Eastern Nevada Fishing Report
With the colder
weather comes colder water. Makes sense,
doesn’t it? Some area waters are seeing
some ice, especially at higher elevations.
The beaver ponds in Lamoille Canyon are iced over and Lamoille and
Island Lakes are completely ice covered with a couple of feet of snow on the
ground. All the high mountain lakes are frozen over now.
temperatures at Wildhorse have dropped into the high 30’s and ice can be found
in the backs of the coves on most mornings.
The part of Penrod Arm east of the road is frozen over as well. It won’t be long before the lake freezes
over. Remember that early in the season,
the ice/water conditions can change quickly, and you should never attempt to go
on the ice before it is truly safe.
The lower water
temperatures combined with the ever-shortening daylight, have trout searching
for food before the long winter under the ice sets in. Anglers report good fishing at both Wildhorse
and South Fork and the fish are cruising shallower water in the search for food
so shore anglers are having success.
The road is closed and the lake is
ice covered. There will be no fishing
reports for this lake until late spring or early summer depending upon the
Cave Lake is sitting approximately
15 feet below normal water levels.
Fishing has been consistent throughout the year with eight to 10 inch
Rainbow Trout being caught. One
exceedingly large Brown Trout over 20 pounds was caught recently, indicating
that there are still quality fish left in the lake. There is no ice on the lake
with water temperatures in the upper 30’s to low 40’s. Cave Lake received 3,196
Rainbow Trout in April. Stocking conditions did not allow for any additional
trout to be stocked in 2020.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
Poor snowpack and a rainless summer
resulted in the lake level dropping approximately three feet this year. Last week’s cold snap resulted in several
inches of ice that subsequently melted leaving most of the lake accessible to
boat and shoreline fishing. There is a narrow
strip of ice in the “narrows” and it is uncertain if boats can break through it
at this time. Water temperatures were at
measured at 360F earlier this week.
Trout are in good numbers with 16+ inch Rainbow Trout being caught
regularly, with 20+ inch Rainbow Trout still found in creels. A total of 33,217 Rainbow Trout and 3,104
Brown Trout were stocked this year at Comins Lake. Anglers will do well on nightcrawlers,
mealworms, a variety of jigs, wet flies, and powerbait. Anglers please note that NDOW has placed
radio tags in several Northern Pike.
These pike will have an orange floy tag near their dorsal fin and a
small antenna coming from their stomach. Please return these fish to the water
for research purposes.
Similar to Comins Lake, the
reservoir level dropped this year but still remains well above normal at
approximately 85% of capacity. The fall
electrofishing survey revealed an average of 11.7 inches on Rainbow Trout and
13.3 inches on Brown Trout. A total of
18,856 Rainbow Trout stocked into Illipah Reservoir in 2020. There is currently no ice on the reservoir
and water temperatures were at 400F this week. Anglers will do well
on nightcrawlers, mealworms, a variety of jigs, wet flies, and powerbait.
Surface water temperature was 40
degrees with no ice. With improved water level and the cold weather killing the
aquatic vegetation, shore angling has improved.
Trout fishing is fair to good and bass fishing is slow. 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.
The water level is very low and
muddy and fishing is poor. Due to low
hot water this summer there was a trout die-off so trout fishing is nonexistent
at this time. NDOW is not planning on planting trout here this fall due to the
low water levels. No report of anglers
fishing here, so no report on any bluegill or bass but expect poor fishing. Pray for a good winter to fill this water up.
