Still lots of fun things to do at this time of the year
November 13, 2002
And because it is mid-November and if by chance, you are a hunter, fisherman, backpacker, camper, four-wheeler, ATVer, hiker or whatever, there is an associated problem.
It is the drastically reduced choices in what to do in the Great Outdoors at this time of the year. Here’s why:
If you were not lucky enough to draw a big game hunting tag, you are pretty much limited to hunting at a game preserve or if you know where, you can hunt critters such as lop-eared jackrabbits, wily coyotes or the elusive chukar (which is way too smart for me to hunt).
Many of our nearby waters are currently closed or they will be closing in the next several days.
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They include waters such as Hobart Reservoir between Carson City and Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake on the Nevada/California stateline, the East and West Carson Rivers in California, the East and West Walker Rivers in California, Heenan Lake on the Monitor Pass Highway, and all of the waters in the Bridgeport, Calif. area (Bridgeport Reservoir, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Robinson Creek, Green Creek, Virginia Lakes, just to name a few).
Unless you are a highly experienced, four-season backpacker, you absolutely don’t belong in the outdoors at this time of the year. Your backpacking should be restricted to the lower level elevations due to the deep snow pack at the higher elevations or you should wait until next year in the late Spring.
The vast majority of both public and private campgrounds in this area are closed until next Spring.
Is restricted to the lower level elevations due to the deep snow pack at the higher elevations.
Is restricted to certain, authorized off-road areas and to the lower level elevations due to the deep snow pack at the higher elevations.
Should also be restricted to the lower level elevations due to the deep snow pack at the higher elevations.
So: With all of that negative news out of the way, what is a typical outdoors person to do in Mid-November?
Well, first of all, don’t panic!
You still have a number of interesting and fun-filled choices that you can pick and choose from, even at this time of the year.
Here are some special, Don Q, hand-picked selections:
Lake Tahoe is best from shore at a place like Cave Rock Landing or from a boat for Mackinaw (lake), rainbow or German brown trout.
Pyramid Lake from shore, a float tube, step ladder (that’s correct, a step ladder!) or a boat for Lahontan cutthroat trout.
East Walker River in Douglas County for rainbow or German brown trout.
Topaz Canal in Nevada for rainbow or German brown trout (mostly planters).
Carson River, east of Carson City, for trout, bass and carp from shore.
Frenchman Reservoir in California from shore, a float tube or a boat for rainbow or German brown trout, until the reservoir freezes over. Then you can switch over to ice fishing.
Stampede Reservoir in California from shore, a float tube or a boat for Mackinaw, rainbow or German brown trout or an occasional Kokanee salmon, until the reservoir freezes over. Then switch to ice fishing.
Boca Reservoir in California from shore, a float tube or a boat for rainbow or German brown trout or an occasional Kokanee salmon, until the reservoir freezes over. Then you can switch to ice fishing.
Donner Lake in California from shore, a float tube or a boat for Mackinaw, rainbow or German brown trout or an occasional Kokanee salmon, until the reservoir freezes over. Then you can ice fish.
Sacramento River in California from shore or a boat for King salmon and rainbow trout. I would not recommend using a float tube due to the size and fast flow of that river.
Davis Lake in California from shore, a float tube or a boat for rainbow and German brown trout or even an occasional Northern Pike, which was illegally introduced into that body of water a number of years ago. Also, ice fish at a later date.
Viewing and photographing some of the local wildlife:
U.S. 395, Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88 in Carson Valley for Hawks, perched on power poles, trees, fence posts or hawk roosts.
Foothill Road in Carson Valley (between the Nevada/California stateline and Jack’s Valley) for mule deer in the late afternoons.
Grizzly Road near Portola, Calif. (on the way to Davis Lake) for mule deer in the late afternoons. Note: Be sure to watch for that huge buck with the awesome antlers that is always near the Sleepy Hollow RV park.
U.S. 395 in Washoe Valley for hawks and an occasional coyote.
The dirt road leading to “The Elbow” of the East Walker River in Douglas County for mule deer, coyotes, an occasional Pronghorn Antelope and if you are lucky, a California Bighorn Sheep.
U.S. 95, along Walker Lake, just north of Hawthorne. If super lucky, you might even spot a Desert Bighorn Sheep.
If the weather and road conditions permit, I would recommend a day trip from Carson City to Hope Valley (via U.S. 395, Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88), then to South Lake Tahoe (via California S.R. 89 over Luther Pass and U.S. 50), then to Incline Village (via U.S. 50 and Nevada S.R. 28), then to the top of Mount Rose Summit (via Nevada S.R. 436) and finally back to Carson City (via S.R. 436 and U.S. 395).
This loop has some awesome scenery and great photo opportunities, but don’t attempt it during one of our winter storms.
Heck this last one is easy.
My recommendation for camping at this time of the year is to spend a weekend in a cozy room at one of the high rise hotels at South Lake Tahoe.
This type of “camping” is a lot nicer, a lot more comfortable and a whole lot warmer than sleeping on the ground in Mid-November!
Heck, who knows, you might even get lucky on the slots or at the tables and win enough money to cover the weekend’s expenses!
How can you beat that!
If none of this suits your fancy, then you can always stay home and watch outdoor programs on TV.
— Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the most unusual place where I have seen pronghorn antelope in this area.
If he grins and says, “It was years ago and it was along the highway between Silver Springs and Fernley,” he is a longtime friend of mine.
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