17-pound Mackinaw trout at North Lake Tahoe, Calif.
By Don Quilici
Special Note No. 1: On Nov. 15, California closes most of its Sierra streams, creeks and rivers to 2005 fishing. Those waters will not re-open until the last Saturday in April. All of the applicable, open waters in Inyo and Mono Counties will also close for 2005 on Nov. 15.
Special Note No. 2: The Trophy Section of the East Carson River, Calif., from Hangman’s Bridge downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions.
Special Note No. 3: The West Walker River, Calif., from the Bridgeport Dam downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions.
LAKE ALMANOR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Nov. 13: Use mealworms, crickets (when you find them) and other baits for numbers in deep crevasses and underwater streambeds for a mix of fish. Troll Rainbow Runners in orange or red on the west shore, though fish are being taken everywhere. This is high season for trout now, many of which are trophies by anyone’s standards.
BLUE LAKES AREA, CALIF: Dave Kirby of the Woodfords Station (530-694-2930): It was a nippy 24 degrees this morning (Monday). I was misinformed last week that the Blue Lakes Road was closed. It is currently open.
CARSON RIVERS, CALIF: East Carson River Trophy Section: Dave Kirby reported that a fly fisherman caught and released 4 rainbows and 2 browns on black and olive Woolly Bugger flies in the deeper holes where the River and Markleeville Creek come together.
CROWLEY LAKE AREA, CALIF: Steve Osterman of Performance Anglers of Mammoth Lakes (760) 924-2181:
Hot Creek: Water flow is 5 CFS. Fishing here is good. Small black Caddis and Midges on the surface. Brassies, WD-40’s and Pheasant Tails under the surface.
DAVIS LAKE, CALIF: The lake, its shorelines, all its tributaries, all land upslope of these water bodies to the ridge tops of the Freeman Creek watershed, and all campgrounds, boat launches, and day use sites in the Davis Lake Recreation Area are now closed for the eradication of Northern Pike. This closure will remain in effect until the tributaries and Davis Lake are found to be free of rotenone constituents.
EAGLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Nov. 13: Trout are spread basically from one end to the other in all three basins. Watermelon, orange or brown colored 2 or 3-inch grubs have been very effective. Bobber action has picked up with the increased shoreline activity. Float a worm under a bobber and you’re set.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin’s Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): Bank fishing has been challenging lately. Most anglers report catching one or two, but not many limits have been reported. Trollers have been doing very well with small Needlefish or Dick Nite lures. Troll from Spring Creek up to the north end. Trout are nice sized, 14-16 inches.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported fishing was quite good last week with some limits being reported. The water is low and nightcrawlers seem to be the hot bait. Nothing big, but lots of rainbows (3/4 to 1.5 pounds).
Summit Lake (above Indian Creek Reservoir): No report.
OWENS RIVER, CALIF: Steven Osterman:
Upper Owens: Water flow 85 CFS. Fly fishing is great. Most standard Nymph patterns are working well. Some dry fly action with small Adams or BWO’s. The crowds on the river continue to be huge and fishing space is limited.
