Opening day of fishing shaping up to be a dandy |

Opening day of fishing shaping up to be a dandy

Doug "Mac-the-Naw" Busey, Tribune fishing writer

Hello, fellow anglers.

We only have one more week to wait until the 2009 stream-fishing season will be in full cast, running from April 25 through Nov. 15.

Alpine County Fish and Game Commission, along with the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, will be planting lakes, rivers and streams this spring, summer and fall. Despite published reports to the contrary, county officials have guaranteed that fish plants will take place throughout the season. The uncertainty about the plants stems from the endangered yellow-legged frog, which I personally in my 45 years of fishing, hiking and exploring the area, have never seen.

The Alpine County Fish and Game Commission has a current, valid permit to plant in all waters of Alpine County.

Rainbows, browns, and brookies will be plentiful in the beautiful waters throughout Alpine County ” from Markleeville to Woodfords to Hope Valley to Bear Valley. There are more than 60 area waters that await the most avid angler. The fish that were planted in Alpine County were average catchable-sized and trophy-sized rainbow, ranging from 10 to 15 pounds.

Fishing licenses and supplies are available at the following locations: Carson River Resort, Woodfords Station, Caples Lake Resort, Kirkwood General Store, Markleeville General Store and Sorenson’s and Hope Valley Resorts. Caples Lake Resort and Kit Carson Lodge will offer boat rentals and launching facilities. In Bear Valley, visit Bear Valley Cross Country for licenses and supplies, as well as Bear Valley Sports Shop and Bear Valley General Store.

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The motto for Alpine County this year is “2,000 fish per mile and you!”

With the weather report looking as though it will cooperate this year, opening day should be one to remember. In talking with Todd at the Carson River Resort, he has advised keeping an eye on the rivers. The evening temperatures have still been low to keep the snowpack from blowing out the rivers. But we still have a week to go, and Mother Nature hopefully will treat us good this year.

Here’s what you can expect on the east and west forks of the Carson rivers, Markleeville Creek and Silver Creek.

On April 8, the west Carson was planted with 1,800 pounds and on April 11 the east fork of the Carson River was planted with 1,800 pounds. This past week, the east and west forks of the Carson rivers, Markleeville Creek and Silver Creek received 3,600 pounds of rainbow trout. Now for the kicker, the week of opening day, another 3,600 pounds will be planted in these rivers and creeks.

As an added bonus this year, you will not have to worry about getting to the bridges first, just get a spot to fish. American Trout and Salmon Hatcheries has a new hose extension that it will use for planting. This will enable the ATSH to get to the whole river system and not just planting where there are bridges and places to pull off the road. This kind of commitment will continue throughout the fishing season in Alpine County.

As a reminder, California’s free fishing days are July 4 and Sept. 7. If you need any information about Alpine County fishing, there are three options: Stop by the visitors center in Markleeville, located on Webster Street; phone the Carson River Resort at (877) 694-2229 or you can phone the Mac-the-Naw line at (775) 267-9722. Any of us will help you enjoy the California openers this year.

If you happen to be around the Carson River Resort on the openers, stop by and let me take a picture of your catch and join in the camaraderie that all anglers enjoy. Hope to see you there.

Now just a little report for Lake Tahoe. Last Sunday, the lake was picture-perfect with only a hint of a slight breeze. Renee and I joined our good friend Gene St. Denis and his son, Eric, for a little fishing. I have to say, though, I can’t stress enough on how much a knowledgeable guide can really make a difference in a day on the water. We fished for 5 hours, had many short hits, a few shakers and kept four Mackinaw. As you can see from the picture, Eric beat us all with the largest fish.

As I watched other anglers pass by, one was on a mission to go as straight as he could, not paying attention to depth of where he was going or his downriggers. The angler never rose from his seat to attend to even a bite. Another angler was not paying attention enough and was untangling lines and downrigger balls for a long while. I will tell you one thing, we were not using fancy store-bought rigs or flashers either. These blades were homemade from stainless steel with some paint on them.

Fishing just can’t get any better.

For more info call Blue Ribbon Charters at (530) 544-6552.

Special Note: Although April 25 is the official California opener, remember that all waters leading into Lake Tahoe, including Trout Creek, Taylor Creek and the Upper Truckee River, are closed until July 1.

Kids’ fishing update: We will be at the Minden Flea Market on Esmeralda on Saturday in Gardnerville to register kids and to accept volunteer forms. We will also be accepting registration and volunteer sign-ups from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 16 at the Lahontan Fish Hatchery’s open house. As of April 7, we had collected 428 registration forms for the June 6-7 free event at Lampe Park. All sessions are still available through the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department.

See you on the Carson River for the openers. If you have any questions in our local fishing world, you can call the Mac-the-Naw line at (775) 267-9722. Have a photo of your catch, e-mail it to or you can drop it off at the Tribune. You can be in the Naw Hall of Fame.

Good fishin’ and tight lines.