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. As a general rule, NDOT tries to have the road cleared by Memorial Day. It all depends upon snow conditions.


Cave Lake is lowered to minimum and unfishable. Fish stocking will resume once the dam repairs are completed. 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.  For more information on Cave Lake, please contact the NDOW Ely Field Office.


This winter repairs to the outlet structure and the reservoir bottom were completed, thanks to Kinross Gold. The reservoir is filling nicely and should allow for normal stocking this spring. NDOW will begin rebuilding the Largemouth Bass fishery with augmentations this summer.


The new boat dock is in the water and ready for boaters.  Surface water temperatures have moved into the high 40’s.  Anglers report good spring fishing for quality rainbow trout from shore with reports of a few tiger and brown trout being caught.  Nightcrawlers seem to be the bait of choice though some anglers also appeared to be doing well using PowerBait or using a bubble with a wet fly beneath it. Surface water temperatures are starting to move into the mid 40’s. 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.


The lake ice free.  The reservoir is at approximately 60% of capacity and fishing has been good. Anglers will do well with a variety of night crawlers, PowerBait, and spinners. For bait anglers nightcrawlers and rainbow 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 (midge larva) 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.


The lake is ice free, nearly full and anglers are catching trout.  The surface water temperatures are still in the high 40’s.  Worms seem to be the presentation of choice, though small spinners should also work for those who want to throw some hardware.  Fly rodders should be using chironomids, PT nymphs, hare’s ears, small black or olive buggers and leeches.


Almost dry and no fish.


Harrison Pass was open for driving to the marsh last weekend, but not word on its current condition with a week of snowfall. Anglers may want to consider going the long way through Secret Pass just to be safe. Not much has changed as far as fishing conditions and like the rest of northeastern Nevada the waters are ice free.  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 these warmer afternoons.  Size 16 to 20 elk hair caddis, blue winged olives, ants and Griffith’s gnats should all be effective. Spin anglers should be using small spinners in black or olive with contrasting yellow or red colors.


Little has changed in fishing conditions and the fishing has been good for trout at South Fork. The surface water temperature has cooled a bit this week due to the colder air temperatures and the snow.  However, fishing continues to be good for spin, bait and fly rodders with most anglers fishing from Jet Ski Beach, on the northeast side of the lake, near the spillway on the northwest side of the lake and by the dam on the east 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 continue to report good luck with gold Kastmasters, spinners and small jigs. Fly fishermen report that fishing has also been good for trout in the 15 to 20-inch range. Most are being caught with chironomid (midge larva) patterns fished under an indicator. Black snow cones with a white bead and red wire ribbing have been working well. Red snow cones are also producing fish. Black, olive or purple wooly buggers and leech patterns have are also catching fish.  However, brown or root beer colored wooly buggers and leeches with some flash seem to be working the best for stripping.  A few smallmouth and wipers have shown up in the creel.  Male bass are starting to transition from the deeper water to the spawning beds hanging in about 15 to 20 feet of water.  The wipers were caught near the surface, but in the middle of the south end of the lake.  If targeting these warm water fish, slow down the retrieve as the water is still well below their comfort zone and they are moving slower.  Chartreuse was working for the wipers but no report on what was working for the black bass. No black bass may be kept until July 1.  Return them to the water as soon as they are caught.


There has been a fish die-off here, but it appears to be mainly yellow perch with a few catfish.  NDOW biologists have found only one trout that had died. This was due to anaerobic conditions that were caused by a turnover of the lake due to the fast loss of the ice and high winds that stirred the lake water.  Surface water temperatures are 41 degrees and fishing has been good this week for trout.  Those who have a boat will find that the west side of the lake has been producing fish averaging 14 to 18 inches with an occasional 20 incher caught.  Fishing in the coves as well as in the Hendricks and Penrod Arms from shore has been good for trout.  Fly fishermen have been having good luck with wine colored leech patterns as well as wine or red chironomids with silver wire and a silver bead.  Olive leeches and buggers have produced a few fish as well.  For bait anglers try fishing an inflated worm a few feet off the bottom using a slip sinker in water that is four to 10 feet deep.  Don’t fish it too far from the bank, 20 to 30 feet at most. Another option would be to roll some PowerBait to make a bell shape and fish it in a similar fashion to the inflated worm using a slip sinker and it will float up a couple of feet above the bottom.  Make sure to dip the PowerBait in the water for a few seconds after it is on the hook to “gel” it up so it doesn’t come off the hook when casting. Wildhorse was stocked with 10,000 trout on April 8.  No black bass may be kept until July 1. Please return all black bass to the lake as soon as they are caught.


No fish


The road is in good shape and the lake level is still low with the water just starting to touch the concrete at the very bottom of the boat ramp. There is not enough to launch a boat. Fishing was very good for fly fishermen last weekend, with several reporting 40 fish days with trout taking just about any fly that was thrown at them.  The fish were averaging 14 to 18 inches and fat. Angers should use the same presentations and techniques as are being used at South Fork Reservoir.  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 as it appears the peak snowmelt runoff has already occurred.  Wilson was planted with approximately 12,000 trout on April 1.