NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

The fishing report will have few changes this week as we are in the heat of the summer and in a kind of static situation due to the dry hot days.

The afternoon highs are expected to continue to be in the high 90’s for the weekend and high 80’s to low 90’s all next week, which means that trout fishing on many of our waters is only fair with streaks of poor.  What’s a fishin’ bum to do?  Go high young angler.  Hit the alpine lakes in the East Humboldt’s and the Ruby Mountains where projected highs this week anywhere from 75 to 85 depending upon the elevation.

 While not for the faint of heart, these lakes are underused, the water is still cold and provides great fishing.  There are two lakes that are easily accessible to the average person, Lamoille Lake and Island Lake.  While they do get the most use, fishing can still be good.  With a little more effort, lakes such as Liberty, Favre, Overland, Hidden and Robinson can be reached in a few hours.

Anglers can use natural bait, spoons, spinners and flies.  At several lakes this past week Mepp’s black fury spinners were working well as were the tried and true hopper, yellow stimulators, elk hair caddis, royal Wulff’s, red or yellow humpies and mosquito patterns. 

If you don’t own a fly rod, use your spinning outfit with a clear bobber filled with a bit of water and about 3 to 5 feet of line behind the bubble.  For natural baits, use worms, grubs and especially grasshoppers you can catch on the hike up.  Put the grasshoppers behind the bubble the same way you would a fly, just make sure to use a light wire hook.  Besides the fishing, you will see some great views and stay cool.

Not able to hike to the higher elevations, but want to visit an alpine lake?  Then head for Angel Lake just outside of Wells, about an hour’s drive from Elko.  This is one of the higher elevation lakes in the country that can be reached by a paved road. Fish it the same as you would the other alpine lakes mentioned above.  


Fishing has been good here depending upon the day.  Worms or PowerBait fished off the bottom using a slip sinker have been working.  Bobber fishing is picking up as the surface water continues to warm.  Good flies for stripping include small leeches, crystal buggers, slumpbusters and wooly buggers.  Nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, zebra midges, soft hackles and chironomids fished under an indicator should be productive. Dry flies are starting to produce fish.  This lake was stocked with approximately 2,200 rainbow trout in early July for a total of 4,800 fish so far this year. 


Cave Lake is sitting approximately 15 feet below normal water level.  Fishing has been good for 8 to 10-inch trout using worms, PowerBait or small spinners.  Fly rodders should be using small nymphs, chironomids or buggers. When the trout are dimpling the surface in the morning or evening, the usual assortment of dry flies in sizes 14 to 18 should work. Patterns to try include elk hair caddis, Adams, mosquitos, blue wing olives, pale morning duns and any of the royal colored dry flies.  Cave Lake was stocked with approximately 5,000 rainbow trout this spring.


The work on the dam is complete here and the water level has come back up.  Cold Creek was stocked with approximately 2,400 trout in June. No word on how the bass fishing is.


 With the hot weather, trout fishing is slowing down though up to about a week ago it had been good.  Lots of people hitting the lake.  Bass fishing has been consistent through June and into July with people hooking into 10 to 12 inch Largemouth with the occasional 16-inch fish.   Anglers shouldn’t be surprised if they catch a Bluegill from time to time but we are asking that those fish not be harvested since they are the founder population of what could be a fun pan fishery. They were recently stocked with fish salvaged from Jiggs Reservoir.  Anglers will catch trout on nightcrawlers, spinners, wet flies behind a bubble, and wooly buggers. Bass have been hitting on spin baits, crank baits, and poppers. Minnow imitations and large streamer patterns have been working for northern 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 the pike doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish.  Do not put it back in the lake.  Comins Lake has been stocked with approximately 17,500 trout this spring.


Water levels have remained relatively stable this year allowing anglers to have pretty good fishing, though it is starting to drop a bit as fields are needing to be irrigated.  There are large vegetation mats on the south end of the reservoir that are producing sizable insect hatches. Fish the edges from a boat or float tube.  Rainbow Trout will be the dominant species to catch at Illipah Creek with the occasional Brown Trout being caught. Anglers will do well on beadhead pheasant tails, wooly buggers, chironomids and parachute Adams.  Spinners, PowerBait, and nightcrawlers will do well for the spincasting crowd.Illipah has been stocked with approximately 24,000 rainbow trout this spring.


The water level is still dropping as irrigation continues.  This is normal.  Aquatic vegetation is thick so shore fishing is difficult. Best results are from a float tube or small cartop boat.  Expect good fishing for bass and slow to fair fishing for trout, though a few trout in the 13” to 15” range have been caught.  The catfish are cooperating as are the bass with bass averaging 10 to 13 inches.  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.  The same soft plastics that work at Ruby Lake NWR should work here for bass. Jakes Creek was stocked with approximately 3,000 trout this spring.


The lake has very low water levels and there was a trout die off last summer, so no trout in this lake.   NDOW salvaged approximately 3,000 blue gill and several hundred black bass that were taken to other appropriate waters in the state. Expect this small impoundment to dry up this summer. 


