NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

It looks like we are finally getting some much needed moisture.  Just in time for the Wildhorse Trout Derby this weekend.  So go prepared for some wet windy weather, not the best conditions for ice fishing, but in my experience good for catching fish. 

Over the years some of my best days of fishing (catching fish) have been when the weather is not very good.  The key is being prepared for the weather.  This time of year especially, quality gear can make the difference between a good day of fishing or a miserable day of being wet and cold.

Start with a good base layer.  Either a synthetic that will wick away moisture or a quality natural merino wool that will keep you warm even if wet.  Stay away from cotton as it holds moisture and has no insulating value when wet.

Next a good outer shell that is both waterproof and windproof.  If you can afford it, GoreTex is great as it blocks the wind, rain and snow, while allowing moisture generated from your body to escape.

Waterproof boots are a must when ice fishing.  You can go cheap, especially for growing children, with pack boots that are a rubber shell with an insulating felt liner.  Great for standing around ice fishing, but just fair for walking.  Just don’t plan on hiking too far in them.

If you can afford it, waterproof leather boots with thinsulate as an insulation are great.  Wear two  pairs of socks.  A thin soft inner sock and a heavier wool outer sock.  This keeps you from getting blisters and helps keep the feet warm.

Finally, a good hat and some great gloves.  I like merino wool fingerless glove liners inside of a pair of mittens or heavy gloves.  When actively fishing, the outer shell can come off but when standing around trying to keep warm, leave them on.            

So get geared up and head out to the Wildhorse Trout Derby both Saturday and Sunday.  Each day is handled as a separate tournament.  There is a $10 entry fee each day with 100% of the entry fees being paid out in prize money.

Registration is from 7 AM to 11 AM and winners are declared each day.  For more information you can call the Mile High Steakhouse at 775-397-7155 or Wildhorse State Park at 775-385-5939.



The road is closed, and the lake is ice covered.  There will be no fishing reports for this lake until late spring or early summer depending upon the winter.


Cave Lake is sitting approximately 15 feet below normal water levels and is fluctuating.  While there is approximately 10 inches of safe ice, anglers are encouraged to use caution and drill test holes.  If the ice is not in contact with the surface water of the lake, access on the ice is discouraged.  Fishing has been fair to good for trout.  The best method is a hook with worm or PowerBait three to four feet underneath a bobber or below the surface of the water.   


Cold Creek Reservoir is now at minimum pool due to outlet structure repair being done by Kinross.  There is very little water and it is covered in unsafe ice.  It’s not worth the trip.  Once repairs are complete, pray for the rest of the winter to bring precipitation to help fill the lake. 


Comins has approximately 10 to 12 inches of good ice, though there are soft spots and little bit of open water on the north end. Unless we get a cold spell, which is unlikely, this may be the last weekend of safe ice here.  However, fishing has been good for 14-to-18 inch trout and northern pike.  Worms seem to work best, though just about anything has been working.  Jigging with minnow imitations has been productive for both trout and pike.  Anglers, please note that NDOW has placed radio tags in several Northern Pike.  These pike will have an orange floy tag near their dorsal fin and a small antenna coming from their stomach. Please return these fish to the water for research purposes.  If it doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish.  Don’t put it back in the lake.   


Illipah has approximately 10 inches of ice but the edges and surface are soft.  Like Comins, please use caution when getting on and off the ice.  ATV’s are not recommended to be on the ice.  Fishing has been fair to good.   Black or olive jigs tipped with worms jigged slowly have been working as have just hooks with a worm or PowerBait.  


Jakes Creek is covered in approximately 10 inches of ice except for a small patch of open water at the shallow end.  Anglers have been fishing through the ice with good results for 10-to-15-inch trout using worms. 


The lake is iced over with unsafe ice, except where the aerator is. Due to the aerator and the size of the lake, ice is generally never safe for ice fishing.  The water level is very low so pray for a good winter to fill this reservoir up. 


