Saturday is Free Fishing Day in Nevada. This is the one day of the year that anglers may fish without a license, though all regulations and limits apply.
FRENCHMAN LAKE: Fishing has been good. Fish averaging 14-20 inches and are strong and quick. The midge hatch is on and Callibaetis are coming off about 11 a.m.-noon.
This lake is conducive to fly-fisherman with all the shallow, weedy water. Chris Wharton, Stillwater Guide Service, 775-851-1558.
LAKE DAVIS: Fishing in 30-40 feet of water, going down 15-20 feet. Try needlefish and Dick Nites around the island and main channel. Fishing area around Lightning Tree and Longpoint, go down 9-12 feet. Bank fishing is slowing down. Fairview Point anglers catching some fish. Bass have been caught around Camp 5 and north on the west side. Mostly 10-12 inches, but a few larger fish have been reported. Mountain Hardware, Truckee 530-587-4844.
TRUCKEE RIVER: Runoff is full swing, but it should start to taper off soon. In town, the flows are around 1,200 cfs and the water clarity is perfect for this time of year. With the higher flows, few consistent hatches have been reported. With a couple years of higher water, we should see great hatches of little yellow stones and green drakes this spring. The caddis hatches should also be pretty thick this summer on this side of the border. Until we get a little closer to the 600 cfs mark, efforts should be kept to slower water and larger protected areas outside any main current. As temperatures climb, fish should start to become even more aggressive than they already have been.
Spin anglers are fishing larger Kastmasters and Rapalas, concentrating on deeper pools and runs. Fly-fishing has been good even with the high flows. As long as the clarity is good, fishing should continue to get better. Nymphs and streamers have been the best bet. Large streamers like Cutter’s Goblin Zuddler Minnow and the Zoo Cougars have been effective. Nymph-fishing has also been good if you know where to find the fish. As long as the water is slightly green from snowmelt, try to keep most efforts in protected and slower currents. Two and three nymph/indicator rigs with Conehead Buggers, Wire Worms and Micro Mayflies have been excellent producers. Expect the river to be higher than normal this summer due to the abundance of water our reservoirs are holding. Until flows drop, it’s safer to fish from the shore. NDOW
LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER: Flows are at 203 cfs. Fishing has been good with some March Browns hanging around. Best flies have been March Browns, Midges, BWOs and San Juan Worms. Reno Fly Fishing Outfitters, 775-742-1754.
PYRAMID LAKE: Closes to cutthroat fishing June 30. Water temp is 50 degrees and the fish are full into the spawn. The fishing has been weather related, with it being best on the cloudy, windy days.
Maholo Midges fished under an indicator have been the most effective. Other flies to have for a floating line set-up are Pyramid Lake Balanced Leeches in size 8 and Maholo Nymphs in size 12. If you are fishing in deeper water, a deep-water indicator leader is also good to have. For shooting head set-ups, Martini Olive Wooly’s, Midnight Cowboy’s and Loco Tadpoles are all good choices. Reno Fly Fishing Outfitters, 775-742-1754.
EAST WALKER RIVER: Flows are prime and fishing continues to be good on the East Walker from Rosachi Ranch to Sportsmen’s Beach. Flows have been consistently around 150-200 cfs. As water temperatures rise, the caddis will likely be out in full force. Nymph fishing has slowed slightly, but streamer fishing has gotten better with the recent bump in flows. Those indicator-fishing or high-sticking small golden stone nymphs, worm patterns and pheasant tails are doing well. For the spin anglers, aggressive fish are eager to hit small Kastmasters, Rapalas and Panther Martins. NDOW
SACRAMENTO RIVER: Fishing has been heating up with several species to target here in June. With the salmon opener on July 16, anglers have headed out on the Sacramento River for trout, American shad and stripers. The spring striper run has been winding down, but there are several small groups of stripers still in the Sacramento River near Colusa. The wild rainbow trout bite has been solid in downtown Redding with many trout being caught and released below the Highway 44 bridge in downtown. Side drifting small egg imitations has worked best. The American shad run is in full stride as thousands of American shad have ascended on the upper Sacramento River from Colusa to Red Bluff California for their annual spawn. These hard fighting fish can be found in large schools and will be in catchable numbers through mid-July. Early in the mornings and late in the evenings are top times to go after shad in the 1-3-pound range. Side-drifting small, brightly colored jigs tipped with a curly tailed grub through shad schools is all it takes.
