Journal 2001-08

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I used to keep a journal on the old version of my website.  I became a little more verbose as the years went on and began adding pictures (which I have not uploaded yet), but all in all it is a great record of my fishing for 8 years. You may not appreciate it, but it brings back a lot of great memories and reminds me of places I need to visit again.  So without further ado, I present my Journal.  Happy reading.

2008

Pyramid Lake, December 6, 2008 – Owen had a friend over, so Henry and I headed to Pyramid. Its been years for me and this was Hank’s first time. We hit Popcorn about 10:30 am and fished for an hour or so. Hank stumbled and filled his waders with water, so we head north and ate some lunch. Once he was somewhat drier and warmer, we hit Tamarack. We fished there for a while, but Hank was getting cold and wet again. Finally, I caught a nice 20-inch cutt. Beautiful! That got hank fired up and her fished, wet and cold for another hour, but the Pyramid fish gods still were not appeased. We left about 2:30 with just the one fish.

East Walker River, November 26, 2008 – this was the day I had picked out to go to the Walker, but it wasn’t the best. As I head south it began snowing, then was a blizzard for a while. When I arrived at the Rosaschi bridge, it was slushy, but as I made my way upstream that soon became silver dollar sized snow flakes. It was beautiful, but cold!! I fished hard for a couple hours managing one brown and one rainbow, both about 10 inches. I then headed to the Elbow and hit my failsafe hole. By then it was just drizzling and I managed two more, one brown, one rainbow, both about 12 inches. Not spectacular, but well worth the trip.

Red Lake, November 22, 2008 – Took the boys up Highway 88 to see what was still open and do a little fishing. We started at Caples, but it was iced up around the shore and the kids weren’t up for hiking around looking for open water. So we headed down to Red and started throwing lures from the dam. It got progressively windier as we fished until it was hard to stand up. We had no luck, except for Owen. He managed one brookie on a rainbow Kastmaster. The guy next to us hauled in a nice 18-inch cutt.

Bridgeport Reservoir, June 7, 2008 - Was going to take the boys fishing, but One had a friend here overnight and the other was at a friend’s house overnight. So, I went alone. Took the boat and went trolling. Of course, it was dead calm at the house, but blowing at the reservoir. It was a little chilly and trolling back against the wind wasn’t fun, but I did it. Someone has too, right? Anyway, I hooked two, one may have been a brown but I lost it at the boat. Had a few more strikes, but no hook ups. Gotta sharpen those hooks!

Robinson Creek, May 31, 2008 – We went camping up at Twin Lakes above Bridgeport in our new trailer. Saturday the boys and I tried Lower Twin but after about 45 minutes of no action on various lures, the boys short attention span got the best of them. A couple of hours later I hit Robinson Creek. I started with a parachute adams, but was getting the small (5″) fish. So I switched to a prince nymph under an indicator to mimic all the caddis I could see on the rocks in the stream. First pool, I had a nice fish on for a split second so I had the right idea. A little bit later after untying a big birds nest, I hook and released a beautiful 14-inch wild rainbow. I managed about 5 others, some wild, some planters all between 8 and 12 inches. The place is beautiful and I will be back later this summer.

Bridgeport Reservoir, May 26, 2008 – I took my boys back to Bridgeport hoping for a repeat of the day before. No such luck. All the conditions were similar and the fish were active, but not interested in anything we had to offer. We trolled from my aluminum boat with no luck, then fished spinners from shore among rising fish with no success, then trolled some more. I guess our hard work pleased the fish gods as they allowed us to catch a nice 16 inch ‘bow on a big Rapala. Unfortunately, big Rapalas weren’t a pattern and we didn’t get another strike. Still it was a good day with my boys!

Bridgeport Reservoir, May 25, 2008 – It was either Highway 88 or Bridgeport Reservoir and the ‘Bridge’ won out. I took my pontoon and started near the damn. Fish were rising and jumping everywhere, including some big carp. I saw some guys catch a few on big Rapalas. I threw metal at the fish with no luck, then switched to the fly rod. I figured to catch some of the those smaller fish sipping midges near shore. A floating nymph fooled one on my first cast, but then the dreaded wind came up. I abandoned the fly rod and caught about half a dozen more on small Panther Martin spinners. All were small rainbows. Not a bad afternoons fishing.

Lundy Creek, May 18, 2008 – Went scouting for camp spots and ended up at Lundy Lake. The wind was blowing so I headed down to the creek below the dam. It looked more open than it was but I found a nice open pool and hooked two nice rainbows on a dry fly. I landed the first and the second wrapped my around a branch. Oh well! I hiked the creek but the water was skinny and overgrown. Tough with a 9 foot fly rod!

Topaz Lake, May 04, 2008 – I finally got my outboard on the aluminum boat I bought last year (click here to see). I took it out to Topaz for a shake down run and a little fishing. I arrived about 11:00 am and fished until about 1:00 pm when the wind came up and it became hard to control the boat at trolling speeds. I did manage a fat 15-inch rainbow between all the fumbling around trying to figure out the new boat.

