Bridgeport Reservoir is ‘where it’s happening’ in the fishing world |

Bridgeport Reservoir is ‘where it’s happening’ in the fishing world

Don Quilici

For those who like to fish for trout, here’s an informative whisper in your ear: Bridgeport Reservoir is “where it’s happening” in the local fishing world.

So, here is some information to help make your fishing outing that much more enjoyable and memorable at that Eastern Sierra fishery:


Bridgeport Reservoir is just east of the Town of Bridgeport, Calif. That town can be reached by two different ways from Carson City:

1. Drive south on U.S. 395 for about 80-85 miles to Bridgeport. On the south end of town, turn left onto Calif. S.R. 182 and drive several miles to reach the reservoir.

2. Or drive south on U.S. 395 to Holbrook Junction (just this side of Topaz Lake) and then take Nev. S.R. 208 east to Wellington. At Wellington, take Nev. S.R. 338 south to the reservoir, just west of the Nevada/California stateline. This is slightly longer, but you avoid all of the summer traffic on U.S. 395.

Misc. info:

According to Randy Picton of the Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and RV Park, as of last Monday, “I am sorry to report that the reservoir dropped a few inches Friday night, and the fishing got, well, even more better! Keep an eye on this place for some excellent fall fishing. All indications are at this point the reservoir should end up like last year: Plenty of water for the sportfishing and the folks who depend on this drainage for their livelihood too (the ranchers downstream from the reservoir). Thanks for two great winters. As far as the fishing, it couldn’t be better than excellent to very excellent this past week. The moon phase this next week may put a damper on this next week, but by Saturday and Sunday it should pop back up. The rest is up to you!”

Current hot spots:

Buckeye Bay and Rainbow Point (both from a boat). Flasher and worms have been very productive.

Best bet for shore fishing is from the face of the dam with worms or Power Bait.

Fish Types:

Predominately rainbow trout. Other species are brown trout, Kokanee salmon and Sacramento perch.

Bait fishing:

Buckeye Bay has slowed down a little recently, except for the brave with shallow draft boats that can make it into the streamflow. Otherwise try North Buckeye and South Rocky Point. Fish with nightcrawlers, Power Bait, red Salmon eggs or cheese baits, such as Velveeta. Bottom weeds are there, but are not a problem. Vary your leader length or fish from the top down. Also vary your presentation.


Troll from the Marina north to the dam. One or two colors of leadcore line with a small flasher. Very slow troll. Use a black/silver Rapala or red/gold Thomas Buoyant or a Flatfish lure or silver-colored flasher blades with a nightcrawler.


Use inflated nightcrawlers, red Salmon Eggs or Power Bait.

Fly Fishing:

Fly folks are doing exceptional in the channels and into Buckeye. Try the Midge “barb wire” with a strike indicator or Caddis Emergers, Damsel Nymphs or San Juan Worms.

According to Picton, “If those do not work, you better go home, because you don’t belong at the reservoir!”

Big fish:

Biggest rainbow of the season is a 7-pounder. Biggest brown of the season is a 5.4 pounder.

Last week, Trevor Port, age 15, of San Diego, caught a 4-pound, 12-ounce rainbow and a 4-pound rainbow, both on nightcrawlers in Buckeye Bay.

On July 30, Steve Baxter and Joe Hawley of Carson City caught 15 trout and took 10 home. They were trolling with flasher blades and worms.

Marina and RV Park:

The Marina is open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. It sells fishing licenses, tackle and assorted food items.

Rental boats: $40 for a half day or $70 for a full day.

The RV Park has full hookups.

When you catch a big one:

Be sure you take it into the Marina or Ken’s Sporting Goods Store in Bridgeport.

They will get all of the necessary info from you, so it can be included in their weekly fishing report for many publications, such as the Nevada Appeal.


If you wander into the Bridgeport Marina and RV Park (760-932-7001), tell Jeffery Wenger or Chris Brosseau that Don Q said “Howdy,” or if you go into Ken’s Sporting Goods Store (760-932-7707), tell Jim Reid that I said, “Howdy!”

Good luck fishing!

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you about the special fishing restrictions on the East Walker River downstream from the dam to the Nevada Stateline.

If he grins, takes a deep breath and then says, “Minimum size limit is 18 inches. Only artificial flies or lures with barbless hooks may be used. Bag limit is one fish only,” he could be one of the fly fishermen who catch and release fish in that stretch of the river.

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