Don Q’s Fishing Report For Northern Nevada & Beyond: Nov. 19

 

by Don Quilici, Special to the Carson Valley Times

Another nice King Salmon from the Sacramento River. Photo courtesy of Kirk Portocarrero at outdooradventures.
Another nice King Salmon from the Sacramento River.
Photo courtesy of Kirk Portocarrero at outdooradventures.

Fishing Report

As of November 19

ADOBE POND:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

ALMANOR LAKE, CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

Fast action lures were getting more trout than any other method.

Launch out of Rec. 2 and troll out toward Goose Island and back with downrigged No.2 Needle fish or Speedy Shiners in the top 15 feet.  

As the sun goes up fish deeper.  

Nice, clean rainbow to 3 pounds are being caught.

Courtesy of Western Outdoor News.

ANGEL LAKE, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Not sure what the road will be like after the precipitation this week, so call ahead before you go. Chances are the road will be closed shortly if not already.

Ice is starting to appear on the lake.

This lake seems to do better with worms over Power Bait and with small black and gold or green and gold spinners and rooster tails.

For flies, just about anything olive or with peacock herl for nymphs should improve your chances. Red and yellow seems to be the best color for dries. A popular rig is a small yellow stimulator with an olive soft hackle fished about three to four feet below it. Fish this near brush, rock faces and rocky shorelines.

The tigers are a bit more aggressive this time of year as they are a cross between a brown and a brook trout, both fall spawners.

(Continued Below)

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BISHOP CREEK, AREA, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

BOCA RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

Lake level very low here at only 24% capacity. 

Small car top boats, small aluminum boats or float tubes here, water level is too low to launch anything else.  

Fishing by the dam in the morning has been good along with the inlet portion of the lake more towards the evening or on cloudy days for macks stacked up here.

BRIDGEPORT, RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

CARSON RIVERS, CALIF:

Carson River East (Upstream from Hangman’s Bridge):

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

Carson River West:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

CAVE LAKE, WHITE PINE COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

There is very little change here and the lake has been stocked with a couple of thousand extra fish recently. Fishing has been good for 8 to 10 inch fish using the old standbys of worms or Power Bait.

Fly rodders should be using small olive buggers, Cave Lake specials, hares ears, small leeches and chironomids. There is still some dry fly action, especially when the surface temps start to warm up about mid morning and then again right before the sun leaves the water in late afternoon.

Dries fished with a dropper, especially along the weed edges can be very effective here even in the late fall on warm afternoons. The usual arrangement of dry flies such as Adams, elk hair caddis, royal coachmen, stimulators and renegades are all effective for dries, while soft hackles, prince nymphs, PT’s, hares ears and small leech patterns make great droppers.

Black/gold or green/gold spinners and rooster tails should also be effective.

CONVICT LAKE AND CONVICT CREEK, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

CROWLEY LAKE, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

DAVIS LAKE, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports:

Yes, a report on Davis Lake! 

For the Fly Flingers in Boats or Float Tubes the best areas have been Lightning Tree, Fairview Point, Mosquito Cove, and along Five Tree Point shoreline. 

Stripping Jay Fair’s Wiggle tails in Olive and Black have been good along with nymphing Chironomid and midge patterns. 

Waning Callibaetis hatches have also picked up some fish where there are lots of weeds such as the Mosquito Cove area. 

Highly recommended that you use nothing less than 4x leader or tippet here as the takes are aggressive! 

As the weeds start to disappear now with the colder temps those trolling hardware have had lots of success with needlefish, kastmasters, wedding rings, and small Dick Nites. 

Best areas for the boat guys have been Mallard Cove to Grizzly. 

Big Rainbows here as the average is around 18 inches!

DONNER LAKE, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

Cold mornings with lows in the 20’s and by the afternoon into the low 50’s. 

Mack fishing here has been fair and jigging for these guys has been good at depths from 55-75 feet and some smaller guys being caught along the shoreline.

Kokanee fishing has still be good with fat little guys ranging from 8-11 inches in 45-70 feet with most of the schools being between Loch Leven Lodge and China Cove as these are considered next year’s Kokes. 

Also, for the boaters, there is a section off the shoreline at the State Park where the depth drops off quickly and lots of fish are concentrated there.  

