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New trout season up and biting

Approaching the opening day of general trout season this past week, stream flows were low due to the cool weather. But as the weekend weather warmed, the flows picked up noticeably.

The North Yuba increased from 700 cubic feet per second Friday to 1,700 cfs Monday. Salmon Creek, below Bassett’s Station, changed from clear to muddy brown as the snow melt put soil into the water.

As is typical of the North Yuba, a good size brown trout was landed by a local Sierra County angler. This year it was Ed Wharton who came in with a 24.5-inch, 5-pound brown trout. He was not forthcoming with exact details, but speculation was that the fish was taken on bait downstream from Downieville. My source noted a couple other browns caught and released on opening weekend.



I checked in with contacts from Bishop to Dunsmuir. The common denominator was that the number of fishermen was lower than in previous years. The price of gasoline has finally reached the point where I question whether I should use my vehicle for any particular trip. I think that anglers need to consider carpooling. The way to be invited more often is to be generous in helping to pay for fuel.

I did not hear any reports from Fuller Lake, which is thawed. The Bowman Road is open to the far end of the lake and snow covered beyond. The launch ramp access is still snow-covered. Above Bassett’s, the road to Graeagle has been plowed only four miles up. As of Friday there was no lake in the Lakes Basin that was ice-free. Sardine, at the lowest elevation, had 20 feet of water along the shore and the center of the lake was still frozen.



I finally received a series of good fishing reports from Pyramid Lake in Nevada, the best of which came from a friend, Peter Bauer, who fished the Pelican Point area this past Thursday.

The “Nets” area below Sutcliffe has closed to fishing and many of the anglers have moved up to the beach north of Pelican. Fishing was fair for the majority of anglers who fished by retrieving streamers and lures. The good bite came to those fishing chironomid patterns suspended below a float. Peter took fish consistently throughout the day by hanging a large No. 8 black “Zebra Midge” about a foot off the bottom in 10 to 12 feet of water. Starting midday, the fish showed a preference for a smaller No. 12 midge into the afternoon.

The water surface temperatures at Pyramid are in the mid-40s early in the day and rise to the high-40s by late afternoon. There is a closed zone immediately around the launch ramp at Pelican. Peter fished south of the ramp among the tufa rock formations. His largest fish was more than 10 pounds and measured 30 inches. As the water temps move into the 50s, fishing should continue to be good.


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