Spring is out there, you just have to hunt for it
Finally we could see our house beyond the snowpack, and Ralph and I decided to get the heck out of Dodge and go fishing! Confirmation of spring came in Reno when we began to see actual green hues to the grass and the long stand of cherry trees at the airport beginning to bloom.
We were headed to Pyramid Lake. East on McCarran in Reno for five stoplights. Left on Pyramid Way past all the annoying ticky-tacky developments full of ridiculous oversized houses that seem designed only to serve banks. Past the holding pens for the wild mustangs. Indian Land at last. This is a good place to go if you have not gotten your seasonal licenses yet. Six dollars for an Indian Day Pass, and they could care less if you have a license from any state.
Looking around, I notice that we can have our choice of color here – as long as it is khaki. It is all last year’s tumbleweed and millions of years old sedimentary rock deposits. The way one can tell it is spring here is when you see flock of pelicans flying overhead. Big white bodies with long graceful black-tipped wings, large-billed heads tucked close to their bodies, pelicans are great.
The surf is up on the lake. It is windy here a lot. And, it is cold. Guys fishing from the bank are mostly in waders and standing on step ladders hauled out into the surf. There aren’t many boats out yet.
It is best to use a sturdy rod and reel. Spin fishing, I use a six- to nine-foot rod with 8- to 12-pound test line and 1/2-ounce to 3/8-ounce Torpedo, Castmasters, or the equivalent. Hefty tackle. You don’t want your first 10-to 30-pound Cutthroat trout to snap your line off at the first tug. Fly Fishermen will want a nine-foot pole, sinking line and a large, flowing nymph or other wet fly. And maybe a fish finder.
The wind was up. The bite was off. None caught, none seen.
So we moved on to Frenchman’s Lake. Back to Highway 395. To the Quincy exit toward Chilcoot at Hallelujah Junction. There is a great general store there named Wiggins Trading Post. They post daily updates on fishing conditions and sell anything that one might need.
The lake is just becoming accessible. Fish are being caught at the edges of the ice by the dam. About a week or two of warm weather is needed to melt enough snow off the roads to afford better access to the parts of the lake not covered in ice.
The rainbow trout from this lake are shaped like footballs. And there are also large feisty browns. They’ll keep you coming back once you catch one.
The approach to Frenchman’s Lake up the canyon is spectacular. The creek flowing along the road is one of my favorites to fish. But it is not open until the last Saturday in April. OK, so we got there a little early.
Closer to home, Indian Creek Reservoir outside of Markleeville is looking good and nice fish are being caught. We will probably be there next weekend. Now is the time to indulge your desires for sun and fresh air and reconnection to the world. It is the only remedy for cabin fever and everybody I know is ready for the cure. See you out there!
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Vail Resorts on Monday announced winter operations that includes no reservations to ski, normal capacity loading on lifts and gondolas and no face coverings while outside.