Small Macks have been busy cruising the shorelines in the morning and evening picking off baitfish.  Throw imitations that will mimic these baitfish now in these dusk and dawn hours to be successful!

EAGLE LAKE, CALIF:

Bryan Roccucci of http://www.bigdaddyfishing.com (530-283-4103) reports:

Eagle Lake Fishing Report, November 16, 2014

The bite at Eagle Lake continues to “Go Off” every day that I have been on the water. The weather this fall has been fairly mild, traffic on the lake has been light and the bite has been Fantastic!!

Seems like there are plenty of fish just about anywhere you go on the lake most recently we have been concentrating our efforts on the west side of the lake with both the light tackle trolling trips as well as fly fishing.

On the boat trips we are still seeing 20 to 30 fish days working the top 6 feet of the water column.

The exact color bait the fish hit best may change from day to day, but lately orange has been producing the most action.

The latest cool down in the weather has also forced numbers of fish into the shallows in search of food like snails and shrimp, the perfect opportunity to hammer them with the fly rods.

The mornings have been best from shore when the fish are in tight, well within casting range. Late morning the fish have been moving out working deeper structure for their food.

Wiggle tails in rust, orange, and olive have all been working as well as flies like Arctic Fox’s Marabou Minnow.

Look for this great fall bite to continue as we continue through November.

EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR, LINCOLN COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Fly fishermen did well this past weekend using small Woolly Buggers and nymph patterns for rainbows, while other angers were bringing in post spawning browns at the upper end of the lake using silver and gold Super-Dupers.

Despite nighttime temperatures below freezing the lake is still ice free.

The campground remains open though winterization of the park facilities has already been completed.

ECHO CANYON RESERVOIR, LINCOLN COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Trout action has been good this past week for anglers using lures and baits.

Small spinning lures in gold or silver have been working well and bait fishermen are finding success using night crawlers with mini-marshmallow or rainbow Power Bait.

FALL RIVER, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

FEATHER RIVER, CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

There are some kings being caught here at the bottom, middle and upper ends of the river. Down low, the anchor crowd at the color line at Verona has been seeing slow to decent fishing, deepening on the day while fishing K15’s and spinners.

Anchor anglers fishing plugs above Shanghai Falls are also seeing a few spurts of fish moving at first light.

Up around Thermalito, there are some dark springers and a few moderately bright fall fish but the flows are low, warm and grassy and it’s mostly a crack of dawn type of deal. 

Courtesy of fishwithjd.com.

FORT CHURCHILL COOLING PONDS, LYON COUNTY, NEV:

Closed. Will re-open the second Saturday in February.

FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

Fall fishing is getting off to a great start here at Frenchman Lake.

A man from Graeagle caught two 18 to 20 inch rainbows from his kayak while trolling flashers and power bait.

While he was fishing he saw 3 fly fishermen catching some nice sized rainbows near Frenchman boat launch. 

Another man from Reno, a regular at Frenchman Lake and often mentioned in this fishing report, caught 4 rainbows totaling 9 lbs (1 fish weighed 3.07 lbs!). He was bank fishing from the dam with nightcrawlers.

Courtesy of Wiggin’s Trading Post.

FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports:

Like Davis, this lake fishes well this time of year and sees few anglers on any given day. 

Stripping Jay Fair wiggle tails in Olive or Mahogany, Olive or Dark Brown Wooley Buggers, or Midging under an indi have all been productive in 3-6 feet of water has been good. 

Slightly breezy days have been better than calm days but the fishing has been pretty good otherwise. 

Great place to catch some strong bows that will strip line!  3x and 4x  leader or tippet recommended. 

HAT CREEK, UPPER, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

HOBART RESERVOIR, WASHOE COUNTY, NEV:

Closed. Will re-open May 01, 2015.

HOOVER WILDERNESS AREA, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

HOT CREEK, CALIF:

Steve Osterman of Performance Guide Service (760-934-6101) (www.performanceanglers.com) reports:

Water flow is down to 2 CFS. Try an attractor dry like a stimulator with a nymph as a dropper WD-40, green rock worms or scuds. 

Weed’s are beginning to break down .
Upper Owens River

HOT CREEK, CALIF:

Tom Loe of the Sierra Drifters Guide Service (760-935-4250) (www.sierradrifters.com) reports:

Hot Creek 11/13/14

Fish smaller mayfly/caddis adult patterns.

