Last week we talked about getting your fishing gear ready for a day on the water. This week let’s talk about getting your boat ready for the water. Hopefully you winterized it which will make the whole process of preparing for the lake a lot easier.
First check all the safety gear. Make sure the life jackets are in good condition and fit. Check to see that they are not torn and that the kids haven’t grown out of them. Inspect the fire extinguisher to see if it is charged and not out of date. If you haven’t already done so, register your boat and get your AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) sticker. You can now do this online at www.ndowlicensing.com.
Make sure the batteries are charged. If you kept it on a conditioner all winter you should be OK, but if you didn’t, check the fluid levels and put it on the charger. Test the electronics and lights. Boats sitting outside can have wires crack and fail, so even if they worked when you put it away last fall, they may not work now.
Put fresh gas in the fuel tank or motor and fire up the boat before you put it on the water. Be sure to put on the “outboard ears” to pump water through the motor so you don’t burn it up. Walk around and inspect the hull for unusual wear or cracks.
Finally, don’t forget the trailer. Make sure all the lights work, check the tires, tie-downs and winch. It’s a good idea to grease the wheel bearings before you head out of the driveway. With just a bit of forethought, you can have a successful first outing in your boat.
May 8 is the monthly meeting of the Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers at 6:30 p.m. in the Nevada Department of Wildlife conference room at 60 Youth Center Road, Elko. After a short business meeting, there will be a presentation on “Fishing Elko County.” For more information, please go to www.rmffs.org or call 775-934-4565.
Fishing is good here and the dock is in the water. The usual PowerBait and worms for bait anglers have been working. For fly fishermen, this is chironomid season, so midge larva and emerger patterns as well as hares ears, and PT nymphs. Black or olive wooly buggers were taking fish as well. Anglers should be aware that many of the shorelines are muddy and vehicles should stay away from the shoreline. The water is clearing and most anglers are fishing Penrod and Hendricks Arms as well as the beach in front of the State Park. However, fishing appears to be good just about any place on the lake. Many fish are being caught from shore and be careful not to cast too far out and go past the fish. No black bass may be kept until July 1. The campground is open and with the weekend shaping up as sunny with highs around 70 degrees, it should be a great weekend for camping and fishing at Wildhorse Reservoir!
South Fork Reservoir
Very little change here as fishing at South Fork Reservoir is still slow to fair, with boaters doing better than shore fishermen. Over the past couple of weeks SF was stocked with approximately 25,000 trout. Fly fishermen fishing chironomids (midge larvae) are having the best luck. Most of the trout being caught from shore have been in the backs of coves, along Jet Ski Beach and Coyote Cove and by the dam. Fishing small PT’s, hares ears or chironomid emergers just under the surface has worked. Blood midges fished just off the bottom are also worth a try. Red copper Johns have been working near the dam for fish averaging 18 to 20 inches over the past week. Boaters were finding fish on the graph on the west side of the lake between the dam, Jet Ski Beach and Fisherman’s Point. Water flows coming into the lake are turbid and causing muddy water at the south/inlet end of the lake. Fishing the edge where the muddy water meets the clear water can be productive. No black bass may be kept until July 1.
Jiggs was stocked last week with approximately 2300 trout, 300 of which are surplus brood stock averaging around 12 inches. The same presentations as at South Fork should work well here. The shoreline is still muddy and anglers are being asked to keep their vehicles on the roads.
The lake is spilling hard and the water temperature is in the high 50’s and turbid. Fishing is good for 12 to 15 inch fish that are in good shape. The same presentations, flies, baits and lures as used at South Fork, should also work well here. The county road is rough with lots of potholes while the BLM road is fair with a few ruts.
Ruby Lake NWR
Harrison Pass is open! In addition, Secret Pass will be closed on Sunday, May 5 as a railroad crossing is installed on SR 229. Other than that, not much has changed here as fishing continues to be good at the collection ditch for 13 to 18 inch trout with the occasional large trout being taken. Small brightly colored spinners were doing well. Wet flies have been performing better than the dries right now. These include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, BWO emergers, red or blue copper Johns and prince nymphs as well as egg patterns in orange or pink. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working. In the crystal clear water of the collection ditch, if you can see the fish, they can see you. Go low, slow and wear drab clothing. Dredging of the Collection Ditch is completed. The South Marsh was recently stocked and fishing at the boat ramp has been good for stockers with an occasional larger fish as well as a few bass. The water temperature here was 54 degrees on Wednesday. While boats aren’t allowed on the South Marsh until June 15, float tubes are. Fishing should be good from a float tube as you head down the main channel.
Jakes Creek/Boise Reservoir
Very little change here as fishing is fair to good. Trout fishing is fair to good, bass fishing is slow to fair, and fishing for catfish has been fair. Some catfish in the one to three pound class (great eating size) have shown up in the creel. The preferred bait for them here appears to be shrimp. The usual PowerBait and worms as well as small spinners are working for trout. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, PT nymphs, copper Johns, and black or olive wooly buggers.
Cold Creek Reservoir
The lake is ice free and fishing has been fair. The lake was recently stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 11 inches last week. The usual worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work. Expect muddy road conditions to get here.
Cave Lake is ice free and fishing for nine to 12 inch fish has been fair to good. Most anglers are having luck with small worms, though PowerBait is also catching fish. Fly rodders should be using small olive or black bead head crystal buggers, small olive wooly worms, hares ears and prince nymphs. On warmer afternoons if a hatch is seen, small Adams, black ants, Griffith’s gnats, and red or yellow humpies should all work.
Comins Lake continues to fish well as we move into May. Anglers are catching trout averaging 16 to 20 inches on a variety of tackle. Panther Martins, spoons, PowerBait, salmon eggs, and night crawlers should all do well for the majority of bait fisherman. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails…etc.). Water temperatures are sitting in the low 50s throughout the lake so the largemouth bass activity will be slow for the next few weeks. Half of the spring fish allotment were stocked last week and the remaining fish will be stocked sometime this month (May).
The reservoir continues to fill with spring runoff and is turbid at the inlet end. The lake is ice free and fishing is fair to good. The usual spring time flies of wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well. The lake is turbid so spin fishermen may want to use flashy lures. The roads around the reservoir are very muddy due to snow melt and recent rain, so any anglers attempting to access the reservoir should be mindful of these conditions and stay on the gravel.
Stream flows are at or well above average and should continue to be heavy until much of the snow comes off the mountains. The water is turbid and difficult to fish. Shorelines are muddy and while you may get into areas in the morning due to frozen ground, you may not get out in the afternoon due to mud. Travel with caution. Fish will be moving very slow due to cold water temperatures so slow down the presentations. Expect fishing to be slow in the streams. To get to the Bruneau or the Jarbidge, you must drive into Idaho first. Bruneau River is flowing at 293 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Jarbidge at 81 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at a whopping 685 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 107 cfs), the South Fork of the Humboldt at between 500 and 600 cfs, Cleve Creek at 32 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 18 cfs. Lamoille, Cleve and Steptoe Creeks all flowing at twice their normal flows for this time of year and the SF of the Humboldt at almost three times normal.