Hinkson Slough, February 15, 2008 – Took my pontoon boat out and did a little fishing on a nice February day. The wind was on and off and I wasn’t sure how long I would stay the the fly rod stayed in it’s case. I fished for several hours with no luck, but finally in the back pond I caught two smallish rainbows on spinners. Beats the heck out of work.

2007

Red Lake and Indian Creek Reservoir, November 12, 2007 – I think Red is shutting down for the year. I could be wrong, but the weather is turning and the water is getting cold. I fished for two hours and caught one brookie. At least I didn’t get skunked. I finally left as the wind started to kick up more than I prefer. Then I headed to ICR and fished for about an hour and a half. I thought it might be better because a couple of float tubers caught fish as I arrived. No such luck. Damn that lake is finicky!

Red Lake, November 12, 2007 – I went fishing! Headed up Highway 88 for the second day in a row. Sunday the 11th was because we were supposed to go to Walker Lake but the torrential rain in Smith Valley made us reconsider and so we went for a drive. Lots of snow at Red and Caples and only one truck at Red. We didn’t fish. Today, I went to ICR first and it was S—l—o—w! I left my house at 11 am due finishing off a bottle of homemade apple brandy the night before. I saw one fish caught as I pulled up by a banker and that was it. Not even a nibble. About 2:00 headed to Red and met a guy from Sac who had a full stringer after trolling crawlers from his pontoon. I put in my pontoon and fished the trusty gold Kastmaster. Caught three right off, then it got slow. Half hour later caught another in a countdown Rapala, then another about 20 minutes before I left on the gold K’master. The wind was up and it got cold fast. I should have been up there a few weeks ago.

Lahontan Reservoir, May 12, 2007 – The boys and I went to Lahontan to do a little warm water fishing. We started over at Catfish Cut and Hank immediately landed a big walleye and a nice crappie. Owen and I got nothing until after lunch. While they finished eating, I landed a really nice 17-inch walleye. We then moved to the northwest side of the lake off Highway 50. I caught a 10-inch largemouth and another big walleye. Owen finally got a smaller walleye and Henry finished off with another. The water wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t really warm either. Another few weeks and the white bass should start showing up.

Topaz Lake, April 28, 2007 – Took the boat and the family out to Topaz Lake to do a little trolling. The fish were active early and near the surface, but the trolling was slow. I went shallower and finally Henry pulled in a nice 14-inch rainbow. The fish had another hook in its throat so I kept it. The fish was even nice enough to sperm me. Nice! About twenty minutes later we had another on, but Owen lost it at the boat. It looked to be about 18 inches. We had one or two other strikes, but no hook ups. I am currently 2 for 2 trolling with my downriggers. Pretty cool!

Hinkson Slough, April 20, 2007 – Exactly five months to the day of my last fishing excursion I finally found some water and wet a hook. I chose Hinkson as the reports had been good and it was close. While the weather made it look more like February 20th, the fish were active especially when the wind was calm. I caught four rainbows up to about 17 inches and had many other strikes and a couple of LDRs. I only fished for about three hours, so all in all it wasn’t to bad. After my little illness in March (see Diverticulosis on the home page), it was nice to get back on the water. Fishing again helped make me feel normal and well. If the weather cooperates, I should get the boat out next week.

2006

East Walker River (Elbow), November 20, 2006 – I took the three days before Thanksgiving off with the intention of fishing at least one day. I went Monday to the Elbow and while the water was a little skinny (25 CFS), it didn’t look to bad. I fished my usual spots picking up rainbows up to about 12 inches and a single brown that went 13 (I measured) all on nymphs. I headed up stream to a section I hadn’t fished for years but found most of the water to shallow to hold fish. Further along I discovered some rising fish and took four up to 12 inches on a Parachute Adams and an Olive Elk Hair Caddis. A fantastic and relaxing day and I had the whole area to myself. Reminded me why I love Nevada in the Fall.

Walker Lake, November 10, 2006 – It wasn’t fly fishing, but it was fishing. I took my boat, my boys, and my dad and went trolling with my ‘new to me’ downriggers. I have to admit that, while a fine way to catch fish, it leaves something to be desired. I enjoyed it well enough, but it isn’t as satisfying as fly fishing. We had fun though and caught a couple fish including a nice 18-inch cutt. It is fun and exciting to learn something new and it is much better suited to fishing with a group. Hey, I was fishing, so I won’t complain!

East Walker River (Elbow), October 27, 2006 – I tired to duplicate my cast and blast of a couple of weeks earlier with little success. The spot I found quail the week before was covered in boot prints and obviously had been hunted hard. I found some quail, but like quail that have been pressured tend to do, they always put a tree between me and them. I took some shots, but no birds. After a little scouting of some other areas, I was off the the East Walker. I was beat from hiking all morning and the water had been cranked up over the last few days. I caught a few trout, but my heart wasn’t into it.

