Mac the Naw: Fall is upon us, Heenan Lake now open for fishing |

Mac the Naw: Fall is upon us, Heenan Lake now open for fishing

Daniel Leal from Knoxville, Tenn. landed this 29 1/2-inch 10-pound lake trout on Monday, Aug. 24, while aboard Tahoe Sport Fishing’s Hawk I.
Courtesy Photo |

Hello fellow anglers; fall is upon us and fishing has picked up around our local area. With the fall season comes the opening of Heenan Lake. Heenan Lake is open from the first Friday in September through the last full weekend in October. Heenan is located on Highway 89 on top of Monitor Pass in Alpine County. There are special regulations to abide by when fishing Heenan Lake: the limit is zero and you can only fish with artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. The lake is open Friday through Sunday from sunrise to sunset. Shore fishing is available around the lake if you don’t mind fishing in a little algae. They do allow boats with electric motors (no gasoline motors) kayaks and canoes; I personally like to use my float tube to get out on the lake. Last week, the fishing was good for anglers using spinners and fly anglers had best success with wooly buggers. Remember this is a catch-and-release-only lake. Please keep your catch in the water and use the wet release method. You can expect to catch Lahontan cutthroat trout ranging from 1 to more than 7 pounds.

Now let’s check out other fisheries in the area:

LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw action has been good on the south end of the lake. Mike and Alison Carman from Sunset Beach, Calif., were trolling live minnows by the Tahoe Keys area in 150 feet of water on board the Hopper IV and caught a nice 23-pound, 39 1/2-inch mackinaw. For more info call Tahoe Sport Fishing at 530-544-5448.

TROUT CREEK, UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER, TAYLOR CREEK: All located on the south end of Lake Tahoe, open for fishing until Sept. 30.

CAPLES LAKE: Water level is only 7 feet down and temperature is at 67 degrees. Fishing has picked up with the cooler nights. Leonard Martin from Sonora, Calif., caught a 7 1/2-pound rainbow last week; he was fishing near the dam with a water bubble, threaded nightcrawler and marshmallow. Matt and Mark Moorehouse from Penryn, Calif. rented a boat and trolled around the shore for a while with no success. Then they went out to the middle of the lake, took out the lead core and fished in 55 feet of water with a Rapala; there they caught a 3-pound rainbow and a 2-pound mackinaw. Caples Lake Resort is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday for boat rentals and launching. For more info call the resort at 209-258-8888.

A special note: on Aug. 28, Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District and El Dorado Irrigation District planted the late 2,000 pounds of catchable and trophy trout.

ALPINE LAKE: Located over the top of Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4. It received 1,800 pounds of trophy trout earlier this year, and will be planted again in a few weeks by Alpine County Fish and Game Commission. I spoke to friend and fellow angler Joe Garcia last week; he said he fished there a couple weeks ago and caught many rainbow trout ranging from 1 to 3 pounds.

BLUE LAKES: Lake level is way down and fishing has been very slow.

CARSON RIVER EAST/WEST FORK CALIFORNIA: Fishing has been very good on the east fork. Renee and I fished here the week before Labor Day weekend and caught and released a lot of small rainbows. Alpine County Fish and Game planted the river with more than 1,800 pounds of trout last Friday, Sept. 4, and the fishing was on. I have had many reports from anglers that have had great success. For more info call Creekside Lodge at 530-694-2511.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: For weeks I have been telling anglers of the big fish in this lake and how to catch them. The lake has a large amount of algae, but if you can learn to fish in it, you will have great success. Last week Greg Silvestro was fishing near the dam and caught a 10-pound rainbow trout. Greg said it took him 15 minutes to reel in with out tipping over his kayak. This was the first time fishing Indian Creek for Greg this year, and I think he will be back again. The campground and boat launch is open. With shorter days, early mornings or late evenings are good for getting out in a float tube and throwing a wooly bugger around those weeds.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to If you have any questions or reports in our local fishing area, call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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