This late winter is hanging on and as of the writing of this report, a fair amount of snow and wind was forecast for Thursday night through Saturday morning. While this makes for lousy fishing conditions, we really need the moisture and our area streams and reservoirs will benefit from it.
As of Wednesday, Feb. 28, last year’s licenses expired and if you are planning on going fishing, then you need to purchase a new one. There are some major changes this year to the license structure and they benefit the sportsmen and women of Nevada.
With license simplification, there are no more state stamps to purchase. Everything is included in the cost of the license. The simplification is revenue neutral, so most anglers will see little if any increase at all.
A resident adult fishing license is now $40 and includes the trout stamp, two-rod stamp and Colorado River stamp. If you had purchased all of these last year, the total would have been $52. Most anglers purchased an annual license and a trout stamp at a minimum for $39, so even if that is all you purchase, the increase is only a dollar.
Junior and senior anglers get a license for only $15, which is much less than before. In fact, if they want to hunt their combination license (hunting and fishing) is only $15 also! Of course they must meet the hunter education requirements.
I encourage everyone to get the new 2018 Nevada Fishing Guide that will show all the changes in license structure as well as the regulations for the area you want to fish. There are also some great articles including fishing for native red band trout in the Bruneau River Wildlife Management Area.
Wildhorse has approximately eight inches of ice with a layer of snow on top. There are still pressure ridges, which cause a weakening of the ice, so anglers are warned to avoid these areas. There is open water again in the same areas as before, near the bridge over the Hendricks Arm, at the mouth of the Hendricks Arm where it opens into the main body of the lake, and the southwest shoreline. Anglers should avoid these areas. Fishing is still fair to good depending upon the location and the day. As a general rule, anglers should find trout in six to 10 feet of water. For the most part, the fish are averaging 15 to 20 inches in length. Jigging should improve the odds of catching a fish.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
It has warmed up just a bit and with the high winds, a large portion of the recent ice is gone and there should be plenty of open water for fishing. Any ice that is left is extremely unsafe. Fishing continues to be just fair, but those fish being caught are ranging from 15 to 22 inches with the occasional 25 inch fish being reported. Most anglers are having some success with PowerBait or worms, while fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, prince nymphs and buggers. Sherbet PowerBait fished using a slip sinker off of the bottom about 25-30 feet from shore seemed to work the best.
As of Tuesday, Zunino Reservoir was covered with unsafe ice with no open water for fishing.
The road to Wilson is rutted and with the forecast snow travel will probably be difficult and should be considered 4WD. At last report, the lake was ice free, but it may have some skim ice like the other lakes. The water level is approximately 50 percent of capacity with light flow at the inlet.
RUBY LAKE NWR
Fishing has been fair to good at the collection ditch depending upon the day and the experience of the angler. The water is turbid, so for the most part sight fishing is out. 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, eggs and egg sucking leeches. The fish are moving, so if you don’t have much luck in one area, pack up and hit another. Earlier this week you could get over Harrison Pass in 4WD. With this week’s storm, it may not be open.
No recent report, but there should be some open water.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
At last report Cold Creek was 100 percent open water, though it may have some skim ice on it now. Expect fishing to be fair to good for trout though there is no recent report of anglers fishing here.
At last report there was unsafe ice with some open water at the inlet where you can fish.
Unsafe ice with open water in the north lake and the extreme south end of the lake that is fishable.
Illipah is approximately 50 percent open water, primarily along the dam side. The rest of the lake is covered in unsafe ice. Expect fishing to be fair to good along the ice edges using the usual PowerBait or worms. If you are throwing hardware, small bright spinners, rooster tails and small minnow imitations can be productive here.