Snow, ice, and muddy bank conditions are making fishing difficult.  With the winter temperatures, stream fishing is slow to fair.  Expect the fish to be sluggish and anglers will need to put their presentations right in front of the fish and work them slowly.  Stream flows have changed little in the last week and are still very low. As of February 12, the East Fork of the Owyhee has very low flows and is showing ice at the gauging station, the Bruneau River also showing ice and travel is not recommended here, the Jarbidge at 6 cfs(access through Idaho), Salmon Falls Creek at 63 cfs, Lamoille Creek at a very low 2.5 cfs, the South Fork at a low 12.5 cfs, Cleve Creek at 5 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3 cfs and Kingston Creek at 2 cfs. 


With snow on the mountains only the most experienced backcountry travelers should attempt to reach the lakes. The lakes are frozen, and fishing is done for the winter.  There will be no more fishing reports for the high alpine lakes until late spring or early summer depending upon the winter.


Little or no change here as the collection ditch has plenty of open water for fishing, but travel is through Secret Pass as Harrison is going to be snowed in this weekend.  Water level in the collection ditch is up, especially as you get closer to Brown Dike, which is good news for anglers.   The water clarity is variable, being murky in some parts and clear in others.  Anglers report catching fish averaging 12 to 16 inches at the collection ditch using egg patterns, balanced leeches, crystal buggers, #14 hare’s ears, and #16-18 PT nymphs.  Other flies working include the usual small nymphs, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns, and prince nymphs. Small brightly colored spinners were doing well for spin fishermen.


The wind and warmer temperatures have opened up a large amount of water with most of the south end of the lake open.   There is also a ring of water around the ice in the north end of the lake and the ice is gray and rotten.  Stay off the ice! Anglers are having success with both worms and PowerBait with fish averaging 15 to 18 inches and a few over 20, though the catch rate is slow.  Flies that have caught fish include leech patterns, wooly buggers, hares ears and midge patterns.  Fishing at Jet Ski Beach has been fair to good depending upon the day.  Cloudy, windy days seem to be best for catching, while calm, bluebird days seem to be the best for fishing.  Fishing below the dam in the river has been slow with very low flows. It looks like we are in for an early spring and unless things change drastically, it won’t be long before this lake is ice free.


The ice is approximately 12 to 15 inches as of Thursday with a couple of inches of snow on top, though up to six inches is expected this weekend.  Continue to use caution around the pressure ridges. There is a chance of slush in isolated areas.  Very little change in fishing conditions though as anglers are doing well for both perch and trout.  Perch were being caught in 25 to 35 feet of water using small plastic grubs or lures tipped with a bit of worm right off the bottom.  Trout were being caught in shallower water, 10 to 12 feet, fishing about halfway up the water column.  Both Penrod and Hendricks Arms were fishing well.  Worms were working for trout.  Many perch between eight and 11 inches are being caught, though if you start catching a lot of small ones, you may need to move to catch keepers.  Trout were averaging between 15 and 20 inches.  The river below the dam has low flows and the shorelines are icy but fishing the pools has been fair to good using streamer patterns and nymphs for fly fishermen and minnow imitation lures for spin fishermen.  


No fish


Wilson is approximately 50% open water and very thin, unsafe ice on the rest of the lake.  Expect 4WD conditions on the way there with the weather moving through.  No recent report from any anglers here.  Anglers should expect similar fishing conditions as at South Fork and should use the same presentations.  With the predicted warm weather it won’t be long before this lake is ice free.

More Reports

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Wednesday, February 10th, 2021
: NDOW Southern Fishing Report
Lake Mead: Largemouth Are Becoming More Active
Colorado River - Willow Beach: Boaters Trolling Are Catching Stripers up to 25 lbs.
Lake Mohave: Lake Mohave Report
Colorado River - Laughlin: Anglers Are Reporting That Bigger Fish Are Taking Swimbaits
Kirch Wildlife Management Area: Still Some Open Water on The Reservoir
Eagle Valley Reservoir: As of The Weekend The Ice Was Still 6-8 Inches Thick
Echo Canyon Reservoir: The Reservoir is Clear of Ice