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 it was stocked with approximately 1,500 trout the end of March. Expect good fishing for 10 to 14 inch fish using the same techniques and presentations as at South Fork.   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 were pushing 50 degrees before the recent front moved through the area. Expect them to have dropped back 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. The lake was stocked with approximately 5,500 rainbow trout the last week of March.  Nightcrawlers have been working though anglers have also been 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 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 slowly rising.  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 should also catch trout.


Very little change from past couple of weeks as the lake is nearly full and anglers are catching trout.  The surface water temperatures are still in the mid 40’s due to the precipitation and colder air temperatures.  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 dry and open for driving to the marsh this week.  With the recent snow anglers should still be able to cross the pass, but have good snow tires and four wheel drive may be needed for a few days.  Not much has changed as far as fishing conditions as 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. Mid-week surface water temperatures ranged from 49 to 52 degrees, but with Thursday night’s snowfall expect them to drop a few degrees. 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. While not in great numbers, trout have moved up into the river above South Fork in an effort to spawn.  Bait anglers seem to be having the best luck with worms floated off of the bottom about 20-30 feet from shore in six to 10 feet of water.  Spin anglers continue to report good luck with gold Kastmasters and gold colored spinners. 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, largemouth and wipers have shown up in the creel.  Male bass are transitioning from the deeper water to the spawning beds hanging in about 15 to 20 feet of water. It may be a couple of weeks before they move into the beds. The wipers were caught near shore in shallow water as they are attempting to spawn even though they aren’t able to.  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.


Not much has changed since last week as fishing for trout continues to be good for trout but slow for perch after the perch die-off.  Surface water temperatures were in the low 40’s earlier this week and with the precipitation and cooler temperatures probably won’t climb much over the next week. Those who have a boat will find that the northwest side of the lake is still producing fish averaging 14 to 18 inches with an occasional 20 incher caught.  However, late this past week, anglers were blown off the lake due to high winds making the act of fishing difficult.  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 was in good shape earlier this week but with the recent precipitation may be muddy.  However expect it to dry out quickly by the early next week.  The lake level is still low with the water only covering a foot or two of the concrete at the very bottom of the boat ramp. There is not enough to launch a boat. Fishing has been good for fly fishermen with anglers still reporting 40 fish days with trout taking just about any fly that was thrown at them though leeches and wooly buggers seem to be the favorite.  The fish were averaging 13to 17 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.