NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

It is a tale of two lakes, with South Fork having more open water than ice and Wild Horse 100% covered with eight to 14 inches of ice.  Elevation and exposure are the differences here.
If the plans include ice fishing at Wild Horse, care should be taken as the ice is covered with a few inches of snow and slush once it warms up each day.  With daytime temperatures expected to be well above freezing for a the foreseeable future, the ice won’t have a chance to grow.  The saving grace is that nights will be well below freezing so that hopefully Wildhorse can maintain it’s ice thickness.

A bit of good news is the snowpack in eastern Nevada water basins all being at or above normal for this time of year.  With area reservoirs going into the winter close to capacity, it should be another good year for fishing.

However, if the above average temperatures continue through the spring, the snowpack may disappear earlier than normal causing flows in area streams to be below normal during the latter part of the summer when dry fly fishing is at it’s best.  Cross your fingers for a drop in area temperatures this spring.

The Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers will have their monthly meeting this coming Wednesday, February 12, at 6:30 pm at the NDOW Conference Room at 60 Youth Center Road.  After a short meeting, Mike McFarlane will be doing a presentation on the life cycle of the rainbow trout.  Everyone is welcome.  For more information call me at 775-934-4565 or [email protected]

Angel Lake is completely frozen over and the road is closed for the winter, so there will be no fishing reports until late next spring or early next summer depending upon winter weather.
Access to the lake is now permitted. There is around 5 inches of safe ice along the shore and 6 to 9 inches of ice in the middle.  Fishing pressure has been low so no report on how fishing has been.  Expect fair to good fishing for 10 to12 inch fish using PowerBait or worms on small jigs. Please follow the signs showing the lake access for safety reasons.
CCR is mostly open water and much of the reservoir open to shoreline fishing.  Any remaining ice should be considered unsafe and anglers are advised to stay off the ice.  Anglers should be able to catch trout on a variety of tackle including spinners, wet flies, nightcrawlers, and powerbait.
The lake is sitting at capacity and spilling water into the North Valley of Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area.  Ice is sitting at 10 to 12 inches throughout most of the lake.  Fishing has been fair to good for trout.  Anglers will do well on nightcrawlers, mealworms, a variety of jigs, wet flies, and powerbait.  Anglers also report catching a few largemouth bass through the ice. 
The reservoir remains at capacity and ice is sitting at 8to 10 inches throughout the lake.  Some variation in ice depth may be present were the creek comes into the lake and anglers should use caution when fishing this area.  Anglers will do well on nightcrawlers, mealworms, a variety of jigs, wet flies, and powerbait. 
Jakes Creek is still covered with approximately eight inches of ice but no fishing report.  Generally fishing through the ice is good for 10 to 14-inch trout using a jig tipped with a worm.
This impoundment is covered in unsafe ice with the aerators running to prevent a winter fish kill.  There will be no fishing report until spring when it becomes ice free.   
With low flows and cold water, fishing is slow on most streams.  The trick is to slow your presentation down.  Snow and ice buildup along shorelines make walking along streams treacherous. With the recent precipitation and warm weather, flows are up on some streams in Elko County. Nymphs and small streamers should be working, though expect bites to be very subtle in the cold weather. On warmer cloudy afternoons, blue wing olive emerger and dry fly patterns may be worth a try. Many gauging stations are inoperable due to ice.  As of Thursday, February 6, the Bruneau station was showing ice though last week it was at 44 cfs, the Owyhee River station was also iced over.The Jarbidge is flowing at 7 cfs. To get to the Bruneau or the Jarbidge, you must come from the Idaho side of the state line.   Salmon Falls Creek was flowing at 90 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 4 cfs, South Fork of the Humboldt at  between 60 cfs, Cleve Creek at 7 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 4.5 cfs.
The high mountain lakes are iced over and there will be no fishing reports on the high mountain lakes in the Rubies or East Humboldt’s until late next spring or early next summer depending upon winter weather.
The road in the valley is hard in the morning but muddy in the afternoon on your way out.  Most of the collection ditch is ice free.  Water levels in the collection ditch are low and clear and fishing for trout is fair to good depending upon the day.  Anglers report catching mostly 10 to 14-inch fish in many areas, with a few 15 to 20 inchers thrown in once in a while.  Stormy, windy or cloudy days seem to be the best. Anglers would do well to target areas where springs flow into the ditch or around culverts that create some flow between the ditch and the units.  Very small dark flies fished dry or just under the surface have worked as have streamers and spinners. In other words, BWO (blue wing olive) emerger and dry fly patterns, Griffith’s gnats and ants. Anglers should also plan to use the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns and prince nymphs in sizes from 14 to 18. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working.  Egg patterns should be working now.  Harrison Pass is closed. 
The warm weather has ice receding at South Fork and on Thursday, January 30, the lake was more than 50% open water and the rest unsafe ice.  Along the northeast shoreline anglers can fish from shore as much of it is open water.  Fly fishermen have been catching trout using a variety of nymphs as well as stripping wooly buggers.  Spin anglers should be trying dark colored spinners or minnow type imitations as well as worms or PowerBait.  Rainbow colored garlic scented bait seems to be working the best.  Fishing in the stream below the dam has also produced some fish.
As of Thursday, February 6, ice thickness ranged from eight to fourteen inches depending upon location on the lake and if there was some slush that froze adding to the thickness of the ice.  With the addition of a few inches of snow and some warm temperatures, slush can be a problem, especially if venturing off some of the “paths” that people have made. Both trout and perch fishing have been good both in size and numbers.  If fishing for perch find water that is 30 feet or more in depth and fish within a foot of the bottom with a brightly colored jig tipped with a piece of worm or mealworm. Use an occasional jigging motion to bring the fish in. When fishing for trout, try to find depths of between six and 12 feet and start fishing about four feet below the ice and start moving the presentation down in the water column a foot at a time if you haven’t had any bites in about a half  hour.   The State Park has groomed a very nice ice skating rink right off of the boat ramp and there is enough snow for sledding.  The campground is open and on a first come first served basis.
No recent report.
The road to Wilson is 4WD and there has been no recent report on ice.  However, conditions here are often similar to South Fork, so expect unsafe ice and probably some open water.

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More Reports

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Friday, February 7th, 2020

Angel Lake: Completely Frozen Over
Cave Lake: Access to The Lake is Now Permitted
Cold Creek Reservoir: Mostly Open Water
Comins Lake: Lake is Sitting At Capacity
Illipah Reservoir: Reservoir Remains at Capacity
Jakes Creek Reservoir (Boies Reservoir): Covered in 8 Inches of Ice
Jiggs Reservoir (Zunino Reservoir): Unsafe Ice Conditions
Ruby Lake NWR: Ruby Lake Fishing Report
South Fork Reservoir: Warm Weather Has Ice Receding
Wild Horse Reservoir: Ice Thickiness Ranges 8-14 Inches
Wilson Reservoir: Road to Wilson is 4WD

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Thursday, February 6th, 2020

: Submit Angler Survey By 2/16
Lake Mead: Good Action on Striped Bass
Lake Mohave: Lake Mohave/ Willow Beach Fishing Report
Colorado River - Laughlin: Striper Action Has Picked Up Significantly
Las Vegas Urban Ponds: Las Vegas Urban Ponds Fishing Report
Kirch Wildlife Management Area: Ice is Thin And Unsafe
Eagle Valley Reservoir: Eagle Valley Reservoir Fishing Report
Echo Canyon Reservoir: Thin Ice and Open Areas
: NDOW Southern Fishing Report