Mac the Naw: Friendly spirit watching over Topaz Lake |

Mac the Naw: Friendly spirit watching over Topaz Lake

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune

Hello fellow anglers, I was all excited to tell of our fishing trip last week, but something else came up. As we drove south on Highway 395 from Walker, Calif., the wind was howling and the trees were blowing. When we got to Topaz Lake, I sensed that something was not right.

The lake was calm with a little ripple on it. When we got home, my worst fear was a reality. For many years I have been reporting the fishing conditions at Topaz Lake with the help of Chuck and Linda Fields. They are the owners of Topaz Landing Marina, known by many anglers from far and near for their high spirits, friendly nature and community service.

I remember last year I was stood up by friends that did not show up to fish one day, so I stopped by the marina to say hello. Linda was out on the deck tidying up the place and Chuck was busy elsewhere. We sat and talked for a half hour or so about everything under the sun. She raised my spirits that day and then said to me, “Why don’t you take a boat out for a hour and catch a mess of fish to show off to your friends? That will teach them to stand you up.” That beautiful smile of hers brought a big smile to my face. And for that day I got bragging rights and my friends have never stood me up since.

I have introduced many friends to the Fields during the last 15 years, and every one of them thanked me for the introduction. When I called for my fishing reports, Linda would always ask me how Renee and I were and what adventures we were up to. Chuck told me the other day, thank you for being our friend.

I would like to set the record straight, it is I that would like to thank you, Chuck and Linda, for being our friend and a big part of my life and the lives of others around you.

I considered Linda the first lady of Topaz Lake. It is with great sadness that I tell my fellow anglers, Linda passed away last Saturday after a long battle with cancer. Our hearts and prayers go out to Chuck and his family. To have known this lady is a true blessing in itself.

To give you an idea how far she has touched lives, a fellow angler from Southern California would call her on a weekly basis for 16 years to get a fishing report, never having met in person. Upon hearing of her illness, he drove hundreds of miles to meet her in person before her passing.

There will be a celebration of Linda’s life at the Topaz Landing Marina on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. I can only think that, as we drove by Topaz Lake last Sunday, with all of the winds around us and the lake being so calm, Linda’s spirit was watching over the lake and fellow anglers.

Now here is a brief local fishing report.

LAKE TAHOE: From Cal/Neva to the Tahoe City shelf has been productive trolling blades and a minnow right on the bottom in 100 to 200 feet of water. The Nevada Department of Wildlife planted the Cave Rock area last week with rainbow trout. For more information, call Blue Ribbon Charters at 530-544-6552.

CAPLES LAKE: Anglers have been doing well from shore as well as trolling. Jan and Jim Riley from Lodi, Calif., caught their limits of rainbows trolling worms on the east side of the lake. While Matt Nolan was jigging at Emigrant Bay and caught a 2.5-pound and a 1.5-pound rainbow. Other anglers have been doing well from the shore by Woods Creek with garlic power eggs. The Caples Marina is open for launching and boat rentals from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Caples lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

RED LAKE: Reports have come in of slow, slow and slower. The lake has produced a few average sized rainbows in the 10- to 13-inch class for anglers using salmon eggs or inflated nightcrawlers.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Steve Lightfoot and Steve Brower from Minden fished for four hours last week and said, “Did not get a bite and did not see anyone else get a bite.” The lake is a little weedy and the access to the dam is still only accessible from the four-wheel-drive route, unless you want to walk over. A couple anglers came to Lowes and told me that they caught two rainbows by the campground last Monday using rainbow power bait. They fished for three hours got a few other bites.

CARSON RIVERS: The west fork is very low, but still has many areas to fish if you are willing to take a little walk. They have been doing some work near the area of the white bridge in Woodfords canyon and was closed for awhile. The east fork has deeper water and has risen a little with recent rains in the area. Two anglers came into the Carson River resort last week with a stringer weighing in at 34 pounds. The Alpine County Fish Commission has been keeping both rivers planted with 1- to 5-pound rainbow trout. Dale Falcone from Holister, Calif., has been staying at the resort and has been doing very well each day on his fishing expeditions. Fly anglers have been using a red-bodied Copper Jon in the deeper pools. For more information, call the Carson River resort at 877-694-2229.

WALKER RIVER: Last weekend, Renee and I ventured up to the canyon just south of Walker, Calif. The fishing was very good if you do not mind a little hike over the rocks and down into the canyon. We had success on red roostertail lures and salmon peach power bait. I must tell you that I did catch the big one, but turned into a long-distance release. But oh, what a rush to get such a large fish and have a happy ending on both ends. I had the pleasure of the fight, and he had the pleasure to live another day.

I hope your next fishing adventure is a good one. If you get a photo of your catch, you can send it to If you have any questions about our local fishing world, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. This, my friends, has been one of the hardest reports I have had to write in a long time. It is hard to type while clearing the tears from your keyboard. Good fishing and tight lines.

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