Welcome to the Sierra Fall Season

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers.  Welcome to the sierra fall season, brisk mornings and warm afternoons and the fall colors. Which have not started to turn yet in Hope Valley. One thing before we get to your fishing report. I still see too many people towing their boats and trailers with their chains almost touching the ground. A couple years ago on highway 395 in Minden NV. A truck pulling a trailer with low chains started three fires along the roadside. One of those fires could have taken out a home and a gas station. We can not afford to have any more fires that can be prevented. When you hook up your trailer, twist each chain to raise them up enough not to have contact with the pavement and then cross it over forming an X and hook it to your vehicle.  A simple task to prevent fires along our roadways.  Take your time and be safe getting to your destination.

CAPLES LAKE: the lake level is getting low. The Caple Lake resort is open for another couple weeks. They have boat, kayak and cabin rentals available, but the boat launch is not open. The EID ramp and day use area will be open until the snow flies. The CDFW planted the lake with catchable rainbow trout last week. Renee and I fished the lake last Sunday and caught one nice brown and a small mackinaw trout.Round Top mountain had some snow on it, but nothing close to the lake level. I marked fish all over the lake. But the bite was not on. Best areas have been by Immigrant cove using Rapalas for throwing a bead head wooly bugger in the rocks. Shore anglers were fishing by the dam and the bite was slow as well. For more information, stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

RED LAKE:  The lake has some green algae but has not been detected as dangerous per the CA water quality management. The fishing has been slow due to not many anglers have been fishing the lake. I personally, will wait until ice fishing season.

BLUE LAKE: The lake level is low, but the fishing has been fair for anglers with patience. Salmon eggs or powerbait have been most productive. The campground area will be open until the first snow.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: The water level is very low through Hope Valley. I would recommend to fish the Woodfords canyon area in the deeper and faster waters. They are working on the bridge at the Sorensons area. A stop light is set up for one way traffic across the bridge

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK: The water level is low, but there are plenty of areas that are still holding fish. Mel Hall from Paradise CA caught a couple nice cutthroat trout this week. A small pinch weight and a salmon egg have been most productive in the deeper pools. Most areas are too low to use a spinner. For more information stop by the Carson River Resort. They are open all year for cabin and camping.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: In the report dated  8/29. The California Water Quality board stated. No new observations have been made of the blue green algae in over 30 days. I would recommend to still use cation and keep pets on a leash. Bring some fresh water to rinse your hands. And rinse you cleaned fish in fresh water before consuming or freezing.The campground is still closed for the season. For more information stop by the Creekside Inn.

HEENAN LAKE: I venture up with fishing partner Tom Blotter. We fished from shore for a few hours with no bites. Many anglers were fishing from Float tubes with flies. I saw many cutthroat trout caught and released averaging 12 to 24 inches. With the exception of one that was about 6 inches. Best areas to fish were just off the landing point closer the other side of the shore and by the dam area. Catch and release with artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks only until the end of October.

TROUT CREEK-UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER-TAYLOR CREEK: All located in south Lake Tahoe. Closed to fishing for the year.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake level is still plunging downward. The county ramp is open for launching. With the colder day time temps. The fishing has started to pick up for angler trolling Needlefish or Rapalas. Blades and a crawler have also been productive. Remember that the lake will not be closing in October. The lake is open year round for anglers.

PYRAMID LAKE: Have some patience, anglers. The lake will be opening October 1st for fishing. A state license is not required, but a tribal permit is. I recommend going to the Pyramid Lake website to read the rules and regulations for fishing the lake. You can obtain all your permits online for camping and fishing. I would also recommend getting a little heavier gear. Our last trip to Pyramid lake, our average fish was 3 to 6 pounds. And at Pyramid, those are considered average to some, and small to others.


Gull lake: Been doing really well here since those CDFW plants in July with 20 to 30 fish days including an occasional 4 to 5 pounder. Best baits have been Garlic and Salmon Peach Powerbait, Mice tails, and nightcrawlers on a bobber especially near the reeds. With the cooler weather fish should not be quite as deep and I would expect to be grabbing throughout the day. The key here is 5 to 6 feet of leader ( I go with 4lb fluorocarbon ) with your floating baits due to the weeds.
June lake: Let’s just repeat the Gull report except 3 to 4 feet of leader is good here as there are far less weeds.

Silver lake: The way the cards have been dealt this year I have not fished Silver since June but I know it’s been good there. I’ll refer you to Andrew’s report on the Silver Lake Resort website. One thing though.....5 to 6 feet of leader here like Gull Lake.

Grant Lake:  fishing has been good for mostly stocked Rainbows mainly above the narrows near or over the submerged Rush Creek channel. Try the baits I mentioned or chucking Rapalas, Thomas Bouyants, or Panther Martins. Fly fishing wise I’d be going with stripping a submerged caddis fly or a bead head wooly bugger. The Brown Trout action has been slow this Summer but that may change as the water cools and they get into their pre-spawn mode.

Rush Creek: Due to that lack of stocking all season not much going on. Maybe, just maybe, might start seeing some Browns migrating down from Silver Lake or up from Grant Lake. Be aware that fishing closes here October 1st so there’s not much of a window left.

Upper owens: Fly fishing has improved here a bit lately but no where near what it should be this time of year because of low flow ( 50 or so cfs compared to about 70 ) and a virtually non existent hopper season. Been getting 10 to 12 mostly Rainbows with a Brown here and there up to 14”. Right now primarily going with a submerged E.C. Caddis stripped and playing with a Sheep Creek Special fished the same way. If we get some typical bigger Fall Browns and Rainbows moving up from Lake Crowley I’ll add bead head buggers and nymphs to the mix. Fingers are crossed anticipating the Nov.-Dec. Rainbow run.

Backcountry: Day hike forays are still producing oodles of mostly small Brooks. Most flies and small lures are working here. With the fly rod best bets like all season are Caddis flies, Black Ants, and wet flies stripped submerged. For those that prefer lure fishing go with small Thomas Bouyants and Panther Martins. Some of the Brooks have already started moving into the creeks above the lakes and ponds so look for this to continue as October approaches.

NEVADA FISH PLANTS: Mitch Pond, Seeman Pond, Baily Pond, Mountain View Pond, Walker River West Fork, Wilson Common Pond. Now that the air and water temps have lowered. The NDOW will be planting our local urban ponds more.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to  [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters soon. Good fishin' and tight lines.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a question. a report in our local fishing area or have a photo of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin' and tight lines.

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