The time is right for some prime fishing |

The time is right for some prime fishing

In case you have not noticed, the nights have begun to cool off and the trees are just beginning to turn color. This is a sure sign that the end of summer and the beginning of fall is here.

Fall is probably the best time for fishing. As temperatures cool off and the trout move to shallower water, fishermen find them much easier targets than during the warmer months of summer.

Many species of fish spawn in the fall. In our waters, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, and the Kokanee salmon all are fall spawners. This tends to make these species very vulnerable during this time of year.

While this is good for fishermen, a word of caution; do not disturb these fish while they are spawning.

We suggest not over fishing while they are spawning for obvious reasons. Catching spawning fish could cause a reduction in their species.

While each species reacts differently, the general rule of catch and release is highly recommended for most species. There are exceptions to this basic rule as we have discussed before. A prime example is the brook trout that populates some backcountry lakes and can tend to stunt because they overpopulate a water. Obviously, these fish can stand to have fish taken out even at spawning season. Brook trout and lake trout are member of the char family and spawn actively in lakes. Brown and Kokanee make runs into the tributaries of lakes to prolong their species.

Because these fish tend to get active during this period, they are generally much more aggressive and thus more susceptible to anglers. I have found streamers and spinning lures to be among the most effective ways of taking these fish while they are in their aggressive stage.

Non-spawning fish such as our rainbow trout populations are typically getting active as well. They seem to sense the need to store up reserves for the coming winter months and tend to feed extensively.

Most lake situations find these fish very accessible in the both shallows and the tributaries. They are found in the lake shallows because of the cooler temperatures and abundance of food. In the tributaries, many rainbows follow the spawning fish up and feed on their eggs.

I know that I enjoy fishing lakes at this time of year by walking along the banks and casting with simple woolly buggers and snail patterns. Typically, you can catch many fish and a good number of them will be large. Give this a try sometime.

In fact, this weekend, on Sat., Sept. 25, the California Department of Fish and Game is sponsoring their second and last free fishing day of the season. On this day, an angler need not have a license to fish. All other regulations apply, however.

This free fishing day was put into place so new anglers could give fishing a try at least twice a year. There is typically one day in the spring and one in the fall. The hope is that new anglers will catch on to the lure of fishing and take up the sport full-time and become part of the angling community.

Whether you are a first time angler or a veteran, this time of year affords you a great opportunity to catch fish. Good fishing action can be expected on almost all of our lakes and streams this season because of the good amount of water that we had all year. The fish are generally in great condition and should provide great sport for the coming fall.

Hot spots should be lakes such as Davis Lake and Frenchman about an hour north of Truckee. Local waters should be very good as well. typically, as the hunting seasons kick in, angling pressure seems to fall off a bit too. While you do not have waters completely to yourselves, the number of anglers is greatly diminished. This may or may not be true this year, considering the large numbers of anglers we had fishing the Truckee River this season.


Boca – (33,849 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair. Anglers fishing from shore are having some success. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait and lures form shore during the morning and evenings. Boaters are also 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 are still having success. Best times continue to be early and late in the day. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success.

Lake Tahoe – (Elev. 6228.12) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish typically are in the five to seven range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Top lining and shore fishing has been fair.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may be bagged or possessed) Fishing is fair. The warmer temperatures in the lake have caused fishermen to concentrate on early morning and evening hours. Most use nymphs such as the Hare’s 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 Griffith’s Gnat are good choices. Blood midge activity is slowing. Lots of midge activity on calm days and during morning and evenings. Midge pupa patterns can also be good.

Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair to good. 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 good dry fly action at times.

Prosser – (18,770 ac. ft.) Fishing has been fair. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Trollers have been successful using flasher combinations. Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (202,137 ac.ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are still catching fish. Concentrate on the deeper water during the day. Best time to fish is morning and evening. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Fishermen using downriggers are finding food action for Kokanee. Most use a flasher of some sort and a Kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release from Tahoe City has been constant. Fishing has been good. Nymphs and streamers, such as the Woolly Bugger, have accounted for most of the fish. Small dries such as the Humpy, Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, and the Quiqley Cripple are all fishing well. Grasshoppers are still fairly abundant during the days.

Other Waters – Davis and Frenchman lakes fished fair this past week. Reports indicate that fishing remains pretty good, and the fish are moving in from deeper water. Cooler night time temperatures are making fish more accessible.

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