NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife
8-21-2020
Website

It’s August and hot! The heat and sunny days are causing lots of weed and algae growth at most of our reservoirs. This will gunk up rods, reels and lines, so be sure to clean your fishing gear after fishing. With the hot surface water temperatures catch and release trout fishing at most of the area reservoirs is not recommended. While the fish may swim away, its chances of survival are small.

Fires around the west are being started by lightning in this hot dry cycle we are in. Besides starting fires, lightning is also very dangerous for anglers.

Anglers should be aware of some basic safety rules regarding lightning while fishing. According to the National Weather Service, lightning can strike as far as ten miles away from its source cloud. With this in mind anglers should quit fishing at the first hint of thunder or lightning. It is also recommended that anglers wait at least 30 minutes after a storm has passed before starting to fish again.

Anglers are much more at risk than golfers when it comes to being struck by lightning. Since graphite rods are an excellent conductor of electricity, put your fishing rod down immediately upon hearing thunder or lightning and then head to a safe place off the water. Boaters are at very high risk and they should immediately head for the nearest shore.

While lightning can occur at any time of the day or night, in our area, the afternoons are when most of our thunderstorms pop up. Get indoors if possible or find a low place away from trees or other high points to make yourself less of a target for lightning.

Prevention is the best way to avoid being a victim of lighting, so check the weather forecast before heading out. Just because thunderstorms aren’t in the forecast, doesn’t mean they can’t pop up every now and then. So, keep your eyes and ears open for the flash of lighting or the sound of thunder.


ANGEL LAKE

Angel lake is fishing like Angel Lake almost always does.  Fishing has been fair to good all summer.  Fair for bait anglers and good for fly rodders.  The usual worms under a bobber or fished off the bottom with a slip sinker should work as should small spinners and rooster tails.  If using a bobber, put your bait at least two to three feet below the bobber. For fly rigging a dry and a dropper is working very well.  Good flies for the dry are hoppers, yellow or royal stimulators and humpies.  When the lighter patterns aren’t working, switch to black gnats, black or olive Adams and elk hair caddis, or Griffith’s gnats. Wet flies to try, include flashback PT nymphs, small black or olive wooly or crystal buggers, olive or peacock soft hackles, hares ears and small leech patterns. 

CAVE LAKE

Fishing at Cave Lake has been fair for eight to 10-inch trout, but the water level is low from a drawdown due to concerns with the dam. The shorelines are muddy and very soft making walking and fishing difficult. The usual small nymphs and crystal buggers are working for trout, with beadhead pheasant tail nymphs being very effective. For bait anglers, fishing a worm about four feet below a bobber or using powerbait floated off the bottom with a slip sinker seems to be the best bets. The float tube launching area is closed and anglers should fish at the north end of the lake near the dam and main boat launch area.

COLD CREEK RESERVOIR

The water level is very low and fishing is slow. Worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work if the fish are cooperating. First thing in the morning is best for fishing here due to very warm surface water temperatures. 

COMINS LAKE

Comins Lake has water temperatures in the 70’s with trout fishing just fair and bass fishing good. Anglers need to fish full sink lines and get to the lower depths. Trout fishing is best first thing in the morning. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails…etc.) fished under an indicator. Bass fishing is good and anglers are reporting decent sized bass using soft plastics, crankbaits and poppers on quiet evenings and mornings. If you catch a pike, please check to see if it has a radio transmitter tag near the tail. If it does, please return the fish to the water so that NDOW biologists can track its movements. If it doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish. Don’t put it back in the lake.

ILLIPAH

Trout fishing has been slow to fair here as they have moved into deeper water. The usual flies like wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well.

JAKE'S / BOIES RESERVOIR

The water level due to irrigation, but normal for this time of year and with the weed growth, fishing from shore is difficult. Anglers should plan on fishing from a small boat or float tube and cast back towards the weeds for bass, but hit the deeper water for trout. Trout fishing is slow while bass fishing is fair to good. The usual PowerBait and worms as well as small spinners are working for trout. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, PT nymphs, copper Johns, and black or olive wooly buggers. Bass are hitting soft plastics, crankbaits and occasionally poppers first thing in the morning or late in the evening.

JIGGS / ZUNINO RESERVOIR

The water level is very low and warm. These conditions resulted in a die-off of trout last month so expect trout fishing to be very poor or even nonexistent. However, this combination has made fishing for bluegill good as they do well in warm water and the low level has them concentrated. If you catch a trout and release it, while it may swim away, chances are it won’t survive the stress of being caught in very warm water, so please keep them. Anglers have been catching keeper sized bluegill with a small bit of worm on a red hook suspended about 18 inches below the bobber. An occasional small bass being caught has been reported.

MOUNTAIN STREAMS

Streams in the northern part of Elko County are still flowing at near normal flows, while those south of I-80 are below normal. However, flows in all areas are dropping during the heat of the summer. Hoppers, caddis and stoneflies are out and about, and trout are hitting dry flies. Fishing has been good at the beaver ponds in Lamoille Canyon and other streams in the area. As of August 20, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 76 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Bruneau River at 7 cfs (half of normal), the Jarbidge at a normal (for this time of year) 7 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 22 cfs, Lamoille Creek flowing at 11 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at a low 11 cfs, Cleve Creek at 5 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3 cfs and Kingston Creek well below normal at 3 cfs.