Locate the slots in the weeds, short accurate drifts are necessary.

Hot Creek is suffering from low water, silt, and extensive weed growth. This limits the available water you can fish.

Dry flies are the most effective patterns to use. I suggest a 10 foot leader and rod to keep the fly line off the weeds. There are a few sections that can be fished with a dry dropper nymph rig.

Broken back zebras, flashback PT’s, or assassin birds nest bead heads in #18 are good calls for the dropper.

This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.

ILLIPAH RESERVOIR, WHITE PINE COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

The water is murky, possibly due to lake turnover, as there is ice forming on the southeast portion of the reservoir, near the inlet and on the southwest side of the old dam. Shorelines are muddy and soft.

Most anglers are having success with Power Bait.

The brown trout spawn is done, but expect to find some of them still in Illipah Creek above the reservoir as well as where the creek spills into the reservoir.

Minnow imitations, natural baits and wooly buggers on a sinking line are all worth a try here. Shore anglers report good luck on the west side of the lake and at the inlet where the creek enters the reservoir. Other flies this time of year should include prince nymphs, zug bugs, hares ears and damsel fly nymphs.

JACKSON MEADOWS RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

Lake continues to fish well but if you’re looking for the bigger fish you’ll have to work hard. If you’re looking for bigger fish here you’re going to have to fish the face of the dam more as there is always some big fish hanging on the ledges of the dam. 

Fishing small apex’s about 25-35 feet down has been the ticket here for boaters as some anglers can’t keep trout off their hooks! 

Small trout in the 12-14 inch range but numbers are high. 

Look for larger trout on the bottom in 45-55 feet of water or off the face of the dam with small minnow or crayfish imitations. 

Lake is too  low to launch boats now unless they’re small aluminum ones.  

Lake is at 54% capacity and it’s a great escape from the masses that descend on Truckee on the weekends. 

JAKE’S/BOIES RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Weeds are gone.

Anglers should try Power Bait and worms or small spinners fished slowly.

Fly rodders should give hares ears, PT nymphs, zug bugs and prince nymphs along with wooly buggers a chance.

Fish are averaging 10 to 17 inches in size with most anglers using small spinners, minnow imitations or flies.

JIGGS/ZUNINO RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Construction is almost complete at this Elko County Reservoir that has been dry for the past five or six years. All that is left is some mechanical work on the outflow mechanism for irrigation, rip rap on the dam and the spillway channel and a bentonite clay “wall” around the deep water pool in the middle of the lake.

With some help from Mother Nature in the form of snow this winter, and anglers may be lucky enough to be fishing this beautiful little gem by early summer.

JUNE LAKE LOOP, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

KIRMAN LAKE, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

LAUGHTON, CLARK COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Colorado River:

Catfish account for most of the fish caught over the past week with anchovies out performing other baits. Anglers are landing the fish consistently from Davis Dam down to the Avi Casino.

Stocked rainbow trout have moved into hiding areas. The Sunshine Peninsula is a good bet as well as the docks above the casino area.

Spinners, such as Rooster Tails or Panther Martins, are working well. So are night crawlers.

The area around Big Bend State Park also has been producing stripers. Most are weighing in at one or two pounds.

LUNDY LAKE, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

MAMMOTH LAKES, BASIN, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

MARLETT LAKE, WASHOE COUNTY, NEV:
Closed. Will re-open July 15, 2015.

MARTIS LAKE, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports:

CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR BECAUSE OF WEEDS AND SPORADIC FISH LOSS!

MASON VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, NEV:

Closed. Will re-open the second Saturday in February.

LAKE MEAD, CLARK COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Anglers able to net gizzard shad have reported moderate success for striped bass. Anglers focusing their netting efforts on more turbid water have caught more bait than those netting elsewhere.

The areas near Crawdad Cove or along Boulder Beach have been producing fish with most being in the one- to two-pound range.

Trolling has been effective along Boulder Beach.

Catfish are hitting on anchovies in the coves and many are coming in at two pounds or more.

LAKE MOHAVE, CLARK COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are still showing in the coves with anglers bringing fish in on plastics and night crawlers.

Action for stripers fair with anchovies or top-water baits early in the day.

Willow Beach has had light fishing pressure recently, but there have been fish in the 12- to 20-pound range caught recently on swimbaits in trout patterns.

