NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

I was talking to an angler the other day and was asked what knot I used to tie my fly to my leader.  I told him it depended upon the situation, but mostly I used the improved clinch knot or the Duncan loop.  I asked him what he used and he said the improved clinch, which is what most anglers seem to use.

When I asked him why, he couldn’t really give an answer other than it was what he had always done.  The discussion turned to leaders and when I asked him why he was using what he did, the answer was the same, “It’s what I’ve always used.” 

This got me to thinking as to why we do what we do.  Often it is because it was how we were taught and never moved on from that, but many times it’s because it is the easiest way or most accessible item. 

 Fishing situations are different all the time and doing the same old thing “just because” may mean that you don’t catch as many fish or any fish at all.  Learning new techniques or learning about different items that are available may not only improve your ability to catch fish, but also provide a more enjoyable fishing adventure.

When you aren’t able to get onto the water is often a great time to explore new techniques and gear.  One positive of the internet is the accessibility to information.  Other anglers are also a great resource for new ideas.  Watch what others are doing while out fishing and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Most anglers are happy to share their expertise with you


The road is open and the lake is ice free.  The parking lot is free of snow, though anglers will encounter snow as the head up the trail around the lake.  There was a minor fish kill this winter here, so expect fishing to be a bit slower than usual until the stocking truck and access the lake (more snow needs to melt) and stock it with trout.


Cave Lake is sitting approximately 15 feet below normal water level.  Fishing has been good here using worms, PowerBait or small spinners.  Fly rodders should be using small nymphs, chironomids or buggers.  Cave Lake was stocked with approximately 5,000 rainbow trout in late April.  


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.  


Work is being done to put in an improved boat ramp at Comins which is affecting access to the lake.  Do not expect to be able to launch a large boat for the foreseeable future as volunteers and contractors are cutting brush and moving dirt to prepare for the boat ramp. This is taking place where people have usually launched boats and that area is currently not accessible.  There is trenching and the installation of power along the entrance road and anglers should expect occasional road closures in this area.  Very little change here as far fishing conditions which has been good this spring with 16-to-20-inch Rainbow Trout being caught. Bass fishing has picked up and is good. 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 has was stocke with approximately 4,900 rainbow trout last week as well as a truckload of blue gill salvaged from Jiggs Reservoir.


The water level is down as water is being taken out for irrigation. Fishing continues to be good.  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.  Illipah was stocked with approximately 24,000 rainbow trout this spring.


Expect good fishing for trout and fair conditions 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.  This water was stocked with 3,000 trout two weeks ago.


The lake has 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.   NDOW salvaged approximately 3,000 blue gill and several hundred black bass this past week that were taken to other appropriate waters in the state.


Flows are variable depending upon the day and the weather.  Check the USGS streamflow website before heading out to your favorite stream to see if it is fishable.  As of June 3, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 100 cfs, the Bruneau River down to 64 cfs, the Jarbidge is 112 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 82 cfs, Lamoille Creek at a roaring 163 cfs, the South Fork up to 350-400 cfs, Cleve Creek at 5 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3.2 cfs and Kingston Creek at 6.1 cfs.   


Access is improving and while there is still snow at the higher elevations, access to many of the lakes is opening up.  Expect fishing to be good. 


No change here as trout fishing continues to be good depending upon the day and location, with good water levels.  Bass fishing is fair but picking up.   Fish are being caught 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 warm afternoons if you see insects hatching, switch to midge emergers, blue wing olive emergers as well as the usual assortment of dry flies. Small brightly colored spinners were doing fair to good for spin fishermen. Anglers may now fish the water behind and downstream of the hatchery.  Please follow the signs for access and don’t walk through the hatchery itself. Boats with electric motors will be allowed on the Refuge starting on Tuesday, June 15.

Fishing for both trout and bass continues to be fair to good depending upon the day.  Algae and plant growth is starting to come on.  Surface water temperatures are well on their way into the 60’s and the bass bite has picked up, especially largemouth bass using crankbaits and spinnerbaits.  Catfish have been showing up in the creel with Gavin Broad of Sparks, NV, catching a 30 lb. 11 oz. catfish Memorial Day Weekend.  Anglers are also having success with both worms and PowerBait catching trout 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 larva) patterns. Ice cream cones, red butt buzzers, red and silver zebra midges, red brassies and frostbite chironomids are all working.  Red seems to be the magic color for midge patterns.  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. 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.  No black bass may be kept until July 1.  They must be released immediately after being caught.


While the lake level is good, downstream users have had to start using water early due to very dry conditions.  Expect the level to steadily drop this summer.  Very little change here as fishing has been good for trout and perch and fair to good for bass. Surface water temperatures are in the 60’s and some algae is starting to appear.  Fly rodders continue to have 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 in water that is four to eight feet deep or suspended about five feet below a bobber.  Small spinners should also be effective.  Bass anglers have had success with orange pumpkin and green pumpkin soft plastics as well as perch-colored crankbaits. Orange has also been a good color for perch, bass and trout.  With the release of water from the dam, stream flows are still holding at approximately 100 cfs below the dam.  Wildhorse was stocked with another 12,000 rainbow trout last week. No black bass may be kept until July 1. 


No fish


With surface water temperatures in the 60’s, fishing for trout has been good and bass has been fair to good and getting better every day.  For the bait anglers, worms seem to be working better than PowerBait for trout.  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. Dark colored soft plastics and fire tiger/perch-colored crankbaits are working for bass. The water level is still about three feet vertical feet from spilling and chances are that the lake won’t spill this year. This will be only the second time in the past 20 years that this has happened.  The road has been graded and is in good condition. Wilson received some of the blue gill that were salvaged from Jiggs Reservoir.

More Reports

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Cave Lake: Fishing Has Been Good
Comins Lake: Stocked With Rainbow & Bluegill
Jiggs Reservoir (Zunino Reservoir): Lake Level is Very Low
South Fork Reservoir: No Black Bass May Be Kept Until July 1

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Friday, June 4th, 2021

: Len Warren to Receive Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award
: Carson Lake and Pasture
Marlette Lake: Marlette Lake Restoration