This week I was checking out the South Fork of the Humboldt River for a fly fishing clinic we are holding and as I walked along the river came across trash that had been left behind by some inconsiderate hunters and anglers.
Along the river below the dam were empty beer cans, some old clothing, Styrofoam worm containers and chip wrappers. Above the reservoir along the river there were a couple of empty cardboard shotgun shell boxes, some empty shotgun casings, more beer cans and a beer bottle, and several food wrappers.
The thing that gets me is that people can bring them in full when they take up more space and weigh more, but can’t be bothered to take the empty, lighter, and if crushed taking up less space, items out. It’s sad.
While other anglers shouldn’t have to remove these items, I was disappointed with two anglers who were walking out from below the dam that walked right over a couple of pieces of trash and just ignored them.
If you see someone littering, call them on it. If they still leave it, report them. I do know that many of you are responsible recreationists and have seen many people taking out trash that wasn’t theirs. Kudos to all of you who do that.
Now for something enjoyable. Next Saturday, July 20 is the 29th Annual Angel Lake Kids Fishing Derby. As the name implies it is held at beautiful Angel Lake just a few miles out of Wells and 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 may also be there.
The event is for children 4 to 15 and all participants must be accompanied by an adult. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and the fishing begins at 8:30 and a free chili dog lunch for the whole family. For more information call the Wells Chamber of Commerce at 775-752-3540 or NDOW at 775-777-2300. So, beat the heat and bring the kids out to Angel Lake next Saturday, July 20.
While the algae is starting to grow, the water is clearer than usual for this time of the summer. Surface water temperatures are in the mid to high-60s depending upon time of day and where you are on the lake. Fishing for trout is still fairly good but tactics need to be changed as the fish seek cooler water. First thing in the morning they can still be caught fairly close to shore, but by about 9:00 am they start heading to deeper cooler water. Bass and perch fishing is fair to good with perch anglers doing well at the south end of the lake in about eight feet of water from both shore and boats. For fly fishermen midge larva and midge emerger patterns continue to work with the ongoing midge hatches. With Mayflies hatching anglers will also do well with hares ears and PT nymphs as well as PMD’s, Adams, red quills and other Mayfly dries. Black or olive wooly buggers are still working. Damselflies are starting to hatch so damselfly nymph fly patterns should be working. The lake is barely spilling, but with the heavier flows this spring many reservoir sized fish were washed downstream making fishing below the dam good. One smallmouth bass 15 inches or longer may be kept now. The campground and fish cleaning station is open and is on a first come first served basis. Approximately 8,500 eight inch fish were stocked in Wildhorse this week.
South Fork Reservior
Surface water temperatures range from 67 to about 70 and while the water is relatively clear for this time of year, phytoplankton is growing staining the water. With the warmer surface water temperatures, trout are starting to move into deeper water and the bass fishing has been good. Early morning shore fishing for trout is fair and fishing from a boat is fair to good depending upon the day. Bass fishing around structure has been good. Bass anglers are having luck with soft plastic baits and using drop shot rigs. Fishing small PT’s, hares ears or chironomids under a strike indicator have all worked. Snail patterns and black leeches with some red flash should also be effective. Like most of our high desert reservoirs, damselflies are hatching so damselfly nymph and dry patterns should be effective. The southwest side of the lake has been productive as has Tomera Cove, Hastings Cove and on either side of the dam. Catfish has been fair to good and anglers may want to try raw shrimp fished in low light conditions or at night. Fishing below the dam in the river has been good though flows are high. One smallmouth or largemouth bass 15 inches or longer may be kept now. This spring SF was stocked stocked with approximately 55,000 trout.
Jiggs has been with approximately 2300 trout, 300 of which are surplus brood stock averaging around 12 inches. Bass fishing has been fair to good, while trout fishing is fair. A few bluegill are being caught. Best tactic for fly fishermen seems to be using a sink tip or intermediate sink line with a brown or black leech pattern and fishing the deeper water. The same presentations as at South Fork should work well here. Bait anglers are doing best with worms about six feet under a bobber or a floating cheese bait used with a slip sinker floated off of the bottom.
The lake is no longer spilling and NDOW stocked approximately 28,000 trout in the lake right before the 4th of July. The water is still fairly clear, but algae is starting to grow. Fishing is good for 13 to 18-inch trout that are in good body condition. The same presentations, flies, baits and lures as used at South Fork, should also work well here. The northeast corner of the lake and the south end of the lake have been producing nice trout where the water is averaging eight feet deep. Shore anglers should do well in the canyon by the dam and on the north shore. Bass fishing is good for eight to 10 inch bass with a few over 10 being caught once in a while. Soft plastic baits are working. Best colors seem to be dark olive, brown or purple. On still evenings fishing the edges of the willows with poppers may be worth a try. Fishing below the spillway is slow.