OWENS RIVER, CALIF:

Steve Osterman of Performance Guide Service (760-934-6101) (www.performanceanglers.com) reports:

Upper Owens River:

Flow is now 48 CFS. The water is low and clear. Try caddis pupa, San Juan worms and egg patterns. The fish are scattered so cover lots of water.

Lower Owens River:
Water flow  has dropped to 85 CFS and fishing  is good . A mid day BWO hatch is bringing the fish to the surface. Para Adam’s or sparkle dun. 

Nymphing with Barr’s graphic caddis, olive pheasant tails or copper zebra midges very productive.

OWENS RIVER, CALIF:

Tom Loe of the Sierra Drifters Guide Service (760-935-4250) (www.sierradrifters.com) reports:

Upper Owens River 11/13/14

Look for seasonal air temps to begin this weekend, it’s going to get cold!

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep a low profile and stay “on the tail” of the migratory fish here. They are very spooky. If the fish are looking at you-they will not be interested in your flies!

Some nice pods of 14-17 inch browns, with ever increasing populations of “Zilla’s” now in the upper sections. Some of the browns have already dumped their eggs & can be very thin.  

Steady action while nymphing the deeper holes above the bridge.

The warmer days providing excellent adult mayfly activity for dry fly action.

Water conditions are very good, although flows are very low.

You will find substantial aquatic weeds in many sections down from the bridge; however there are ample “slots” to fish here and they are holding.

Riverbed conditions are better above the confluence of Hot Creek.

Tandem nymph rigs in the deeper pools are doing the trick. You can also dead drift broken back midges & egg patterns without an Under-cator.

Flows consistent at 49 CFS.

Short water tactics are necessary to fool the wild fish here.

Look for the deeper pools and runs during off hatch periods.

Caddis (#18 or smaller dark bodies) and mayfly adults are good choices for the open riffle water.

Hi-vis para bwo and caddis # 16-18 will get grabs.  

Some hoppers showing up now.

Use a Stimulator or larger hi-vis pattern with a bead head nymph as the dropper 2 feet beneath the dry for a deadly tandem rig.

Nymphing with Crystal Vanderleeches,  SJ worms, crystal soft egg patterns, flashback PT’s, Assassin bird’s nest, broken back midges, crystal olive caddis & zebra larva patterns near the bottom.

I prefer to use a clear or yellow Under-cator on moving water as they are less conspicuous. The pink & orange work better on the still waters like Crowley and Bridgeport.  

Think about streamers in the stiff afternoon winds. You will have to hunt down pools large; or deep enough to cast a streamer-they are very limited under current conditions. 

Patterns like Loebergs, Punk Perch, Crystal VanderLeeches, & Agent Orange will get takes when used with a light sinking tip line.

We have a fleet of snow mobiles with expert guides to take you in when the snow flies here. We pioneered guided “snow bow” trips many years ago and have perfected specialized nymphing techniques to consistently get you on trophy trout during the winter months. This may be the most unique fly fishing experience you may have in the Sierra. Long range weather forecast is showing heavy precipitation to hit this region in December. WoooHooo!

Special angling regs in effect.

Open year around upstream from the Benton Crossing Bridge.

Closed from the Bridge to the fishing monument until the Saturday of Memorial Day 2015.

Same regs as Crowley Lake downstream from the monument to the lake proper, this section will then close on 11/15.

Middle Owens River (Bishop area) 11/13/14 

Flows currently at 85 CFS.

The wild trout section is fishing as good as it gets.

Nymphing & dry fly tactics will get you into numbers.  

There are solid hatches of tiny Trico mayflies, some PMD’s, and caddis adults.

Focus on the tailouts at the base of larger pools.

The fish are keying on the afternoon trico, caddis emergences.

Midge cluster patterns (Griffith’s knat) will also get surface looks.

Birds nest patterns like Assassins, flashback PT’s, and hares ears make for good profiles of a mayfly nymph and caddis pupa. 

Crystal olive caddis larva, & olive zebra midges are also good choices for a lower fly imitation of  caddis larvae, green rock worms, or midge larva.

Have hi-vis caddis adults & hi-vis para mayfly adults for the morning hatch.

Drift boat trips remain good with a shot at a trophy rainbow. Numbers have slowed some the last couple days.