Flows are very low and most are only 10 to 20% of normal for this time of year. Some, like the Bruneau are so low that the pools and deeper runs are the only place holding fish.  This means trouble for them this summer.  Tabor Creek was recently stocked with approximately 1,500 Tiger Trout. Kingston, Steptoe, Cleve and Big Creeks were stocked with approximately 1,000 Rainbow Trout each and Lamoille Creek was stocked with approximately 4,000 tiger trout three weeks ago. As of July 22, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 25 cfs, the Bruneau River down to a very low 3.9 cfs, the Jarbidge at 6.6 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 40 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 10 cfs, the South Fork a trickle at 9 cfs, Cleve Creek at 3.5 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 2.5 cfs and Kingston Creek at 5.6 cfs

High Alpine Lakes

Access is good and fishing the high alpine lakes is a great way to beat the heat.  The same tactics and presentations that work at Angel Lake should work here.



No change here as trout fishing in the collection ditch continues to be fair to good depending upon the day and location.  Bass fishing is good for numbers and fair for size in the South Marsh.  Trout 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. With the hot weather the usual assortment of dry flies including hoppers, damsels, elk hair caddis or yellow stimulators are working. 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 are now allowed on the south marsh. However, Narciss boat ramp is very weedy and boats with mortors can’t get through, so either paddle or use the main boat ramp.  Dark colored soft plastic grubs and worms with contrasting sparkle flakes rigged weedless are working for bass.  Colors include dark green, motor oil, black, purple and blue. Casting into the tules/cattails or into the shadows caused by them is your best bet.  Expect to lose some tackle.


Fishing for bass continues to be good while fishing for trout is fair for numbers and good for size.  The surface water temperature is about 75 degrees and the water is turning green with algae.  The warmer temperature is helping the bass bite, but slowing the trout.  Fish deeper water for trout and fish structure for bass.  Spinner baits, blade baits, soft plastics have all been working for bass. In low light conditions, topwater action has been good on still mornings and evenings.  Anglers are also having some 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.  Fishing at Jet Ski Beach has been fair for trout. Fishing on either side of the dam has been fair to good.  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.  They must be released immediately after being caught. South Fork Reservoir has been stocked with approximately 58,000 trout this spring. Anglers may now keep one black bass 15 inches or longer.


The outflow has dropped to around 25 cfs, good news for the lake.  Prop rock (in the canyon by the dam) is only about two feet below the surface and the submerged island off the state park is about two and a half feet below the surface. There is also a rocky shoal near the entrance to the Hendrick’s Arm that is now within a few feet of the surface as well.  They are now a hazard to boaters, so please be careful in these areas and watch your depth finders. With surface water temperatures in the mid 70’s the trout have moved down into the water column.  This time of year, a thermocline starts to form at approximately 15 to 18 feet down, and the trout will stage just above that. Trout anglers will need to get their presentations down to 12 to 15 feet to have the best chance of catching them.  Leech patterns and the usual nymph assortment of copper Johns, hares ears, pheasant tails and chironomids should all be working.  Bait anglers should be using worms or PowerBait fished off the bottom or suspended well below a bobber.  Small spinners should also be effective, just give them plenty of time to sink deeper into the water column. The warm water has kicked bass fishing into high gear.  Bass anglers have had success with orange pumpkin and green pumpkin soft plastics as well as perch-colored crankbaits. Orange or gold has also been a good color for perch, bass and trout. Expect to catch several perch between bass and trout hookups. Wildhorse was stocked with approximately 43,500 trout this spring.  Anglers may now keep one black bass 15 inches or longer. 


No fish


With surface water temperatures in the high 70’s, fishing has been slow to fair for trout and fair to good for bass. Fair for numbers of bass but good for quality.  Big damselflies and midges are hatching in the morning so Bass were hitting appropriate colored soft plastics; Junebug, green pumpkin and light blue/bluegill sparkly have been working.  Also, blue bladed jigs and the Ned rig finesse tactic are both working. For the bait anglers, worms seem to be working better than PowerBait for trout.  Spin fishermen should be using blue or green spinners with silver blades.  Fly rodders were having good luck with damselfly nymph and dry patterns along the weed bed edges in the morning.  Nymphs include blue copper Johns, hares ears, PT’s and of course damselfly nymphs. With the big midge hatch bring the chironomid patterns. There is still about three feet of water on the boat ramp so it is useable.  Wilson received some of the blue gill that were salvaged from Jiggs Reservoir. Wilson has been stocked with approximately 30,500 trout this spring.

More Reports

Nevada Department of Wildlife Reports
for Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
: NDOW Southern Fishing Report
Las Vegas Urban Ponds: Las Vegas Urban Ponds Fishing Report
Colorado River - Willow Beach: Multiple reports of striped bass catches
Kirch Wildlife Management Area: Bass fishing is good throughout the WMA
Colorado River - Laughlin: Striped bass anglers are reporting the best bite beginning at dusk
Lake Mohave: Multiple reports of striped bass catches topping 8 pounds
Lake Mead: Striper boils are reportedly being seen in both coves and open water
Echo Canyon Reservoir: Echo Canyon Resservoir Report
Eagle Valley Reservoir: Eagle Valley Reservoir Report

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