Doug Busey Eastern Sierra Fishing Report

The best view on the planet to see Neowise!
Photo Credit: Photo by the very talented @michael.allen.white

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. I finally got out  to do some camping and fishing for a few days. We stayed at the Carson River Resort just south of Markleeville CA. Renee and I stayed in the RV area while our friends Geary and Deanna Ness stayed at the campground area. We kept in communication by walkie talkies, this way we knew who was going fishing and where. Some of you anglers may not know, but the resort  has a new owner,  and his name is Phil. I got to tell you one thing, when the word "customer service" was invented. Phil wrote the book on the word. With some many regular and sometimes strange requests a guest would ask for. Somehow he found a way to accommodate their requests.  The resort has a general store, RV park with full hookups, cabin rentals and a moderate campground area right on the river. Now for those of you that remember the Naw B Que I used to hold for many years. You might be in luck to enjoy another. Some time towards the end of the season the resort is in the planning stage to hold the vent again. It is where you bring one fish filleted and I will do the bbqing with my recipe, will make fried taters and you bring your own beverage. I will keep you informed as the time comes closer.

Back to fishing, with the dodging of thunderstorms and rain, we did get in some fishing. I did catch a few small rainbows. As I called Deanna one afternoon on the radio, she told me of her big catch. When I found where she was fishing, she told me how she had caught a large rainbow on a Panther Martin Lure. But when her husband Geary grabbed it up on the bank and attempted to remove the hook. The fish got out of his hands, broke the line and fell back into the river and swam off. Luckily she was able to retrieve the lure. An hour or so later Geary was fishing upstream from her spot and caught the same fish. Luckily I was there with a towel to hold a firm grip on his catch and it did not get away. The trout weighed in at 4.6 lbs. And yes, he did not hear the end of that one for a few days. Later in our trip, Geary did catch a 5 and a 6.3 lb rainbow as well. At least both were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor on the bbq.  While you are out fishing the river, keep an eye on your surroundings. As Renee and I were fishing higher up on the river in a deeper canyon. Renee whispered to me to look her way. I looked up to see one of the biggest doe walk right out from the shore and cross the river. As it reached the middle, it paused to take a drink. A picture perfect Kodak moment, and I had not brought  a camera with me. But we will remember that 10  minutes for a long while.

Also to let you know one important rule in Alpine County right now. NO campfires are allowed! there are a few acceptions in private camp areas. Most public campgrounds,  even if you have a permit, they are prohibited. So don't even think of it, or it might cost you a pretty hefty fine. Now for your local fishing report.

LAKE TAHOE: the summer mackinaw fishing has been very good . We have been getting limits of mackinaw lake trout basically ranging from one pound to 10 pounds. Lip Hooked is the name of the game , steady consistent reeling is key to getting the prize to net !  Our Largest was a heavy fighting fish from bottom to net  was 15 pounds. Dodgers and minnows, flashers and minnows , flatfish in silver and white/pearl , and any high action lure at slow trolling speeds will work . Almost all are lip hooked as they are are all stuffed with shrimp and crawdads . It is stated by the us federal government in several newspaper articles " that trout do not eat shrimp or crawdads " . I must state that these statements are false and are untrue. I have seen both shrimp and crawdads stuffed in all the fish we clean at Lake Tahoe in over 40 years of Cleaning Trout ...... Just like yesterday ! Anyway, the bonus is that we have also been netting one or two Rainbows and Browns (2 to 8 pounds ) every week the last month , down with the Mackinaw at 100 feet to 180 feet ! For more information contact  Captain Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters.

CAPLES LAKE: The fishing has been fair to good for shore anglers by the spillway area. Average fish has been in the 12-14 inch range. Boaters have had success with flashers and a half a worm. The Woods Creek area has been most successful. The CDFW is scheduled to plant the lake this week. The EId public boat ramp and say use is open. The resort is open for launching and boat rentals. The general store is open with cabin rentals. For more information stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: Fishing has picked up for small rainbows. Salmon eggs have been most productive. The CDFW is scheduled to pnat the lake this week.

BLUE LAKES: Both the upper and lower lake is scheduled to be planted this week by CDFW with catchable rainbow trout. The campgrounds are open.

RED LAKE: The fishing has been slow. No plants this pear so far. Which may be due to the outbreak of the blue green algae. Do not swim in the lake or allow your pets to drink out of the lake.

BURNSIDE LAKE: The lake is scheduled to be planted this week by the CDFW. The dirt road can be a little rough going.   But the lake is worth the drive.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: the campgrounds are officially closed for the year. The day use area by the boat ramp is open during daylight hours. Fishing has been slow. The lake has not been planted this year, which may be due to the Algae outbreak it had last year. The fish are okay to eat. I would recommend cleaning them at home and rinsing with fresh water. I would also not recommend swimming in the lake or allowing your pets to drink out of the lake. best to be safe than sorry later on. For more information, stop by the Creekside Lodge.

WEST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water level is dropping quickly. Alpine County planted the river last week with 2-7 lb rainbow trout. Fishing the deeper pools and slack areas have been most productive. For More information stop by the Creekside Lodge.

