Good bite despite smoky conditions |

Good bite despite smoky conditions

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
Geary Ness and Mac the Naw with their catch from the Carson River. Anglers can fish for free in California on Sept. 7.
Courtesy photo |

Hello fellow anglers. I have to tell you, it is hard to fish when you can barely see the water through all the smoke.

Renee and I took a few days to venture out to camp and fish. I have been telling our friends Geary and Deanne Ness about a beautiful pristine lake over the top of Ebbetts Pass. Highland Lake turn off is located three miles past the top of Highway 4, then another half mile on paved road and four miles on a well maintained dirt road. It is accessible by truck in 20 minutes or a Honda car in 45 minutes. When you get to the lake, you feel as though you have driven onto a glacier top mountain with high peaks surrounding this three-fourths mile lake.

This time was a little different. Ash was falling and visibility was only one-fourth mile. We could see the lake but no mountaintops. We fished for a couple hours, caught a few small brook trout and ventured to another fishing hole.

We also stopped at Kinney Res on the way back. The water was low, there was no parking available and there were anglers perched around the lake about every 200 feet. I had a previous report that this lake was doing well for rainbows. I guess it still was. We tried Silver Creek for an hour, with Renee getting a couple bites. We then fished the Carson River east fork from above the last bridge down to the Carson River resort. Renee caught a 2.5-pound rainbow, and I a few pan-sized rainbows.

Over the next few days Geary, Renee and I fished all down the east Carson and caught more than 30 fish, with a few in the 2.5-to 3-pound range. Unfortunately, Deanne couldn’t make it because work was calling her back to Minden. We met many new friends at the Carson River Resort RV park. Joe and Mary from Hollister, Calif., were our neighbors. Their family joined us one evening for fish stories and good old country music. I felt as though we had moved to Mayberry. One night all the campers brought a dish and came together for a big supper. The only thing missing was aunt Bea and her fresh pies. Although, I did find ice cream cake in the icebox and had a piece. All of these places were a short drive from The Carson River Resort.

In the mornings, the blue sky would shine, by 11 a.m. the smoke would cover us like a thick blanket of fog with sight only measured by feet. There was a line at the fish cleaning station so many fish limits were being brought in. Fishing didn’t seem it could get any better, but it did.

The California Department of Fish and Game and the Alpine Fish Commission planted both the east and west fork the day after we left. The CDFG is scheduled to plant this weekend for the California free fishing day on Sept. 7. For more information on staying at the Carson River Resort call 530-694-2229. They offer river camping, Rv camping and cabins and a general store. One last word of advice for Carson River anglers — if the fishing suddenly turns off, look for small swimming creatures called river otters. We encountered a mom and her two pups while fishing one of our good fishing holes. We moved to another place while they fished in our spot.

Here are a few other places that have been productive in our local area.

CAPLES LAKE: The El Dorado Irrigation District, in partner with Kirkwood PUD, stocked the lake with 1,650 pounds of trout on Aug. 28. About 30 percent of that plant was 2-to 4-pound fish. Many anglers are good success. Jeff Knutson from Forrest Hill, Calif., caught a 4-pound rainbow trolling a black and yellow rapala. Stacy Drinkwine from Gardnerville also reeled in a nice 4-pound rainbow trolling a night crawler by the Woods Creek area. Carol Morales from Corona, Calif., caught a 1.5 rainbow by the dam using green powerbait.

The CDFG also planted the lake this week. The Caples Marina is open for boat launching as well as boat rental. I would suggest using the county ramp for larger boats as the water level continues to drop. A word of caution… when you venture to the Woods Creek area to Emigrant Cove, there are many large submerged rocks and cliffs in the area. Always have someone watching your bow. For more info call the Caples Lake Resort at 209-258-8888.

SILVER LAKE: This lake was stocked 1,550 pounds of rainbow trout on Aug. 28, 33 percent are trophy-sized. The lake has limited access for shore fishing. The best area is right over the bridge in a parking area to your left. From there you can access areas around the shore to fish.

BLUE LAKES: This week the CDFG is scheduled to plant the upper lake with catchable-sized rainbow. Both lakes were planted a few weeks ago. Salmon eggs or night crawlers have been successful. Word of caution, this time of year the yellow jackets are out in full force. I have not found anything to repel them, yet.

INDIAN CREEK RES: The lake level is still high. The weeds are still active. The CDFG planted the lake last week with pan-sized rainbow trout. Anglers are catching several trout in a matter of 45 minutes and then the fish move on. This is a sign for you to also move 20 feet to your right or left until you can find the school again.

HEENAN LAKE: Located on top of Monitor Pass, this lake opened last weekend with restrictions. The lake is open Friday-Sunday, sunrise to sunset. Artificial lures or flies with a single barbless hook and catch-and-release rules are in affect.

The lake is open September through the last weekend in October. On opening day anglers reported catching five to 30 fish in one day. Remember, catch and release means unharmed and released back into the lake. You can take a picture of your catch while the fish is in the water. The killing of any cutthroat trout, even accidental, is cause for a citation. Trout in this lake can run into the several-pound range.

CALIFORNIA FREE FISHING DAY: Anglers can fish for free in California on Sept. 7. All rules and regulations apply to whatever body of water you fish. Limits are catch and release, hook or bait restrictions, but on this day a license will not be required.

I hope your next adventures will be as memorable as our last trip. If you get a photo of your catch send it to . If you have questions in our local fishing world call the NAW-Line at 775-267-9722.

See you on the waters. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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