East Walker River (Elbow), October 14, 2006 – Made a day of it, first hunting for quail then fishing the Elbow. I took four quail in the morning and caught about 10 fish that afternoon on nymphs. Most were rainbows but two browns went 15 inches. The ‘bows were between 11 and 14, all noticeably larger than the fish I was catching last year. That and the fact I caught some browns are both good news. I have many takes on my indicator so a hopper or a larger attractor dry would probably fish well too. A couple of side notes. First, I scared up a couple of wood ducks at the Elbow. Never seen one in the wild and I hope that means that the wet winters are bringing them to the area in higher numbers. Second, the Air Force was landing a C-130 on a dirt strip just south of the Sweetwater Ranch. I initially thought I was witnessing a plane crash as you don’t see to many large aircraft landing along Highway 338. It was wild wild watching them land and take off. Something you don’t see everyday.

Virginia Lake, September 9, 2006 – Headed back to Virginia in the hopes of capitalizing on the prior weeks experience. I hooked a couple, one 12 inch rainbow and one very pretty 10 inch brookie on a humpy. Then the wind came up and the bite shut down. I fished for about four more hours all over the lake, but despite rising fish here and there I never got another strike. I never saw anyone else catch a fish either after the wind picked up. When the wind let up enough to see under the surface, I could pick out fish cruising the shallows. At least a lot of flies got a chance to get out of the box and ride on the end of my line.

Bridgeport Reservoir, September 4, 2006 – Finally got my new boat out on the “Bridge”. Took my family out and I fly fished while the boys threw spinners and spoons. There was a pretty good algae bloom, which might have had something to do with our success, or lack there of. We started in Buckeye Bay and watched as fish rose all around us, but not a one even so much as looked sideways at our offerings. We head over to Rainbow Point and I finally got a tug, but no hook up, on a Hinkson Special. I did, however discover that Bridgeport Reservoir is shallow, very shallow. While heading over to Rainbow Point, I discovered a very large flat about 18 inches deep. I thought I was safe 100 yards form shore, but I wasn’t. I shut her down and trimmed the prop up and sustained no damage. Whew!

Virginia Lake, September 3, 2006 – Initially went to Red Lake up above Virginia Lake, but the water was frigid and I saw no sign of fish. After an hour and with numb legs I hiked back down to Virginia Lake and fished the south side. Where the water turned from dark blue to emerald green, trout were cruising the shoreline. I managed to hook four in about 2 hours of fishing and then left early to get to my birthday dinner with my mom. I caught a couple on dries and a couple on nymphs. The water is crystal clear so delicate casts were a must. Considering all the people, I assume these fish are for better educated than their cousins in the hike in lakes above.

West Walker River and Little Walker River, August 12, 2006 – Kids went with Grandma and the Wife had to work, so I headed out for a little fishing in the morning. I headed first to Hoye Canyon, but the water was still pretty high and deep, so I decided to explore the West Walker above Topaz. I actually ended up on the Little Walker first and hooked a nice fat trout right off on a foam hopper. Lost it about two seconds later. Hooked another down stream a bit on the hopper again, but lost it just like the first. Decided to head into the canyon on the West Walker above the 395 bridge. There I caught a nice 14 inch rainbow on a hare’s ear. Then I got hungry and headed home. There is still a lot of snowmelt coming down the rivers. Not raging mind you, but high, especially for August.

West Carson River, August 4, 2006 – Originally set out to fish the East Fork, but it was higher than I wanted to wade and a storm was approaching so I didn’t want to get far from my truck. I headed over the the West Fork and fished the meadow above Pickett’s Junction with no luck. I then worked my way down the canyon until I finally saw a riser and caught the healthy, and wild, 8-inch rainbow. Then I decided to try up above the meadow past the last bridge on Highway 88. I caught one there on my first cast and had a few more strikes, but didn’t hook up. All in all, not a horrible afternoon after a while off laid up after minor surgery on my toe.

June Lake, June 16-17, 2006 – The Family and I took our “new-to-us” camper out for a little shakedown trip and spent the night at June Lake in the June Lake Loop (go figure). First afternoon I fished about and hour and caught four rainbows from 10 to 12 inches on a flashy version of the Hinkson Special (see below). The next day, I fished for about three hours in ever increasing winds and caught maybe 4 and lost a few more on the Special and I even threw a small Black and gold Panther Martin spinner and picked up a few. Before I left I had a 24 inch monster swim out of a weed bed and right under my tube! On the way out on a grassy point, I caught one stripping in to put the rod away. I continued to fish that point with the super fast retrieve and caught about 10 more and all in front of an audience that wasn’t catching anything. Makes the head swell!

Lahontan Reservoir, June 11, 2006 – Not much in the way of fishing happened, but we took the new boat out and fished from it in a small cove, until the boys lost the battle with temptation and decided to go swimming. I caught maybe 4 and Owen got one. This time of year the white bass are like bluegill, plentiful and easy to catch.

Lahontan Reservoir, June 3, 2006 – The boys and I hit Lahontan hoping to score loads of white bass. We didn’t get loads, but we did manage about 25 between us. None of them were bigger than about 6 inches, unfortunately. Not sure if maybe the bigger fish are in deeper water or just a different spot, but I assume they are there. I also caught a 2-pound wiper and a small walleye. The water is high but only slightly murkier than normal and a little on the cool side. We may take the new boat next time and explore other areas.

Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds, May 26, 2006 – The boys and I ended up here after a trip to Walker Lake. Nothing much was going at Walker and we kept getting snagged on the weeds that have come up, so we left. We fished the cooling ponds for a couple of hours with not even a bite. We threw everything at them, but the water is pretty murky right now. Whatever, at least we got some sun.