EAST FORK CARSON RIVER CALIFORNIA SIDE: The rians last weekend muddied up the river for a few days. By Tuesday the river was much clearer and the fish that were planted last week by Alpine County were coming off the bottom to feed.. Orange Powerbait or salmon eggs were most productive. Fly anlgers were had the best success on a cooper jon in the faster waters. The CDFW also planted the river a couple weeks ago with catchable rainbows. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort.

TOPAZ LAKE; The lake level is dropping and the fish have moved into deeper waters. Shore anglers have done fair in the early morning hours. Trollers have been going 30 to 50 feet to get a few rainbows with small rapalas or flashers and worms. For more information stop by the Topaz Landing RV and boat launch.

PYRAMID LAKE: The lake is closed for the season and I have not received any word if they will open up this fall.


GULL LAKE: Gull Lake Marina, (760)648-7539. The Marina is planning on dropping in some Oregon Rainbows later this week or early next week. Last couple weeks 5 to 7 pound Rainbows have been caught on a variety of baits from boat and shore. That should continue with their upcoming trout plant.


June Lake Marina, (760)648-7726. The Marina released 2000lbs of 3 to 4 pounders the week before the 4th which have been showing up on stringers since. They continue releases from those pens throughout the season. Shelby in the store recommends trolling lead core 5 to 8 colors with Thomas Buoyant red dot frog, rainbow, and red and gold. Other good choices at June are Needlefish, Arctic Fox tube trolling flies, Tazmanians, and a threaded nightcrawler with a Dodger. They now have a “fleet” of 15 pontoon boats. Reserve way ahead as they are super popular.

Big Rock Resort, (760)648-7717. Alisa there tells me lots of 3 to 4lbs being brought in trolling 7 to 8 colors. Her tip of the week is handle the bait as little as possible and cover your scent with some stinky stuff. Very important after using sunscreen. Fish don’t like it. New additions at the Resort are online boat reservations soon, Chef Laura sandwiches, and an expanded selection of adult beverages. As we were talking two ladies came in with a nice Cutthroat and Rainbow caught trolling 3 to 4 colors. They were on the lake at 5:30 so didn’t need to be as deep as during mid-day.

Silver Lake Resort,
(760)648-7625. The Resort has been bringing in those Oregon Rainbows all season as is their habit and plan on continuing at a higher level from here on out to try and make up for the CDFW shortfall. Check out their website and in particular Andrew’s Fishing Report. To gather info for this report I always take a look at their Big Fish Book in the store. Man-o-man there’s a lot of trophies coming out of Silver. I’m amazed at the variety of methods and baits being used. Biggest this past week was a 9lb-10oz Rainbow caught by Steve from San Gabriel with a Rapala on a boat.

RUSH CREEK: Just don’t have much info from those that have been fishing Rush. At the risk of sounding like a broken record these methods are what I would employ. Baits would be salmon eggs or nightcrawlers on about an 18” leader. Toss some flies such as caddis, mosquitos, gnats, Mcqinty Bees, hoppers and terrestrials. My favorite is chucking Thomas lures and Panther Martins. I fish these downstream and start up near Silver Lake working as far down to Grant Lake as I can.

Grant Lake Marina and Campground, no phone. The marina and boat ramp are open only to long term guests in the campground.

The most reliable report coming out of Grant as usual is from Dan’s Guide Service, (661)478-0036. Dan’s been consistently doing well for mostly nice size Browns trolling Rapalas with spin gear or streamers using a fly rod in the evenings. The boys that spend the summer there are out way early dragging lead core mainly with Tazmanian Devils, Speedy Shiners, Trolling Flies, etc. Shore fishing may be spotty with the warm weather and lack of CDFW stocking.

SUGGESTIONS: Best floating baits like usual are Nightcrawlers, Powerbaits, Mice Tails, and Garlic Pinch Crawlers - these for me are the best of the best. Try dangling a nightcrawler under a bobber or a fly and bubble rig early when fish are feeding near the surface. Go out of the box and try something new. Rent a boat or jump in a tube or kayak to access the deeper water. Hire a local guide. Try your hand at fly fishing. Troll the deep water with lead core. Day hike into the nearby backcountry lakes and creeks. Small lures and a fly and bubble rig are a good way to go. I especially like up in Tioga Pass where it’s usually 10-15 degrees cooler. Recent fly fishing there has been getting from 30 to 50 small wild Brookies. On one trip came across a family with two young daughters  nail’n ‘em with pieces of nightcrawler and a bobber. They were having a blast! Saddlebags ferry is back in operation to get across the lake and closer to 20 Lakes Basin. Hopper season is kicking in at the Upper Owens and Hot Creek. Lake Crowley has been on fire all season so hook up with a guide familiar with the lake. Come into Ernie’s and let us help you get set up with any of these and other methods to try.

ERNIE’S TACKLE AND SKI SHOP: (760)648-7756. Hours 6:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. Stop in so they can get you going.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. I hope to see you on the waters soon. remember social fishdancing while enjoying that lake or river. If you get 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
: Eastern Sierra 4th of July Weekend Fishing Report