Sept. 23 will be the second Free Fishing Day in California

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Hey gang, Saturday, Sept. 23 is going to be Free Fishing Day in the State of California. Yep! Sept. 23 is the second of two free fishing days in California. The first one was held back in June.

So, if you would like to fish in California and haven't done so, you can do it on Sept. 23. And, you will not need a fishing license.

For those who might be interested in fishing on Sept. 23, here are some "Don Q" suggestions on where you might want to go:

Cluster of lakes:

Upper and Lower Blue Lakes, Twin Lake, Meadow Lake, Tamarack Lake, Upper and Lower Sunset Lakes, Wet Meadow Lake, Summit Lake and Lost Lakes: Are all in an area about 12 miles from S.R. 88 in Hope Valley. Take your pick!

Take the Blue Lakes Road to reach that general area.

All of the lakes are usually good from shore with Power Bait, inflated nightcrawlers or small spinners.

Upper and Lower Blue Lakes are your best bets for trolling with silver flasher blades and either nightcrawlers or small lures (Rapalas).

River fishing:

East Carson River near Markleeville: This river runs along side of S.R. 4 and S.R. 89.

The area from Hangman's Bridge, out of Markleeville, downstream to the Nevada stateline has special rules and restrictions.

West Carson River near Woodfords: It runs the length of scenic Hope Valley and down Woodfords Canyon, along S.R. 88.

These two rivers are planted from bridges, so if you are really sneaky, just fish downstream from a bridge (try red Salmon eggs).


Crater Lake, about 2 miles west of S.R. 88 via an unsigned, dusty, rocky, rough road (You leave the highway between The Blues Lakes Turnoff and Red Lake).

This small lake contains a "Zillion" small Eastern brook trout.

If you drive all the way to the lake, be sure to have a four-wheel drive vehicle or you'll be sorry.

High altitude driving:

Kinney Reservoir (8,000') near the top of Ebbett's Pass on S.R. 4.

Good fishing from shore or from small car-top boats, canoes, inflated rafts or float tubes.

The reservoir is reached by a narrow, winding and steep highway.

High attitude HIKING:

Two walk-in lakes reached by hiking from the top of Kit Carson Pass on S.R. 88.

Frog Lake is small but can be good for shore fishing for rainbows.

Winnemucca Lake is much larger and can be excellent from float tubes or inflated rafts but is normally very poor from shore.

At this lake, you'll catch Eastern brook and Kamloop trout.

Winnemucca Lake is prone to being very windy in the afternoons.

KIT Carson Pass:

Red, Caples and Silver Lakes are all along S.R. 88 in the Kit Carson Pass area.

Your best bet is to troll from small boats with flasher blades and either nightcrawlers or small lures.

Shore fishing can be on the slow side at this time of the year.


Frenchman Reservoir and Davis Lake: Both are north of Reno, near Portola, via S.R. 70.

Good boat fishing for nice-sized rainbows. Don't be surprised if you catch a Northern Pike at Davis Lake. If you do, you are required to kill it and cut off its head.

Short hikes:

Lower Kinney Lake (a short, uphill, one-half mile hike from Kinney Reservoir Dam).

Upper Kinney Lake (a short, steep hike from Lower Kinney).

Good fishing at either lake for nice-sized Lahontan cutthroat trout, especially for fly fishermen with float tubes or spincasters in small, inflatable rafts.


Boca and Stampede Reservoirs: are located off I-80, near Truckee.

Good boat fishing for Kokanee salmon, very early in the morning. You'll have to get up at "Oh Dark Thirty," and be fishing before the sun peeks over the horizon.


Heenan Lake on S.R. 89 (The Monitor Pass Highway between Markleeville and Topaz Lake).

A zero limit lake (Catch and Release only) with very large Lahontan Cutthroat trout, and with very special rules and restrictions.

A popular destination for fly fishermen in float tubes.

Special Note:

Sept. 23 is NOT a free fishing day in Nevada. The one and only Free Fishing Day in Nevada for 2006 was held way back in June.


There you have it: All kinds of different suggestions for California's second Free Fishing Day of 2006. Pick one (or more!) and go out and have fun enjoying one of America's favorite outdoor sports.

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't name Don Q's all-time, favorite fishing in all of California.

If he grins and says, "It's trolling at Winnemucca Lake in an inflatable raft," he wins this bet.

-- Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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