Doug Busey Eastern Sierra Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Visit Bishop

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers, It has been so dang hot that not many have been out fishing lately. With all of this heat, a couple reminders to those that venture outdoors. Beware of the rattlesnakes while you're hiking to that favorite fishing hole. Rattlesnakes are not just in the Carson Valley area, they can be found all the way up through the sierras high up as Kinney reservoir. So watch your step. If you're headed out for a camping trip, New regulation, there are no campfires allowed in Nevada. Not even in a designated campground. California has strict fire restrictions, which may differ from county to county. I can tell you that in Alpine County, campfires are prohibited.  Now on a good note. For those that did not get a CA fishing license this year. But still itching to get a line wet. September 5th is the free fishing day in California. Also in California there has been a rumor about the annual fishing license going to a 365 day use license. Which would mean that it would be valid for one year from the date of purchase. This is not a rumor, Assembly Bill 1837 was passed by the state assembly unanimously, and subject to minor amendments in the senate. The bill was scheduled to advance later this month. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, the bill had to be moved to the next legislative session. SB 1387 was not deemed urgent or essential and will not come in 2020. But we now have something to look forward to in 2021.  Here is your local fishing report.

SILVER LAKE: The lake level is low and the boat ramp is recommended for small boats only. Fishing has been fair for shore anglers using salmon eggs or night crawlers. If you can get out and troll, hit the deeper holes right on the bottom with a black and silver or a rainbow Rapala.

CAPLES LAKE: The water level has gone down, but the public ramp and the resort ramp are still in use. As the water gets lower, the resort said they would adjust their docks into the fall to accomodate for launching. Fishing has been fair for shore anglers with powerbait or night crawlers. Tim Langan a local Chiropractor from South Lake Tahoe was jigging a gold Kastmater and caught a nice 3.5 lb brown and a 2 lb mackinaw. The resort is open for boat and cabin rentals. For more information, stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

WOODS LAKE: The lake is open with anglers getting some small rainbows. Salmon eggs or small flies have been the most productive.

BLUE LAKES: The water level has dropped and the fishing has been good to fair for shore anglers. Early morning or evening bite have been most productive. Both lakes are open to camping and fishing.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The water level is down and the weeds are up. Fishing has been on and off for the last few weeks. This lake is not just an early or evening bite. It may be hot in the afternoon, but the bite can come on at 1pm and then off by 3. Use a higher floating rig to get your powerbait way off the bottom and above the weeds. The day use area is opon, but the campgrounds are closed.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The rivers are low and the water temps are rising. Alpine county is scheduled to plant the river this week. But if the temperatures are too high, they will move the plant to Alpine Lake on highway 4. Anglers have still been catching those 2-6 lb rainbows that have been planted over the last month. Best bite has been early in the morning before the heat of the sun drives them to the bottom and they put on their masks. For more info, stop by the Creekside Lodge.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK CALIFORNIA SIDE: The water levels are very low and the fishing has been slow. I recommend fishing down in the canyon from Woodfords to the Hope Valley area. There are some good holes if you don't mind a little hike to get to them. No fish plants scheduled this week.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake is dropping and the shore fishing has been spotty. The far east side of the lake in the Douglas County Park area has been fair. The California side of the lake has also been producing a few good rainbows. If you want to troll the lake, I recommend starting about 6 am to about 11 am. After that you will have to go deep and watch out for the water skiers and jet skies.

BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: The lake level is getting very low. The weeds are thick. The fishing has been slow. But a few nagler have been catching some nice rainbows up to 2-3 lbs trolling. The perch fishing has been hit or miss. The access to the creek areas are impassable. The Marina will be moving their docks to the bathtub area, which is located down towards the dam.For more information, stop by the Bridgeport Marina.

CARSON RIVER  EAST FORK DOUGLAS COUNTY: Fishing has been productive for early morning anglers throwing small spinners. I spoke to one angler that caught and released a few rainbows and browns last week.

