NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

With the warmer weather upon us, it’s time to head out fishing.  But hold on, is your fishing gear in good shape and ready to perform if you manage to hook the big one?   An hour’s work could mean the difference between a great fishing trip or a frustrating time on the water.

It pays to check your reels and to put on new line and fill them to the manufacturer’s capacity.  Monofilament and fluorocarbon both have memories, and with use, also develop weak spots. 

Monofilament deteriorates very fast and should be changed yearly for the average angler.  Don’t skimp, get a quality line. With all the money spent on fuel, food, bait and tackle over a fishing season, $10 to $20 isn’t really that much.

Service your reel while you have the old line off, as it doesn’t take much to keep them in proper working order. Rinse and remove all dirt and grit as a starter.  Putting reel lube or grease on the moving spools, shafts and handles will serve you well for the entire season, provided you are fishing primarily in freshwater venues. Now put new line on.

Inspect your rod.  Start at the tip, work your way slowly towards the handle of the rod looking for anything out of the ordinary such as a chip, a dent, or even a (gulp) crack.

You can often repair most problems yourself or if it is something major, you can send it to the manufacturer or find a person who builds their own rods to help.

Now is also an ideal time to maintain your terminal tackle. Plastic lures can be cleaned with soap and water.  Touch them up with a permanent marker, nail polish or paint.  Do you have a go-to lure that just doesn’t retrieve the way it used to?  Often the small wire line tie on the bait is bent or mashed.  Using a pair of pliers, straighten it out and see if that cures it.

Old hooks should be checked for rust and replaced with new ones if they are.  Take a hone, sharpening stone or small file and sharpen the hooks until they leave a scratch on your thumbnail when drug across it.


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 level and is now ice free.  No recent reports on fishing conditions but expect it to be fair to good using worms, PowerBait or small spinners.  Fly rodders should be using small nymphs, chironomids or buggers.  Expect soft, muddy shorelines. Cave Lake was recently stocked with approximately 5,000 rainbow trout.      


Cold Creek Reservoir is now at minimum pool due to outlet structure repair being done by Kinross.  There is very little water and is mostly ice free. 


Comins lake is ice free.   So far fishing has been good this spring with 16-to-20-inch Rainbow Trout being caught. Bass fishing is slow. Anglers will do well on nightcrawlers, a variety of spinners, wet flies behind a bubble, and even PowerBait.  Minnow imitations and large streamer patterns have been working for northern pike, many of which have been staged for spawning on the southeast shoreline.  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 the pike doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish.  Do not put it back in the lake.  Comins Lake was recently stocked with approximately 3,500 rainbow trout.


Illipah is ice free and sitting at approximately 90% of capacity. Anglers will do well on nightcrawlers, spinners, and PowerBait. Fly rodders should be using olive or black wooly buggers, black leeches, red copper Johns, GR hares ears, PT nymphs and prince nymphs.  


Jakes Creek Reservoir is now ice free.  Expect fair to good fishing for trout and slow fishing for bass.  The usual worms and PowerBait, as well as small spinners, rooster tails, and panther Martins should work. Fly rodders should be using black or olive wooly buggers or leech patterns, hares ears, PT nymphs and chironomid patterns. Expect muddy road conditions Sunday, but the road should dry out early next week. 


The lake is ice free with very low water levels and a soft, muddy shoreline.  There was a trout die off last summer, so no trout are left here.  A few blue gill and bass, but no report on how fishing is. The shorelines are soft and muddy.


Stream flows have increased over the past few weeks but are still well below normal. With last year’s dry summer and fall, the ground is very dry and most of the water from snowmelt is being absorbed into the ground, which is keeping flows low.  As of April 23, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 96 cfs, the Bruneau River at 95 cfs, the Jarbidge is flowing at 22 cfs(access through Idaho), Salmon Falls Creek at 117 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 15.5  cfs, the South Fork it at 18-28 cfs, Cleve Creek at 5.5 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 2.7 cfs and Kingston Creek at 3 cfs. 


