Great conditions mark beginning of trout season
Opening day for the General Trout Season, last Saturday, displayed some of the best early season fishing conditions we’ve seen in quite sometime.
Anglers reported that the fishing in lakes was generally good, but the Truckee River got mixed reviews.
The upper section of the river, between Tahoe City and River Ranch, didn’t produce a lot of fish. With flows at 70 cubic feet per second, the only fish caught seemed to be in the larger pools of this section. I personally only saw fish caught in the River Ranch main pool.
Where the flows picked up, the fishing tended to be better. The river downstream from Boca appeared to fish the best and areas within the wild trout section also received good reports.
It all appeared to depend on the skill level of the angler, however. The more experienced the fisherman, the better the success.
I had an opportunity to talk to a number of anglers during the Longs Drugs Outdoor sale this past weekend. I did some fly tying on Sunday and had a chance to hear a number of people’s accounts of the opener.
Fly fishermen tended to have the best luck with flies such as the prince nymph, stonefly nymph, hare ear, and the woolly bugger just to name a few. Most action was subsurface as you would expect for spring conditions. Water temperatures were in the mid to upper 40 the most part.
The opener at Martis Lake was very crowded, as is usually the case for an opening day. Reports indicated that fishing was fairly slow overall during the day but picked up substantially during the magical evening hour. There were even early reports of blood midges. We can credit our mild winter for seeing the blood midges during opening day.
The lake level is also just a little higher than the typical level of the reservoir, unlike many years when the lake fills to the other side of Highway 267.
The Little Truckee was also very crowded when I visited Sunday afternoon.
There are special regulations in place at Boca Reservoir and some fishermen need to understand where these regulations begin. Because the water level rises and falls at this impoundment, apparently the starting point is at the high water mark of the lake. When water levels are lower, it apparently means that people fishing with bait are not in the special regulation section – even though it appears to be a stream rather than a lake.
Not understanding that led to some rude treatment for some kids fishing with bait.
I personally love seeing kids enjoying fishing. It keeps them busy and, in my opinion, also keeps them out of trouble. These kids were good fishermen and were really having fun.
Another bait fisherman heard about the treatment of the kids and, upset, commented to me that he did not see anything wrong with taking some fish to eat. His perception was that everyone seems to release their catch now days, but that some fly fishermen were particularly condescending to others that did not release their catch. He did not appreciate the attitude displayed by those involved in this particular incident.
Unfortunately, this type of thing happens because, first of all, people are people and not all display the common sense, courtesy and grace that they should. The my-way-or-the-highway attitude seems to be pervasive.
I am sure that many of you fishermen have witnessed similar events. It is unfortunate, but judging fly fishermen as a lot is also not warranted. Remember, there are good people and there are bad people in all walks of life. Fishermen, not matter what type, are certainly no different.
Boca – (34,735 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 should be improving. Flyfishermen near the inlet should have 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 fair to good success. A few large fish continue to be reported. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow-imitating lures have had fair to good success.
Lake Tahoe (Elevation 6,228.42) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. 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 closes again on September 30. No fishing is also allowed within 300ft of these tributaries.
(Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may be bagged or possessed) Fishing during the opener was only fair, overall. Blood midges are already showing due to the mild winter. Others are using nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish. Woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and GrffithKnat are good choices.
Little Truckee River (This area between Stampede Reservoir downstream to Boca Reservoir is now subject to artificial barbless lures with a two fish bag limit of fish 14 inches maximum) – Fishing here was fair to good for the opener. Flyfishermen fishing this stretch between Stampede and Boca concentrate on nymphs and streamers with occasional hatches where a dry fly will work.
Prosser – (18,797 ac. ft.) Prosser is filling and fishing has been fair. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.
Stampede – (215,922 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. Look for steady improvement as the weather warms.
Truckee River – The release is still at 69 cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. Runoff has apparently increased from the 286 cubic feet per second in the Truckee area last week to a 366 cubic foot per second rate. Seasoned anglers did well for the most part this part weekend. Most fish that were taken in the special regulation areas were caught on large nymphs. The upper stretch of the river fished poorly due to the low flows.
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 very well and should continue to do so through at least mid May. Still lots of large fish.
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The Truckee baseball team came up shy of a state championship last weekend, falling in Saturday’s title game to Virgin Valley.