NDOW FISH PLANTS:  Lake Tahoe- Cave rock, Truckee River.


SILVER LAKE: Silver Lake Resort, (760)648-7625. Alisa in the store said they brought in Oregon Trout on 7/27 and plan on doing so each two weeks. Along with that and Mono Co. putting in this week and the pre Monster Trout Contest plants coming up Silver should be loaded up for this month and well into Sept. Even with what some would consider slow catching Silver has put out some awesome fish on a variety of methods. Just take a look at the Big Fish Book in the store to see what I mean. Most notably an 11lb-2oz Brown was caught by Reggie from Irvine with a pinch crawler and a 6lb-5oz Brown brought in by Eric of Victorville on a nightcrawler. Oddly enough these two guys who are strangers were fishing within twenty feet of each other on the shore catching those trophies at about the same time. Makes you wonder what got into those two fish.

GULL LAKE: Gull Lake Marina, (760)648-7539. Gull like Silver has been seeing some nice sized Oregons being caught mostly with Powerbaits. Ashley, who runs the place points out in their big fish book that this guy named Brett from Simi Valley has brought into the scale 3-7lb Rainbows almost every time out shore fishing across the lake from the marina all on Salmon Peach Powerbait. Way to go Brett!


June Lake Marina, (760)648-7726. According to Cody and Randy there they released 1500lbs of Rainbows from their trout pens last week. This in addition to the 1500lbs released last week of July so ya got plenty of fish out there. They both emphasize to get to it early and fish deep. Most consistent approach has been hitting it no later than 6:00am trolling lead core and/or down riggers 40 to 50’ hooking into larger Rainbows and Cutthroats. Best lures for this have been Tasmanian Devils, Arctic Fox trolling flies, Speedy Shiners, and Thomas Buoyants. Some late afternoon trollers have been doing well also.

Big Rock Resort, (760)648-7717. Same results here as the marina. Trolling deep and early is the way to go. Bait fishing is working from boat or shore with the early and deep approach. Alisa is happy to report that the Resort’s available Chef Laura’s sandwiches and expanded wine selection have become a hit with customers. Her dad Mike sounds his usual refrain this time of year “Fish Harder!”

GRANT LAKE: Grant Lake Marina and Campground, no phone. Marina and boat ramp open only to long term guests in the campground. There are a few shoreline locations where a boat may be launched. Like June Lake best fishing here is early, early trolling 4 to 5 colors lead core if not deeper for Oregon Rainbows and resident Browns, Cutts, and occasional Kamloops or Cut-bows. On weekends the upper portion of Grant above the narrows has been nearly wall to wall with RVs and extreme water toy activity. No sense fishing here the weekends so stick to mid-week. Boat, tube, or kayak targeting the submerged Rush Creek channel. Use that drifting with the wind method mentioned above. Dan of Dan’s Guide Service, (661)478-0036, who fishes mainly that upper section in the evenings says its been slow on weekends and better during the week. Give you one guess why.

RUSH CREEK: With a nice summer level the creek flows out of Silver Lake for a couple miles to Grant Lake. Not many first hand reports coming from those that have fished it. So briefly, popular methods are bait fishing salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, and floating baits. Lure fishing Panther Martins, Thomas Buoyants, Roostertails, Kastmasters, etc. Fly fishing Buggers, caddis flies, mosquitos, BWOs, gnats, terrestials, and hoppers. When fly and lure fishing keep moving almost every cast.

TROUT PLANTS: CDFW: None at this time. Mono Co.: Oregon Rainbows to Gull and Silver Lake 8/13. Marinas and resorts are continuing their own Oregon Rainbow stocking.

Contributions to Ernie’s Trout Stocking Fund and donations by local businesses and individuals will go towards more loads of those Desert Springs Rainbows brought in for the Monster Trout Contest.

ERNIE’S TACKLE AND SKI SHOP: (760)648-7756. Located on the main drag in town we are fully stocked and our experts can help to dial you in to local fishing.

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.