Mac the Naw: Tahoe and Carson fishing prospects running high now |

Mac the Naw: Tahoe and Carson fishing prospects running high now

Doug Busey
Mac the Naw

Hello, fellow anglers. Renee and I took an adventure last weekend through Alpine County. We started at Red Lake and ventured back through Hope Valley. We then took a turn up to Monitor Pass along the east Carson River.

I have to tell you I am very excited about the California opening day fishing season coming up on April 29. If the west fork of the Carson River stays the way it is right now, it will be the most phenomenal fishing experience we have had in a very long time. Out in the Hope Valley area the water is running like a picture post card. Through Woodfords Canyon the water is high and fast.

The east fork of the Carson River past Markleeville is a whole new adventure. Many parts of the river have gone away. Fishing paths that I have used for years have subsided into the river, which makes for wider waters and new gravel beds to fish. The area known as Pebble Beach now has a creek running through it as well as running past it. Many of the areas we fished last year have changed course and some have split. We noticed new structure in the mid-section of the river — a large boulder has come down from the hillside and has planted itself right in the middle of the river. The boulder is about the size of a mid-sized SUV, which has created a couple of nice eddies on both sides. Monitor Creek was flowing very well into the Carson River, so we are in for a treat this year with higher elevations providing enough snowpack to keep our rivers running good all year.

In my report you will also see what we discovered at a couple of other locations.

LAKE TAHOE: The bite for mature mackinaw trout has been good for fish in the 4-9 pound class. They are stuffed with crawdads, shrimp and kokanee salmon. The bite is tentative and quick, so you will have to be on the bite instantly or you will lose the fish. Bouncing the bottom with white and chrome dodgers or flashers ending with a fresh live minnow is highly effective in depths of 110 to 185 feet of water. The Cal/Neva, Sugar Pine points have been most productive. The best time to fish is the early morning hours. The Cave Rock boat launch is open on both sides from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last Wednesday, Gene St. Denis took some anglers out and they caught 5-, 7- and 9-pound mackinaw. Call Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters at 530-544-6552 for more information.

CAPLES LAKE: The resort is still closed. When I get information on the opening date I will pass it along. The lake still has many feet of snow on it and I have not had any reports or seen anyone fishing the lake, due to the thickness of the ice and accessibility to the lake.

RED LAKE: We drove up and behind the dam, which was cleared all the way to the end. The snow level around the lake was approximately 2-4 feet. Usually at the end of the parking area there is a little stairway made in the snow to get up and over the snow bank. The snow was 7- to 10-feet high on the lake side of the parking area and no one had attempted to get over it. There is still a lot of snow in the area. No fishing reports this week, though we did see many skiers in the area.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake level has come down a little. There is now some area to park and fish by the dam and off the unimproved launch area. The four-wheel drive path to the dam is now accessible, but use extreme caution. The water level is close to the bottom of the access road. Water was clear with not a weed in site that we could find. I fished with Thomas Buoyant but didn’t have much luck due the 30 mph winds that day. I received a few reports from anglers earlier in the week who said they were using Powerbait or Gulp and caught a few nice 12- to 15-inch rainbows.

MONITOR AND EBBETTS PASS: Closed on Highway 89.

TOPAZ LAKE: Fishing has slowed down a little compared to a few weeks ago. They have been letting water out to prepare for the spring runoff. In one month, the lake has fluctuated 5-8 feet up and down. Shore anglers have been using night crawlers or Powerbait on the north and south end with equal success. Boaters have been using Rapalas down the middle with good success. Medium flashers have also been productive with half a worm on it.

TOPAZ LODGE FISHING DERBY: Week 12, first-place went to Gary Nelson from Wellington with a 4.5-pound, 23.5-inch rainbow. Second-place went to Tom McMasters from Wellington with a 4.4-pound, 22-inch rainbow. There were 100 fish weighed in that week with one tagged fish caught by Caleb Duster from Sacramento — the fish weighed in at 1.17 pounds and 17 inches. Keep an eye on all the fish you catch. Many of the tagged fish are not over the 2-pound range. The largest tagged fish this year was caught by Doug Busey from Minden at 2.4 pounds. Yes that is I … and I am very proud of that catch. Those tagged fish are worth $100 cash and an entry ticket into the drawing at the end of the derby on April 16. Call Topaz lodge at 266-3338 for more information.

PYRAMID LAKE: Next weekend, the lake will get very crowded. The 13th annual Ken Hambre fishing derby will be held on April 8-9 at the Crosby Lodge at Sutcliff. Call 775-745-0400 for more information. Thousand of dollars in prizes, including a new 2017 Polaris Sportsman EPS ATV, will be given out for the largest fish weighed in over the two-day event. Prizes are paid through 20th place.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a photo of your catch, send it to If you have a report or a question in our local fishing area, call the Naw line at 267-9722. Good fishin’ and tight lines.

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