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Joe's Fishing Hole: Follow the temperatures
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Joe's Fishing Hole

Joe's Fishing Hole: Follow the temperatures

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Two weeks ago the highs were in the 90s, currently they are in the 80s, but late next week they are projected to be in the 70s with overnight lows in the low to mid 40s. This is music to the trout angler’s ears!

With the cooler temperatures, shorter days and longer nights, expect the surface water temperatures to start dropping. Currently they are in the 70s, but it won’t be long until they are falling into the 60s, getting close to the prime water temperatures for trout fishing which is between 56 and 64 degrees.

You can help your odds of finding fish by looking for water that falls in this temperature range. With the advent of the cool nights, the shallower water will often cool down overnight, allowing trout to come into the cooler shallower water looking for food.

The change in water temperature will also often trigger aquatic insect hatches that the trout will key on. As the water cools in the fall midge larva will become more active. Fly fishermen will key on this using chironomid (midge larva) patterns like zebra midges, snow cones, Yankee buzzers and others suspended below a strike indicator.

Spin fishermen can do the same thing, only fish these fly patterns under a small clear bobber half filled with water to give it some weight so you can cast.

WILDHORSE

Surface water temperatures are in the low to mid 70s and green with some algae. If fishing for trout, you need to get into deeper water. Boaters are doing better than shore anglers, but fishing is still fair to good for trout. Fishing for perch ranges from good to very good, both from shore and from boats, while fishing for trout is fair. Bass fishing is good for numbers but fair for size. The usual PowerBait and worms for bait anglers have been working for trout. Using a downrigger to get flashers tipped with a worm down to about 15 feet can be effective. For fly fishermen midge larva, hares ears, and PT nymphs are good patterns to use under an indicator. Black or olive wooly and crystal buggers are taking fish as well if you can get them deep enough. Don’t forget balanced leeches under an indicator. Most anglers are fishing Penrod and Hendricks Arms as well as the south end of the lake. Target perch in just about any cove with some vegetation. Fishing below the dam is still good using hoppers and other dry fly patterns as well as streamers. Anglers may keep one black bass 15-inches or longer. The campground is open and is on a first come first served basis but is limited to 50% of capacity. Tribal land around the lake is open to camping.

SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR

Fishing for trout has been slow to fair, while bass fishing has been fair to good. Surface water temperatures in the mid 70s which is helping the bass bite but has trout in deeper water. There are lots of weeds and algae. Boaters are doing better than shore anglers. Fly fishermen fishing chironomids (midge larvae) or small nymphs in black or red under an indicator are finding some success. Fishing snowcones and midge larva a foot off the bottom in about 10 feet of water seems to be the ticket, especially over muddy bottoms. Most of the trout being caught from shore have been in the deeper coves, along Jet Ski Beach, Coyote Cove and by the dam. Bass fishing has been good for both smallmouth and largemouth using soft plastic baits in darker colors. Fishing below the dam in the river has been slow to fair. Some smallmouth bass have moved into the river upstream of the reservoir and they can be taken with crankbaits, soft plastics and dry flies like hoppers, Chernobyl ants and yellow stimulators. The state park campground is open at 50% of capacity.

JIGGS/ZUNINO RESERVOIR

The water level is very low and warm. These conditions resulted in a die-off of trout so expect trout fishing to be very poor or even nonexistent for the rest of the year. However, this combination has made fishing for bluegill good as they do well in warm water and the low level has them concentrated. If you catch a trout and release it, while it may swim away, chances are it won’t survive the stress of being caught in very warm water, so please keep them. Anglers have been catching keeper sized bluegill with a small bit of worm on a red hook suspended about 18 inches below the bobber. An occasional small bass being caught has been reported.

WILSON RESERVOIR

The water level is average for this time of year, but weeds and algae are in full bloom. Fishing is slow to fair for 12 to 15-inch trout and good for bass. Just like other reservoirs, the trout have moved into deeper water. Fishing in the canyon by the dam has been fair to good for trout. Black leeches have been working for trout, but also have been very good for bass. Best time for bass seems to be from sunup to about 10:30 am and late evenings. For the most part, the same presentations that are used at South Fork, should work here. Please pack your garbage out.