HIGH ALPINE LAKES

Access to the alpine lakes in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt’s is good.  The fish in these high mountain lakes are very cooperative and the further you get from the trailhead the better the fishing.  Bait anglers will find that as a general rule worms and hoppers seem to work better than PowerBait.  So bring a container and as you hike up catch some grasshoppers at the lower elevations and fish them on a light wire hook.  Small spinners in dark colors with light contrasting highlights, as well as small panther Martins and rooster tails also are effective.  For flyrodders small yellow or red dry flies such as stimulators, hoppers, elk hair caddis and humpies with a soft hackle or other nymph dropper is the way to go.  In low light conditions darker colored flies such as black gnats, ants, beetles and Griffith’s gnats should be used.

RUBY LAKE NWR

The water level is low and weeds are coming on strong, but you can still launch a boat at the main boat landing. However, launching anything but a canoe or kayak at the Narciss boat launch is very difficult. Bass fishing is good for numbers and fair to good for keepers. Surface water temperatures are in the high in the 70’s. The best tactic seems to be four-inch soft plastic jigs rigged weedless. Dark colors such as black, blue, motor oil and guacamole with flashy flakes in them seem to work the best. Poppers on a quiet evening or morning with no wind as the shadows are hitting the water along the cattail edges are also working. Fishing is fair at the collection ditch for 13 to 18-inch trout with the occasional large trout being taken. Fishing in the ditch seems to improve on cloudy or windy days. Small brightly colored spinners were doing well. Trout are taking dries including damselfly adults, hoppers, yellow stimulators and elk hair caddis. Yellow seems to be the key. Other flies working include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns and prince nymphs. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working. In the crystal, clear water of the collection ditch, if you can see the fish, they can see you. Go low, slow and wear drab clothing.

SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR

This reservoir is down about four to five feet due to evaporation and fishing for trout has been slow to fair, while bass fishing has been fair to good. Surface water temperatures in the mid 70’s which is helping the bass bite but causing the trout to move into deeper water. There is lots of weeds and algae. Fly fishermen fishing chironomids (midge larvae) or small nymphs in black or red under an indicator are finding some success. Fishing snow cones and midge larva a foot off the bottom in about 10 feet of water seems to be the ticket, especially over muddy bottoms. Most of the trout being caught from shore have been in the backs of deeper coves, along Jet Ski Beach, Coyote Cove and by the dam. Bass fishing has been good for both smallmouth and largemouth using soft plastic baits in darker colors. Fishing below the dam in the river has been slow to fair. Some smallmouth bass have moved into the river upstream of the reservoir and they can be taken with crankbaits, soft plastics and dry flies like hoppers, Chernobyl ants and yellow stimulators. Anglers may now keep one black bass 15” or longer. The state park campground is open at 50% of capacity.

WILDHORSE RESERVOIR

There is an algae bloom going on and surface water temperatures are in the 70’s driving trout very deep into the water column. Fishing for and perch ranges from good to very good, both from shore and from boats, while fishing for trout is slow to fair. Bass fishing is good for numbers but fair for size. The usual PowerBait and worms for bait anglers have been working for trout. For fly fishermen midge larva, hares ears, and PT nymphs are good patterns to use. Black or olive wooly and crystal buggers are taking fish as well if you can get them deep enough. Most anglers are fishing Penrod and Hendricks Arms as well as the south end of the lake. Perch fishing has been good using small brightly colored jigs tipped with a piece of worm or just a piece of worm on a small hook fished under a bobber. The Hendricks Arm has been very good for perch. Also target perch in just about any cove with some vegetation. With the lake spilling earlier this spring, fishing below the dam continues to be fair to good for reservoir sized fish using streamers or hopper patterns. Anglers may keep one black bass 15-inches or longer. The campground is open and is on a first come first served basis but is limited to 50% of capacity. Tribal land around the lake is open to camping.

WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR

The reservoir is full!  NDOW and Barrick planted the reservoir with 5,000 five to six-inch catfish and 5,000 15-inch catfish on Friday, May 31. Expect the fishing for catfish to pick up as the water temperature is in the mid to  high 60’s. Approximately 1100 crappie from Chimney Creek Reservoir were stocked, but anglers are being asked to return any crappie they catch back to the lake for a couple of years while the fishery rebuilds.  Bass will be stocked sometime in July and more crappie will be planted in the fall.

WILSON RESERVOIR

The water level is good for this time of year, but weeds and algae are in full bloom. Fishing is slow to fair for 12 to 15-inch trout and good for bass. Just like other reservoirs, the trout have moved into deeper water. Black leeches have been working for trout, but also have been very good for bass. Best time for bass seems to be from sunup to about 10:30 am and late evenings. For the most part, the same presentations that are used at South Fork, should work here. Please pack your garbage out.



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