NDOW Eastern Fishing Report

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

The road to Angel Lake is closed for the winter and the lake is ice covered and there will be no more fishing reports until late spring or early summer depending upon snowfall this winter.


The water levels continue to drop at Cave Lake in an anticipation of renovation efforts on the dam in this year. The lake is closed to fishing at this time.  NDOW conducted a fish salvage in December and moved some very nice brown trout ranging in size from eight to 25 inches into Comins Lake. A few of the larger brown trout were pushing seven pounds. Cave Lake is closed to fishing due to shorelines that are very soft and dangerous due to the complete saturation of the soil as the lake is drained.  By draining the lake, it should shave a couple of years off the re-building of the dam and cut costs tremendously.  It will also make the project much safer for those performing the work.


Cold Creek Reservoir was salvaged so that water control structure could be fixed to prevent leaking.  When the control structure is fixed, the reservoir will be filled and NDOW will begin rebuilding the fishery in spring or summer of 2022 depending upon water conditions.


As of Thursday, March 17, the north end of the lake was 70% open water with plenty of fishing access to open water from shore.  The south end was mostly covered with very unsafe ice. There is some open water but anglers probably can’t access the open water.  Please stay off the ice.  Anglers report good fishing for trout at the north end.  Nightcrawlers seem to be the bait of choice though some anglers also appeared to be doing well using PowerBait.  For fly rodders, this time of year chironomid patterns are recommended as they can make up as much as 80% of the trout’s diet in the spring in our high desert reservoirs.  Black or olive wooly buggers and black, olive or wine-colored leech patterns may also entice trout.  Pike anglers have had some success using artificial minnows or spoons jigged through the ice for 12-to-18-inch fish.  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 (~ 7 inches long) coming from their stomach.  Please return these fish to the water for research purposes.  All other pike should be humanely dispatched. There is no limit on the pike.


As of Thursday, March 17, Illipah was mostly covered in very unsafe ice with open water starting to appear along the shorelines.  Anglers should stay off the ice.  With the warmer weather predicted expect open water for fishing sometime in the next week to 10 days. For bait anglers nightcrawlers and PowerBait are the best bet. Small spinners, spoons and Kastmasters in gold for those throwing hardware should work.  For fly rodders, this time of year chironomid patterns are recommended as they can make up as much as 80% of the trout’s diet in the spring in our high desert reservoirs.  Black or olive wooly buggers and black, olive or wine-colored leech patterns may also entice trout.


No recent report, but expect unsafe ice with some open water along the edges. No recent report on angling pressure.


Almost dry and no fish.


Very little change, with some streams down a bit and others up a bit. Most streams are well below the median for this time of year. Expect springtime snow, ice and muddy driving conditions into many of these streams. As of March 17, Cleve Creek was flowing at 4.3 cfs..


No recent information on the condition of Harrison Pass.  With the snow at higher elevations last weekend it probably isn’t be passable. Secret Pass is recommended.  Plenty of open water in the collection ditch and the ponds. Some ice in the mornings but with warmer temperatures forecast for next week that should go away.  Fishing has been fair to good for 13 to 18-inch fish depending upon the day and location on the ditch.  Chironomid patterns such as zebra midges, Yankee buzzers, chromies and ice cream cones should work. Other flies such as leech patterns, balanced leeches, crystal buggers, #14-16 hare’s ears, and #16-18 PT nymphs fished under an indicator are recommended.  Very small dry flies have also been effective on warmer afternoons.  Size 16 to 20 elk hair caddis, blue winged olives, ants and Griffith’s gnats should all be effective. Egg patterns have also caught a few fish. Spin anglers should be using small spinners in black or olive with contrasting yellow or red colors.


South Fork is completely ice free and boats can be launched at the main boat ramp on the northeast side of the lake though the dock is still out of the water. The concrete boat ramp at Coyote Cove is out of the water so is unusable. Little has changed in fishing conditions and while some days produce fish, others have not.  Fishing has been fair to good for spin, bait and fly rodders with most anglers fishing from Jet Ski Beach or on the northeast side of the lake. Bait anglers seem to be having the best luck with worms floated off of the bottom about 20-30 feet from shore.  Spin anglers report good luck with gold Kastmasters and spinners. Fly fishermen report that fishing has also been fair to good for trout in the 12 to 18-inch range. Fishing is variable with some days an angler lucky to catch one or two fish and other days able to land five to 10 trout.  Most are being caught with chironomid (midge larva) patterns fished under an indicator. Black, olive or purple wooly buggers and leech patterns have also caught fish.  However, brown or root beer colored wooly buggers and leeches with some flash seem to be working the best.  A few bass are being reported.


The ice edges have softened up and as the day warms up there are a few inches of slush.  The north end of the lake has gray porous ice, the mouth of both Hendricks and Penrod Arms have weak spots from pressure ridges and anglers need to proceed with extreme caution.  No ATV’s or UTV’s should be on the ice and this is probably the last weekend that anglers should be venturing upon the ice themselves. With the warmer forecast expect ice conditions to deteriorate quickly over the next week  and open water will start to appear.  If the rain and wind that is forecast for Saturday evening come to fruition then Sunday may find unsafe ice conditions here. Please go prepared to test the ice and if it is questionable then stay off and head home.  Other than the ice conditions, fishing conditions are similar to last few weeks.  Fishing for trout continues to be good using PowerBait or worms fished about four to six feet below the ice though a few are being caught throughout the depths. Trout have been averaging 15 to 20 inches with a few in the 20+ range.  Perch fishing continues to be good for numbers but most are smaller and it takes a lot of catching to get a few keepers. Great fishing for kids who don’t seem to care as much about size as adults.  For perch, fish within a foot of the bottom in 25 to 35 feet of water using small plastic jigs tipped with a piece of worm.  A slight jigging action occasionally helps.  That being said, perch have been caught in all depths of water using just about any bait or presentation.  If you are catching mostly small ones, move as they generally school by size. However, don’t venture too far from the State Park due to deteriorating ice conditions.  The State Park Campground is open on a first come first served, with the loop closest to the boat ramp open for campers.


No fish


The road was in good shape last week, but the lake level is low.  The ice is receding with open water from shore for fishing.  No reports from anglers on fishing conditions.  Expect similar conditions as South Fork Reservoir and anglers should use the same presentations.  Since the big question every spring is when will the lake spill, with the low water levels and lack of snow pack, it probably won’t spill this year.

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