A number of fishing memories (both good and bad)

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To date, calendar year 2002 has provided yours truly with a number of fishing memories (both good and bad) at a variety of locations in Nevada and California.

With the end of the year in sight, I would like to share some of those fishing memories with you:

Caples Lake, Calif.

This large, high-mountain, trout-filled lake is located along California S.R. 88, between Kit Carson Pass and the Kirkwood Ski Area, about 50 miles south of Carson City.

Caples Lake has good populations of a variety of trout species including Eastern brook, Cutthroat, German brown, Mackinaw and rainbow.

However, you could never prove it by me. We visited that lake on five different occasions in 2002, fished from shore, and my results were always the same.

Nada, Nil, Zip, Nothing!

I got "skunked" all five times.

Caples has now become a personal challenge for me and you can bet that there will be return trips in 2003 to see if it is possible to catch a fish there.

I sure hope so!

Lower Kinney Lake, Calif.

It is a hike-in lake, located about a half-mile walk from Kinney Reservoir, which is along side of California S.R. 4 just before the top of Ebbett's Pass.

In June, Elaine and I hiked into this lake on an extremely windy day.

As we approached the lake, I could smell the odor of a campfire.

It seriously concerned me as there was obviously no one else at the lake and I began to search for the source of the smoke smell.

I looked everywhere that might be a source of that smell.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Then, I walked over to one final, small fire ring and hit the jackpot.

There was a fire blazing away and my sense of smell had been correct.

It was an unattended fire, partly covered with dirt, which been left by the five, young backpackers whom we had passed, hiking out from the lake.

They had thrown some dirt on the fire, thinking it would be extinguished if it were covered up.

They were seriously wrong.

The dirt merely banked the campfire and it had continued to smolder, until it got hot enough to burn through and ignite in the brisk wind.

The only thing we had to put out the fire was my small, metal Sierra cup. We took turns making many trips to and from the lake to get cupfuls of water.

While one person slowly poured water on the fire, the other person carefully stirred the coals to soak them, until the fire was finally out.

Pyramid Lake, Nevada

Elaine and I had the pleasure of experiencing one of my best fishing days, ever, at Pyramid Lake, on a beautiful, warm, sunny day in Mid-November.

We were spincasting with lures, while standing knee-deep in the water in our chest waders, north of Spider Point.

In the span of a four-hour period between 10:30 a.m.. and 2:30 p.m., we caught and carefully released a total of 28 Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Those 28 trout measured between 16 and 21.5 inches.

The secret to our success was the Fire Tiger, No. 2 TOR-P-DO lures that we were casting.

And best of all, there was no one else fishing anywhere close to us. Yahoo!

It was a ton of fun and we plan to return in the near future.

You can bet the ranch that we will be using our Fire Tiger lures.

Roosevelt Lake, Calif.

In the Hoover Wilderness Area, about a three-mile hike from the U.S.F.S. Leavitt Meadows Campground, located along California S.R. 108 (The Sonora Pass Highway).

Elaine and I hiked in, early, on the Sunday morning of the opening weekend of the California fishing season.

At the early hour of 7:15 a.m., we reached the lake and gleefully discovered that there were no other fishermen.

In fact, it turned out that we were the only fishermen for the entire day!

We quickly took off our heavy backpacks, rigged up our spincasting poles with lures and began to cast out into the icy, cold water.

In just a few casts, BAM!

Elaine had caught the first fish, a very nice, Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Shortly afterwards, I nailed a nice Eastern brook trout with my lure.

We took a short lunch break at about 9 a.m., began to fish again and then really hit the jackpot.

Between 9:30 a.m. and noon, Elaine and I caught and carefully released a total of 19 cutthroat trout, up to 18 inches in length and another 2 Eastern brook trout (13-14 inches).

Most interesting of all, the shore fishing was so spectacular that I never took the raft out of my backpack.

I carried that darn thing a total of 6 miles (roundtrip) and never used it.

Wildhorse Reservoir, Nevada:

Norm Budden, Marty Martinez, Bob "Slick" McCulloch, all of Carson City, and I were at that northern reservoir, ice fishing on Feb. 21-22.

We fished through about three feet of ice each day and the results were absolutely spectacular.

The first day, we kept a total of 109 perch and 3 rainbow trout while releasing several dozen other fish.

The second day we caught just as many but were much, much wiser and only kept 50 of the largest fish.

The previous day, we had sadly discovered that if you catch all kinds of fish you also have to fillet them.

On both days, the secret of our fishing success was that we rigged up our tiny, ice-fishing poles with either No. 6 or No. 8 hooks.

Then we put a small, white, plastic jig on each hook and covered the hook tip with a small piece of mealworm.

As it turned out, that was a dynamite combination.

Everyone lowered his jig into a hole in the ice, dropped the bait to the bottom and then brought it up, with about 1-2 turns of the reel handle.

Within a few minutes, you would have a fish on your hook!

Winnemucca Lake, Calif.

This is a large, high-mountain, hike-in lake located about two miles from the top of Kit Carson Pass on California S.R. 88.

It has excellent populations of Eastern brook and Kamloop trout.

Winnemucca Lake is my all-time favorite trout fishing lake and I would be terribly remiss if I did not include it in this list.

However, it will stand out in my memory banks for one very particular reason this year.

In 2002, we made five trips in (2 miles) and five trips out (2 miles) for a total of 20 miles of hiking.

On each of those trips, I carried in my backpack, a three-man, inflatable raft, complete with two aluminum oars, plastic oar blades, fishing net, two life preservers and a plastic container filled with worms, in addition to my normal fishing equipment.

On all five occasions, we caught fish but it was so windy at Winnemucca that we did not use the raft.

So, for 2002, I carried all of that stuff for 20 miles for nothing.

Oh well, at least, I got plenty of outdoor exercise in fresh air.

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can not name other Nevada and California waters that I have fished in 2002.

If he says, "They include Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Davis Lake, Frog Lake, Kinney Reservoir, Lily Pad Lake, Red Lake, Silver Lake, Lake Tahoe, Tonkin Reservoir, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, the East Walker River and Walker Lake," he might have been following me around this year.


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