Last week's "Q-Tip" advised everyone, who is a fisherman, that the brand new Nevada sport fishing license year begins on March 1.
So, heeding my advice, I went to one of our local license outlets and bought my 2003-2004 Nevada combination hunting and fishing license, complete with a Nevada Trout Stamp and a Second Rod Stamp.
However, as I was purchasing that license, it also generated the thought that many people may not be aware of the large number and diversity of fishable waters that are located in this general area of Western Nevada.
So, if you are relatively new to this area and are interested in fishing, here is a partial list of some nearby fishable waters and the game fish they contain:
American Flat Creek (near Virginia City): Rainbow trout are planted periodically in this small stream.
Ash Canyon Creek (west of Carson City): Eastern brook and rainbow trout. Steep terrain, lots of willows and brush and an occasional rattlesnake. Is planted once a year in mid-June.
Carson River (Main River) (east of Carson City): German brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bullhead catfish and green sunfish. Is planted on a regular basis with trout.
Carson River (East Fork) (in Douglas County): German brown trout, rainbow trout and whitefish. Is planted on a regular basis with trout.
Carson River (West Fork) (in Douglas County): German brown trout, rainbow trout, whitefish, largemouth bass and bullhead catfish. Limited access due to private property.
Clear Creek (on the Carson City-Douglas County line): Eastern brook and rainbow trout. Limited access due to private property.
Davis Creek Pond (at Davis Creek Park in Washoe Valley): Rainbow trout. A great spot to take youngsters, right after it receives one of its periodical plants.
Desert Creek (in the backcountry, between Wellington, Nev. and Bridgeport, Calif.): German brown trout, rainbow trout, Eastern brook trout and whitefish. Advise using pickups or four-wheel drive vehicles, great stream fishing, lots of brush, and an occasional black bear, if you camp overnight.
Hobart Reservoir (between Carson City and Lake Tahoe): Rainbow trout, Eastern brook trout and bowcutt trout. Is reached by a combination of a rough, four-wheel drive road and a one mile hike. Is best from a float tube or raft, very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon. The season runs May 1 through Sept. 30.
Lahontan Reservoir (in Churchill County): Bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, walleye, white catfish, white crappie, wiper bass, channel catfish, spotted bass and white bass. Crowded on summer weekends/holidays with campers, fishermen, jet skiers, water skiers, etc.
Pyramid Lake (about 30 miles north of Sparks): Lahontan cutthroat and Sacramento perch. Equally good from shore, float tube or a boat. Is located on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Has special regulations and requires a tribal fishing, boating and camping permit. The trout season runs Oct. 1 through June 30, each year.
Sparks Marina (in Sparks): German brown trout, rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and green sunfish. Easy access and very popular location. Is planted on a regular basis with trout.
Spooner Lake: (just north of Spooner Summit at Lake Tahoe): German brown trout and rainbow trout. Catch and release fishing only with artificial flies or lures with single barbless hooks.
Lake Tahoe (west of Carson City): German brown trout, rainbow trout, Mackinaw trout, Kokanee salmon, largemouth bass, bullhead catfish and whitefish. Excellent fishing for boaters with the means to fish deep with special equipment and electronic fish locators.
Topaz Lake (on the Nevada-California stateline): German brown trout, rainbow trout, tiger trout, bowcutt trout, largemouth bass, bullhead catfish and whitefish. If you catch a tagged trout, it could be worth as much as $1,000 when you report it at the Topaz Lodge. A current Nevada or California fishing license is valid anywhere at Topaz Lake. The season runs Jan. 1 through Sept. 30.
Topaz Canal (between Topaz Lake and the West Walker River): German brown trout, rainbow trout and whitefish. Open year round. Requires a Nevada fishing license. Has steep side with limited access to the water. Best locations are in the mouth of the tunnel from the lake and where the canal joins the West Walker River.
Truckee River (along I-80 in Washoe and Storey Counties): German brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, channel catfish, bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, green sunfish and whitefish. Some of the best fishing is on the stretch of the river that runs through downtown Reno.
Walker Lake (15 miles north of Hawthorne): Lahontan cutthroat trout. About a 100 mile drive from Carson City. Shore fishing and trolling from a boat are equally successful. The weather gets very hot during the summer months.
Walker River (West Fork) (in Douglas and Lyon Counties): German brown trout, rainbow trout, whitefish, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Limited access due to private property.
Walker River (East Fork) (in Lyon County): German brown trout, rainbow trout, Eastern brook trout, whitefish and largemouth bass. Some of the best fishing is in "The Elbow" area, reached by a dirt road from the paved highway between Wellington and Bridgeport. Keep an eye out for deer, coyote, antelope and an occasional bighorn sheep.
Washoe Lake (between Carson City and Reno): White bass, wiper bass, channel catfish and bullhead catfish. Usually very windy in the afternoons. Best for fishing on the bottom with something that smells, such as shrimp or chicken livers (Yuk!).
Wilson Common Pond (in Washoe Valley, near Bowers Mansion): Rainbow trout and white crappie. Another great location to take the youngsters after it receives one of its periodical plants.
Finally, if you're a fisherman who has been in this area for some time, you'll notice that this partial list of nearby fishable waters does not include a whole bunch of other waters such as: Paradise Ponds on the north edge of Reno-Sparks, Virginia Lake in Reno, Rye Patch Reservoir which is east of Lovelock, the Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds near Wabuska, North Pond and Hinkson Slough in the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Weber Reservoir near Schurz, etc., etc. I just don't have the room to do so.
So, purchase your new fishing license, pick one or more of these fishable waters, go there and have a ball enjoying one of America's favorite outdoor sports: Fishing.
-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you about one of the most unusual fish that I have ever caught in Nevada.
If he is a longtime fishing partner of mine, he will reply, "It was the 24-inch Lahontan cutthroat trout caught and released at Pyramid Lake. That 24-incher had a 12-inch Tui Chub sticking out of its gullet that it could not swallow."