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Sierra lakes fishing well this fall

The fall season for anglers is one that we wait for all year. It is arguably the best season for fishing in general.

Whether you like to fish rivers or lakes, fish know that winter is coming and they feed heavily. Many fish are also spawning during this season. Fall spawning fish such as Kokanee salmon, brown trout, brook trout, lake trout and mountain whitefish are all spawning in our creeks, rivers and lakes.

This past week a good friend and I decided to take a trip to one of our favorite local lakes to check things out. We arrived with clouds building in the distance.



It was a little windy. We observed a few fish rising out in deeper water and lamented about not bringing our float-tubes. We also observed an abundance of callibaetis mayflies along the edge of the lake and in mating flights. This is always a good sign when you see rising fish in lakes. There was also an abundance of small bait fish in the shallows.

I went ahead and rigged two fly rods, one with an intermediate line and the other with a floating line. My friend decided to begin with an intermediate line. After pulling on our waders, we waded into the lake and began casting.



My friend began fishing with a nymph and I chose a streamer. As I was casting, I could see fish rising farther out and I could see mayflies emerging around me. My friend and I were within shouting distance and he called out to me that he had rising fish near him close to shore.

This prompted a move to his right and a switch to my rod strung with a floating line. I tied on a size 18 dark gray Quigley Cripple to imitate the emerging mayflies.

The fish rose to the fly eagerly and I landed several small fish in succession. As a result my friend decided to go back to the truck and rig up his floating line. The action was fast and furious for me while he was gone.

When my friend came back, we continued to catch fish, although not as quickly as when my friend was at his truck. The rumbling of nearby thunder and dark clouds in close proximity drove us off the water. On the way out it rained so hard that the road looked more like a small stream.

All in all it was a great day. One thing that I have learned about fishing lakes is that fish can change their feeding on various stages of aquatic insects quickly. Preparing for this by being rigged up several rods with different flies already tied on is a must. In the time it takes to rig up a second rod, the bite on one stage may almost be over.

and#8212; Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.


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