The chub and sucker spawn was immense this fall, and we are seeing “balls” of these small baitfish in the pillow water and along the weeds. Streamer fishing is the best way to imitate these small forage fish by using the “dip & strip technique” with moderate sinking tip lines.

Go to patterns are Loebergs, Punk Perch dark & light (#14), Crystal Vanderleeches, & Spruce-a-bu’s.

This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream. 

PAHRANAGAT WILDLIFE REFUGE, LINCOLN COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Anglers are finding some success at the upper marsh for panfish and catfish.

Mealworms or nightcrawlers below a bobber will catch fish.

PINE FOREST COMPLEX, HUMBOLDT COUNTY, NEV:

Onion Valley Reservoir

Closed. Will re-open second Saturday in June, 2015.

Blue Lakes

Closed. Will re-open second Saturday in June, 2015.

Knott Creek Reservoir

Closed. Will re-open second Saturday in June, 2015.

PIT RIVER, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

PLEASANT VALLEY RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Tom Loe of the Sierra Drifters Guide Service (760-935-4250) (www.sierradrifters.com) reports:

Pleasant Valley Reservoir 11/13/14

Levels have come up a bunch and are currently at (4389′). This is high for access in the transition zone. There has been periodic hydro generation in the mornings.  4383′ is optimum in my opinion.

The small river directly below the powerhouse is awesome when the flows are low, or stable. Forget fishing the river, or inlet if the hydro station is ramped up. The quiet water at the inlet can be great for tubers during this period.

Dry dropper combos using Stimulators, hi-vis para BWO’s or hi-vis caddis, may be used as the upper fly-use crystal olive caddis larva, flashback PT’s, Assassins, broken back or crystal tiger & zebra midges as your dropper bead head nymph.

Streamers like Loebergs, Agent Orange, Crystal leeches, & Spruce-A-Bu’s will get you into some nice browns in the rez proper.  Use a full sinking line to get down to 10-15 feet quickly.

You can also fish “Crowley midge style” in the rez near the drop-offs.  Fish the same chironomid patterns below an Under-cator.

Gillies, broken back midges, crystal emergers & pupa patterns.

Tiger & zebra midges are always a solid choice for your larva pattern.

This fishery is open year around.

PROSSER RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

Lake is at 21% capacity and has been fishing good for Smallmouth Bass. 

Thank you to Mike Campbell for complimenting our fishing staff.  Glad you had a good time.  Fishing has been tough on most our lakes this year so it’s nice to hear about some positive results. 

Crayfish and minnow patterns have been good for the fly flingers and Crayfish crankbaits, Senkos, Panther Martin spinners, and live worms have been good for the rest. 

Fishing outside the inlets and around the dam has produced the best results.

RUBY LAKE NWR, WHITE PINE, COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Water temperatures continue to drop and bass fishing is done for the year.

Water levels are low and Narciss is nothing more than a mud flat.

The main boat ramp is still usable, though care should be taken especially on the west side of the dock which has a drop off below the ramp.

Fishing is picking up in the collection ditch for trout and anglers report quality fish being caught in several areas of the ditch, with the oxbow behind the hatchery producing a few three to five pound fish.

Small olive buggers, hare’s ears, damsel/dragonfly nymphs and leech patterns should all work.

The ditch is artificial lures and flies only.

Unit 21 still has fairly good water and has been stocked with trout.

SACRAMENTO RIVER (LOWER), CALIF:

Kirk and Lisa Portocarrero at outdooradventures@sacriverguide.com and http://www.sacriverguide.com (1-800-670-4448) report:

King Salmon fishing:

November 14, 2014

King Salmon fishing on the Sacramento River.

Water flow is currently 5,000 CFS.
Picking up a couple salmon a day, fishing improving now that water has cleared. Combo trips, salmon, trout and steelhead trips, fishing for salmon the first half of the day and trout & steelhead for the rest of the day, combo trips have been productive.
 

SACRAMENTO RIVER (LOWER), CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

Fall is a special time of year on the Lower Sacramento River.

The nights begin to cool, the colors start to change, and the fishing for trout and steelhead is at its peak.

Starting in September, the water starts to recede from the high flows of summer, and shortly thereafter first of the Fall run of Chinook Salmon begin to arrive.

As salmon begin to lay their eggs in the tailouts – usually by the first week in October – fat hungry Rainbow Trout move into the shallows as well to gorge themselves on the eggs and aquatic insects kicked up by the spawning Salmon.