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


No change here as fishing has been fair to good depending upon the day and location, with high water levels and turbid water.   The fish that are being caught are with leech patterns, balanced leeches, crystal buggers, #14-16 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. On warmer afternoons if you see insects hatching, switch to midge emergers, blue wing olive emergers or dries. Small brightly colored spinners were doing fair for spin fishermen. Anglers may now fish the water behind and downstream of the hatchery.  Harrison Pass is now open to two-wheel drive vehicles.  The south springs were recently stocked with approximately 1,000 tiger trout and 700 rainbow trout.


Surface water temperatures have moved into the low 50’s, almost perfect trout temperatures.  The dock is in at the main boat ramp and the water level is good for launching a boat here. However, the boat ramp at Jet Ski Beach is not useable due to a drop off at the end of the ramp which will get your trailer tires stuck.  Fishing has been good this past week with both fly rodders and spin fishermen having success. Anglers are having success with both worms and PowerBait catching fish averaging 15 to 18 inches and a few over 20.  Flies that have caught fish include leech patterns, red copper Johns, wooly buggers, hares ears and chironomids (midge) patterns. Midges are starting to hatch with this warm weather and can make up almost 50% of a trout’s diet on our high desert reservoirs and up to 80% in the spring.  Fly rodders should start fishing midge patterns for success.  Ice cream cones, red butt buzzers, red and silver zebra midges, chromies and frostbite chironomids are all working.  Red seems to be the magic color.  On windy days with the waves stirring up the muddy bottom, fly fishermen should do well fishing the edges of the mud plumes with chironomids (midges).   Fishing at Jet Ski Beach has been fair to good depending upon the day.  Fishing on either side of the dam has been good as has been the south end of the lake where the river empties into the lake.  South Fork was recently stocked with approximately 30,000 trout.


Wildhorse is now ice free and open for fishing!  The dock is in the water at the boat ramp for launching boats. Fishing has been good for trout with surface water temperatures in the 40’s. Fly rodders have had success with balanced leeches and chironomids.  Expect buggers and small nymphs such as copper Johns, hares ears and PT’s to all be working.  Bait anglers should be using worms fished off the bottom.  Small spinners should also be effective. The tailwater below the dam has below average flows but they are fishable and fishing has been good in the river using streamer patterns and nymphs for fly fishermen and minnow imitation lures and spinners for spin fishermen.  The further downstream you get, the better the flows as the tributaries join the main stem.


No fish


Fishing was good last weekend with anglers catching fish using a variety of presentations.  For the bait anglers, worms seem to be working better than PowerBait.  Spin fishermen should be using black spinners with gold blades.  Fly rodders were having good luck with purple wooly buggers.  Since Wilson often fishes similar to South Fork, bring the chironomid patterns.  The water level is down about 6 feet, and chances are that the lake won’t spill this year.  If it rains as predicted on Sunday, expect muddy road conditions.

More Reports

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Cave Lake: Recently Stocked With 5,000 Rainbow Trout
Comins Lake: Fishing Has Been Good This Spring
Illipah Reservoir: Ice Free and 90% of Capacity
Jakes Creek Reservoir (Boies Reservoir): Expect Good Fishing For Trout
Ruby Lake NWR: Fishing Has Been Fair to Good Depending Upon Day and Location
South Fork Reservoir: Water Temps in Low 50s For Almost Perfect Trout Temps
Wild Horse Reservoir: Wildhorse is now ice free and open for fishing!
Wilson Reservoir: Fishing was good last weekend

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
: NDOW Southern Fishing Report
Echo Canyon Reservoir: Trout Have Been Hitting Well Off The Dam
Eagle Valley Reservoir: Trout Action Has Been Good This Past Week
Kirch Wildlife Management Area: Trout Bite Has Been Godo This Past Week
Colorado River - Laughlin: Striped bass are becoming more active below Davis Dam
Lake Mohave: Lake Mohave Fishing Report
Lake Mead: Black bass anglers are finding fish in 6-8 feet of water