The cooler, wetter weather of the past couple of weeks is turning the tide on trout fishing in northeastern Nevada as trout are starting to come into the shallows looking for food and anglers are starting to take advantage of it. The downside is that there is still some “gunk” (love those fancy scientific words!) in the water and this calls for cleaning your gear after a fishing trip to South Fork Reservoir.
As the weather gets cooler and many anglers trade their rods for guns, hard core anglers take advantage of some of the best fishing of the year. With the impending winter fish are searching for food and eating a lot of it, fattening up for winter.
As we can plainly see, there is snow on all the mountain ranges, which means that fishing the high mountain lakes is quickly coming to an end. The road to Angel Lake is still open, but the next snowfall will probably close it.
The fish in these high elevation waters have very long winters and with the shortening of days are taking advantage of every bit of food put in front of them, making for some great fishing. While Angel can be accessed by road, the rest require hiking in and with the snow, anglers should go prepared for less than favorable hiking conditions.
Temperatures for the next week to 10 days call for highs between 55 and 65, overnight lows between 20 and 30 degrees and no precipitation. Perfect fishing conditions.
Larger fish are often caught this time of year and several state records have been taken between October 1 and March 31, a time of year that most people don’t associate with fishing in northern Nevada.
Surface water temperatures are now firmly in the 50s, the algae is clearing and trout fishing is still good. Trout have moved onto the shoals close to shore so anglers should change tactics and not cast too far from shore to begin with. If no fish are caught, try changing your presentation. If that doesn’t work, then start casting further from shore. Bass fishing is fair. Keeper sized perch are showing up in the creel. Trout are averaging 15 to 19 inches with the occasional 20+ inch fish being taken. Flies to try include black/blood leeches, balanced leeches, and wooly buggers on a sinking line. This is also the time of year when midge larva become a staple for trout, so chironomid patterns are called for. Bait anglers are doing well with PowerBait or worms. Hendricks and Penrod arms both still appear to be good areas to catch fish. More than 37,000 trout have been stocked here over the past couple of weeks.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
Surface water temperatures are finally dropping into the high 50s here and algae is starting to clear, but the precipitation of the past few weeks had the south end of the lake a bit turbid. Hopefully, trout fishing will start picking up. With the lower water temperatures, expect bass fishing to slow down for numbers of fish caught, but pick up for size of fish. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, flash back PT nymphs, prince nymphs, balanced leeches and wooly or crystal buggers for trout. Spinners and minnow imitating lures with some red in them should work for spin anglers. Dark soft plastic grubs with some sparkle are working for bass as are crank baits. As the water cools and bass start moving down into the water column, deep running blade baits and crank baits should start working for bass.
The water level is very low and fishing for trout is fair, though picking up, and bass fishing is slow. PowerBait, nightcrawlers, and dark spinners with some red or yellow accents seem to be working. Black wooly buggers and seal buggers are producing fish and anglers may also want to try the usual nymphs especially mayfly nymphs such as hares ears and pheasant tails. The same tactics used at South Fork, should work here for both bass and trout.
The water level is at a seasonal 45 percent of capacity and fishing for trout is good, while fishing for bass is fair. Trout are hitting hares ears, PT nymphs, red copper Johns, red brassies and chironomid patterns. Black or olive wooly and crystal buggers fished on an intermediate or full sinking line should also work. Bait anglers appear to be having good luck with garlic PowerEggs for trout. Worms are also working.
RUBY LAKE NWR
With the stormy weather and much cooler water temperatures, bass fishing has slowed considerably here. Surface water temperatures were a cool 51 degrees earlier this week. While numbers of fish being caught is dropping, expect better quality fish to be taken, with the best time being late afternoon when the water is at its warmest. Dark soft plastics with some flash fished weedless are the presentation of choice. Best colors seemed to be purple, motor oil and dark green and 4-inch grubs are doing much better than 6-inch. Fishing continues to be fair to good at the collection ditch for 12 to 16 inch trout. Small spinners and minnow imitations were producing some fish for spin fishermen, but fly rodders were doing better. Anglers should be switching to smaller dry flies on the warm afternoons, Griffith’s gnats, elk hair caddis and Adams are all good choices. Other flies include ants, beetles and the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, red or blue copper Johns, and prince nymphs. 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.
JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR
Very little change here as the water level is very low due to irrigation and the weeds are making fishing from shore difficult. This is normal for this time of year and with the colder weather and precipitation, the weeds are dying off. Best fishing is still 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. Fishing for trout is fair while fishing for bass has slowed. Bass anglers should be using small dark colored plastic grubs or two tone plastic grubs.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
Trout fishing is good as the cooler temperatures have them more active. Anglers should do well on Power Bait, Mepps, Panther Martins, and nightcrawlers for both trout and bass. Flyfishers will do well on dry fly patterns as well as wooly and crystal buggers.. Patterns to try include hoppers, small stimulators, PMD’s, elk hair caddis, Griffith’s gnats, and Adams. Small black or olive bead head crystal buggers were working well for both bass and trout. Bait anglers will have luck with night crawlers or chartreuse garlic flavored PowerEggs.
Very little change here with surface water temperatures cooling down, fishing at Cave Lake is good. Trout have moved up in the water column with the cooler water. The usual PowerBait or worms as well as small spinners, panther Martins or rooster tails should all work. Fly fishermen have been doing well with dry flies with elk hair caddis, ants, small stimulators and Adams and these should still work on the warm afternoons. Nymphs to try include prince, pheasant tails, hares ears, damsel and midge larva when fishing deeper water. Cave Lake has been stocked with approximately 10,000 trout over the past few weeks.
Trout fishing is good with the cooler water temperatures. Largemouth bass catch rates have dropped off though trout fishing is still good. Trout are hitting a variety of flies from nymphs to streamers as well as powerbait and nightcrawlers. Bass are hitting dark soft plastic grubs bounced along the bottom and senkos.
Water levels are very low with much of the old dam showing above water. Fishing is for 10 to 12 inch trout with the occasional 15 to 20 inch fish being taken. Anglers should have the best luck with Power Bait, Mepps, Panther Martins, and nightcrawlers. Fly rodders should be using black or olive wooly buggers as well as chironomids, hare’s ears, leech patterns and PT nymphs. Brown trout are starting to get more active as they look for spawning habitat. More than 15,000 rainbow trout have been stocked here over the past three weeks.
The road is still open and fishing continues to be very good for fly fishermen using a variety of presentations as the fish are getting as much food as they can before the lake freezes over. Dry fly fishing continues to be productive as has stripping small leech and bugger patterns. Hoppers, stimulators, elk hair caddis, Adams, Griffith’s gnats, red quills and just about any small dry fly should still work. Bait anglers are not doing quite as well, but fishing is still fair to good for them. Small worms seem to work better than PowerBait here. Also small spinners in black and gold or dark green and gold are effective at Angel Lake. The water level is down, making for more shoreline for water access in front of the dam, brush, and trees.
With the recent snows at higher elevations it is recommended that only experienced hikers attempt to get to the high mountain lakes. Lamoille Canyon will be closed to the end of November, so access to some of themore popular lakes, Lamoille, Island, Liberty and Favre is not practical. Expect fishing to be good, though the further from the trailheads you go, the better the fishing. Anglers who like to fish the high mountain lakes need to get at it while the getting is good. 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, ants and beetles.
While hoppers have disappeared, trout are still used to seeing them and hopper and yellow stimulators are a good starting point for fly fishermen. Dry flies should still be effective though nymphs will probably outperform them. Try floating small elk hair caddis, small stimulators, royal trudes, renegades and of course terrestrials: hoppers, ants and beetles. In some of our northern Elko County streams October caddis are active and caddis nymphs are a great choice this time of year. Hares ears, copper Johns, PT’s and small soft hackle streamers are also good selections now. Lamoille Canyon is closed to the public due to dangerous conditions from the Range 2 Fire. Expect a fish die off in the east fork of the Owyhee below Wildhorse Reservoir as the ash that was washed into the stream with the recent rains to start killing fish. With the vegetation starting to go dormant, stream flows in some areas have picked up just a bit. Cleve Creek is flowing at approximately 6 cfs (cubic feet per second), Steptoe at a little over 2, South Fork of the Humboldt at 5 cfs, the Bruneau at 10 cfs, the Jarbidge at 6.5 cfs and Salmon Falls Creek at 51 cfs.