Eastern Sierra 4th of July Weekend Fishing Report

Barney Lake
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mono County Tourism - California's Eastern Sierra

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. It is the fourth of July weekend and many areas have opened up for camping and fishing in our area. Due to extreme fire danger, campfires are only allowed in a designated camp area. This does not mean a nice place on the side of the road under the trees or next to a lake or river. If you are caught with an illegal campfire, you may have to make a donation ( fine or ticket ) to your local government agency. This is also true with fireworks. There are no areas within the California/Nevada region that allow fireworks. You can be fined for even possessing them. Lets just make this a safe and sane weekend and remember to practice your social fishdancing while enjoying the outdoors. One extra thing to pack this year would be a face covering. Most public areas they are required. I experienced a fishing trip two weeks ago that I think the fish were wearing masks. I could not get them to open their mouths for anything I threw at them.  Let's all enjoy and be safe.

SILVER LAKE: The lake level has gone down, the boat ramp is open and the fishing has been fair. Most angler have been shore fishing by the spillway and day use area.

CAPLES LAKE: The lake is still at a good level. The EId public day use and boat ramp is open for the season. Most anglers have been doing fair for small rainbows and brown trout. The dam area and Woods Creek have been most productive. The Caples Lake resort is open for launching and boat and kayak rentals. For more information, stop by the Caple lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: The road is now open for day use and has a limited camp area. No fishing reports have come in this week.

RED LAKE: The lake level is good and the fishing has been slow. The CDFW has planted the lake with rainbow trout. I recommend not to swim in the lake, and keep pets away from the lake as well. Last year there was a large blue green algae bloom.

BLUE LAKES: The road is open up to the upper lake. There are limited camping facilities at the lake. But there are many areas along the road way up to the lakes. No campfires unless you are in the lake camping area. Fishing has been slow to fair for rainbow trout. The CDFW has recently planted both upper and lower lakes.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The road is open. No reports on the fishing conditions.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake level has come down  a little. Fishing has been spotty. No fish plants are scheduled for the lake to this date. The campground area is reported to be closed for construction. I am waiting for an update from BLM when they will open for the year. The lake has rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout. If you are lucky and skillful, you may catch a few of the bass in the lake.

WEST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA SIDE: The CDFW planted catchable rainbows this week. Alpine county has also planted some nice rainbow trout this week. The river is running a little low in Hope Valley, but still very fishable. Best areas have now changed to the Woodfords Canyon area. For more information stop by the Creekside Lodge in Markleeville.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The rivers are running a little high but very fishable. The CDFW has planted some catchable trout this week. Alpine county has planted the river this week as well. I received a picture from the Carson River Resort of a man named Steve ( no last name ) with an 11.5 lb rainbow trout caught on a night crawler. Jose Agayo Jr and Sr fished with Nate Diaz and Randy Spence caught some nice trout from 2.5 to 5.5 lbs last week. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK NEVADA SIDE; There are plenty of fish in the river. Fishing has been up and down. I talked with one angler that could see the fish but could not commit them to bite. I gave him a Naw tip and will see if it helped in the next report.

MARKLEEVILLE CREEK: The CDFW and Alpine County have planted the river recently with catchables to hold onto your rod trophies. The river is running good I would recommend up higher on the river in the deep holes after a row of ripples. For more information stop in at the Creekside Lodge, or if you want a picture of you and your catch. Stop by the Alpine Chamber of Commerce in midtown Markleeville.

TOPAZ LAKE:  The lake level is going down and the fishing has been good one day and slow the next. Most anglers have reported 12 to 15 inch rainbows from shore. If you decide to do some trolling, I would recommend early and deep.The Douglas County Camp area is now open to the public. here you can have a campfire. If you camp in the day use area, you need to use a fire ring. Which they have on the side of the road as you enter the area. Please do not use dirt to put out your fire. Douse with water only and they will pick up your rings after you are done with them.

BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: I talked with Chase from the Bridgeport Marina this week. Fishing has been rated slow. But they recently planted the lake with large rainbows. The weeds have appeared on the south end and they are thick. I would recommend doing some sight fishing in that area for those big powerful trout. If you have a boat, head over to rainbow point and tie on a night crawler. The lake also has a large perch. For more information stop by the Bridgeport Marina.

FISHING METHODS: This is a good time to try a different approach if the standard soaking bait methods aren’t working. If you do choose to go with floating baits leader length is critical and varies lake to lake to keep that tasty morsel above the weeds.JUNE AND GRANT LAKES 3’ to 4’ AND SILVER AND GULL 5’ to 6’.Jumping in a rental boat generally produces more fish than from shore cuz you can access more spots. Folks that have learned how to fish mini-jigs and swim baits do quite well. Try trolling lead core (rentals available at Ernie’s) with a variety of lures down deep including a threaded nightcrawler with a Dodger/Flasher. Go out with one of the local guides. Take up Fly Fishing as an individual or make it a family affair. Younger ones will enjoy actually seeing the fish take the fly. This is particularly effective and fun at some of the local backcountry lakes and creeks within a day’s hike. Troll Rapalas on the lakes early and late with spin gear or streamers with fly rods loaded with sink lines. Hop in a float tube or kayak chucking lures or flies and feel one with the water.

