Q-Tip: Kokanee at Stampede

Here is some basic information that you need to know if you have an interest in fishing for and trying to catch a type of game fish known as the Kokanee Salmon.

LOCATION: Stampede Reservoir, Calif.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take U.S. 395 north to Reno. In Reno, take I-80 west toward Truckee, Calif. A few miles east of Truckee, take the Boca Reservoir/Stampede Reservoir Exit. The first body of water that you reach is Boca Reservoir. Continue past Boca. Stampede Reservoir is located seven miles north of Boca Reservoir. This will be about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Carson City.

WHERE TO FISH: In front of the boat launch facility, in front of the "big island," in the mouth of the Little Truckee River or in front of the dam. The location will be dependent on the time of the day and time of the year. Just watch for the heaviest concentration of boats.

HOW TO FISH: Troll slowly with downriggers at a depth of anywhere from 25 to 60 feet. Use a small gold-colored Sepps flasher blade, together with a "Murph's Kokanee Bug," about 10-12 inches behind the flasher. Most importantly, be sure to tip your hook with one kernel of white corn. The corn is the secret to success.

WHAT YOU'LL CATCH: Mostly small-sized Kokanee salmon, up to a maximum size of about 18 inches, or an occasional rainbow trout. You might even catch a German brown or the elusive Mackinaw (trout trout).

The Kokanee is the landlocked version of the sockeye salmon.

SPECIAL REGULATIONS: You must wear your California fishing license where it is readily visible above the waist.

SPECIAL REGULATIONS: The limit is five fish per fisherman, regardless of species.

SPECIAL NOTE: Kokanee salmon are very sensitive to sunlight. As the sun comes up, they retreat to deeper, darker water. So as the sun comes up, you will need to fish deeper and deeper.

SPECIAL NOTE: The wind normally begins to blow very hard from the west at Stampede at about 10:30 a.m. This coincides with the movement of the salmon to the deeper, darker water.

SPECIAL NOTE: Be sure to use downriggers rather than trolling with long lines or lead core line behind your boat. Wherever the Kokanee salmon are located, there will be a large concentration of many boats all moving about in a very small area. You would be very unpopular if you were to troll through that mass of boats with long lines out behind you. It could get ugly.

FOR INFORMATION: Call "Father" Dick Murphy of "Fishing With Father Murphy" at (888) 852-2680.


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