Fishing is good with the trout trying to fatten up for the long winter under the ice. The fall has some of the best fishing at Angel Lake, especially for fly fishermen, though there is some ice on the water in the morning. Dress in layers here as the lake is at 8400 feet of elevation with cold mornings and warm sunny afternoons. Bait anglers have seen fishing slow as trout are keying on aquatic insects. Fly rodders have had success using small elk hair caddis, hopper or yellow stimulator with an olive or peacock soft hackle dropper below, though any dropper fly with green or peacock herl will work. Small spinners and rooster tails should also be effective, just give them enough time to sink to the level the fish are at. Spin anglers can put a fly behind a bobber for casting and have better luck that way.
Water temperatures are sitting in the low 50’s. The water level at the reservoir has dropped slowly over the summer months and is sitting at approximately 80% of capacity. Anglers will do well on night crawlers, Mepps, Panther Martins and Cast Masters for trout. Bass have been moving but are not extremely active yet. Trout fishing has been good using common nymph and emerger patterns as well as buggers.
The water levels have rebounded nicely after spring/ summer draw down. Water temps are currently setting at 52oF. Anglers have been catching mostly rainbow trout but several brown trout have shown up in creel surveys. Anglers should continue to do well using Powerbait, nightcrawlers, Panther Martins, Cast Masters, and Mepps. Fly fishermen should be using wooly or crystal buggers, chironomid patterns, copper Johns and blood midges.
The weeds are quickly dying off, but shore fishing is still a bit tricky. Trout fishing is picking up while bass fishing is slowing down due to cooler water temperatures. Dark soft plastics in blue or black with sparkles were working for bass. Worms and PowerBait are popular here as are black or olive woolly buggers, prince nymphs, PT’s and hares ears.
Fishing from shore has improved and anglers are catching 12 to 14 inch fish with a few 19 to 20 inch fish thrown in for good measure. Worms fished below a bobber or PowerBait suspended off of the bottom should produce fish, though PowerBait was doing better than worms earlier in the week. Black and gold or green and gold spinners and rooster tails should also be effective, while fly rodders should be using leeches, blood midges, snail patterns, small nymphs and wooly buggers. Please return any black bass or blue gill back to the lake to help with rebuilding the warm water fishery here.
Most area streams are near normal for flows for this time of year. This is a good time of year to target brook and brown trout as they are very active as many are in spawning mode and very colorful. Dead drifting worms on a light wire hook through the pools and runs can be productive. Very small panther martins and rooster tails in the pools will also work.
HIGH ALPINE LAKES
Anglers can expect snow and ice at the higher elevations; though with the slight warming trend this week, south facing slopes have had some burnoff. Expect skim ice in the mornings on some of the lakes, especially those with northern exposures. It won’t be long before they are iced over. The same presentations and techniques that work at Angel all work well up here. Remember the further you get from the trailhead, there is less fishing pressure therefore the better the fishing is. Many local fly fishermen like flies with yellow or red in them. However, take a supply of small black flies such as black Adams, beetles, ants, chironomids and Griffith’s gnats. When nothing else seems to work, turn to the small black flies. Expect changing weather conditions in the high elevations and dress accordingly. Be prepared to spend the night.
Bass fishing has slowed considerably due to the cooler temperatures with surface water temperatures here in the 40’s this week. Best fishing for bass is late afternoon when the water temperatures are at their warmest. While the fishing has slowed, this is a good time of year for larger bass. Dark plastic four to six inch grubs with sparkles in them seem to be the presentation of choice. Colors include blue, dark red, dark green, purple and motor oil. Fishing in the ditch for trout is fair to good for trout depending upon the day, weather and angler. Fly rodders should try the usual assortment of nymphs under an indicator as well as wooly, seal and crystal buggers. Scuds, midges, pale morning duns, small blue winged olives and damselfly nymphs are all worth a try. Of course the usual small hares ears, PT’s, copper Johns and buggers are all staples in the ditch. Trout are used to seeing hoppers, and several nice trout have been caught on hopper patterns over the past two weeks. Spin fishermen should try small minnow imitators and gold spinners. The collection ditch is artificial lures only and no wading is allowed.
Congratulations to Stacey Redick who caught a very nice 12 lb. channel catfish on Monday. Surface water temperatures have dropped into the low to mid 50’s, depending upon where on the lake you are and time of day. The south end of the lake has a lot of floating debris from the recent rain as well as the die off of weeds. Fishing has been slow to fair here, but as the water temperatures start to decline with the longer, cooler nights, expect trout fishing to pick up. The trout being caught are averaging between 13 and 17 inches with an occasional 20 inch fish. With the colder weather fly rodders should start changing tactics. As the weed beds start to die off, fish leech and scud patterns off the edges of the weed beds. Other flies to try include hares ears, scuds, copper Johns, prince nymphs, damsel nymphs, blood midges and of course wooly, crystal and seal buggers. Bass fishing is also slowing down, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in size as large bass are on the prowl fattening up for winter. Bass anglers should be targeting south facing shorelines where the sun will have the most exposure heating up the water. The road construction paralleling the lake has been completed and the road is now open.
Last weekend found three anglers wetting a line here on the way to antelope hunting. In about 45 minutes Tony Hawk from Battle Mountain and three buddies caught 16 keeper crappie and threw back twice as many small ones. Guess crappie fishing is still good! The road is rough so care should be taken driving here. Crappie like structure so fish near submerged brush, willows and rocks.
Fishing has been good for trout and has dropped off for bass. Water is clear and trout should be moving into shallower water near the boat ramp or along the north shore near the cabin. The usual PowerBait or worms work well. Gold, green and yellow, or black and yellow spinners are still working. Fly fishermen should be using chironomids, mayfly nymphs and emergers, or black crystal buggers for best results.. Expect bass numbers to go down with the cooler temperatures.