With the seemingly never-ending, upward-spiraling, increasing cost of gasoline and diesel, I have noticed an interesting change in people's travel patterns, most particularly in the world of recreational travel.
Many people (including me) who once thought nothing of driving to faraway places like Wildhorse Reservoir in Northeastern Nevada (750 miles round-trip) or Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada (800 miles round-trip) or Lake Mead in Southern Nevada (1,000 miles round-trip) are now staying close to home and have reduced their recreational travel patterns to a bare minimum.
Heck, I know of one instance where a local couple camped in their yard rather than spend the gasoline money to travel somewhere else to camp for the recent Memorial Day weekend.
And, if you are the owner of a gas hog vehicle or a fifth-wheeler or a motor home that only gets 6-10 miles to the gallon, you have certainly noticed the increased impact on your wallet.
One local couple just returned from a long trip to Idaho in their brand-new motor home, which averaged about 6 miles to the gallon for their diesel engine ($5 a gallon for the diesel fuel).
If you do the math for that trip, they traveled about 1,200 miles round trip at 6 miles to the gallon, which works out to 200 gallons at $5 a gallon for a total of $1,000 for fuel. OUCH!
As another real-life example of how the increasing cost of fossil fuel is affecting travel, our group of four purchased airline tickets way back in December to fly to Sitka, Alaska, later this month.
Those round-trip tickets cost each of us $580. If you were to buy those same tickets for that same time period for those same flights today, they would be $900 each. That is insane!
So, if you are an angler interested in pursuing your sport but are hesitant to travel long distances due to the ever-increasing, high cost of fuel, here are some Don Q suggestions for fishing locations fairly close to Carson City (all within about 50 miles one way).
Pick one or more of these destinations and continue to enjoy one of America's favorite outdoor sports (fishing) while praying for the cost of fuel to drop.
Carson River (just several miles east of Carson City).
Cave Rock Landing at Lake Tahoe (20 miles west via U.S. 50 and you'll pay a parking fee).
Davis Creek Pond (just north of Bowers Mansion in Washoe Valley).
East Carson River (just east of Gardnerville via U.S. 395 ).
Hobart Reservoir (between Carson City and Lake Tahoe via a dirt road and a one-mile hike downhill to the reservoir and then a one-mile hike uphill on the return.
Lahontan Reservoir (50 miles east via U.S. 50).
Martin Slough (in Gardnerville) (a very short distance from Sharkey's Casino).
Paradise Pond (in North Reno).
Sparks Marina (in Sparks)
Spooner Lake (at the top of Spooner Summit on U.S. 50).
Topaz Lake (35-40 miles south via U.S. 395).
Topaz Canal (at Topaz Lake).
Truckee River in downtown Reno (30 miles).
Virginia Lake (in Reno).
Wilson Common Pond (two miles south of Bowers Mansion in Washoe Valley, via old U.S. 395 and William Brent Road).
Burnside Lake (via a dirt road, east of Hope Valley).
Caples Lake (near the Kirkwood Ski area via S.R. 88).
Crater Lake (via a dirt road, west of Hope Valley).
East Carson River (near Markleeville).
Frog Lake (on the hiking trail to Winnemucca Lake).
Indian Creek Reservoir (between Woodfords and Markleeville).
Kinney Reservoir (near the top of Ebbett's Pass on S.R. 4).
Lower Kinney Lake (a short half-mile hike from Kinney Reservoir).
Red Lake (at the foot of Kit Carson Pass).
Scott's Lake (via a dirt road, west of Hope Valley).
Silver Creek (along S.R. 4).
Summit Lake (a one-half hike from Indian Creek Reservoir).
Upper Kinney Lake (a short climb from Lower Kinney Lake).
West Carson River (near Woodfords - along S.R. 88).
West Walker River (near the town of Walker - along U.S. 395).
Winnemucca Lake (a 2-mile hike from Kit Carson Pass).
There you have it: A number of suggestions for short trips to continue to enjoy fishing, even while gasoline and diesel prices continue to sky rocket upwards.
Just remember that if your vehicle is like mine and averages 20 miles to the gallon, if you travel 100 miles round-trip, that's 5 gallons of gas at $4 for unleaded gasoline which will cost $20 for that particular trip. Or, if I travel 200 miles round-trip, it will cost $40. If I travel 300 miles round-trip it will cost $60. If I travel 400 miles, round-trip, it will cost $80. That is getting ridiculous!
Have fun this summer by staying close to home.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you where I will be fishing this summer.
If he grins, takes a deep breath and says, "Don is looking forward to fishing for White Bass at Lahontan Reservoir in Nevada, and for brookies at Red Lake, rainbows at Caples Lake, rainbows at Kinney Reservoir and cutthroat at Lower Kinney Lake in California," he could be one of my regular fishing partners.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal