Comins Lake

Comins Lake was built in 1953 from the realignment of Highway 93, which created the dam for this impoundment. The Department of Wildlife acquired the reservoir as part of the 3-C Ranch purchase in 1999, which is situated on the Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area. The reservoir has been chemically treated twice to remove northern pike, first in 1989 and most recently in the summer of 2015. In both instances, northern pike decimated the reservoir’s trout and bass populations through predation. Predictably, once pike exhaust their food supply, they turn cannibalistic. This results in a population crash and development of stunted-sized pike. Since its most recent renovation, Comins Lake has been restocked with trout and largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are self-sustaining and generally need on further stocking, while trout are stocked annually in the spring and fall.

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White Pine
Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

Surface water temperatures have dropped into the high 60’s and trout fishing should start picking up. Bass fishing has been fair to good. The lake is pretty weedy limiting boater access in some areas. Nightcrawlers have been working for trout though anglers have also been catching fish using PowerBait. Black or olive wooly buggers and black, olive or wine-colored leech patterns on a fast sinking line are also productive for trout and bass.  One angler reports catching nice trout using white chironomid patterns fished about eight feet below a strike indicator. Black or red snow cones, with a white bead, and contrasting red or black wire ribbing, fished deep under strike slip indicators have also been working.  Bass are hitting on soft plastic worms and grubs in a variety of colors as well as swimbaits and minnow imitations. Pike fishing has slowed, but should pick up in a few weeks as the water cools.  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 (~ 7 inches long) coming from their stomach.  Please return these fish to the water for research purposes.  All other pike should be humanely dispatched. There is no limit on the pike.


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
5670Rainbow Trout8.703-23-20225670
3536Rainbow Trout9.705-12-20229206
2048Tiger Trout8.605-31-20222048

Pertinent Information

Comins Lake is fed by Steptoe and Cave creeks from the east and occasionally by Willow Creek from the south. At capacity, the lake covers 410 surface acres, has a maximum depth of 14 feet, and an average depth of about 8 feet. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and largemouth bass currently inhabit the reservoir. Due to the tremendous amount of feed, fish grow very rapidly and reach healthy sizes. Fishing for trout is usually best in the spring and fall while bass fishing is most productive during the warmer summer months. Bait anglers find Power Bait, salmon eggs, or night crawlers fished off the bottom with minimal weight is best for trout. Small spinners and spoons are also popular with casters, but a fly behind a bubble can produce excellent results. Fly-fishing is popular for trout and anglers have the best success using wooly buggers and damsels in the spring as well as nymphs and midges under a strike indicator the rest of the year. Remember to use a heavy leader. For those willing to brave the elements, weighted jigs (green or yellow) seem to work best for ice fishing. There is a primitive boat launch along the west side of the reservoir along with restrooms. Overnight camping and fires are not allowed.