The colder water temperatures and
nights below freezing have shut off most hatches in area streams. Northern Elko
County streams saw a slight uptick due to precipitation, but most streams have
not changed much since last week. The
one exception is the East Fork of the Owyhee below Wildhorse Dam which has
dropped significantly as the outflow of the dam has been slowed. Higher
elevation streams have snow and ice bank conditions making fishing difficult. With the colder temperatures, stream fishing
is slowing down. Expect the fish to be
sluggish and anglers will need to put their presentations right in front of the
fish. Brown and brook trout are still on
the move, though the spawn is over, and you can still target these fish. There
is very little change in stream flows in the area. As of November 19, the East Fork
of the Owyhee have seen flows diminish to a more normal 25 cubic feet/second
(cfs), the Bruneau River at 21 cfs, the Jarbidge at 6 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek
at 54 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 3 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at 11 cfs,
Cleve Creek at 6 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 3 cfs and Kingston Creek at half of
normal at 3 cfs.
HIGH ALPINE LAKES
Back country travel is difficult
and with the snow forecast for the area on Friday, only the most experienced
backcountry travelers should attempt to reach the lakes. The lakes are now
frozen over and fishing is done for the winter.
There will be no more fishing reports for the high alpine lakes until
late spring or early summer depending upon the winter.
Bass fishing is done here as the
weather turns with the cold water temperatures. Fishing is good for 10 to 13-inch
trout at the collection ditch which was stocked with approximately 7,000 trout in
October. Water level in the collection
ditch has improved and large browns and tigers are on the prowl at the end of
the fall spawn. Small brightly colored spinners
were doing well. Anglers need to switch to sub-surface flies such as leech
patterns, wooly buggers or crystal buggers.
Other flies working include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares
ears, olive soft hackles, red or blue copper Johns, prince nymphs and egg
patterns. Governor’s Pond has been stocked and fishing is good there. 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
Anglers continue to report good
fishing for trout from shore. Surface
water temperatures are the high 30’s to low 40’s depending upon time of day and
location on the lake. Little change here on fishing conditions as trout fishing
is good and bass fishing is slow with an occasional large bass being taken. Bait
anglers are having luck using nightcrawlers or rainbow PowerBait fished with a
slip sinker off the bottom in about eight feet of water. Fly fishermen are catching fish at the south
end of the lake using black or brown leech patterns, as well as snail patterns,
fished with an intermediate sink line.
They also continue to have success fishing balanced leeches, chironomids (midge larvae), or small nymphs in
black or red under an indicator. Fishing
snow cones and midge larva a foot off the bottom in four to 10 feet of water is
working well. Fishing mud bottoms with these presentations on the northwest
side of the lake has been effective. Fishing below the dam in the river has
been slow with very low flows. The state park campground is open at 50% of
capacity. South Fork was stocked with approximately
30,000 nine to 10-inch rainbow trout over the past couple of weeks and stocking
is done for the year here.
Surface water temperatures are now
in the high 30’s and ice is forming on the edges and backs of coves, especially
in the morning. Trout fishing has been fair
to good, depending upon the weather. The
dock at the boat ramp is now out of the water.
Fishing for perch is fair as they are moving into deeper water making it
difficult for shore anglers. Bass
fishing is slow. The usual PowerBait and
worms for bait anglers have been working for trout. 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. Balanced leeches
under an indicator have also been effective, especially if there is a chop on
the water. Most anglers are fishing
Penrod and Hendricks arms, though the part of the arms east of the highway are
freezing over. However, when fishing is
slow in the arms, anglers should move out to the main body of the lake. Fly fishing anglers fishing the river below
the dam need to switch to subsurface flies such as nymphs and streamers. Silver or white minnow imitations have been
working in the stream for spin anglers. Drifting nymphs under an indicator or
swinging streamers are working for fly fishermen. The lake has been stocked with more than
20,000 eight to 10-inch rainbow trout over the past month and stocking is done
for the year. 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.
The water level is average for this
time of year and surface water temperatures have dropped into the low 40’s. Fishing is fair to good for 12 to 15-inch trout
and bass fishing is slow. Black leeches
have been working for both trout and bass. Chironomid patterns are also working
for trout. Black or dark green spinners with contrasting spots are working for
spin fishermen. For the most part, the
same presentations that are used at South Fork, should work here.