Hinkson Slough, May 26, 2006 – Here you go, Dave! Went to Hinkson again, but as soon as I arrived the wind came up. The place is also overrun with aquatic weeds. If they continue to grow the place will be all but unfishable in a few weeks. I headed back by the old dead tree and saw some sporadic risers. I began fishing with a crystal bugger, but after no action switched to a brassie under and indicator. A few takes, but only one hook up and I lost that in the weeds. Switched to a pheasant tail and it got nailed. I managed to land one 16-incher and lost another in the weeds. Finally, went back tot he crystal bugger because the action was hit and miss and was able to cast right next to a rise. Again I lost it in the weeds. Then the wind got stronger and and casting got tough so I left. Also stopped by the cooling ponds, but the water is very turbid.

Hinkson Slough, April 13, 2006 – With all the wonderful weather, little league and trying to get some golf in, I managed to go almost two months without fishing. I took a day off work, the only day that looked to be spring like that week, and hit Hinkson. I fished an indicator rig for a while with a few takes, but never felt a fish when I set the hook. I talked to a guy who had the same experience and had switched to a wooly bugger. I did the same and trolled over to the back pond and got a few tugs on the way, but never managed to set the hook. In the back the trout were rising sporadically and I managed to hook and land three to 18 inches. I had about twice that many on and lost them. I’d like to blame that on the fish, but it was more likely me being rusty. Got a nice spring sunburn and caught a few fish; sure does beat working!

Hinkson Slough, February 24, 2006 – As usual I went to Hinkson as my first trip of the year. I got in the water about 10:00 am and fished for about 4 hours with little success, in fact, no success. It was crowded, with maybe 8 or 10 guys in pontoon boats. Funny, as this is the first time I didn’t see a float tube, just to kick boats. They must be catching on. I was a little rusty and patience was hard to come by. I tried just about everything in my box but dries to no avail. I finally ventured into the back waters behind the main channel and saw another guy catch fish after fish. I determined he was indicator fishing and heard him mention a brassie. I finally settled down after a bit and with a little depth adjustment finally got a take at about 4 feet down. The takes were subtle and the other guy even mentioned it to me. I hooked two, neither of which I landed and had a few more strikes before it shut down around 3:30. All in all, it was just nice to spend a nice sunny day in February in the pontoon boat and feel that tug at the end of my line. I missed it.

2005

East Walker River, October 28, 2005 – I couldn’t resist heading back to the East Walker again. The river is so pretty and the fishing is pretty good too. I again hit the Elbow section and stayed late. I started off picking up a fat 10-inch rainbow in my little honey hole. He was rising in a foamy back water and took a hopper. After that I hit the same run I caught fish from the week before. I fished with a nymph and indicator and ended up with about a dozen rainbows up to 13- inches and one 5-inch brown. This run was loaded with fish averaging 10 or 11-inches, and I assume other similar water would be the same. Eight or ten years ago the Elbow area was nothing but browns with rainbows being the exception. I wonder what changed?

East Walker River, October 21, 2005 – I headed out to the East Walker hearing the flows were down and the fishing was doing well. Of course, the flows were higher than I expected, as is often the case on the East Walker. My little honey hole down on the Elbow was too high to be productive, so I moved to some better water and saw some sporadic rises. I fished for about two hours and caught three 10-inch rainbows on hoppers and nymphs. I had to get home early, but I felt as if staying for the day would have been very good. Unfortunately, the fluctuating flows make finding similar conditions, even the very next day, a crap shoot.

Hinkson Slough, September 30, 2005 – Last day of the season and instead of going in the morning I decided to wait and takes my sons. Well, Owen wasn’t interested (he’s going through a phase), but Henry was. I took the pontoon and Henry used his tube. I caught five or six and Hank just couldn’t hook up. I finally let him play my last fish and then we got the heck out of their. There were a few mosquitoes throughout the afternoon, but as we got out of the water they just swarmed. I’ve never seen so many. I tossed our stuff into the truck and drove away.

Hinkson Slough, September 23, 2005 – Since I did so good the Friday before I went back and Hinkson didn’t disappoint. The fish weren’t rising as aggressively as the week before but they were feeding actively. I also noticed a lot of the scum on the surface was gone. I nymphed both with an indicator and without and fished an olive wooly bugger. It wasn’t every cast like the week before, but it was still exciting and as a bonus this week I caught two deeply colored 18 inch rainbows on the streamer. Beautiful!

Hinkson Slough, September 16, 2005 – As I arrived at 9:00 am, Hinkson was boiling with rises. I hurried into the water and proceeded to catch fish until I lost track. Thirty to Forty 12 to 14-inch rainbows seems about right and on anything and everything I threw at them. I also scored on richly hued 16-inch rainbow. What a blast. They were all strong and the smaller ones jumped quite a bit. It was slowing down when I left at 1:00 pm, but still good fishing.

West Walker River Canyon, August 27, 2005 – I hit the canyon about 8:00 am and nymphed until I found some nice trout in a pool by the stumps. As I was having no success nymphing (something I am notoriously weak at anyway) I tied on a streamer and sight fished. I eventually caught two feisty 14 or 15- inch rainbows, both of which jumped clearing the water by 3 to 4 feet. I also lost 6 flies, but retrieved 5 of them when I was done. Curiously, while nymphing through the same area, two fish just went crazy for my indicator (a foam twist on type in orange and green), but wouldn’t touch any dry I fished including a beetles with similar colors. I may need to incorporate a hook into that indicator!

Rush Creek, August 27, 2005 - Why I keep going back to this section of Rush Creek above Grant lake I don’t know. I have never caught a fish over 7- inches, though they are wild. This day was no different as I landed several smallish rainbows and browns. Maybe its that this section is so pretty. I would be hard pressed to name a more perfect looking stretch of water. It is also challenging to cast with all of the streamside foliage. Still I think I will need to focus on more productive waters.

Lahontan Reservoir, August 26, 2005 – Took the boys out to Lahontan on their last day of weekday freedom before school starts. We all caught a mess of smallish white bass on little spinners. I was going to fly fish and even took my reel bag and rod tube. Unfortunately, my rod and reel were rigged back in my garage. Besides the white bass, I caught one nice crappie and a couple of small walleye. After lunch we went swimming. We had blast!

Grant Lake, August 6, 2005 – After my unsuccessful attempt at Bridgeport, I head down to the June Lakes area. At the inlet where Rush Creek enters the lake, I spotted some risers and some bait fishermen on the bank. It may be childish of me, but I never pass up the opportunity to catch fish in front of bait fishermen. I headed out and played with the boat a little, tried the standing platform and such, then got down to fishing. It was slow, but I managed two 12-inch rainbows. I overheard a guy on the bank say he had been at it all day and had caught nothing, so I guess two wasn’t too bad. Then the thunder and lightening showed up followed by the rain and it never let up. After a little nap, I headed home.

Bridgeport Reservoir, August 6, 2005 – I tried to fish “The Bridge” in my new pontoon boat, but was repulsed by the weeds. The prop on my electric motor just kept getting tangled with weeds. I saw the people in the aluminum boats stopping now and then to clear their props. Rowing was out of the questions due to the distance and the thunder boomers were closing in so I decided to try elsewhere. Next time I will take the shuttle from the Bridgeport Reservoir Marina if they can fit my pontoon in the boat.

Hidden Lake, July 23, 2005 – While camped at Silver Lake on Highway 88, instead of fishing the obvious body of water a few hundred yards away I was talked into hiking two miles and about a 1000 vertical feet to Hidden Lake (real name). What the hell, if its on a sign at the trailhead it must have fish, right? Wrong! Hidden lake is a fishless, leech filled, mosquito ridden puddle that is no deeper than 8 to 10 feet…maybe! It isn’t even shown as water in DeLorme Topo USA, just a flat spot in the topography. Thanks, Deano! At least I got some exercise.

Hot Creek, June 30, 2005 – Stopped here on the way home and nymphed for about half an hour. The wind was brutal, unlike Crowley. I didn’t see any fish working, but did happen on a 20-inch rainbow, I think, finning near the bank at the interpretive center. After losing a few flies I had enough and headed home.

Crowley Lake, June 30, 2005 – Ran down to North Landing just to see what I could see. What I saw was exactly nothing. Well, almost nothing. I did see a guy trolling, the floating bathrooms, some ducks and some pelicans. I did not, however, see any fish or signs of fish. I only write this because my rod was rigged and I cast a few dozen times from shore. As I write this I see the Sierra Drifters report says Crowley is fishing poor. I can confirm that.

Ellery Lake, June 30, 2005 – I was trying to get to the Gardiski Lake trailhead on the road to Saddlebag Lake, but apparently it is still snowbound because the road was closed. So instead I popped my tube in Ellery lake, which was absolutely boiling with rises when I passed. It was still going strong when I began fishing and caught four trout. I caught a 9-inch brookie on a #18 copper john, an 8-inch brown on a #16 yellow humpy, a 14-inch rainbow on a brassie under an indicator and finally a 5-inch brown on a hare’s ear, a mini grand-slam! As it approached noon it really slowed down and I only got a few half hearted tugs. As my waders were full of water thanks to my cats, I left for other destinations.

Buckley Ponds (Bishop), June 12, 2005 – Finally Little League is over and I feel like fishing again. I took an exploratory trip to the Bishop area, neglected lo these many years in my explorations. I didn’t have a ton of time, but managed to coax a few of the fat bluegills from the waters of the Buckley Ponds. I was unaware of the truly staggering number of waters in the Bishop area. I believe I have found a new place to frequent. I am slowly shaking my tendency to head north (Truckee, Davis, Frenchman’s, etc.) from my days living in Carson City and discovering the southern Sierras.

Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds, April 1, 2005 – Took my sons out to Mason Valley and we did a little scouting and a little fishing. All the fishing ponds have water, but probably not all of them have fish. Anyway, the boys decided to try fishing for bass so we headed over to the cooling ponds. We fished our spinning rods with plastic tubes. Both the boys caught one bass each and I got skunked. They were both fishing extremely slow as the water is a little chilly yet. The bass Owen caught was his first.

