12-pound cutthroat trout leads Pyramid Lake derby
By Don Quilici
LAKE ALMANOR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: Make a pass from the ramp at the dam and down the east shoreline, using your electronics for support. Imitating pond smelt will be the ticket as these trout are actively searching for and feeding on them. White trolling flies or minnow imitations will also work.
CAPLES LAKE, CALIF: Doug Busey of Douglas County reported ice fishermen were fishing by the spillway. There are about 3.5-4 feet of ice on the lake.
CARSON RIVERS, CALIF: East Carson River Trophy Section: The Trophy Section of the East Carson River, from Hangman’s Bridge downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions.
There was a report of an Alpine County Sheriff’s Deputy writing a citation to a fly fisherman, who was fishing with barbed hooks.
CROWLEY LAKE AREA, CALIF: Steve Osterman of Performance Anglers of Mammoth Lakes (760) 924-2181:
Hot Creek: Water flow is 6 CFS. If you are planning to fish the creek, be prepared for a bit of a hike. Snow shoes or X-country skis are an asset. Fishing is good with small Nymphs and there is a limited amount of surface activity on BWO’s. Best fishing is during the mid day hours.
DAVIS LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: Still clearing out from storms through the weekend, but even with some better weather, few ice fishing reports have come in. Jerry Dollard at Dollard’s Sierra Market in Portola said ice is at least 18 inches thick now. The east-side road has been plowed as far at Coot Bay and Mallard Cove, but access to the lake requires hiking 150 to 300 yards.
FEATHER RIVER, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: Steelhead fishing was slow, but a few half-pounders plus fewer adults to 27 inches were caught in the Low Flow Section. The water was very cold, and fish were lightly biting drifted nightcrawlers and small beadhead flashback Pheasant Tail Nymphs.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin’s Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): Conditions continue to be the same, as they have been for the past couple of weeks. The road to the dam is plowed, but beyond that, you will need a snowmobile or be willing to hike through the snow to get to other areas. There is still about a foot of ice at the dam and most people are fishing there. Try using nightcrawlers, jigs or rainbow glitter Power Bait.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: Much of the ice-fishing success has been coming for anglers at or near the dam where ice thickness has been about a foot thick. At Wiggin’s Trading Post in Chilcoot, one fisherman reported catching his limit of nice-sized rainbows off the rock island near the dam. Nightcrawlers have been the best bait bet. Road around lake impassible to all vehicles other than snowmobiles. Several 4-wheel-drive vehicles have been stuck trying to make the trip.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Doug Busey reported that in over 20 years of fishing, this last weekend was the first time that he has seen a “Road Closed” sign due to snow on the dirt road. The other paved road from the main highway is plowed only to the air strip. The reservoir is frozen with a small area of blue out in the middle.
OROVILLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: Bass fishing has been tough this past week with slowly rising lake levels. The fish will hit jigs and plastic worms at 10-40 feet and can be caught with plastic worms, tube baits and jigs. A few 10- to 12-inch coho were hitting bass baits. Limited angling activity with last week’s stormy weather.
OWENS RIVER, CALIF: Steven Osterman:
Upper Owens: Water flow is 420 CFS. At this flow, you may want to consider the Lower Owens or Hot Creek. Snow shoes, cross-country skis or a snowmobile are required. Prior to the jump up in water flow, fishing was fair with Hares Ears, Pheasant Tails, WD-40’s and most standard Nymph patterns.
Lower Owens: Water flow is currently 92 CFS. Fly fishing is very good. The fish are not too picky about the fly but still demand a good presentation. For Nymphing, try Pheasant Tails, Cased Caddis, green rock worms, WD-40’s, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, Fox’s Caddis Poopa and Brassies. Some surface action with Baetis patterns. Mid day BWO hatch is beginning to intensify. Dry fly fishing should turn on in the next couple of weeks.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Valerie and Linda at Crosby’s Lodge at (775) 476-0400: We have 260 people entered in our two-weekend derby. The weather for the entire weekend was absolutely gorgeous. Fishing overall was pretty good, some fishermen reported good fishing, other reported not so good. As of the end of the first weekend, first place was Lisa Stevens with 12-pounds, 12-ounces, second place was John Steel with 9-pounds, 13.6 ounces and third place was Fred Turner with 9-pounds, 11.2 ounces.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): We did OK in the derby but nothing spectacular. Our biggest was a 7-pounder. We caught and released a lot of “slot” fish over the weekend and another 4-5 in the 24 inch class. We will be back trying again on Saturday and Sunday.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Jim Hartfiel of Just Rite Fishing at Pyramid Lake at (775) 575-7850 (home) or (775) 813-3411 (Cell): A fish caught on the Just Rite Fishing boat is leading the Crosby Derby. Lisa Stevens of Eureka caught a 12-pound, 12-ounce (33 inch) cutthroat on Saturday, about 10 minutes after we began fishing. We were trolling a rainbow-colored lure at a depth of 40 feet in 100 feet of water at Hell’s Kitchen. For the day, we caught and released more than 20 fish. On Sunday, we caught and released 17 trout.
