Kids, it’s time to play at Sawmill Pond | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Kids, it’s time to play at Sawmill Pond

Column by Doug Busey

Hello, young anglers. Get ready, kids. Starting at 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the Raley’s Sawmill Pond Kids’ Free Fishing Day will begin.

There are some restrictions. You must be 14 years of age or younger, and you have to want to have fun.

In talking with the California Department of Fish and Game, I was told that they will put in 600 pounds of trout for this day and are proud to be able to help our youth get started in fishing – a good sport to keep our young people interested in as opposed to drugs and gangs.

The Optimist Club will be cooking hot dogs and serving soda pop donated by Raley’s.

Also, don’t forget to get your picture taken with your catch.

The High Mountain Anglers also will be on hand to clean your fish and help you down on the pond with whatever you need, from tying on a hook to netting your fish. Or if you need a loaner pole, those are available too. Remember, though, all I have mentioned is at no cost to anyone, thanks to Raley’s and the support of these two fine clubs. Your thanks is payment enough and I know they all enjoy hearing it, so let them know.

A last special note: The pond is closed to all fishing on Friday. Due to that I want everyone to have an eventful day on Saturday. This will ensure us all that there will be plenty of fish for our special day.

Now for those of you 15 years of age and older, who won’t be joining us:

South Lake Tahoe: For Mackinaw, troll with large silver blade followed by a minnow. Best areas are the Keys or by Emerald Bay in about 180 to 220 feet of water. Some rainbow action has been good in front of Eldorado Beach, trolling rapalas out by the buoy. Browns have picked up toplining rapalas near Glenbrook. For more information, call George’s Fishing Trips at (530) 544-2353.

Caples Lake: Excuse me, but I have to be blunt – “keep off” the lake. Ice conditions are very unstable. A few people have been seen out there. Even John Voss, the owner of the resort, is asking people not to go out on the ice. With a few good weeks the lake should be thawed. If you must fish, walk to Woods Creek area. There is open water and fishing has been good. For more information, you can call the resort at (209) 258-8888 and ask for John or Cindy.

Carson River East Fork: The water has risen. I fished last Sunday and Monday. Within 24 hours the water rose 10 inches. Change up your technique. You need to get your lure or bait deeper – green power bait was working very well in deep pools or the eddies (backswirling slack waters around rocks). For more information, call Geoff at Trout Creek Flies at (702) 588-3310.

Indian Creek: Shore action has been good to fair using power bait or salmon eggs (when the wind isn’t blowing). For more information, call The Sportsman at 541-FISH.

Topaz Lake: Water level has dropped. Shore anglers have been doing good on the north end using night crawlers. For boat anglers, the south end by the trailer park has been very productive trolling rainbow pattern rapalas. Some limits have been seen and many near limits. Saturday should be your best day. For more information, call the Topaz Marina at (702) 266-3550. And for those of you who would be interested, ask Chuck about the Boat and Room Combo.

Now let’s see what’s going on in our fly-fishing world.

Fly-fishing time is here! Now we need the elements to cooperate for the best success. Stone fly nymphs are the main subject on our moving waters. On the lakes we will be casting with may fly patterns for the surface as well as nymphs and streamers for the subsurface. This is the time of year when everyone is trying to get ready for the season and the fishing can be very challenging. Here are a few places to wet a line and hope for some consistent success.

First we start with the local spots: Indian Creek Reservoir has been fair for rainbow using crystal buggers, prince nymphs, callibaetis nymphs and damsel nymphs for the subsurface. For dry flies, the callibaetis and midges should be appropriate. Try Adams, trailing shuck midge, Griffiths gnat and/or callibaetis spinners. The West Carson River has been good for those who have been on the bottom with stone fly nymphs and lots of lead. If you are not losing an occasional fly in the rocks, you are not on the bottom. Small pheasant tail nymphs and small hares ears are a good possibility along the bottom as well. Streamers with a lot of weight and a little flash will work too.

If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, there are a few others spots that are fishing well at this time. On the North Shore of Tahoe, try the Little Truckee River at the inflow to Boca Reservoir. Small may fly patterns and royal humpies will work. For the subsurface, try birdsnest patterns, woolly buggers and small pheasant tails. The main Truckee has been doing good along the banks, high sticking stones and caddis pupa.

The fly-fishing will do nothing but get better in the weeks to come. So get out your rods and reels and clean those lines, patch those waders and get ready for a great year. For those who are interested in learning to fly-fish, we are offering “Introduction to Fly-Fishing” classes throughout the spring and summer months. Our classes teach you how to cast, read water, identify bugs, fly-fishing knots and how to catch and release fish properly. The cost is $40 per person. If you would like additional information on these fisheries or anything else to do with fly-fishing, stop at the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters at 3433 Lake Tahoe Blvd., or call (530) 541-8208. Please remember to catch and release all of your wild trout!

Special note: Please help us protect the tributaries to Lake Tahoe. These are not open until July 1. If you see people fishing these waters, please educate them and let them know where they can fish. It is a short drive to the West Carson River and will probably fish better anyhow. Thanks for the help.

Well, I hope your weekend of fishing will be as rewarding as mine. I will be helping hundreds of kids at Sawmill Pond on Saturday. Bring the kids, come fish, come say hi, come say thanks. Just come and enjoy. Hope to see you there and if you ever have any questions or comments, call the Naw line at (702) 267-9722. And before I say those two final words, I would feel bad if I didn’t include our Forest Service and their support. If not for them, we might not have such a beautiful place to take our kids. Good fishin’!

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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