Eastern Sierra Fishing Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Doug Busey

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers, I have taken a journey to view the devastation in Alpine County. To view where the fire went, and how amazing it was, seeing how the firefighters were able to save many structures that were in the fires direct path. Words can not express how grateful we are to all those involved in protecting the community. Driving down highway 89 towards Markleeville, We could see how the fire raged through TurtleRock campground and across the highway and up to Summit Lake and over the hill to Indian Creek Reservoir. As we drove to Indian Creek Reservoir, the fire did take out a home on the right side of the road. But as we approached the house that overlooks the lake. The fire came right up to the house and was miraculously saved. The fire went through the campgrounds at Indian Creek Reservoir. I saw trees that burned so hot, the only thing standing was their outer bark structure. The interior had been hollowed out from the intensity of the fire.  We drove back towards Markleeville to see another house that had been surrounded by the fire, but had been saved.  As we approached the town, the fire had burned right up to the town limits, but had not encroached any further. It was a sad sight to see Markleeville, a ghost town in the middle of the summer. Most of the businesses were closed. The Out West Cafe was cooking outside for guests. They had a large simple sign out front that said, "Thank You". As we passed through the town we saw that Markleeville Campground was still as green as ever and the pasture lands that stretch from the town to Hangman's bridge on the east side were untouched. Cows are still grazing as if it was just another day. I stopped in at the Carson River Resort to see that they had survived the fire, including the river cabin. Although, right across the street the fire had taken most of the trees and vegetation out. The campground by the river had also survived most of the fire activity. But right behind the resort, the fire had ragged up the hill and taken everything in its path. We then drove up further towards Monitor pass, somehow the fire had jumped over the river leaving most of it untouched. One thought I had as we drove back towards Woodfords, was the wildlife sanctuary I had the privilege of touring many years ago. There is a pond where I saw bears and deer drink from. Structures that were built for ground dwelling animals, perches for raptors. It was all natural, but it is all gone now.  Fire can be a mean animal, we have had to unfortunately, live with it. But most of all, we have to remember how to use it properly and respect it. For those anglers trying to get a hold businesses in the Markleeville area. The phone system and internet should be up and running soon. The power company did a fantastic job of restoring power to most areas.

Now on the angler side of things. The CDFW has a new promotion called the Hoot Owl Guidelines. CDFW is asking recreational anglers to voluntarily change how, when and where they fish to minimize stress and mortality among fish populations suffering due to drought conditions. CDFW is advising anglers to fish before noon on certain inland waters home to trout and other cold water fish species. This self-imposed action is known as "Hoot Owl Restriction". referring to limiting fishing hours when the hoot owls can be heard. The CDFW has  a new page called "Water Watchlist '' This is where you can find the specific waters you should avoid fishing past noon.

CAPLES LAKE:  The water level is still holding for now. The boat ramp at the resort is half way down the ramp.  The EID day use area is open for launching. The fishing has been a little slow. But shore anglers have been picking up a few with worms or lures. Boaters have been using flashers and a worm or Rapalas. There has been top water activity in the evenings. The campground area is open.  For more information stop by the Caples Lake Resort.

RED LAKE; In the last 30 days there has been no new blue green algae detected. Always use caution when fishing this area. A few anglers have reported that fishing was slow.

BLUE LAKES:  The road has been closed due to the recent fire activity. I have not received any information on when it will open.

BURNSIDE LAKE; The road is open for anglers and campers. Fishing has been very slow. No campfires!

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK: The water level is very low. Fishing has been slow. No recent fish plants.

CARSON RIVER EAST FORK:  The water level was low, but a few fish have come out in the 2-3 pound range. No recent fish plants.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The water level is still holding. The blue green algae had no new detection as of 6/30/2021. Use caution while fishing the lake. Please stay out of the campground area. It is highly recommended not to even walk past the gate to shore fish. The area is dangerous from damaged trees.

TOPAZ LAKE: The fishing has been slow. The anglers that have started at first light have had the most success with trolling deep with flashers or Rapalas. reminder that the lake will not close to fishing this year. We have plenty of time when the weather gets cooler to camp and fish.

I hope to see you on the waters soon. I wish I had a better report to give you. But I only tell it like it is, or is not. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. If you fish in the Alpine County area. Please be mindful and respectful of the people that live there. They are still trying to get back a way of life.  Good fishin' and tight lines.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a question. a report in our local fishing area or have a photo of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin' and tight lines.

More Reports

Carson Now Reports
for Friday, July 23rd, 2021
: Eastern Sierra Fishing Report
Caples Lake: Shore anglers have been picking up a couple here and there
Red Lake: Fishing has been fair
Bridgeport Reservoir: Water Level is Holding