Hinkson Slough, February 18th, 2005 – My first trip of the year, but this year I didn’t get skunked. It was barely raining when I arrived, but by the time I was in the water, wet, dollar sized snow flakes were pelting me and nearly drove me off the water. That is until, on my last cast, I got a strike. Well, I couldn’t leave then, so I kept at it and soon the snow let up and fish began to rise. I eventually caught four 12 or 13 inch rainbows and had a couple of others on. Not a bad little trip.

2004

East Walker River (Elbow), October 22, 2004 – I heard the flows on the East Walker were down and decided to give it a try. Once I arrived, I discovered they were even higher than on my September 25th trip. Once home I verified that while the flows were down around 50 cfs, in the few days before I went they had been cranked up to near 200 cfs. In my experience the river fishes poorly during and immediately after major changes in flow and that is what I found. I got no strikes while fishing the same pool from the last trip. I also fished upstream and got no action there either. Next time I will check the flows before I go.

East Walker River (Elbow), September 25, 2004 – I took Hank down to the Elbow to get him a little practice on the fly rod. We started high-stick nymphing and he was doing pretty well, but we weren’t getting any strikes. We moved to a hole I know that always holds fish, but the attention span ran out and I ended up fishing alone. I caught four 10-inchers (wild by the looks of them, but they could have been planted as fingerlings). I also got some rolls on a big Royal Wulff and a hopper from what I think were whitefish. They looked pretty nice, maybe 16-inch plus, but never really tried to take the fly.

Twin Lakes (Mammoth), September 17, 2004 – Despite the forecast for wind, I left for Twin Lakes right after lunch to fish the evening bite. Well, for once the weathermen were right and it was howling . I launched the float tube into the gale, mainly because two other tubers were out and I saw one with a fish on. That was the last time I saw a fish on and after about an hour and a half I gave up and headed to Rush Creek for about 20 minutes of drifting a elk hair caddis over apparently fishless water right before dark. I did see one bait fisherman at Twin Lakes hold up an 18-inch rainbow to brag to his buddies down the shore. They are in there.

Dynamo Pond, September 10, 2004 – After deciding the East Walker wasn’t worth my time, I headed up to Dynamo Pond. The wind was blowing, but a few fish were rising. I fished a nymph, both with and without a strike indicator and had a few strikes. Since I planned on stream fishing, I didn’t have my float tube and the muddy, steep bottom isn’t conducive to wading. It was also the middle of the day and I didn’t feel like staying till sundown, but I would imagine the fish would perk up in the evenings. I almost headed up to Robinson and/or Buckeye Creek, and I probably should have.

East Walker River, September 10, 2004 – Initially decided to go to the East Walker, but Bridgeport Reservoir has turned over and is expelling pea soup due to the algae. I fished in the meadow section just below the dam for about an hour with a hopper pattern and a nymph dropper and saw zero activity. The water levels have been fluctuating and couple that with the algae, I think the fish are a little depressed, despite what I have heard.

Rush Creek, September 5, 2004 – I left the house not knowing where I would be going exactly and ended up at Rush Creek. I started on Reverse Creek, but but was run off by a young couple who decided it was OK to start fishing about 10 feet from my truck as I was rigging up. Without going in to detail, it was extremely rude and you would have to be brain dead not to have seen it. I digress, and ended up about halfway between Silver and Grant Lakes. I fished a beautiful spot with no luck, then discovered the creek is full of fishy looking spots. I finally found a couple of runs that gave up some smallish, but pretty, Browns and Rainbows, all on dries to boot. Good times!

West Walker River, August 28, 2004 – With my knee finally fixed and our family vacation a pleasant memory, I headed out fishing. I debated where to go, but I knew I wanted to test my new wading boots, my hydration pack I’ve had since Christmas and my repaired knee. I finally choose the West Walker upstream of the 395 bridge near the 108 junction. I had hiked this canyon years back and hooked and lost a nice, fat 18 inch rainbow. Unfortunately, this time the water was lower and finding fish holding water was tough. I did manage some strikes on a hopper pattern and caught one rainbow of about 14 inches. I didn’t get skunked and my knee, the pack and the new boots all worked great. All in all, a nice day.

Red Lake, July 10, 2004 – Me and the Wife headed up to Virginia Lakes while the kids were off camping with my Mom. We arrived just after noon and decided to head up to Red Lake. It was a little windy but not to bad. Risers were few and far between and we only managed one rainbow between us after about 3 hours. Then my knee started hurting and Jen was getting cold. Might be a bit cold yet as there was significant snow above the lake still. Either way it was a nice quite way to spend an afternoon.

Lahontan Reservoir, June 6, 2004 – I hadn’t been out to fish Lahontan in years, so the family and I headed out for an afternoon. As it turns out only Henry and I fished. We both had a fish on within about 20 minutes, but then Henry gave up and went swimming with Jen and Owen. I continued and finally after about an hour of fishing landed on smallish white bass and then went swimming. The water is still pretty cool, though fish are present and somewhat active. We might try in a few weeks and see if warmer water will heat things up.

