With the warmer than usual fall we have had, some anglers are still getting on the water with their boats. With the projected cooler weather over the next week, some of the larger reservoirs may start freezing over bringing the boating season to an end. Wildhorse already has ice in the morning on much of the lake, but the main body of water is opening up during the day.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to winterize your boat to insure that it will start in the spring and to prevent damage to your engine that may run into thousands of dollars in repairs.
Many boats come with owner’s manuals that tell you how to prepare your boat for the winter. If you have it, follow the directions that your manufacturer recommends. If you don’t have the owner’s manual here are a few tips to help you out.
Use water ears, a flushing attachment to flush the water out your outboard motor cooling system. While you have the engine running, disconnect the fuel line, letting the engine continue to run removing all of this year’s fuel from the system.
There are two schools of thought about fuel over the winter. You may either completely empty the tank, using a fogging oil to protect it from corrosion or you may put brand new fuel with stabilizer in it. Both ways seem to work fine.
If you use fogging oil, spray it in the carburetor right before the motor runs out of gas, you will know it’s running out of gas when the motor starts to run rough. Remove the spark plugs and spray into the cylinders. Then spray the inside of your gas tank. This is a good time to put in new spark plugs.
After the motor is shut down, remove flushing attachment and drain your motor of all water making sure the outboard motor is in an upright position. Many even have a drain plug to help you drain the water. You may turn the prop by hand or even bump the motor with the starter (disconnect spark plug wire) to force water out of the pump. Don’t leave any water inside as freezing temperatures can crack the housing.
Clean and lubricate all the linkages found on the motor and the steering components, using the manufacturers recommended lubricants. Don’t forget to lubricate the propeller shaft. Always store your outboard motor in an upright position.
Finally, wash and dry the outside of your boat and trailer removing all dirt, plant and animal matter. Clean, drain and dry your bilges. Either store your boat in a covered place or put a good sturdy boat cover or tarp over it. This is also a great time to check the brakes and lighting system on your trailer, repack the bearings on the axles and make sure that the winching system is lubricated and in good working condition.
Follow these steps and when it’s time to hit the water next spring, your boat will be ready to go.
While the road to Angel Lake was open as of Wednesday November 21, it is completely covered with unsafe ice. Fishing is done for the year here. Expect the road to close soon if we get any moisture this weekend.
Cave Lake is sitting at capacity with surface water temperatures in the 30’s and as of Tuesday, November 20 the lake was completely open water though expect some ice along the shore first thing in the morning. The usual PowerBait or worms as well as small spinners, panther Martins or rooster tails should all work. Nymphs to try include prince, pheasant tails, hares ears, damsel and midge larva when fishing deeper water. Small crystal buggers, wooly buggers and Cave Lake specials should all work.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
This reservoir is at 60% of capacity and there is some ice at the north end of the lake. There may be more ice as the cold front moves through this week. Trout fishing has slowed, but anglers are still able to get a few fish. Anglers should do well on Power Bait, Mepps, Panther Martins, and nightcrawlers. Chironomid patterns, PT nymphs, hares ears and small copper Johns are all worth a try Small black or olive bead head crystal buggers are still working well for both bass and trout. Bait anglers will have luck with night crawlers or chartreuse or red garlic flavored PowerEggs. 1600 bowcutts have been stocked in Cold Creek Reservoir this fall.
This reservoir is covered in unsafe ice.
JAKE'S / BOIES RESERVOIR
Ice on the water and chances are fishing is done here until the ice is safe enough to go on. That probably won’t be until after Christmas.
JIGGS / ZUNINO RESERVOIR
Jiggs is covered with unsafe ice. NDOW will be operating an aerator to try to keep the lake from winterkill so the ice will be unsafe all winter. No report until ice off next spring.
With the cold nights, expect to find some ice along the shorelines so take care when walking the streams. Dry fly fishing is mostly done, but ants and beetles should still catch a few fish.. 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. Stream flows are below average due to a very dry summer and fall. As of Wednesday, November 21, Cleve Creek was flowing at approximately 6 cfs (cubic feet per second); Steptoe at 2 cfs ; South Fork of the Humboldt at 5 cfs; the Bruneau at 11 cfs and Jarbidge no report due to ice due to ice but expect around 5 cfs at Jarbidge; and Salmon Falls Creek at 28 cfs.
HIGH ALPINE LAKES
High mountain lakes should all be frozen over and there won’t be a fishing report here until late next spring or early summer depending upon the winter.
RUBY LAKE NWR
Bass fishing is done here and much of the south marsh is covered in ice. Even the collection ditch and units have some ice, though you can find open water where the springs are. 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. Blue winged Olives, ants, beetles, Griffith’s gnats, elk hair caddis and Adams are all good choices. However, wet flies will probably outperform the dries right now. These include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, 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.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
Surface water temperatures continue to drop, though they are still in the 40’s though expect them to move into the 30’s this weekend. Cold mornings find ice in the backs of coves, but the ice disappears once the day warms up. Generally this lake is a couple of weeks behind Wildhorse for freezing. For the most part trout fishing is still fair, with the south end of the lake and the coves closest to the dam producing more fish than other areas. Boaters and float tubers also seem to be doing better than shore anglers for trout, especially on the southeast side where the old ranch house used to be. With the lower water temperatures, bass fishing is pretty much done for the year. 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.
Much of the lake is covered in skim ice first thing in the morning, but the main body is opening up with the wind and sun in the afternoon. Penrod and Hendricks are frozen. A cooling trend is projected which should see the lake freeze over sometime in the next week. Before the ice shore anglers were having good luck as trout have moved into shallower water. Trout were 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 that midge larva are a staple for trout, so chironomid patterns are called for. Bait anglers were doing well with PowerBait or worms. Almost 60,000 trout stocked in Wildhorse this fall.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR
Barrick has completed the work on the dam making some major improvements and last weekend Barrick employees and community volunteers worked with Barrick and NDOW to install fish habitat structures in the bottom of the lake while it is empty. All we need now is a good winter to help fill it and stocking may begin next spring and summer.
No recent report on Wilson, but expect fishing for trout to be fair to good and bass very slow with some ice in the coves. Trout should be 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 some luck with garlic PowerEggs for trout. Worms are also working. 16,000 trout were stocked here this fall bringing the total for the year to just over 42,000 trout. With the wet weather moving in expect the road to be very sloppy and it may be 4WD only depending on how much moisture we get.
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