Topaz Lake isn’t as dead as anglers think |

Topaz Lake isn’t as dead as anglers think

by Mac-The-Naw

Hello, fellow anglers.

A funny story for you, but I’ll be short. Seems last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I kept getting these stories about Topaz Lake. As I was told, “Boy, Topaz is dead.” “Wow, we fished five hours and not even a bite.” The same was said when talking to Don Quilici, an outdoor writer at the Nevada Appeal, as he told me two or three people said the same. Well, all I can say is, these people do not read Mac-The-Naw. Reason: Last Saturday I ventured out to Topaz Lake. Within five minutes of trolling a rapala, I almost lost a pole overboard from such a hard hit. Lost that one. Within 20 minutes I got three more. But still no fish. I then picked up Denny Radford, who was camping there at the time. We trolled until 1:30 p.m., boated six rainbow, 12-14 inches, and lost more than 15 more. And I do have a picture to prove it. End of story. The moral is: read the Naw.

Now, what’s happening in our fishing world:

South Lake Tahoe: Mackinaw action is good when you can get out, trolling large flasher blades followed by a minnow has been most productive. Eldorado Beach area has been the best area. Top lining for rainbow has been slow. Shore anglers at Cave Rock have been doing good with night crawlers or live minnows. For more information, call The Sportsman, at (530) 542-FISH.

Red and Caples lakes: Now 4-5 feet of ice on the lake. If you have an extension on your auger, fishing has been fair to slow with large night crawlers or Kastmasters, but don’t forget the Smelly Jelly to taint your lure with. For more information, call Caples Lake Resort at (209) 258-8888.

Indian Creek Reservoir: Thawed, but action is slow to nil. But there is a scheduled plant around the middle of the month.

Topaz Lake: Rainbow action is good, top lining with black and gold, firetiger or black-and-silver rapalas. The fish are suspended all over the lake in the top 10 feet of water. For more information, you can call Topaz Landing and ask for Chick at (775) 266-3550.

Now let’s see what’s going on in our fly-fishing world, according to the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters.

The Big Bugs are here and the weather has been cooperating between the storms. The East Walker River has started to produce some big adult stones. This is when you can hit the banks with a stimulator for some great surface action and are still able to see your fly. The mornings have also been producing some baetis action as well as midges on the surface. Pyramid Lake has also been doing quite well with a little different presentation: get down and get to stripping. Those flies have to be on the bottom.

I can only say this a few thousand times: Get out your rods and start fly-fishing. The fishing has really picked up as the weather starts to get nicer. The East Walker doesn’t get any better than at this time of the year. The adult stones will do nothing but fill in from here on out with the baetis doing well on the funkier days. A stimulator in size 10 or 12 will do the trick. The baetis will run in the 16- to 18-size range. Nymphing will still be strong with RS2s as a trailer and golden stones as the main fly. Of course, many types of flies will work at this time of the year, but those will be the best.

Pyramid has been producing some good-sized fish, so I have been told. A fast-sinking line will give you your best results. Don’t forget to bring a selection of woolly buggers in light and dark colors. Deceiver tippet has also been a proven help with the catch rate because the fish can’t see it. It also has a better abrasion resistance that will help with those toothy cutthroats.

I have heard a few other rumors going around lately, including some good surface action on Topaz Lake. In the years prior to the big flood, the fishing from float tubes was great. Usually at the south end, but not always. The flies we were using were woolly buggers, prince nymphs and griffiths gnats on the surface. Another spot worth a try is the north pond at Mason Valley. Not a ton of fish, but a few big ones worth a shot at.

The snow pack is high and it looks like a late runoff again this year. Be prepared for high water fly-fishing in our rivers or sticking to the still waters.

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters will be offering two clinics this spring. The first will be on March 27 and will cover streamer tactics and the second will be on April 3 and cover high water nymphing techniques.

For more information on clinics, fly-tying classes or any of these fisheries, stop by Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters at 3433 Lake Tahoe Blvd. (across from Safeway and next to Timbercove Lodge). Our phone number is (530) 541-8208, or drop us an e-mail at Please remember to catch and release all of your wild trout!

I hope this helps to put you on fish. And if you get a photo, drop it off at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Attention: Mac-The-Naw. And as always, any questions or comments, you can call the Naw line at (775) 267-9722. And don’t forget the Fishing and Hunting Jamboree this weekend at the Nugget in Reno.

Good fishin’!

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