Alpine County Fishing Report

Caples Lake
Photo Credit: California High Sierra

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. We have a few things coming up soon. As we all know, the California opening day fishing season will start on April 27th. The lakes in Mono and Inyo counties will open for the year. And most California rivers and streams will change from zero limit to catch and keep with the use of bait. Note that I said most rivers, there are some that do not change regulations and will stay with artificial lure/flies with barbless hooks with zero limit. I recommend consulting your California regulation book for any water you fish. Because as another note: there are a few streams that do not open until July. California is a little complicated to keep up with all the changing rules they have each year. Just do a little research where you fish and you will be fine.  On the other hand on June 1st and 2nd will be the Lampe Park Free Kids fishing day event. I spoke with chairperson Tiffany Ellis this last week  and she gave me a message to share with everyone.The Kids’ Fishing Derby will be held on Saturday, June 1st and Sunday, June 2nd, along the banks of Willow Creek at Lampe Park in Gardnerville, and is a FREE event for kids ages 3- 12 years old. Each young angler will be provided everything they need to have a fun fishing experience, is allowed a 2 fish catching limit, and will be given a special gate prize at the end of their session. Additional prizes will be awarded for every special tagged fish caught, as well as to the children who catch the largest fish during each of the 7 derby sessions. While participation in the event is free, Pre-Registration is required to receive your child’s session ticket. Registration for the 2024 Kids’ Fishing Derby will begin April 1st and will continue until the week of the Derby. Again, it is FREE to fish the Derby, but Pre-Registration is required to receive your session ticket. Forms for both Kid & Volunteer registration can be found at the Douglas County Community Center, Accolade’s Trophies, The Angler’s Edge, and AJ’s Stoves. Tickets can be picked up at either Accolade’s or AJ’s Stoves during their normal business hours, as well as every Saturday in April & May from 10AM – 1PM in front of AJ’s Stoves.  Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase at these locations at $2 ea or 6 for$10.  Please visit the Kids’ Fishing Derby website for more information: or,  if you are interested in sponsoring this year’s Derby by making a donation, please contact Tom Zogorski – (775) 781-4754 . I hope to see you at this year's event. It took a great group of people to come together to make this happen. This event is not just a kids event, this is a family event. To give another option for family outings which will be passed along to each generation of enjoying the outdoors together. I started many moons ago with my father, fishing with a bobber and a worm. Which led me to many family camping trips. As a youth I fished Sawmill pond in Tahoe, Grew up and then became one of the many  sponsors for the event for years, passing along what I was taught. And one of those anglers I taught, turned 14 and became a volunteer at the event. When he grew up and started a family. He then brought his kids to the event. It is a wonderful cycle to look back on, and to hopefully continue..I have had the privilege and honor of being a part of the Lampe Park Kids derby for almost all of the 30th years it has run. It's not only changed the lives of our young people, But it has changed my life. I invite you to come and be part of this event as a volunteer or a sponsor.. Now let's check out your local fishing report.

CAPLES LAKE: Last week we wrapped up the ABC 10 "Bartell's Backroads" television show. We ventured out from the parking area at the resort and out to the lake. Started drilling through the ice and realized, I'm gonna need a longer auger. I used an extension making my auger, now 5.5' long and just made it through the snow and ice.  I fished with Chris and Erich Busey and of course my better half, Renee.  We tried various depths and fished for 3 hours with spoons, jigs and nightcrawlers with only a couple hits. The "W" came up a little and we were starting to Wrap it up for the day about 2pm. John Bartell borrowed one of my ice fishing poles to do his final farewell conclusion to the show, when all of a sudden I heard, 'FISH ON". John had hooked into a nice fish and played it slowly. As I watched through the ice hole, The fish finally came into view, so I reached down the hole and grabbed a 6 pound mackinaw just as the line broke. Needless to say, it is not just fishing. Sometimes with a little patience, it's catching as well. After we packed up the gear, we all met up for a great lunch in the Caples Lake Resort Lounge. The ice was firm in the morning and a little soft towards the afternoon. Still very stable. CAL/TRANS was clearing areas around the dam for parking. The best lure of the day was a 1/4 oz gold Kastmaster. If you're interested in seeing the show, it will start airing within a couple weeks on ABC's "Bartell's Backroads". For more information on the lake. Stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

REDLAKE:  The lake has approx 4 to 5 feet of ice on it. The parking behind the dam was cleared as of last week. A few anglers have been out catching rainbows in the 10 to 16 inch class.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: I saw that my friend Richard was out with a few friends last week and caught some nice rainbow and cutthroat trout from the dam area. They were using gulp Powerbait In various colors. Use caution on either road when venturing in. The dirt road does have a gate now half way in, but has been open for  the last few weeks. The paved road off of highway 89 can have ice on it after a storm.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: Open to fishing with artificial lures or flies only with barbless hooks and zero limit. Plenty of fish in the river. Just use caution around the edge of the water. With our weather lately, some areas are soft and icy. For more information stop by the Carson River Resort.

TOPAZ LAKE: The water level is very high. I fished with my friend Matt Wicks. We trolled the west side of the lake with F5 and F7and  blk/gld and perch colored Rapalas. We caught 14 rainbows in the 12 to 21 inch class, 1 tiger trout and a 19 inch brown trout. The day started slow and picked up about 10am. I talked with a few other anglers that were productive with Rapalas or flashers and nightcrawlers. A few shore anglers on the California side were also catching a few using Green or Salmon peach Powerbait.  Please use caution when you're on the lake. There was a lot of debris floating around the lake. Some of the debris were various sized branches and one was a dead tree. Slow down and be safe.

NDOW FISH PlANTS: East Walker River Lyon County, Mitch Pond, Baily Pond Davis Creek Pond, Carson River Douglas County, Seeman Pond, Paradise park Pond, Mountain View Pond and Rancho San Rafael Pond.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. I 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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