Only a couple weeks away from the California opener on April 29th

Photo Credit: June Lake Loop

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. We are only a couple weeks away from the California opener on April 29th. Many rivers and streams will change from artificial lures and flies with zero limit, to catch and fillet with options of using artificial lures or bait. Make sure to check your regulations for any waters you choose to fish. Some waters do not change, or may have other restrictions. The lakes in Inyo and Mono counties will be open. But this year will be a little different. The higher lakes in the June Lake loop area are still covered in snow and ice. You might want to bring an auger if you are able to get into them. Lower Twin Lakes may be open to angling and boating, but I have a feeling that the upper lake will not be open by the end of April. A few things to remember for this year's opener. Due to excessive snowfall, many areas may still be inaccessible until mid May or June. Plan ahead and call ahead of your adventure. The rivers and streams will be very cold and we have to be mindful of hypothermia.  Ambient temperature will also be cold, so make sure you bring the right gear for the area you plan to fish. You can always dress down as the day gets warmer. But as we all know, it is not a fun trip if you are underdressed for the weather. Make sure you check ahead to make sure the campground of your choice will open. Some may have reduced capacity due to our winter weather maker this year.

CAPLES LAKE: The lodge has been plowing out their cabins and is looking to open at the end of May. I talked to one of the EID camp hosts. He told me that there was still 15' of snow over their vaulted toilets. The vent stacks are 30' tall and they were still covered in snow. The lake had 6-8 feet of snow still covering it.. A few people were out skiing and snowshoeing last week. It will be awhile before we can fish the lake.

RED LAKE:  The lake is still frozen with a couple feet of ice covering it. A few anglers have been out ice fishing this last week. The parking area behind the dam has been plowed with room to park.



BLUE LAKES, SUNSET LAKES, TAMARACK LAKE: Closed to the first gate.


CARSON RIVER EAST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: As of this week. The road is open to 300 feet past the Carson River Resort. The road buckled between the resort and Hangman's bridge. CAL/TRANS is working to get the road open up to wolf creek by the end of April. They are also trying to open Monitor Pass. Due to the high water flows. The river is not scheduled to be planted with trout for the opener. The Carson River Resort is open for Cabin rentals and possible tent campers. They are working on clearing the RV area from all the tree limbs that broke over the winter. For more information call or stop by the Carson River Resort.

CARSON RIVER WEST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: The flows were nice last week, but will increase as the weather warms up. Joe Voss tried  throwing some flies last week. He did not see or catch any, but it was a fun day on the water. The river is not scheduled to be planted for opening day due to water flows.

INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The paved road had only one lane in and out. Not a safe road to travel. Right now the road is closed at highway 89. But may open by the end of April. The dirt road is not advised at this time due to mud and snowy areas. And that it has not been plowed all the way in.. When we can get in, spring fishing will be off the hook.

TOPAZ LAKE: The lake level has gone down  about 5 feet since my last trip. The Douglas County ramp is open, but the docks are out of the water about 3 ft. For smaller boats it may be difficult to tie up. I fished with Tom Blotter from 7:30 to about 1pm last Sunday. We trolled with Rapalas and various spoons. The south end was a little muddy to fish and has become very shallow. Boaters watch your props. We caught six rainbows up to 13 inches. The fish were not stacked in any location, we caught them on the west side in 25 feet of water, as well as 40 feet of water. The shore anglers we saw were not having much luck on either side. Due to the low water, campers were able to get down to the east side and camp along the lake. But for the next month or so, the lake level will be fluctuating  and releasing enough water to ensure we have enough capacity for the spring runoff. I would also recommend not to fish the canal area due to the level of water release.

WALKER RIVER RECREATION AREA: This area is located off of highway 208 just south of Yerington NV. and the good news is, Hwy 208 through Wilson Canyon is now back open and repaved. The recreation area is located on 211 East Walker Road in Yerington. They have tent camping, RV with and without hookups. Or you can call to reserve a cabin on the river. Walker River State Recreation Area is a 12,856 acre state park unit of Nevada along the East Walker River near the city of Yerington. The park is one of Nevada's largest and newest state park units, dedicated by Governor Brian Sandoval on September 18, 2018.. Bring your pets, ATV's and they also have equestrian camping.  For more information call 775-463-1609.

MASON VALLEY WILDLIFE AREA:  Located off of US 95  in Yerington NV. They offer many ponds  to choose from to fish for trout, crappie, catfish and bass. And yes, a river runs through it. The Walker river is open to fishing year round. They have rustic dry camping in a few areas. But one of my favorite things to do is, Visit the hatchery and see all the varieties of trout they plant throughout Nevada. Check each pond for any special regulations.

BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: I chatted with Chase at the Bridgeport Marina this week.. The lake is high enough right now for the marina to be open for rentals and boat launching. And the lake is thawing nicely. But with the runoff that will happen this spring. The water level has been fluctuating to allow for a lot of snow melt and may change by opening day. I feel this will be a good year for large rainbows and browns. The marina offers tent camping, yurts, RV camping, some with full hookups and many dry camping spots. For more information or to make reservations., contact the Bridgeport Lake Marina.

NDOW RECENT FISH PLANTS: Seeman Pond, Mitch Pond, Mountain View Park Pond, Mountain View Pond,Liberty Pond and Bailey Pond.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters soon. 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.