Dynamo Pond, May 31, 2004 – Henry got a float tube for his birthday and we took it out for a spin. It was also his first time with a genuine fly rod, as opposed to his spinning rod with the bubble, so he was learning to navigate his float tube while learning to cast. He never capsized or tangled himself hopelessly in fly line, but he didn’t catch any fish either. I, however, did catch three, one 10-inch wild Brown and 2 planted, but larger, Rainbows on a Bead Head Hare’s Ear. Got a lot of tugs too, but no real hookups. All in all, we had fun. Little League is nearly over so I should get some more fishing in, but then again I hurt my knee and need surgery. I will try and tough out a few trips despite the pain.

Hinkson Slough, April 4, 2004 – Took the boys this time, but they didn’t catch any fish. I caught one, about 12 inches, and we all got strikes. The fish were fairly active considering it was the middle of the day, but the takes we quick and light. We all used flies, me on my fly rod and the boys with a bubble on their spinning rods. I caught the fish on a Bead Head Hare’s Ear, but we got hits and several different flies. We had fun and the boys got to fish. We may go again Friday night.

Hinkson Slough, March 11, 2004 – Again?! Yes, there I was again. The mud hens know me by name. Anyway, NDOW dumped 350 brood stock Rainbows into the Slough. They are mostly between 4 and 6 pounds and evil looking. Stubby fins, rounded tails and hooked jaws, I was almost afraid to touch ‘em. Anyway, they got dumped in on the 10th and are still schooled up, cruising the shallows near the road. I caught two, the second one easily 25 inches. They fight pretty well, considering. I also caught a smaller resident trout (i.e. last years planter). It was slow and no one technique or fly was the ticket. I caught all three fish on different flies (Brassie under and indicator, Bead Head Hare’s Ear and an olive Wooly Bugger). Beats work!

Hinkson Slough, March 7, 2004 – I wanted to go Friday to avoid the crowds, but I hurt my knee. It was feeling better, though, so I went fishing. Got there about 11:00 am and went to the Hinkson Special with no luck. Tried a few different flies but finally hooked up on a Brassie about four feet under an indicator. I stuck with that until about an hour before I left, or about 3:00 pm, when I switched to a Bead Head Hare’s Ear and took a few more fish. I ended up with about half a dozen and probably missed or lost twice that many, as tends to happen when indicator fishing. It seems the fish are relating to structure (sticks, reeds, etc.) or prefer shallower water. Not always, but often enough to make it a pattern.

Hinkson Slough, February 20, 2004 – Arrived around 10:00 am and was happy to see only three trucks. I picked out a spot and launched the tube. I fished for two fruitless hours, and when my feet were aching from the cold water, I got out for lunch. A fellow fisherman said the water was 42 degrees, which would explain my icy feet. After a short lunch, I got back in and finally hooked up. I ended up with two nice rainbows, one 14 inches, the other 16 on the Hinkson Special. I talked with a guy I fished next to the weekend before, but he left before I could formally introduce myself. Everyone was catching fish despite the cold water, but they were generally few and far between. A few weeks of warmer weather and I predict the fishing will really pick up.

Hinkson Slough, February 15, 2004 – Took the Otter out to Hinkson, more to test the fishability of the boat than to seriously fish. Good thing since I kept my first-outing-of-the-season-skunk streak alive. I only fished for about 2 hours and got a couple of tugs on a olive wooly bugger stripped very slow. I didn’t see to many rises or other fish being caught. The water is a little cold, but I have caught fish in colder water there. Could be the fish are a little spooked with all those legs suddenly dangling into their world after a nice quiet winter (I always find a way to make a skunk not my fault).

2003

Red Lake, September 12, 2003 – Red lake is in the Virginia Lakes chain and sits just south of Virginia Lake. I decided to go here and give it a try rather go to Blue Lake and I’m glad I did. When I arrived there were three other fisherman there but they soon left (yes, I took a shower). I discovered the shoreline is not conducive to fly casting so I hiked back tot my truck and got my float tube. I was alone all day and caught upwards of 20 fish up to 10 inches. I caught mostly Rainbows, but three were brookies. All in all, a fine day.

West Walker River (California), August 3, 2003 – Met my mom at her campsite and did a little mid-day fishing. No luck, though my mom and my boys had caught a few downstream near the rest area along 395 in the canyon on bait. She is corrupting my kids! Anyway, nobody was having any luck near the campground, but the river was in good shape and the day was pleasant.

Dynamo Pond (Green Creek), July 27, 2003 – Nothing like going four months without fishing…sheesh! Well, I’m back fishing and did OK at this little pond on Green Creek just south of Bridgeport. Fish were rising intermittently, and I managed to hook three and land one nice fat 10-inch brown on a #18 Copper John. Fishing was pretty slow overall, but the fish are there and feeding. Had a few smack a #16 humpy but no hook ups. Even though it was slow it was nice to be fishing again.

East Walker River, March 23, 2003 - Took a Sunday afternoon and headed over to the East Walker. The weather was unsettled and I was hoping for a BWO hatch. There were a few mayflies hatching, but not enough to bring the fish to the surface. Fished the area downstream from the bridge with nymphs but no action. Finally, I decided to head to the Elbow where I caught the State record mountain whitefish…again. Not the hardest thing since the record is like 16.3 inches and 2 lbs. 14 oz. I have caught one about 18 inches a few years ago and this one, which was about 17. Either way, I didn’t get skunked!

