General Trout season ends, more opps await
The general trout season for our region ended on Thursday. However, the year-round lakes and reservoirs such as Boca, Donner, Prosser, Tahoe and Stampede remain fishable.
The Truckee River from Trout Creek to the Nevada state line remains open for those wishing to fish artificials only with barbless hooks and a zero bag limit from Nov. 16 until the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April. The same regulation is also in place for the Little Truckee River between Boca and Stampede reservoirs.
This is the second winter season for the Truckee and Little Truckee rivers. Last year, the mild winter gave anglers quite a few opportunities to get out and wet a line. Most feel that a normal winter will significantly reduce the amount of angler usage on these two streams. A similar regulation on the upper Sacramento River has resulted in what is considered minimal angler usage.
Both the Little Truckee and Truckee rivers should remain good options for those wishing to fish until the snow flies. Fishing can be good during this period, usually with little fishing pressure since hunting season is also available to sportsmen during this time.
Anglers will find that fishing in the winter is a learning experience because the food that is available to them will be quite different than the spring, summer and fall months. In waters where winter fishing is available, anglers find that the main insect of interest is the midge. These insects are tiny flies that are imitated with flies in the size No. 20 to 24 range.
While these insects are very small, their hatches are prolific. With thousands of these bugs on the water, fish can feed and take in many calories even though they are small. The fish can simply take in more than enough of these small insects because of their abundance to sustain themselves.
Because the fish must feed on quite a few of these smaller insects, the angler has a good opportunity to fish over a midge-feeding fish. It is a challenging method of fishing to even the most expert of anglers, but its rewards are great. I love trying to fool a fish that is actively feeding on midges. Casts must be accurate and timed properly in order to fool a working fish, and this is what makes it so much fun. If you do everything properly there is a very good chance that the fish will take your offering.
With only the second winter season coming on the Little Truckee and Truckee rivers, anglers will be learning just as they have during the General Trout seasons in the past. Many anglers know these cycles well, but the winter will be new to them.
Just remember that the winter season is a zero-kill or catch-and-release-only season with artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. Because this is a relatively new special regulation season, expect to see a good amount of law enforcement out on the water.
Just a word of caution, last winter the wardens were surprised to see how many tickets they had to write on not using barbless hooks and artificial lures or flies. You must use a barbless hook or pinch down the barb on a barbed hooked completely.
Many wardens test the pinched down barbs by putting them through their shirt sleeves and seeing if they came out without hanging up. Some may even go as far as using a cotton ball to see if any fibres come out on the barb.
Angling is just another option to boast the area’s renowned winter recreation. The next time you have one of those great blue-sky days in the winter, you may want to head to the river in lieu of the ski slope.
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