The next four days will be your last opportunity until late April
By Don Quilici
Monday, Nov. 15 is when California closes many of its Sierra Nevada streams, creeks and rivers for the 2004 fishing season.
Those California waters will not re-open again until the last Saturday in April (April 30, 2005).
So, be advised that the next four days will be your last opportunity to fish those types of moving waters in the Golden State for quite a while.
And as a special reminder, remember that all of the applicable, open waters in Inyo and Mono Counties will also close on Nov. 15.
So, if you’re not into ice fishing during the winter months, you better hustle, you’ve only got four more days.
Dring that time, you can fish at nearby streams, creeks and rivers such as:
Bridgeport area: Bridgeport Reservoir, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Robinson Creek, West Walker River, East Walker River, Kirman Lake, Virginia Lakes and Lundy Lake, to name a few.
Hope Valley area: The West Carson River, Forestdale Creek and Red Creek.
Markleeville area: The East Carson River, Markleeville Creek, Silver Creek and Wolf Creek.
Truckee area: The Truckee River and Little Truckee River.
However, don’t worry, because once all of those moving waters close on Nov. 15, there will still be plenty of opportunities to catch those elusive California trout.
Many of California’s lakes and reservoirs will remain open and they include:
Ebbett’s Pass area: Kinney Reservoir, Upper Kinney Lake and Lower Kinney Lake (If you can get to them due to the snow depths that have closed the highway for the winter!).
Hope Valley area: Upper Blue Lake, Lower Blue Lake, Upper Lost Lake, Lower Lost Lake, Twin Lake, Meadow Lake, Tamarack Lake, Upper Sunset Lake, Lower Sunset Lake, Wet Meadows Lake and Summit Lake (You’ll have to go in on either a snowmobile, snowshoes or cross country skis).
Kit Carson Pass area: Red Lake, Caples Lake, Silver Lake, plus Winnemucca Lake (a hike-in lake).
Portola area: Frenchman’s Reservoir and Davis Lake.
Quincy area: Bucks Lake.
Truckee area: Boca Reservoir and Stampede Reservoir.
Lake Tahoe area: Donner Lake and obviously: Lake Tahoe.
Woodfords-Markleeville Area: Indian Creek Reservoir.
So, there you have it, an interesting mix of good news and bad news.
The good news is that you can continue to fish during the winter months at many of California’s lakes and reservoirs.
The bad news is that once you get to your destination, you will probably have to cut a hole in the ice at most locations, with the exception of Lake Tahoe.
So, if you’re not into fishing through the ice or fishing at Lake Tahoe, you only have a few days left for this season.
If you do go, be sure to dress warm!
You’ll need it.
Here are a few hand-selected locations to try for one last time in 2004, but you better hurry. Don’t delay!
This is one of my all-time favorite trout lakes.
It is reached by driving south from Carson City for about 140 miles (about 2.5 hours) on U.S. 395.
Then, just a couple of miles past the Mammoth Lakes Exit, turn off to the right when you see a signed paved road that leads to Convict Lake. It is located just two miles west of U.S. 395.
If you are an angler, there is excellent rainbow trout fishing found in both Convict Lake and Convict Creek.
The big attraction at both is the frequent stocking of Alpers Trophy Rainbow Trout. These huge rainbows are raised by Tim Alpers at his Alpers Fish Hatchery, near Mammoth Lakes, and they provide anglers with the chance-of-a-lifetime to catch a trophy-sized trout (up to 7-8-9 pounds!) in a natural setting.
For information, call the Convict Lake Resort at (800) 992-2260.
The June Lake Loop:
It is just off U.S. 395, between Bridgeport and Bishop, Calif.
The Loop contains four lakes: Gull, Grant, June and Silver, plus Rush Creek.
Drive south from Carson City on U.S. 395 for about 100 miles and look for the signed, paved highway on your right.
Gull Lake: Rainbow trout.
Grant Lake: Lahontan cutthroat, German brown and rainbow trout.
June Lake: Lahontan cutthroats, browns and rainbows.
Silver Lake: Browns and rainbows.
Rush Creek: Lahontan cutthroats, browns and rainbows.
For information, call the June Lake Chamber of Commerce at (760)648-7584 or Ernie’s Tackle Store at (760)648-7756.
It is located in a spectacular, Swiss Alps-type setting.
Drive south from Carson City to Bridgeport, Calif., for 83 miles on U.S. 395. Then, approximately 20 miles south of Bridgeport, Calif., near the south foot of Conway Summit, look for the signed, paved road on your right.
Take that paved road for another five miles to Lundy Lake.
You’ll catch rainbow trout, German brown trout and Eastern brook trout.
Special Note: This lake is prone to becoming very windy, very quickly.
Upper and Lower Twin Lakes:
These two lakes are located just west of Bridgeport, Calif.
From the Carson City area, drive south for 83 miles to Bridgeport.
At Bridgeport, turn right at the first gas station on your right. Then, take that paved road west for 11 miles to Lower Twin Lake. Upper Twin is just past it.
You’ll catch mostly rainbow trout, up to about 7 pounds, and an occasional nice-sized German brown trout or fairly small Kokanee salmon.
Special Note: The last two California state record German brown trout were caught at Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, with the current record being a monster weighing over 26 pounds from Upper Twin Lake.
For information, call Steve Marti at the Twin Lakes Resort at Lower Twin Lake at 760-932-7751 or Mono Village at Upper Twin Lake at (760) 932-7071).
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the name of the tall peak behind Convict Lake.
If he grins and says, “Heck, that’s easy, it’s Mt. Morrison,” you are in a whole heap of trouble with this bet.