Water temperatures at area lakes are climbing and with the afternoon surface water temperatures at both South Fork and Wildhorse well into the 70s, anglers need to change their tactics. Often the key to catching fish is not just the time of day (early in the morning when it is not as hot) but also depth and the type of presentation. In other words, fish deeper.
When fighting the fish in a reservoir they end up in the warmer, less oxygenated surface waters. The stress from the exertion of fighting the line, combined with the stress due to lack of oxygen and the heat, doesn’t allow them to recover and many of those fish die even if released. So please limit your catch and release fishing to the cooler parts of the day (early morning) and land the fish quickly if you are going to release it.
If you catch a fish during the heat of the day, either use heavy enough tackle to get it into the boat quickly, so it can be released quickly or keep the fish. The chances that a fish will survive during this period drop to almost none. So even though you may feel good about releasing it, you are just wasting the resource.
The Angel Lake Kids Fishing Derby is coming up next Saturday, July 21. As the name implies it is held at beautiful Angel Lake just a few miles out of Wells is about an hour drive from Elko. Besides good fishing, there will be educational booths that include casting, fish ID/cleaning, boating safety, fly tying and a hatchery fish truck filled with fish. Rumor has it that Smokey Bear will also be there.
Each participant will receive a free goody bag and there are lots of great prizes to be given away at the end of the morning along with a free chilidog lunch for everyone. To top it all off, it is generally 10 degrees cooler than here in Elko. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and the fishing begins at 8:30. So, beat the heat and bring the kids out to Angel Lake on July 21.
While surface water temperatures have climbed into the 70’s, fishing continues to be good for trout, though they have moved into deeper water. Bass fishing is fair to good. Trout are averaging 14 to 17 inches with the occasional 20+ inch fish being taken. Anglers report success all along the state park shoreline, Hendricks arm, Penrod and north to the last cove before the canyon to the dam. Realize fishing from shore is best early in the morning before the surface water temperatures get too hot. Boaters are doing well on the southeast shore between Hot Creek and Goose Island trolling crankbaits as well as in the canyon by the dam. Sherbet and rainbow PowerBait seems to be working well, but anglers report catching trout on worms, spinners, small spoons and crankbaits. For fly rodders should be using most common nymph patterns such as hares ears, prince, PT’s and damselfly nymphs. Other flies to try include black leeches, balanced leeches, and wooly buggers. Some dry fly action early morning and evenings. Try PMD’s, Adams, Griffith’s gnats, damselflies and elk hair caddis. Wildhorse has been stocked with approximately 55,000 trout this spring. Anglers may now keep one black bass 15 inches or longer.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
Fishing for trout at South Fork continues to be just fair though it has picked up at the south end of the lake. Float tubers are catching some trout by the willows at the south end of the lake and shore anglers are catching a few along Jet Ski Beach and in the coves near the dam. Bass fishing has been good. Fishing for wipers has been fair to good with the south end still producing wipers. Some nice catfish have also been showing up in the creel. Surface water temperatures have climbed into the 70’s. Most bait anglers are having some success for trout with PowerBait or worms floated off of the bottom, while fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, flash back PT nymphs, prince nymphs, balanced leeches and buggers. Damselfly nymphs are on the move so those patterns should also be tried. Small dark spinners and minnow imitating lures with some red in them have produced a few fish. Dark soft plastic grubs with some sparkle are working for bass as are crank baits. Poppers are also working on still mornings and evenings. Starting Sunday, July 1 one black bass 15 inches or longer may be kept. Anglers may now keep one black bass 15 inches or longer. One wiper 15 inches or longer may be kept.
Fishing for bass is good, while for trout it is just fair. Most of the bass are fairly small (six to eight inches) though a few 10 to 14 inch fish have shown up in the creel. The water level is very low, which have the fish concentrated. PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and dark spinners with some red or yellow accents seem to be working. Brown or olive nymphs as well as red copper Johns and blood worm patterns for fly fishermen are good choices. Black wooly buggers and seal buggers are also worth a try. Poppers on still mornings and evenings are working for the bass, otherwise soft plastic grubs are working.
