level is great, fishing has been good. Most anglers have been using salmon eggs or powerbait, a few have had good luck with mice tails. I personally like to throw small silver spinners across the faster moving waters. Alpine County planted the river last week with 1,800 pounds of 1- to 5-pound rainbows. This will be their final plant of the season. For more information stop by Creekside Lodge.

TOPAZ LAKE: Closed for the season until Jan. 1.

WEST WALKER RIVER: The NDOW planted the river recently with rainbow trout. Fishing has been good to fair depending on your location. I personally like to fish the Wilson Canyon area.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK NEVADA SIDE: The area south of the Lohanton Fish hatchery has produced some rainbows. Anglers have been drifting salmon eggs with a split shot.

NDOW FISH PLANTS: These may be the final plants for this season. East Walker River, Upper Carson River,Mitch Pond, Bailey Pond.

JUNE LAKE AREA: Fall colors are pretty much kicking in now throughout The Loop in varying degrees. This week and next week will probably see the apex of nature’s annual display. Coincidentally, Fall fishing has improved also in varying degrees depending how and where one is fishing.

ERNIE’S TACKLE AND SKI SHOP: (760) 658-7756, open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday into November.

RUSH CREEK: October is typically when large Brown Trout migrate up from Grant Lake and down from Silver Lake to spawn. Have heard no reports of these being sited or caught as of today. During my drive through stopped at a couple choice locations along the creek seeing none. I would expect that to change beginning next week and continuing into Nov. As these thoroughbreds are the sires and mares of the future Brown population please employ catch and release methods.

GULL LAKE: Gull Lake Marina: (760) 648-7539, hours 7 to 6 daily. May close the 26th or remain open thru the 31st. Public boat ramp will remain open. Cameron at the Marina said fishing has been great since they put in a load of 2 to 3 lb. Oregons along with this weeks CDFW plant. He also said some nice 2 plus pound Cutthroats have been showing up. Evening fly fishing has been going off from a boat, tube, kayak, etc. This is the time of year that while I’m fishing those popular floating baits I also toss out a nightcrawler on a cast-a-bubble as the big trout that have been hiding deep all summer start cruising the shorelines.

JUNE LAKE: June Lake Marina: (760) 648-7726, Hrs 7 to 5. Big Rock Resort: (760)-648-7717, Hrs 7 to 6. Both plan on closing by the 28th along with the adjacent private boat ramps. Mitch at June Lake Marina claims the fishing and catching had been “XLNT”. CDFW released last week a 1,000 lbs. of brood-stock from jointly managed pens in the 4- to 12- pound range. In talking to some of the lead core trollers a lot of fish are still down deep including the Cutthroats at 45’ to 50’. Greg, one of the usual suspects out there, has been trying a different approach partly because he’s tired of dragging and reeling so much lead core line and other partly because it works. In the evenings trolling Taz Devils and Thomas Bouyants on spin gear about 10-feet deep. He said any green color is getting plenty of grabs.

SILVER LAKE: Silver Lake Resort: (760) 648-7625, Hrs. 7 to 7. Closing after this coming Sun. The nearby public boat ramp will remain open. The store/tackle shop’s fish book reveals plenty of nice Rainbows brought in using all those popular floating baits from shore and boat. The largest I see is a 3-pound 10 ounce caught by Nohlan from Simi Valley trolling a nightcrawler with a flasher. That’s an effective tactic that not many use these days.

GRANT LAKE: Grant Lake Marina and Campground along with the boat ramp are closed for the season. There are some spots along the Upper Grant shoreline that a trailered boat can be launched taking care of course. The only reliable report I have is from Dan of Dan’s Guide Service, (661)-478-0036. His boat has been getting consistent good catches of nice Browns up to 20” trolling 6’ to 10’ in the evenings with Rapalas on spin gear and Rainbow Hornburg streamers with fly rods. He said lately a newly tried Chub Minnow streamer has been getting bit. Otherwise I’d be working the Upper lake area from the Narrows into the Rush Creek inlet and up the creek itself for those migrating Browns.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure, If you get a picture of your catch, send it to I hope to see on the waters as I will be out in the Alpine County area this weekend. Good fishin’ and tight lines.