NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife
8-28-2020
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A little bit of precipitation this week brought some welcome release to isolated areas around Elko County. With the rain several streams in the area are currently flowing around normal after being below normal for most of the summer.  Lamoille Creek, South Fork of the Humboldt and the Jarbidge Rivers are all flowing near normal.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday see a cooling trend with high temperatures in the low to mid 80’s and overnight lows ranging from the low 40’s to low 50’s.  Combine that with a full moon on Monday and those three days look to be pretty darn good for some early morning, late evening angling.

The reason I say early morning and late evening (and I do mean early and late), is that with a full moon and clear skies, fish often feed at night.  Aquatic insects also appear to be more active at night during a full moon which contributes to this nighttime feeding.

By early, don’t be afraid to be on the water about 5:00 am, fishing until about 9:00 am.  Then get back at it starting around 6:00 pm until about 9:00 pm.  Yes, you may be fishing in the dark, but if you get a few big ones, who cares?

The solunar tables also say that fishing at high noon is also supposed to be good for catching a few fish.  Since the daytime highs are going to be lower, it might just work.  Just don’t practice catch and release during the middle of the day on the reservoirs where surface water temperatures are well into the 70’s.

There is going to be very little, if any, change in fishing conditions this week as this time of year things change very little from week to week.  However as we move into September, as the weather starts to cool, things should start to improve on the fishing front.

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 about 18-inches to two feet below the bobber. For fly rigging a dry and a dropper is working very well.  Good flies for the dry are hoppers, yellow stimulators and humpies.  Yellow seems to be the color here.  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, red/silver zebra midges, hares ears and small leech patterns.  

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 mid-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 is down 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

With the recent scattered thundershowers, stream flows have improved and along with them, the fishing has improved.   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.  The further south you get in the eastern region of Nevada, the lower the stream flows are. As of August 27, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at  75 to 80 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Bruneau River at 7.5 cfs (half of normal), the Jarbidge at a normal (for this time of year) 7 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 24 cfs, Lamoille Creek flowing at 11 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at 16 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 behind a clear bobber filled with just a bit of water for casting.  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 not recommended. 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.   With low water conditions and lots of weeds, fishing is just 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 average 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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