There are still caddis hatching in the evenings, and on slightly overcast days in October and November we can see some good Baetis hatches, too.

One of the biggest highlights of the fall season is the arrival of Steelhead in the lower reaches of the river, from Anderson down to Los Molinos.

These lower floats take you through some beautiful, rural countryside decorated by monstrous valley oaks and pock-marked by molten rock left over from the region’s volcanic past. When our guides drift this lower river they will frequently hook into one or two of these angry brutes in a day (although landing them is often an entirely different story!), along with the healthy resident rainbows that the Lower Sac is famous for.

Courtesy of the Fly Shop.

SACRAMENTO RIVER (UPPER), CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

The Winter Months on the Upper Sac provides some great late-season opportunities for die-hard trout anglers.

The mornings and evenings are often cold in the narrow river canyon, but midday sunshine can warm the river up and provide some good action on nymphs and streamers for some of the river’s bigger fish holding in the deeper pools.

And anglers fishing the Upper Sac in the winter months should always be prepared with a few blue-winged olive dry flies, as overcast afternoons can have some memorable Baetis mayfly hatches.

Courtesy of The Fly Shop.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER, CALIF:

Tom Loe of the Sierra Drifters Guide Service (760-935-4250) (www.sierradrifters.com) reports:

San Joaquin River 11/13/14

Flows are at winter levels-very, very low. 

This is a year around fishery.

Hwy 203 closes to vehicles after the first significant snowfall.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER/RED’S MEADOW, CALIF:

Steve Osterman of Performance Guide Service (760-934-6101) (www.performanceanglers.com) reports:

Road closed.

SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Little or no change here as water temperatures continue to drop and the lake is clear of most weeds.

With the cooler temperatures trout are moving into shore especially first thing in the morning and early evening hours.

Fishing has been good for trout.

For trout, fluorescent green or orange/yellow seem to be the preferred colors of Power Bait.

Fly rodders continue to catch fish using chironomids, hare’s ears, wooly bugger and leech patterns. Several fly fishermen report luck with either red or blue copper Johns below an indicator in the shallows close to shore. Ditto for chironomids, though fish those over muddy bottoms.

For the most part bass fishing is done, though a lone lunker may be taken now and then but not close to shore as they move into deeper warmer water.

Anglers report fair to good fishing along Jet Ski Beach and the south end.

Good success for trout along the old river channel at the south end of the lake.

The eastern shore on either side of Tomera Cove has been fishing well, especially for fly rodders using the aforementioned copper Johns.

Fishing has been good for trout at either end of the dam in the coves.

STAMPEDE RESERVOIR, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

Lake is stable now at 27% capacity and fishing has been decent for Rainbows, Macks, and Smallies. 

Small boats can still launch to the right of the ramp as they are concentrating their efforts outside the inlets and the deeper sections around the dam. 

Shore fishing has been sporadic for the Bows with power bait, nightcrawlers, and various hardware. 

Smallies are suspended along shelves in the Davis Creek arm and most are being taken on suspending baitfish patterns, Crayfish patterns, and various Jigs worked down these shelves.  Some big smallies here, but you’ll have to work hard for them.

LAKE TAHOE:

A continuing report of limits of average sized Mackinaw Trout being caught on silver flasher blades and minnows, trolled at depths of 100-300 feet on the west side of the lake near Homewood, California.

TOPAZ LAKE:

Closed. Will reopen January 01, 2015.

TRINITY RIVER, CALIF:

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500) (www.shastacascade.com) reports:

The winter run of steelhead start to show as early as Thanksgiving, with fresh fish migrating upriver throughout the rest of the winter season. The majority of these winter fish are wild, and the average size of the steelhead generally gets progressively larger later into the winter months.

Water temperatures are considerably colder, so the steelhead are less likely to move for traditional fly patterns and dead-drifting nymphs is the preferred method for hooking Trinity River Steelhead from November through February.  

Courtesy of The Fly Shop.

TRUCKEE RIVER, CALIF & NEV:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports: 

California:

Cold temps in the morning so dress accordingly!

Water temps are getting cold and fish are starting to get more lethargic and picky. 

Fish are pretty concentrated now and everyone should put in the back of their minds what the river looks like now. Take a careful look at structure that is now out or partly out of the water for a reference later when the water does come up. 