The official Sacramento River salmon fishing season will re-open on July 16, below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam. Salmon fishing will start 150 feet below the Sycamore boat launch at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam and on the Feather River below Oroville at the Feather River outlet hole downstream. The Sacramento and Feather Rivers have received a full salmon fishing season from July 16-Dec. 16 with a one salmon per person daily bag limit and a two salmon per person possession limit. Dave Jacobs Professional Guide Service, 530-646-9110.
WILD HORSE RESERVOIR: Water level still holding above 95 percent, surface water temperatures are in the high 50s and fishing continues to be good with clear water conditions. However, algae is starting to grow and will probably bloom with the sunny, warm conditions over the next week. Trout are averaging 14-17 inches with the occasional 20-inch plus fish being taken. Anglers report success all along the state park shoreline, Hendricks arm, Penrod and north to the last cove before the canyon to the dam, though the Hendricks Arm east of the highway has been producing limits of fish regularly.
Sherbet and rainbow PowerBait seems to be working well, but anglers report catching trout on worms, spinners, small spoons and evens small minnow imitations. Fly-rodders should be using most common nymph patterns such as hares ears, prince, PTs and damselfly nymphs. Other flies to try include black leeches, balanced leeches, and wooly buggers. Approximately 55,000 8-inch fish have been stocked in Wildhorse this spring. The dock is in the water for boaters to use at the State Park boat ramp. No black bass may be kept until July 1.
LAHONTAN/RYE PATCH: After losing majority of the fishery in the drought, Lahontan reservoir is starting to fish well. White bass from shore are popular and anglers have reported catching Wipers up to 5 pounds, mostly from boats. Spin fisherman using chartreuse and white jigs are finding good bass numbers. Fly-fisherman are finding bass along many of the sand beaches. As temperatures rise, fishing will get better. Kids Carp Derby is June 2 at Lahontan Reservoir. NDOW
KNOTT CREEK RESERVOIR: Closed to fishing. Season re-opens June 9.
BOCA: Holding steady as out-flows have increased to 200 CFS below dam. Some people have been able to launch boats from the shore at the inlet. Kokanee fishing here is sporadic even though surface temps have risen to 55 degrees. Stampede is better for kokes. Fishermen will find most of the fish at the dam or at the north end of the lake to the last riffle of the Little Truckee River (special regs exist here so read up on the rules). Great fishing for the Cutthroat and Rainbows from shore with the occasional Brown thrown in. Better fishing will be around the dam later in the day. With lower flows coming out of the LT, fish will be less apt to venture up the river so one won’t find large concentrations of fish here. Access to the boat launch is not feasible. Campground on west side of lake is closed. Mountain Hardware, Truckee 530-587-4844.
STAMPEDE: Access to boat launch is open. Lake is holding at 92 percent even with flows being downgraded to 103 CFS. Kokanee fishing is in full swing. Toplining is your best bet and concentrating around the Island and outside the inlets will produce the best results. Kokes caught have been ranging from 13-15 inches. Bite will continue into the late morning, but anglers need to realize that they will have to go deeper and use darker colors.
HOT CREEK: Good for numbers and some large fish in the deep pools. It gets good in the afternoons when the mayflies start to emerge. Water conditions are becoming more seasonal as the run-off on Mammoth Creek adds to flows. It can be fish after fish on some sections of the creek. The diploids planted last winter are in full feeding mode. Numbers are good here during warmer periods; with fish holding in the deeper slots and pools. Best bite occurs during early afternoon when the BWOs are emerging. Large midge hatches coming off during a high barometer. Dry dropper rigs with a #16-18 Para Hi-Vis BWO and a #22 Gillie dropper 12-18 inches below is a consistent rig. When you observe those noses sipping the adults in the suds, remove the dropper and dope up those high wings so they ride high on the surface. Longer leaders, & light tippet in the 5-6x class is best. During off hatch periods, try attractor patterns fished with/without an Under-cator. You can get into some of the larger fish using this method during the spring months. Sierra Drifters 760-935 4250, sierradrifters.com.