Mac the Naw: Remembering John Voss, visionary owner of Caples Lake Resort

Doug Busey
Special to the Tribune
John Voss enjoys Lake Winnemucca with two of his grandchildren. The owner of Caples Lake Resort passed away Aug. 10.
Courtesy Photo |

Hello fellow anglers; many have been asking, “Where is the Naw report?” I have been fishing in Oregon for the last couple weeks and did quite well. We caught green and blue lingcod and a few black sea bass out of Brookings, and a little surf fishing for perch. I only wish the salmon fishing was as productive, but we did get a few small steelhead trout.

When I returned home, I had a message that a friend had passed away — a man I had the privilege of knowing for 28 years. I thought he was a little crazy at first. I would take my boat up to Caples Lake to troll, and see this man swimming across the lake in nothing but a basic swimsuit — during springtime, mind you.

I met the man at the marina and he introduced himself to me as the owner of the resort; we became good friends over the years. Some people would say he was a hard man to know, because of the way he spoke. I respected and admired him because he told you exactly what he wanted to say.

For years he has been trying to get a picture of me with my catch. I purposely have eluded his attempts to harass him back. I wish I could change that, and would have taken one picture of the two of us. John Martin Voss passed away peacefully at the resort Aug. 10.

I watched this little resort grow into the great place it is today. Because of the ingenuity of John Voss, Caples Lake Resort supplies its own power though solar and wind, and is completely off the grid.

For those that would like to pay their respects, there will be a celebration of John’s life Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at Red Cliffs Lodge in Kirkwood.

Now for the local fishing report:

LAKE TAHOE: Mackinaw action has been hot, and many limits of 3-to-6-pound fish have been coming in. Best action has been on the Tahoe shelf in 120 to 240 feet of water. A medium chrome dodger with a live minnow has been most productive. Kokanee action has been spotty out in front of Camp Richardson; go to the deeper waters to find them suspended between top and bottom. To launch your boat there is Lake Forest, Obexer’s and Tahoe Keys Marina.

CAPLES LAKE: Water level has dropped about 10 feet. Both of the boat launches are open, with rental fishing boats and kayaks available at the marina. Fishing has been hard and slow. I fished here last week with Steve Lightfoot. We trolled deep and longlined Rapalas, and caught two small rainbows while losing a few others.

WOODS LAKE: Fishing has been fair for small rainbows. California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted the lake awhile back and the fish are becoming active.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: Lake level is good, and the weeds are plenty; lure fishing is close to impossible off the shore. Early morning Powerbaiters have picked up a few on garlic or salmon peach; make sure to put a long leader on to get the bait up above the weeds. Campground is open on first come, first served basis.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK (California side): Water level is perfect for this time of year. The fishing has been slow, but should pick up this weekend. Through a joint effort from Alpine County Chamber of Commerce, South Tahoe Public Utility District and the Alpine County Fish and Game Commission, the river will be planted with a little over 1,000 pounds of 10-inch to 4-pound rainbows. Small spinners are productive, and for bait anglers you can’t beat a small split shot and a couple salmon eggs.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK (California side): Water levels are low, and I recommend the deeper hole near Woodfords Canyon. Fishing has been slow, but will pick up with the recent plant of rainbows.

For the last treat while fishing during Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sept. 3, is free fishing day in California. You must abide by all the rules and regulations for each body of water you decide to fish, but there is no license required on that day.

If you get a picture of your catch, send it to If you have a question in our local fishing area call the Naw Line at 775-267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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