RUBY LAKE NWR

The water level is low and weeds are coming on strong, but you can still launch a boat at the main boat landing. However, launching anything but a canoe or kayak at the Narciss boat launch is not recommended. Bass fishing is good for numbers and fair to good for keepers. Surface water temperatures are in the low to mid 70s and should start cooling with the lower temperatures and shorter days. Get out for bass fishing here while you can. It will start to drop off quickly. The best tactic seems to be four-inch soft plastic jigs rigged weedless. Dark colors such as black, blue, motor oil and guacamole with flashy flakes in them seem to work the best. Poppers on a quiet evening or morning with no wind as the shadows are hitting the water along the cattail edges are also working. With low water conditions and lots of weeds, fishing is fair at the collection ditch for 13 to 18-inch trout, with the occasional large trout being taken. Fishing in the ditch seems to improve on cloudy or windy days. Small brightly colored spinners were doing well. Trout are taking dries including damselfly adults, hoppers, yellow stimulators and elk hair caddis. Yellow seems to be the key. Other flies working include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns and prince nymphs. 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.

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JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR

The water level is down due to irrigation, but normal for this time of year and with the weed growth, fishing from shore is difficult. Anglers should plan on fishing from a small boat or float tube and cast back towards the weeds for bass but hit the deeper water for trout. Trout fishing is slow while bass fishing is 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. Bass are hitting soft plastics, crankbaits and occasionally poppers first thing in the morning or late in the evening.

COLD CREEK RESERVOIR

The water level is very low and fishing is slow. Worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work if the fish are cooperating. First thing in the morning is best for fishing here due to very warm surface water temperatures. If catching trout during the middle of the day, they will not survive being released, so please keep them.

CAVE LAKE

Fishing at Cave Lake has been fair for eight to 10-inch trout, but the water level is low from a drawdown due to concerns with the dam. The shorelines are still muddy and soft making walking and fishing difficult. The usual small nymphs and crystal buggers are working for trout, with beadhead pheasant tail nymphs being very effective. For bait anglers, fishing a worm about four feet below a bobber or using powerbait floated off the bottom with a slip sinker seems to be the best bets. The float tube launching area is closed and anglers should fish at the north end of the lake near the dam and main boat launch area.

COMINS LAKE

Comins Lake has water temperatures in the low to mid-70s with trout fishing just fair and bass fishing good. Anglers need to fish full sink lines and get to the lower depths. Trout fishing is best first thing in the morning. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails…etc.) fished under an indicator. Bass fishing is good and anglers are reporting decent sized bass using soft plastics, crankbaits and poppers on quiet evenings and mornings. If you catch a pike, please check to see if it has a radio transmitter tag near the tail. If it does, please return the fish to the water so that NDOW biologists can track its movements. If it doesn’t have the transmitter tag, please humanely dispatch the fish. Don’t put it back in the lake.

ILLIPAH

Water surface temperatures are around 70 degrees and trout fishing has been slow for fair here. Boaters are doing better than shore anglers. The usual flies like wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well.

ANGEL LAKE

Fishing has been fair to good all summer. Fair for bait anglers and good for fly rodders. The usual worms under a bobber or fished off the bottom with a slip sinker should work as should small spinners and rooster tails. Give the spinners and rooster tails a few seconds to sink before starting to reel them in. If using a bobber, put your bait about 18-inches to two feet below the bobber. For fly rigging a dry and a dropper is working very well. Good flies for the dry are hoppers, yellow stimulators and humpies. Yellow seems to be the color here. When the lighter patterns aren’t working, switch to black gnats, black or olive Adams and elk hair caddis, or Griffith’s gnats. Wet flies to try, include flashback PT nymphs, small black or olive wooly or crystal buggers, olive or peacock soft hackles, red/silver zebra midges, hares ears and small leech patterns.

ALPINE LAKES

Access to the alpine lakes in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt’s is good. The fish in these high mountain lakes are very cooperative and the further you get from the trailhead the better the fishing. Bait anglers will find that, as a general rule, worms and hoppers seem to work better than PowerBait. Small spinners in dark colors with light contrasting highlights, as well as small panther Martins and rooster tails also are effective. For flyrodders small yellow or red dry flies such as stimulators, hoppers, elk hair caddis and humpies with a soft hackle or other nymph dropper is the way to go. In low light conditions darker colored flies such as black gnats, ants, beetles and Griffith’s gnats should be used.

STREAMS

Hoppers, caddis and stoneflies are still out and about, and trout are hitting dry flies. Fishing continues to be good at the beaver ponds in Lamoille Canyon and other streams in the area. The further south you get in the eastern region of Nevada, the lower the stream flows are. As of September 11, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 75 to 80 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Bruneau River at 9 cfs, the Jarbidge at 6 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 29 cfs, Lamoille Creek flowing at 3 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at 11 cfs, Cleve Creek at 6 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3.5 cfs and Kingston Creek well below normal at 3 cfs.

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