A bear of a vacation
By Doug Busey
Tribune fishing writer
Hello, fellow anglers.
The Naw is back from vacation.
And it’s a vacation that I wish on no one. Allow me to give you an overview of the worst vacation ever. They could make it into a movie.
The plan was to take an annual trip to Wildhorse Reservoir 60 miles north of Elko. Nine days before the trip my partner canceled, so I decided to fly to Las Vegas and have my fishing partner pick me up to fish Lake Havasu. That plan pooped out, so I ended up going to Indian Creek Reservoir for 3 1/2 days.
That first night, all was great. I caught fish and had a great BBQ, sat around the campfire and went to bed. However, I woke up the next morning to a smashed window and a broken mirror to my truck. A bear immediately came to mind. But there wasn’t food of any kind in it; all was in the bear box. I even had a new, collapsible cooler sitting on the table and nothing in it was touched.
I decided not to let it ruin my vacation. I made breakfast, went for a hike and then fished the rest of the day. The scenario was the same for the second night: great BBQ and then off to bed.
The next morning, my new unused cooler was shredded on the ground. The destruction of my things was getting ridiculous. By this time I had received much advice from fellow campers on bear proofing my camp. I really do not know what else I could have done. I put all food, BBQ, stove and utensils away in the bear box and I threw away all trash before going to bed.
Again, I was determined not to let my run of bad luck get to me, so I packed up the float tube and headed for the lake. Catching 26 fish made me forget all about the bear problem. I came back to camp to cook a couple of fish for a couple that was there because of the Tahoe fire. I made plans to fish the next morning with two other anglers who were camping there.
Before turning in that night I wondered to myself: “Are those bears out there waiting for me to go to bed, so they can come and destroy more things?” I doused the fire and sat for 2 1/2 minutes before hearing a noise. Guess who made it? Who else but the bear. I stood up and the bear ran away, twice. I finally went to bed, only to be awakened at 3 a.m. by a bear trying to get into my boat. I got up, unzipped the tent, shinned my light and then heard the bear running away. It must have made a louder noise this time, because it woke up the people in the next camping spot.
By this time I gave up. I decided that I was heading homing in the morning. As I started to fall back asleep I heard a noise behind the tent. All of a sudden, a bear pushed his nose to the back of my tent and was pressing on my head. It began to sniff. Scared stiff, it took me a couple of seconds to think of my next move. All I could do was yell, and I did. I could hear the bear run away and I had had enough. I turned on the tent light, lit all of my other lanterns, spread them out to give me the most light possible and packed up all my belongings.
I could have imagined what was going through everyone’s mind that may have been watching all snug in their motor homes. But I really didn’t care at that point. I rolled up everything and stuffed it in the front and back seats of the truck and in the boat. I was out of there by 4:15 a.m. I drove down highways 88 and 395 at 40 mph, so nothing would fly out.
You know something? I do believe in the warning that when invading the bear territory, never leave out food. If you do, you are only asking for trouble. As one camper told me, you can’t even leave out a chicklet or a piece of gum because they can smell it. Well, I do not chew gum or eat chicklets, and the bears never got a morsel from me. They just broke up my truck and hit the wrong nerve.
Indian Creek doesn’t have a bear problem; they have a serious nuisance problem. I wonder how I can get the bear to pay my deductible. Next vacation, if I can’t go where I want, I won’t settle for Indian Creek.
Let’s check out our fishing world:
LAKE TAHOE: Best spots are Ski Run, Camp Richardson and the Keys on the south end. Jigging and trolling are both working in 200 to 250 feet of water. Cave Rock area has been good for 2- to 7- pound Macs in 60 to 150 feet of water, trolling flashers and a minnow. Shore action at Cave Rock has slowed down due to the temperatures. For more information, call Blue Ribbon Charters at (530) 544-6552.
CAPLES LAKE: Marina and the general store are open and fishing is fair to good. Last week, Eva and Joseph Rizzo caught six rainbows 1 1/2 to 5 pounds using night crawlers. Shon Poland from Valley Springs Ca caught a nice 9-pound, 28-inch brown trout. The CDFG planted 1,000 pounds of trout last week. For more info, call the Caples Lake Resort at (209) 258-8888.
RED LAKE: Anglers have doing good in the early a.m. for brook trout and a few rainbows. Night crawlers or kastmaster lures have been most successful. The CDFG planted 1,000 pounds last week.
BLUE LAKES: The upper lake has produced more limits. The lower lake has been fair. Special note: Bring the bug repellent. CDFG planted the upper lake last week.
CARSON RIVERS: Both are doing well for anglers. The East Carson is perfect right now; the west is running a little low in spots. Miguel Galindo of Carson City caught a 5-pound rainbow on powerbait; Glenn George of San Leandro, Calif., caught 5.2- and a 3-pound rainbows, while James Haan caught four rainbows for a total stringer weight of 20 pounds; he was using a panther martin spinner. The CDFG planted 1,000 pounds and the Alpine County Fish Commission planted 1,000 pounds between both rivers. For more information, call the Carson River Resort at (877) 694-2229.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Shore fishing is slow to fair. Your best bet is to fish on the dam side, as the campground side is weedy and shallow, especially by the buoy. I did an experiment on my float tube. I put a night crawler on my ultra light and dragged it around for two hours, while I used an elk hair caddis or an olive woolly bugger on my fly rod. Final tally: Crawler 1, flies 25. Average fish are 1 to 2 1/2 pounds. For the best info on fly fishing, call the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters at (530) 541-8208.
TOPAZ LAKE: Linda Fields said it has been very quiet lately. The anglers have had to go real deep when they can get past the water skiers. Very early a.m. is the best time to fish. For more information, call the Topaz Marina at (775) 266-3550.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR: Dennis Dunn of the Wildhorse Resort reports, last week was the best bass, perch and channel catfishing he has seen in 10 years. For information on Wildhorse Reservoir, call (775) 758-6472.
TROUT CREEK, UPPER TRUCKEE AND TAYLOR CREEK: Now open to fish. Please practice catch and release as the fish are the future of Lake Tahoe. For catch and keep, head over to the Carson rivers.
Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch you can e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply drop by the paper on Harrison Avenue. If you have any questions in our fishing world, you can call the Naw Line at (775) 267-9722.
Good fishin’ and tight lines.