ERNIE’s TACKLE AND SKI SHOP: (760)648-7756. Ernie’s is bringing in Oregon Rainbows to the Loop lakes this week. Five at each lake will be tagged so if you get one bring it in to be weighed and a photo op.

SILVER LAKE: Silver Lake Resort (760)648-7625. Even though no 19 pounders have shown up like a few weeks ago there have been a bunch of quality Desert Springs fish caught lately up to 7 lbs and a 14 lb stringer. I always suggest to those fishing Silver to stop in the store at the Resort and take a look in their big fish book for some insight to what’s going on. Andrew at the Resort reports that not too many stringers of the State stockers showing up but more likely to get a trophy Rainbow. He suggests “grind it out” and keep at it fishing deeper water. Powerbaits, Mice tails, and nightcrawlers are working along with Olive Matukas and Green Wooly Buggers for you fly chuckers.

RUSH CREEK: Not getting much feedback from those fishing Rush and may be hardest hit by the stocking delay. My approach would be to “shoot and scoot” casting lures or fly fishing to cover as much water as possible to get to the resident Browns and Rainbows and an occasional Oregonian that has wandered down from Silver Lake. Lures of choice would be gold and red/gold Thomas’s, black/yellow dot and yellow/red dot Panther Martins, Kastmasters, and smaller Rapalas. Flies I’m going with wooly buggers, soft hackle wets, and dries such as caddis, mosquitos, BWOs, gnats, etc. Hopper season is approaching so try a grasshopper pattern or terrestrial.

JUNE LAKE: Big Rock Resort (760)648-7717. Mike and Laurie and their daughter Alicia along with the help of Pedro and Edder have got a heck of a beautiful spot on the lake to stay and fish out of. Stop by and check it out sometime. Mike says catching slowed up a bit last week or two what with the warmer weather but expects to improve with the cool down and stocking this week. As usual about this time of year his mantra is “Fish Harder”. Meaning give it a little extra effort and be creative with different methods as aforementioned in this report.

JUNE LAKE MARINA REPORT:  (760)648-7726. Here’s a big part of that stocking good news. Along with the Ernie’s and Mono Co. stockings from Oregon the Marina has released this week 2000 lbs of 3 to 4 lb fish from their trout pens which are already showing up at the fish cleaning station. Kudos to Abby and Adam and the gang at the Marina. Keep in mind the Marina along with boat and pontoon rentals offers a gear and bait rental package for those first timers.

GULL LAKE: Gull Lake Marina (760)648-7539. Similar situation here as the fishing has tapered off a bit but should pick up this week. Me, myself, and I spent a wonderful Father’s Day on the water in a rental boat. We had some interesting conversations while catching and releasing 11 and keeping 5 for Juan at the Marina. All but 3 were caught with Garlic Pinch Crawlers, a.k.a. Gulp Worms. While experimenting with other baits the GPCs kept getting bit. For me every season they become the go to bait.

GRANT LAKE: Grant Lake Marina and Campground, no phone. The marina and boat ramp are still open only to those long term guests in the campground and likely will remain so for the season. There have been quite a few folks disburse camping and launching boats along the shoreline. Like Rush Creek have not got much feedback from those fishing Grant. Only reliable source is Dan of Dan’s Guide Service, (661)478-0036, who’s been doing well for nice sized Browns and occasional Oregon Rainbows, Kamloops, and Cutthroats. He’s out most evenings dragging Rapalas on spin gear or a fly rod with streamers using sink line. Most of the guys staying in the campground are out early early trolling lead core at various depths. Go to lures have been Taz Devils, Speedy Shiners, and Trolling Tube Flies. Some shore fishing is working with Powerbaits, nightcrawlers and casting Thomas Buoyants/Cyclones and Rapalas.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. I hope to see you on the waters as I will be out and about trying many of our local areas this weekend. If you have a photo of your catch, send it to [email protected].  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.

More Reports

Carson Now Reports
for Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Silver Lake: Boat Ramp is Open
Caples Lake: The Lake is Still at a Good Level
Woods Lake: Road is Now Open
Red Lake: Lake Level is Good
Blue Lake Upper: Blue Lakes Report
Indian Creek Reservoir: Indian Creek Reservoir Report
West Carson River (CA): West Carson River Fishing Report
East Carson River (CA): Running High, But Fishable
East Carson River (NV): Plenty of Fish in The River
Markleeville Creek: Markleeville Creek Report
Topaz Lake: Topaz Lake Fishing Report
Bridgeport Reservoir: Bridgeport Reservoir Fishing Report
Silver Lake: Silver Lake Fishing Report
Rush Creek: Rush Creek Fishing Report
June Lake: June Lake Fishing Report
Gull Lake: Gull Lake Fishing Report
Grant Lake: Grant Lake Fishing Report