They opened Wilson Reservoir back up to fishing on Friday. Expect good conditions for bass and fair to good for trout. Bass hitting top water gear including blue damselfly adults. Great popper action in the mornings and evenings when the wind is down. Dark soft plastic grubs are also working for bass. Trout are hitting damselfly nymphs, olive or black wooly buggers, hares ears, PT nymphs, red copper Johns, red brassies and chironomid patterns.
RUBY LAKE NWR
Bass fishing has been good on the south marsh as quite a few anglers are reporting limits of keeper fish. On top of catching fish, the keeper ratio was good. Those anglers who knew how to fish the marsh were getting a 10 inch or larger bass for every three to five fish caught. Dark soft plastics with some flash were the presentation of choice. Best colors seemed to be purple, motor oil and dark green. Quiet evenings may find popper fishing fun. Fishing continues to be good at the collection ditch for 12 to 16 inch trout. The water is clear and levels are good. Small spinners and minnow imitations were producing some fish for spin fishermen, but fly rodders were doing better. Fly rodders should be using hare’s ears, pheasant tails, prince nymphs, midge patterns, leeches, and wooly buggers. On the warmer afternoons, there have been some small mayfly and midge hatches so blue winged olives, Griffith’s gnats, and small Adams are all worth a try. One angler reported catching a number of fish with a dry blue damselfly. Remember, if you can see the fish, they can see you. Go low, slow and wear drab clothing.
JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR
The lake is full and fishing has been good the past couple of weeks. Weeds are coming on and fishing from shore is difficult. Best fishing is from float tubes or small boats. Anglers can use a variety of presentations including worms, PowerBait, spinners and flies. Chironomids, wooly buggers, hares ears, prince nymphs and damselfly nymphs are recommended.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
Little to no change here as fishing continues to be good for both bass and trout.
With surface water temperatures approaching 70 degrees, Cave Lake continues to fish well for 9 to 11-inch trout though they are starting to move down in the water column.
The lake is starting to drop a bit but anglers continue to catch quality rainbow trout over 16 inches off a variety of bait, lures, and flies. Boaters and float tubers are able to access most of the lake easily.
Water levels continue to drop and surface water temperatures are climbing into the high 60s and with the warmer weather are probably in the 70s by midday.
Fishing has been good for fly fishermen using beadhead hares ears and small black crystal buggers. Small worms seem to work better than PowerBait here. Also small spinners in black and gold or dark green and gold are also effective at Angel Lake. Angel Lake Kids Fishing Derby is Saturday, July 21 from 8:30 to noon for kids age 4 to 15.
Trails are open and so are the lakes. Expect fishing to be good. Island and Lamoille Lakes have open water and fishing has been slow to fair at Lamoille Lake but good at Island. The further you get from the Lamoille Canyon Trailhead the better the fishing gets. Worms seem to produce better than PowerBait at the higher elevations and small spinners and rooster tails are also effective. Fly fishermen will want to use small nymphs sized 12 – 18 such as hares ears, PT’s, prince nymphs, copper Johns as well as black or olive wooly buggers sized 10 and 12. Dry flies to try include Griffith’s gnats, small stimulators, elk hair caddis, small black Adams, humpies, flying ants and beetles.
Stream flows are well below normal for this time of year which makes most of them fishable. Lamoille Creek was stocked with approximately 4,000 tiger trout the first week of July. As of Thursday, Lamoille Creek was flowing at 22 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt above and below the reservoir approximately 15 cfs, the East Fork of the Owyhee below Wildhorse was flowing at 99 cfs, the Bruneau at 11 cfs, the Jarbidge at 11 cfs, Cleve Creek around 5 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 3 cfs. Swinging small spinners or streamers or dead drifting a worm or hopper on a light wire hook are your best bets in the streams. Hoppers are out and dry fly fishing is in full swing, though with low water flows, stealth is the key. Fish are already heading to the larger pools and deeper runs. Try floating small elk hair caddis, small stimulators, royal trudes, renegades and of course terrestrials, hoppers and especially ants and beetles.