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Column: Anglers should put Walker Lake Fishing Derby on calendar

Hello, fellow anglers!

Well, I’m here to tell you, the folks in Hawthorne, Nev. are getting ready for the 10th annual Walker Lake Fish Derby. With the coordination of the El Capitan Resort and Casino and the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, this year anglers will be going for a total of more than $4,000 in cash and prizes.

The derby will begin Saturday morning, Nov. 4, at sunrise and will continue until 4 p.m. sharp. That is when the official weigh-in at Sportsman’s Beach will close.



Then there will be an award ceremony at the El Capitan Resort and Casino starting at 6 p.m. with a no-host bar. Free hors d’oeuvres, and don’t miss the liars contest at 6:30 – you might walk away with $100. All winners will be announced at 7 p.m. and also a drawing will be held. (You must be present to win.)

Now for a few rules to remember. Boaters, all parties aboard your boat must be registered in the derby. If you are questioned by an official and not all are registered, possibly all may be disqualified.




You must register prior to fishing. You can do that by calling the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce at (877) 793-LAKE. They will give you all the information you need and will send you a registration form. Or you can contact Ed’s Bait and Tackle, at (775) 945-2525, or the Gun and Tackle Store (Bob Tompkins) at (775) 945-3266. Or your last option, you can sign up at Sportsman’s Beach the morning of the derby.

Entry fees are $30 per adult and $10 for youths. Again, derby hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the scales at Sportsman’s Beach will close sharply at 4 p.m. There are various categories in this derby: Heaviest fish, for adult and youth, largest stringer, and a women’s heaviest fish $200 bonus.

Being this is on a Saturday makes for a great weekend, not having to rush home to go to work the next day. For those of you who plan on staying the night, there is a special room rate waiting for you at the El Capitan Resort and Casino by calling (800) 922-2311 (make sure you tell them you are in the derby). So what are you waiting for? Walker Lake Derby, Nov. 4. Call for information at (877) 793-LAKE.

Now, our local fishing report.

South Lake Tahoe: The Mackinaw are starting to come off spawn and action has been good to fair trolling dodgers with a minnow in 140 to 180 feet of water. Also jigging white or pearl-colored Krippled Herring, tainted with a live minnow. Rainbow action has picked up in the rocky areas or off of the blue line, trolling flashers and a worm or using rapalas. Another good area for rainbow has been Deadman’s Point. Kokanee action is over. All of the fish have gone upstream to spawn. For more information, call The Sportsman at (530) 542-FISH.

Caples Lake: Cold and hot – the weather is cold and the rainbow and brook trout action is hot for average 11-14 inches long. With the changing weather, the Browns should start getting active throwing or trolling rapalas. The Mackinaw have started moving again and action should pick up very soon, using rapalas or white or silver maribou or buck jigs. For more information, call the Caples Store at (209) 258-8888.

Blue Lakes: Waters are way down. Plan on a hike if you go. Anglers have done best in the mid morning using salmon eggs or inflated night crawlers.

Carson River: There are still plenty of big rainbow hiding in the deeper pools, but they are spooky, so approach with caution. Salmon eggs have been most productive. My advice: Stay away from heavily-fished areas, i.e. bridges, side of the road, easy access. Go for a walk. Especially on the West Fork. A good place is from Sorensen’s down. And if you’re successful, stop by the Carson River Resort; let Brad take your picture. Or if you need information, call the General Store at (530) 694-2229.

Indian Creek Reservoir: The lake has turned over and fishing has picked up for anglers using yellow, sherbet or rainbow power bait on the north end. For those who fish the south end, you will be walking, as the campground is closed. For more information, call the Tahoe Fly Outfitters at (530) 541-8208.

Burnside Lake: I received a call on the Naw line from Mr. Pat Hawkins of Gardnerville in regard to an infestation or overabundance of chub in the lake. In speaking with Fish and Game Warden Dave Bazzone, he informed me that there is not a problem of overpopulation and that many of the alpine lakes contain chub. Burnside Lake, as Bazzone said, is a great fishery and will continue to be. Bazzone’s advice is to seek another location to fish. My own advice, Red Lake or Caples are my favorite, because yes, you will catch more chub in this lake than most in the area.

Courtesy of fly fisherman Victor Babbitt, here’s the latest on area fly fishing.

Even though it really doesn’t feel like it , it is fall amd winter is on the way! Fly fishing for trout has been spectacular lately and should stay that way for awhile longer. Small flies are the norm for the rivers. You might still be able to get awy with a Turks Turantula or STimi, but probably will have better luck with Midge larva or Midge adults in sizes 20 or smaller.

The East Carson river has been great down in the zero-limit section below the bridge. Make sure you do a bit of hiking though , the farther down the stream the better! The East Walker River turned on pretty goo in the last week do the lower flows of Fall. Streamers will take the bigger fish as well as fishing the tiny stuff under an indicator. If the weather turns to the ugly side, the BWO’s will come off in adundance.

If you are looking to drive a bit, try the Lower Sacramento River. This time of year produces great fishing for large trout. The fish key up behind the salmon and can be caught consistently with the Glow Bug and Baetis Nymphs. Another hot spot would be the Lower Owens River. This time of year the flows are low and the fish go crazy for the dry fly.

I know this is short but I hope this gives you a few ideas for some great fall fly fishing. Don’t put those rods away yet, it’s just getting good! For further information on these fisheries or any other in the local vicinity, please give us a call or stop by the shop for some supplies. We are located at 3433 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Next to teh Timbercove lodge and across from Safeway. Our phone number is 541-8208. Please remember to catch and release all of YOUR wild trout!

Hope this puts you on fish and if you have a picture of your catch, drop it off at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Attention: Mac-The-Naw. And if you have any questions or comments, call the Naw line at (775) 267-9722.

Hope to see you at the El Capitan and Walker Lake on the 4th.

Good fishin’!


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