This coming Saturday, April 28, is the start of fun time

Wanna guess what is going to happen Saturday morning (April 28)?

Wanna guess what many tens of thousands of people have spent months waiting for?

Wanna guess what Don Q has also been waiting for?

Here's a big hint: It involves trout fishing. Yep! You guessed it: Saturday is the Opening Day of the California fishing season.

It's finally here! It's fun time again! And, best of all, the forecast is for beautiful weather. Yahoo!

That 2007 fishing season will remain open until Nov. 15, and if you would like to fish on the Opening Weekend, here's some useful information:


The West Carson River, East Carson River, West Walker River, East Walker River, Little Walker River, Truckee River, Buckeye Creek, Green Creek, Mammoth Creek, Red Creek, Robinson Creek and Rush Creek will open, to name just a few of the California moving waters.

However, you will normally find high, cold, fast and murky waters in most of those creeks and rivers at this time of the year.

Your best bet will probably be the East Walker River, downstream from Bridgeport Reservoir to the California/Nevada stateline, because of the controlled waterflow from that reservoir.

Be advised that area has very special fishing restrictions: Minimum size 18 inches, artificial flies and lures with barbless hooks.

That section is noted for producing large, trophy-sized rainbow and German brown trout.

However, on Opening Weekend, you can expect to encounter many fly fishermen in chest waders in the river.


Bridgeport Reservoir, Convict Lake, Crowley Lake, the June Lake Loop (Grant, Gull, June and Silver Lakes) and Upper and Lower Twin Lakes are just a few that will be opening on Saturday.

All of these waters have been ice-free for many weeks.

Your best bet for a trophy fish will be to troll from a boat at either Upper or Lower Twin Lakes, located about 15 miles west of Bridgeport. They are both noted for large rainbows and huge German browns, including the current California state record brown that weighed more than 25 pounds!

Another great location for the Opening Weekend for a big rainbow or brown in that same general area is Bridgeport Reservoir.


With a forecast for great weather, you can expect to encounter huge crowds of anglers, all along the entire length of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

They will be most heavily concentrated at popular destinations such as Crowley Lake, Convict Lake, the June Lake Loop, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Bridgeport Reservoir, the West Walker River and the East Walker River.

Many of those waters will have been planted by California Fish and Game (DF&G) and Alper's Trout Hatchery with thousands of rainbow trout, ranging from the typical DF&G planter size to the huge 4-8 pound Alper's Trophy Rainbow Trout.

As one example, the East and West Carson Rivers and Markleeville and Hot Springs Creek will be planted with 2,000 pounds of rainbows on Friday.

If you're seeking solitude this weekend, you might want to fish in Nevada. If you go to California, don't say you weren't warned about the hordes of fishermen.


The opening of the California trout fishing season also means that once the winter snowpack recedes and the surface ice melts, hikers can fish at countless walk-in, back-country lakes.

However, at this time of the year, you can expect to still encounter snow drifts and ice-covered lakes just about anywhere above an elevation of about 8,000 feet.

If you go to those higher attitudes this weekend, be prepared with cross country skis, snowshoes or a snowmobile (where legal) because you're going to need them. And, don't forget to take an ice auger. You're going to definitely need that item for sure, plus your ear muffs.


If you plan to fish on the Opening Day or for the entire Opening Weekend, good luck to you.

Remember to wear your California fishing license where it is visible above the waist or the game warden is not going to be a happy camper! And, you won't be either, after paying your fine.

Most importantly don't forget to take photos of your trophy catches for the Outdoors page of the Nevada Appeal.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can't tell you where I will be on the opening weekend.

If he grins and says, "Don Q and his fishing partner Don Hettrick will be fishing in Don H.'s boat at their secret fishing spot," he could be one of our friends.

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


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