Almost no water coming out of Tahoe and anglers that are going to fish the river SHOULD fish downstream of the Boca outlet. 

Personally I wouldn’t fish the Main river anymore this year because of the conditions, but if you must please fish below the Boca outflow as there is slightly more water found there. 

Don’t be one of those people who are out to target Browns on spawning beds! Let them do their thing. 

Cudos to NPR and the DFW for saying it’s okay to fish the Truckee in good conscience because the water is so low and it will be easy to catch fish. Great job.  If this state had any ethics about its resources, such as Montana,  it would have closed the Truckee and LT a while back to fishing. 

Caution! Almost forgot to mention those “shops” that still send people here with guides or no guides to our waters as it appears money outweighs ethics.

Nevada:

If you do fish the Truckee in Nevada please be aware that New Zealand Mudsnails have been found in sections of water there so please clean your shoes and gear accordingly to avoid aquatic hitch hikers!  

Study the water and turn rocks and see what is going on, also seine for what is in the drift. Little things like this and slowing your approach to the river’s edge will greatly increase your chances of being successful. 

Again, make sure your box is stocked with every conceivable stage of bugs that are present now!

TRUCKEE RIVER, LITTLE, CALIF:

Mountain Hardware and Sports of Truckee (530-587-4844) (mountainhardwareandsports@gmail.com) reports:

Done.

TWIN LAKES, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

VIRGINIA LAKES, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

VIRGINIA LAKES, CALIF:

John and Carolyn Webb of the Virginia Lakes Resort (760-647-6484) (vir@qnet.com) report:

Have a great winter, and let’s pray for a lot of snow for water to refill all the reservoirs, lakes and streams with plenty for the ski resorts.
May you all have a Happy, Healthy 2015, see you on the water in late April!

Carolyn

WALKER LAKE, MINERAL COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

No new updates. No Lahontan cutthroat have been reported or seen at Walker Lakes since 2009.

Launching is not possible right now.

WALKER RIVER, EAST, CALIF:

Steve Osterman of Performance Guide Service (760-934-6101) (www.performanceanglers.com) reports:

Water flow at 20 CFS. Low and slow. Try the Lower Owens.

WALKER RIVER, EAST, CALIF:

Tom Loe of the Sierra Drifters Guide Service (760-935-4250) (www.sierradrifters.com) reports:

East Walker River 11/13/14

Flows currently at 20 CFS. Limited fishable water.

This fishery is open year around with special regs in place.

WALKER RIVER, LITTLE, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Surface water temperatures have dropped into the low 40’s and there has been ice starting to form in the backs of the coves.

With the snow that they received here this week, expect muddy shores and anglers are encouraged to park their vehicles on rocky ground or at the boat ramp and walk down to the shoreline to avoid getting stuck.

Trout are moving into the shallows looking for food first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Launching boats from trailers is not recommended at all. Only car toppers or boats that can be hand carried to the water are recommended.

Fishing has really picked up as the fish are preparing for winter and are following baitfish and aquatic insects into the shallows.

With the lake at about 14% of capacity, the fish that are left are somewhat concentrated, though NDOW hasn’t stocked the lake in over a year. This means the fish are not as numerous, but they are 16 to 18 inches at a minimum and many are over 20 inches in length.

Fly rodders are having success with buggers, hare’s ears, leech patterns and chironomids fished from float tubes or kick boats. Fish the nymphs under an indicator and the buggers and leech patterns with an intermediate sink line in the shallows early in the morning. If fishing chironomids a slip-strike indicator allowing you to fish the fly right on the bottom with a floating line.

Bait anglers are having luck with worms and Power Bait.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Water levels are extremely low and warm.

Limits have been lifted, but due to water conditions, the trip isn’t worth it.

WILSON RESERVOIR, ELKO COUNTY, NEV:

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (www.ndow.org) reports:

Wilson is 40% full and the boat ramp is out of the water and not useable.

The surface water temperature is now in the 40’s with trout fishing finally picking up. With the precipitation, travel isn’t recommended for a day or two.

Fishing for bass is poor, while fishing for trout is fair to good.

The lures, baits and flies that work at South Fork Reservoir should work here.

If you are in the area chukar, deer or elk hunting, bring a fishing pole.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIF:

Closed. Will re-open April 25, 2015.

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