Be prepared when heading out to fish | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Be prepared when heading out to fish

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune

Hello fellow anglers, the weather may be questionable but many anglers are getting out and doing well. You just need to dress a little warmer for the occasion.

Last week I fished with Tom Blotter from Minden. We set out to fish Topaz Lake about 7 a.m. on Saturday Jan. 21. As we turned off of Highway 395 onto Topaz Park Road, the road was a little icy and we had to use a little extra caution in our driving. Before we knew it, we realized the truck was no longer turning left and we came within 6 inches of going off of the edge right into a 20-foot drop.

Luckily with skillful maneuvering Tom was able to straighten up the vehicle and we continued down the road. Icy roads can be dangerous, even at a low speed and with four-wheel drive. I am hoping the Nevada Department of Transportation will read this and consider a guard rail at that intersection.

We launched the boat at the county ramp, and I must complement Douglas County Parks Department on a great job of keeping the ramp area clear for fellow anglers to use safely. The lake had a thick pea-soup-like fog hovering over it until about 1 p.m. We did not have a GPS so we trolled by site and remembrance of the lakes contour. Visibility was about 100 feet.

By 4 p.m. we had caught and released a total of 21 nice rainbows, a few in the 2-3 pound class. We trolled J5 and J7 Rapalas in a hot steel and fire tiger pattern. Tom and I caught as many on the top line as we did on the deep lines — Topaz Lake has been dropping well for anglers with a little patience.

On Tuesday we ventured back up and the day started off slow with many small 10- to 12-inch rainbows. I did catch one small brown and quickly released it. It was not until 2 p.m. that we got a great bite on our top lines, again with Raplas. As quick as it came up the bite was over. We noticed that there was a small hatch coming off the lake — they were a small and black gnat-like fly. Lastly, a reminder that wherever you venture to, dress warm and be prepared for anything and everything, including the road conditions. Now for the local fishing reports:

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CAPLES LAKE: The lake has plenty of ice on it. The only problem is getting to it, as the lake has 4 to 6 feet of snow on top of that ice. I have not received any fishing reports these last few weeks due to the many storms that have rolled in.

RED LAKE: I received a report from Josh Otto a couple weeks ago. The lake had 4 feet of snow on top of 5 feet of ice. This was before our latest weather events. Josh was jigging a ¾ silver Kastmaster and caught a 15-inch cutthroat trout. He told me the fishing was slower than the last couple of years.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The gate on the paved road has been closed for a few weeks. It may open up when the weather changes and clears up a little. I talked with a couple anglers who reported a couple inches of ice on the lake last week. The dirt road from Diamond Valley Road was open but was a little nasty to get in. I would recommend to stay away from the lake for a couple more weeks just for safety reasons. The lake was planted back in November by Alpine County and there will be plenty of fish that will be very hungry as soon as the road is safe to venture in on.

TOPAZ LAKE DERBY: Last week's first place went to Gary Dykes from Topaz Lake. Gary weighed in a 4.5 pound rainbow at 21.5 inches long. Second place went to John Watts from Sacramento with a 4.3 pound rainbow. There were 108 fish weighed in over the 2-pound mark, and only one tagged fish has come in this year. There are plenty more tagged fish to be caught and remember they are worth $100 cash money if you bring them to the Topaz General store to be verified. Call the Topaz Lodge at 775-266-3888 for more information on the derby.

TOPAZ LAKE FISHING REPORT: Trolling has been productive for those with a little patience. Needle fish or Rapalas have been most productive. The lake level has come up to almost full capacity. The water clarity is rated at stained with a about 5 feet of visibility. There is still some debris on the lake so be careful while boating. The shore anglers have also been productive using Gulp power dough or various colors of Powerbait. Inflated night crawlers also have been working well. If you have not fished the lake since the many storms, keep an eye on your depth finder. You have to adapt to the many shelves the lake now has to offer. With this high water, the bass fishing will be great in the early spring months. The Douglas County ramp is open, or if you want to rent a boat the Topaz Landing Marina is open. They can be reached at 775-266-3550.

MASON VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA: The Nevada Department of Wildlife has been planting trout in Hinkson Slough and North Pond. The area will be open on the second Saturday in February. There are some special regulations for the area. I would recommend going on the NDOW website to learn the size, bag limits and gear restrictions. Also included in this area is the Fort Church Hill cooling ponds.

I hope your next fishing adventure is a great one. If you have any questions or reports in our local area, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Have a photo of your catch? Send it to dprice@recordcourier.com. See you on the waters; good fishin' and tight lines.

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