Ruby Lake NWR
Bass fishing in the south marsh has been good for numbers with anglers regularly catching 20 to 30 fish for a morning or afternoon’s worth of effort. There is approximately one keeper bass (10 inches or larger) for about every five fish. Unit 21 is producing bass from the dikes using olive soft plastic grubs or olive wooly buggers. The water temperature here is in the mid-60’s. Dark four to six-inch soft plastic grubs hooked weedless are the best bet for bass. Good colors include dark green, brown, purple or blue. Some anglers like a contrasting colored tail such as chartreuse, yellow or white. If you are new to the marsh, stay on the main channel where there are marker poles. However, some of the marker poles have fallen, so if you have a GPS, consider taking it and using the tracker feature so that you can follow your path back to the boat ramp. Fishing the collection ditch for trout continues to be good though it is starting to slow. Small dark flies fished dry or just under the surface have worked as have streamers and spinners. There has been a Mayfly hatch going on so Mayfly nymphs, emergers and dries should work. 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. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working. Damselfly dries have also produced fish both in the ditch and the south marsh.
Jakes Creek/Boies Reservior
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Very little change here as fishing continues to be fair to good. Both bass and trout fishing are fair to good. 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. For bass dark soft plastic baits with sparkles are working as are minnow type imitations. The lake is full and with the warmer weather weeds are starting to grow. Soon shore fishing will be difficult.
Cold Creek Reservior
Fishing here is fair to good for 10 to 12-inch trout and fair for bass. The usual worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work.
Fishing for nine to 12-inch fish has been fair to good at Cave Lake. 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, renegades and red or yellow humpies should all work. The lake has been stocked with approximately 8,000 fish between 10 and 11 inches this spring.
Comins Lake continues to fish well for trout with surface water temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s though shore anglers will see a slow down as the trout move into deeper water. Bass fishing is fa picking up. 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.). Comins was stocked this spring with approximately 10,000 rainbow trout averaging just over 8-inches.
The reservoir is full and fishing has been good. The usual flies of wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. When hatches are seen fly rodders should try BWOs, PMDs, Adams, renegades, damselfly dries and terrestrials. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well. Illipah was stocked with 7500 trout this spring.
Willow Creek Reservoir
The reservoir is full! NDOW and Barrick planted the reservoir with 5,000 five to six-inch catfish and 5,000 15-inch catfish on Friday, May 31. Expect the fishing for catfish to pick up as the water temperature is in the mid to high 60’s. Approximately 1100 crappie from Chimney Creek Reservoir were stocked, but anglers are being asked to return any crappie they catch back to the lake for a couple of years while the fishery rebuilds. Bass will be stocked sometime in July and more crappie will be planted in the fall.
The lake is ice free and fishing has been fair for carry over fish but should pick up as the surface water temperatures start to warm up. There is still some snow on the trails around the lake though it is disappearing quickly. The lake is full to capacity. Fishing the outflowing creek can be productive for brook trout. Worms or PowerBait fished just off the bottom should work. Flies to try include beetles, ants, black Adams, Griffith’s gnats, yellow or red humpies, yellow or red stimulators and small crystal buggers.
High mountain lakes are still mostly inaccessible due to snow and ice. As of last weekend Island was about a third open water, Overland was about half open water, Lamoille Lake was ice covered and Smith Lake was open. Getting to Lamoille, Liberty or Favre still requires snowshoes. With the wet winter and spring some of the higher elevation lakes may not be accessible until late July.
With the recent warm spell, a lot of snow has come off the mountains though flows on most streams are still well above normal for this time of year. Expect above normal flows for much of the early summer until most of the snow comes off the mountains. The water is clearing in most streams and fishing is picking up. The upper third of Lamoille Creek by the beaver ponds has fishable flows and was stocked with approximately 2,000 tiger trout on July 11. While the flows are high, fishing below both Wildhorse and South Fork dams has been good for reservoir sized fish. Wading is difficult but fishing the eddies and slack water along the edges is productive. As of July 11, the Bruneau River continues to drop and flows at a fishable 76 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Jarbidge is 56 cfs and is fishing well, Salmon Falls Creek at 154 cfs, Lamoille Creek down to a roaring 348 cfs below Thomas Creek Campground, South Fork of the Humboldt down to 450 cfs, Cleve at 12 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 17 cfs.