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Be patient as the sport grows

Bruce Ajari

On a Mother’s Day, I am here reflecting on fishing in our local region. I have noticed that there has been a significant increase in numbers of anglers on our local waters since the opener. A recent trip to the Little Truckee between Stampede and Boca reinforced this to me. Even with some unusually bad weather, the number of anglers was staggering.

This is occurring for a couple of reasons. First, the fishing options are limited at present by the high water conditions. Second, the number of anglers has steadily increased, particularly, the number of flyfishing enthusiasts. With stream conditions in the Truckee River running at over 1,100 cubic feet per second near Truckee, fishing the river is extremely limited early in the season. That is not to say that fish cannot be caught. They can, but it is very difficult and takes extreme patience.

The best way to fish a freestone stream such as the Truckee is to aggressively wade the river to put yourself into the best position possible. The water has been too swift the past several high water years to accommodate this process. As a result, we have seen the smaller, more fishable waters crowded at times.

The popularity of fishing continues to amaze me. I am always hearing that new people are taking up the sport for the first time, or are trying a new form of fishing such as flyfishing. It is also because of the increase of anglers our favorite waters are becoming more crowded.

This is not a bad thing in itself. Anglers need to know that you may not have that piece of water that you are accustomed to fishing in solitude to yourself these days. Understanding that and being courteous and not infringing into another angler’s area will go a long ways in keeping everyone on good terms.

With increased numbers of anglers, it is also very important that anglers pay attention to conserving resources. In short, practice catch and release whenever possible. Use artificial lures or flies and barbless hooks to promote easier releases. If all anglers kept a “limit” of fish, it would not take long to deplete the numbers of fish. The result would be that the fishing would not be very good in our local waters.

As water conditions allow anglers to access additional areas, the current crowds should be spread out so fishermen will have a little more “elbow room.” Until then we will all have to make the best of it.

Please be careful when fishing in these current high-water conditions. As I wrote earlier in the season, it can be treacherous if you attempt to wade the river. The banks can also be unstable, particularly in situations where the current has undercut the bank.

Use caution under high-water conditions, and be courteous to your fellow angler throughout the season. This will make fishing an enjoyable experience for everyone.

FISHING REPORT

Boca – (36,009 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair. Most anglers fishing from shore near the inlet are having some success. The area near the dam is also fishing well. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having some success. Most were using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Kokanee fishing has been good. Flyfishermen near the inlet are having fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers, and emergers.

Donner – Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had some success. A few large fish were also reported. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success.

Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6,228) Fishing has been good for mackinaw as long as the weather permits you to get out. Most fish are in the five- to seven-pound range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is slow overall. Remember, tributaries to Tahoe are closed to all fishing until July 1 and close again on Sept. 30. No fishing is also allowed within 300 feet. of these tributaries.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed) Access is limited. Fishing is still fairly slow overall. Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and Grffith’s Gnat are good choices.

Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair to good near the inlet area of the Little Truckee into Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen fishing this stretch between Stampede and Boca concentrate on nymphs and streamers, but there has been some fair dry fly action at times.

Prosser – (16,174 ac. ft.) Prosser has been fishing fair. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (209,572 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good Most shore anglers are taking a few fish, some very nice size ones. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. Most used a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release was raised last Tuesday to 677cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. This translates into more than 1,100 cubic feet per second in the Truckee area. A few reports of a few large fish being taken in the upper stretch above River Ranch during the opener. Overall fishing in the river is fair. Still not too many anglers working the river at present. Try nymphs and streamers near the edges and near obstructions.

Other Waters – Davis and Frenchman lakes fished fair to good this past week. Reports indicate that fishing has been good and that there have been good numbers of people fishing these two lakes. Pyramid Lake has still been fishing well and should continue to do so through at least mid May.


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