Winter arrives to delight of skiers, anglers
After a considerably long dry spell, winter appears to have settled in to the Sierra. The recent winter weather has made local skiers and anglers a little bit more optimistic about their seasons.
For skiers, it is obvious that this first good storm means that they can finally begin their ski season on some natural snow. Resorts such as Northstar and others had opened due to the extensive snowmaking capabilities that they employ.
The new snowfall could not have come at a better time. With the holiday season nearly upon us, the snow bodes well for local ski businesses.
For anglers, the snow is welcome because it means water come spring in our local streams, lakes and reservoirs. While this is just a beginning, let’s hope that winter continues to bring us the much-needed snowfall to fill our local lakes and reservoirs.
There is still fishing available in our region, but the snow will create some access problems. Our local year-round lakes and reservoirs are now blanketed in snow and some of them have begun to ice over. While the ice is still probably not thick enough to pursue ice fishing, it will not be too long before you can ice fish on Boca and Prosser reservoirs.
The main problem many will encounter is finding a place to park. While many lakes such as Donner and Tahoe offer decent shore fishing during the winter, access is sometimes a real problem, particularly immediately after a storm.
Parking is limited at best. For year-round streams such as the Little Truckee and Truckee rivers, the access conditions are probably even worse. Early in the season you may be able to get out onto the normal parking areas, but as the season progresses and the snow deepens, this does not provide that option.
I noticed that last year, Caltrans widened out the area around the Glenshire bridge, which allowed anglers to park along the roadway. However, with the flows so low in that region this year, fishing there will not be a viable option.
The flows are better from Boca downstream, and the access through the canyon is even worse. There are very few areas for anglers to park and get down to the water in this region.
With access limited during the winter, concerns that some may have had regarding the impact to the fishery with a year-round season are somewhat lessened. Only the true diehards will continue to fish the streams during the winter.
By the way, with Christmas right around the corner, do not forget that gift of a California Fishing License for that special someone. It is a great value for recreation at $41.20 for a California resident for the entire season, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009.
Happy Holidays to all of you!
– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.