Lower Owens: Water flow is currently 108 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. On the surface, try Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams and E/C Caddis.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Valerie, Linda and Patsy at Crosby’s Lodge at (775) 476-0400: Kevin Arnold of Fallon caught a 16-pound, 7-ounce (33 inches) Cutt on the northwest side of the lake for the biggest fish of the week. On the 13th, Jeff Morris of Reno caught a 10-pound, 4-ounce (29 inches) Cutt, while trolling a Flatfish lure at Popcorn. Block House and Popcorn have been the best places to catch bigger fish. Be advised that some of the new regulations have changed already.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: George and Carla Molino of the Pyramid Lake Store at (775) 476-0555: I took two guys from Las Vegas fishing yesterday (Sunday). They caught and released a 7-pounder, while trolling along the west shore. One of them was fishing with one of his special lures. It is jointed with several joints and it costs $23. I bought one from him, but you can bet that I am going to use that $23 lure only in sandy areas to avoid losing it to a snag.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Tim Wilson of the Pyramid Lake Marina and RV Park at (775) 476-1156: There is some pretty serious wind today (Monday). Fishing is about the same as last week: It has been picking up, but it is still not as good as it was last year, at this time. The boaters are using Apex and Flatfish lures, with Apex seeming to be the best. The fly fishermen are mostly using Woolly Bugger flies. There are a few 8-9 pounders, but most fish are 4-7 pounds. The catching is a little bit more difficult, because of using barbless hooks.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): Saturday, we caught and released 18 fish at hell’s Kitchen. We were trolling 12 feet deep in 30-40 feet of water, along the shore.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Jim Hartfiel of Just Rite Fishing at Pyramid Lake at (775) 575-7850 (home) or (775) 813-3411 (Cell): Saturday, it was beautiful fishing. We caught and released 20+ fish on the west side. We were trolling in and out from 20 to 100 feet of water at a depth of 12 feet with Apex and Flatfish lures and spoons.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs (Professional Guide Service) (800-355-3113):
Salmon: Some late Fall salmon are beginning to trickle into the Sacramento River system with reports of salmon being caught from Balls Ferry downstream towards Chico. Angler’s should see more salmon arrive in the coming weeks. A few late Fall salmon have been landed in the 30-40 pound class this past week with reports of salmon rolling around from Anderson to Chico. Best bet has been back bouncing sardine wrapped K-15 & K-16 Kwikfish lures in various color combos. Salmon season will continue through mid January.
Trout: Fishing from Redding downstream towards Red Bluff has been excellent this week for wild rainbow trout, 1-2 pounds with larger wild rainbows to 3 pounds occasionally boated. Multiple hook-ups are common with 25-45 rainbows boated per outing being the average for anglers at the right places at the right time. Best bets have been side drifted small hand tied Glo Bugs in various egg color patterns. Some hatchery and wild Steelhead have been caught in the Lower Sacramento River with most Steelhead averaging 2-4 pounds with larger Steelhead 5 pounds or better. Redding to Anderson has been good for trout, and Anderson downstream has been better for trout and Steelhead, with very clear water conditions being experienced up in the Redding area with slightly more colored up water the further angler’s move downstream.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Nov. 13: Both salmon and trout were taken this week in the top 20 feet as they begin to school up. Work the shoreline’s top 15 feet with Hum Dingers or Cripplures in gold/red or nickel silver for trout. Salmon were taken from 110 to 150 feet deep on 6-inch Sling Blades, trailing a dark blue or pink Paddle-Tail, fished just off the bottom, over the points. The bass bite held on “confidence baits” around trees, such as Hula grubs and dart-headed worms worked out to 45 feet and spinnerbaits or topwater tackle closer in. The reaction bite is also returning. Plenty of bass are being taken including a few larger ones.
LAKE TAHOE – North Shore: Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters and Tahoe Trophy Trout at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (530-544-6552): The wind is ludicrous today (Monday). Fishing has been very good to excellent. Everyone is catching limits. We have been trolling 80-200 feet deep. We locate the fish on the fish finder and then troll in a “Figure Eight” pattern, bouncing the bottom. I’ve been fishing at Cal-Neva, Dollar Point and Sugar Pine Points. Our largest fish last week was a 17-pounder (37 inches) caught by Vince Jacobs of Fremont. Most fish are running 2-8 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – South Shore: Gene St. Denis: Not much fishing. When I fish there, I’ve been fishing 50-200 feet deep at Ski Run Shelf and Camp Richardson. Trolling with silver Herring Dodger flasher blades and minnows. Bouncing off the bottom in a serpentine pattern. Macks are small, 2-7 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – East Shore: Gene St. Denis: Trolling shallow for Mackinaw with flashers and worms or minnows at Logan Shoals and the Cave Rock Shelf. Some fishermen are catching small rainbows from the Cave Rock Landing.
WALKER RIVERS, CALIF: Steve Osterman: East Walker River (From Bridgeport Dam to the Nevada Stateline): The water flow is down to 21 CFS. Fishing is tough. Prince Nymphs, WD-40’s, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Stimulators and E/C Caddis.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Dennis Dunn, Mark, Rocket and Scott at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: Fishermen have been catching some nice rainbows (15-19 inches) and perch with worms from shore and boats. They are also catching quite a few trout on the river, below the dam.