Trout Opener Report

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. Depending on where you were for the opening day season. The waters were high on the rivers and some lakes still had not iced out yet. But yet the strangest thing about it was. There were about half of the expected anglers that ventured out. I noticed the campgrounds were only half full. But then we did have some of that early season crazy weather that is just like this week. Snow last weekend, and here we are up in the 80's this weekend. Now before we get to our fishing report.

I want to remind all about the Free Kids Fishing Derby that is returning to Lampe Park in Gardnerville NV on June 1st and 2nd. The derby is free to all kids aged 3 to 12 years old. There will also be a session on Saturday at 2:30 for special needs children (adults) for all ages with disabilities. This means there will be no age limit for participants in this session.  There is pre-registration needed to participate in the derby.  But as in past years, no child will be turned away. To register, you can stop by A J Stove's 1267 highway 395 in Gardnerville NV. Or at Accolades Trophies at 1532 highway 395 Gardnerville NV. The other option is to go on the derby website at There you can view the time and dates for each session, print out a registration form for the kids as well as register to become a volunteer for this great 2 day event. Now for those that would like to donate a raffle prize or become a donor, the website will give you all the information. All donors will be recognized verbally during the event, or you can purchase a banner to be hung on the orange fence surrounding the derby.  Also a reminder that the Kids Fishing Derby inc.  is a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Nevada, is exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions to the Derby are tax deductible. A win-win for all. Each child that participates will be allowed a 2 fish limit, and given a special gate prize. Additional prizes will be awarded for the big fish winners of each session, as well as for any tagged fish caught throughout the derby. Raffle tickets are available at AJ's stoves and Accolades Trophies as well as during the derby for $2 each, or 6 for $10. This year's grand prizes include a tandem fishing kayak, a trip for 4 with Tahoe Sportfishing or a gift certificate for $300 from Sportsmans Warehouse. Plus, there will be over 100 other prizes given throughout the derby days. Need not be present to win.  If you need any more information on the Lampe Park Kids Fishing Derby, you can email them directly at [email protected]. I hope to see you at the event.  Now for your fishing report.

CAPLES LAKE:  The lake is now showing some open waters along the edges. No more ice fishing for this season. But if you haven't seen it yet. go to ABC10 you tube channel for Bartells Backroads to see how we pulled a 10 lb mac through an 8 inch hole. The area received 18 inches of snow last weekend so use caution along the edges of the lake. The Caples Lake Resort is open for cabin and lodge room rentals. When the lake thaws a little more around the edges is a great time to throw some flies or a small gold Kastmaster for those larger feeding browns and macs. For more information, stop by the Caples Lake resort.

WOODS LAKE: Sill closed due to snow.

RED LAKE: The lake is thawing fast and has some thin areas around the edge. Ice fishing is over for the season.

BURNSIDE LAKE: Road is closed due to snow.

BLUE LAKES: As of this week. The road is still closed at the first gate.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The campground is closed. I talked with BLM and they have removed the damaged trees from the fire. They are working on the electrical and water lines right now, then to the reconstruction of the restrooms. There is a possibility they may open later in the season. But they are asking everyone to stay out of the campground area due to safety concerns. The CDFW planted the lake with catchable rainbow trout. Anglers have reported doing well with Powerbait or inflated nightcrawlers.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: The water was running at 300 cfm and the fishing was good too slow. Most anglers were using night crawlers with a small pinch weight. Small spinners have also produced some nice fish.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: On the opener I saw a few angler with rainbows up to 4 lbs. The average fish were in the 14 to 16 inch range. Most were caught on a nightcrawler ro power eggs and a couple pinch weights. The river was running at 1050 cfm and calmed down a little to 825 cfm as of this week. The water is stained but still has a good bit of clarity. Bradley and Chloe Brubaker from Orangevale CA caught a nice 2.5 lb rainbow in front o the Carson River resort using a nightcrawler. Fishing has been good along the river from Hangman's Bridge to the second bridge. For more information or to get your picture taken for this report, stop by the Carson River Resort.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The river was running high on the opener but has calmed down a little. Two anglers I talked with caught trout up to 6 lbs using a pinch weight and mice tails.

SILVER CREEK:  The river has settled down and was running about 300 cfm with clarity. I spoke to a couple anglers that fished with salmon eggs and caught a few nice trout in the 13 to 15 inch class.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake level has started to come down a few feet over the last week or two. Fishing has been good for early morning anglers trolling flashers followed by a worm or a #1 needlefish lure. Some anglers have just been trolling a Panther Martin or a Roostertail behind the boat. When you troll spinners, I recommend using a small ball bearing snap swivel so as not to twist your line. A regular snap swivel will not work as well. Shore anglers have  done fair on the California side using green or salmon peach powerbait. The east side by the Douglas County campground area still has most of its real estate under water.

BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: The lake level is up and the fishing has been good for shore and boat anglers. Many anglers have been anchoring up at rainbow point with nightcrawlers. While other anglers have been trolling rapalas on the south end of the lake. Many limits of rainbows have been coming out, but I have not heard of any browns being caught as yet. The Bridgeport Marina is open for RV and tent camping and boat rentals and launching. I talked with Chase Pasley from the Marina a few weeks ago, and he has been hard at work extending power to most of the camp areas on the lake side of the campground. For more information, stop by the Bridgeport Marina.

JUNE LAKE AREA REPORT: Having fished here just once on Opener we don’t have a track record to gauge how it’ll fish in the coming days and weeks. So, for what it’s worth.We got 12 that day including a couple Cutthroats with one at 18” while using a variety of floating baits and some lure tossing. Those baits include (as they do throughout the season) Salmon Peach and Garlic (that’s the light green that’s simply named Garlic) Powerbait, Mice Tails, Garlic Pinched Crawlers, and a nightcrawler under a bobber. After trying them all early the Garlic Powerbait turned out to work the best. That’s what you want to do. Try several types and usually one becomes the go to which can change from day to day.

Fish stockings: Fish and Wildlife typically stocks the June Lake Loop Lakes every other week in May and increases to every week after Memorial Day as long as all their hatcheries are operating. Along with those, additional stockings of larger Rainbow Trout from Oregon are put in by Mono County, the June Lake Loop Monster Trout Fund, and the Marinas prior to Opener and major Summer holiday weekends.

Upper Owens River above Benton crossing: Big Cutthroats have started to move up from Lake Crowley this week. Not too many yet but a good start to what we hope is a good run peaking mid-month. Until the numbers increase these rascals are tough to fish as they make their way up. Our approach is to work upstream in the morning nymph fishing the deep bends and cut banks for any Cutts that may stop to rest or feed. During this we’re getting smaller Browns and Rainbows and also seeing what those big Cutts are up to. When those numbers hopefully come up we continue nymphing in the morning then switch to streamers in the afternoon casting downstream in the shallower runs while avoiding the actively spawning Cutthroats. Or we’ll throw on a Caddis or BWO to get some smaller browns and rainbows.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. I hope to see you on the waters soon. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. I will see you at the Lampe Park Kids Fishing Derby on Sunday June 2nd. Just listen for the one with the big mouth and a microphone. 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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