RED LAKE, CALIF: Doug Busey reported that on Saturday, there were about 15-20 ice fishermen and they did fair. The parking lot is plowed but you have to go over some serious snow to get to the lake.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Feb. 5: The waters are muddy but anglers are finding a few brown trout and rainbows to 4 pounds in the McCloud Arm from Holiday Harbor to Hirtz Bay. In the McCloud Arm, trollers are working from the surface down to 36 feet with their trolling set to 1.5 mph. Work a 2-inch Kazi Minnow behind 8-inch Sling Blades. A jig or dart-headed 6-inch worm in crawdad colors, slowly worked off points from the bank out to 30 feet should find a few bass. Spinnerbaits in white or Chartreuse, tossed where the muddy creek flows will be another option.
SMITH RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Services (800) 355-3113: Steelhead fishing has been very slow this past week with catch rates for the most part very low for most anglers from a drift boat. There have been well below average catch rates on the main stem of the Smith for this time of year with some very good anglers and guides reporting how stingy the Smith River has been this past week. Bank anglers however have had some great fishing this past week on both the middle and south forks of the Smith. With very little rain in the forecast some boaters will be seeking better Steelhead fishing on some other North Coast rivers. Adult Steelhead that are being caught on the Smith River this past week have been side drifting roe and a Quickie puffball. Back trolling Hot Shots and Wiggle Warts in various color combos has also been a good technique with the lower clearer water conditions. Steelhead have averaged 8-12 pounds with Steelhead in the high teens and low twenty pound class a real possibility on this river. Daily scores reported on the Smith this week have averaged zero to one or two fish per trip.
LAKE TAHOE – North Shore: Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters and Tahoe Trophy Trout at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (530-544-6552): The fishing has been excellent, the best in a couple of months. Limits for everyone. We have been trolling 60-180 feet deep. We locate the fish on the fish finder and then troll Dodgers and a live minnow in a “Figure Eight” pattern, bouncing the bottom. Also using rainbow-pattern, broken-back lures. I’ve been fishing at Cal-Nevada Point, Dollar Point and Sugar Pine Point. The best limits have run 6-12.5 pounds. Justin Lampreche of Fresno caught a 10.5 pounder and a 12.5 pounder, yesterday (Sunday), on a Dodger and minnow in 120-140 feet of water. On Friday, Dave Nelson, Chuck Beers and Mitch Cardanzanis of Carson-Reno caught 6-12 pound limits.
LAKE TAHOE – South Shore: Gene St. Denis: I top-lined at Ski Run and caught and released a 6-pound brown and a 5-pound rainbow. I was using No. 13 and No. 18 rainbow-pattern Rapala lures together with fish scent.
LAKE TAHOE – East Shore: Gene St. Denis: The Cave Rock Ramp has been plowed but you will need a 4WD vehicle for launching your boat. Shore fishing has been slow, slow, slow. I caught and released an 18-pound Mack on Thursday at Skunk Harbor. It has a big chunk missing out of it’s dorsal fin.
TOPAZ LAKE: Chuck and Linda Fields at the Topaz Lake Marina (775-266-3550): Beautiful weather all weekend. A lot of fishermen but fishing was slow. Nothing caught that was exciting. The water is still coming up, and we can now launch boats up to 14 feet at the Marina.
TOPAZ LAKE: Diane at the Topaz Lake General Store (775-266-3337): Anglers were out in force with this weeks’ beautiful weather conditions. On Sat., it was reported that 13 boats were trolling the water, just waiting to reel in a fish and that they did. Lots of anglers on the shore as well. We had over 25 fish weighed in this week with a tagged $250.00 fish landed by Nadia Darancette of Minden, Nevada weighing in at 3 lbs and 19 inches long. This weeks $50.00 winner goes to: Patty Jones of Placerville, California, weighing 3 lbs. 11 oz. (20.5 inches long). Second place for $25.00 goes to: Jess Merrithew of Wellington, Nevada weighing in at 3 lbs 7 oz. (20 inches).
WALKER LAKE, NEV: A group of six Carson City fishermen fished last Thursday morning in their chest waders at the far south end of the lake. They reported that fishing was slow. Marty Martinez did not catch any fish.
WALKER RIVERS, CALIF: Steve Osterman:
East Walker River (From Bridgeport Dam to the Nevada Stateline): The West Walker River, from the Bridgeport Dam downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions. The water flow is 30 CFS. Fishing is very tough as ice is forming in the channel. Prince Nymphs, WD-40’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Stimulators and E/C Caddis. Some decent reports from anglers fishing on the Nevada side.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Dennis Dunn, Jerry, Fred, Ron and Debbie at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: Weather is beautiful but fishing is only air. Try shrimp for bait. There is a huge hatch of freshwater shrimp and the fish are pigging out on them.