Mason Valley WMA, February 23, 2003 - Arrived here after my failure in Wilson Canyon. Lots of fishermen and a few risers. Caught a 15 incher on the Hinkson Special (see below) on my second cast then had another larger fish a few casts later. After that nothing, and not just for me but nobody was getting into fish. Still a good spot for a chance at some big trout.

West Walker River (Wilson Canyon), February 23, 2003 – Arrived around 1:30 PM and immediately noticed a significant size 18 BWO hatch. I searched the first hole downstream from the bridge with a pheasant tail and had no takers. I was surprised I saw no risers to such a prolific hatch. I search most of the river in the canyon for risers and found none. Fished with the nymph for a while with no success. Finally, gave up and went to Hinkson as I was in the mood for catching, not just fishing.

Mason Valley WMA, February 9, 2003 – Visited the WMA with my son, Henry, on the Saturday opener, but all the water was frozen. Went back Sunday while the wife and kids were at a friends and found the water clear of ice and trout rising on Hinkson. I caught a 17 inch ‘bow on a size 12 no hackle olive wooly worm in about 45 minutes of fishing from shore. I then headed over to the cooling ponds and rigged up a green and pumpkin Gitzit (Ya ya, I wasn’t fly fishing) and caught one 14 inch bass. It was a quick afternoon, exploratory trip, but I got some action and will go back. Both spots should be good for a while if the weather holds. I did notice that much of the weed growth in Hinkson hasn’t died off which could make for some tough fishing later this year.

Topaz Lake, January 20, 2003 – Went to Topaz after reading an article in California Fly Fisher magazine. Got to the lake about 2 pm and planned on fishing until dark, but a nasty, cold wind came along and pushed me off the lake. I probably fished for about 1 1/2 hours and saw no fish, got no strikes and, as you might guess, caught no fish. Didn’t see any action from the bank fishermen or the trollers either. In any case, I managed to keep my first trip of the year skunk streak alive.

2002

Knott Creek Reservoir, October 11, 2002 – Fished this as part of my cast and blast trip. It was cold and I got the flu, so my fishing was limited. Especially since the day I started feeling better was the chukar opener. I fished for about two hours and caught one about 18 inches. It all depended on when you were fishing. After I got out two other guys ended up with 4 or 5 apiece over the next couple of hours. The fish are getting large again, though they aren’t what they were before the fish kill. By the way, I did find some chukar but didn’t shoot any. I did get a couple of quail and the party ended up with 11 chukar and 6 quail on opening day. Not great, but not bad either.

Mason Valley WMA, September 2, 2002 – Took Henry, my oldest son, out for a little bass fishing in Crappie Pond. To my surprise and dismay it was drained. So was Bass Pond. I didn’t see a Warden to ask, so I can only assume they are being either drained to kill carp or need some work. So, over to Hinkson we went. They have closed to access road to the back pond but we did walk there, only to find the reeds are so thick (they were nearly non-existent in the spring) you can’t reach the banks. A float tube is a necessity in the back. We decided the 95 degree heat was too much and left, and I would bet the trout felt the same. Lots of ducks, though!

West Walker River (Hoye Canyon), September 1, 2002 – Since, as usual, the doves had been driven away by rain in the last week of August, I decided to go fishing. Hoye Canyon is a short stretch of the West Walker between private land below Topaz Lake and Wellington. The water looks fishy and by the presence of other fisherman and their trash (is it that hard to throw the worm container in your truck before you leave?) the river here must hold fish. I am hoping the trout, probably planters, were put off by the heat rather than just not into flies. We will see, since this is only about 5 miles from my house.

Blue Lake, August 16 and 17, 2002 – Went camping at Virginia Lakes and visited Blue Lake Friday afternoon and Saturday morning with the kids. We all used spinning rods with a fly and bubble. Unfortunately, neither day provided us with any appreciable breeze, which is almost essential to the fly and bubble method. I didn’t bring the fly rod either. Nobody caught anything, just too much splash in that clear, calm water.

Blue Lake, June 29, 2002 – Took the wife with me so she could get out of the house (she had surgery the week before). We drove up towards Yosemite and I ended fishing for a little while in Saddle Bag Creek but the mosquitoes were terrible and we left. Ended up again at Blue Lake and caught maybe 20 or so from the ponds and the lake. My wife loved it and I had some fun too.

Blue Lake, June 23, 2002 – Did a little exploring today. Scouted out the ferry at Saddle Bag Lake (prices, times, etc.) for a future trip and then ended up here. Caught a few little Brookies in the pond below the lake and a few more from the lake proper. Only fished for maybe an hour then headed home.

Mason Valley WMA, April 13, 2002 – Took the whole family to Hinkson for a few hours after Little League opening day. Owen wasn’t to interested in fishing, but Henry was fired up. Henry had one on but lost it and had no other strikes. He just couldn’t fish slow enough, he was too excited. I did catch a couple on Henry’s rod and let him play one. Same fly as last time, a small olive bugger fished slow or just dead drifted under the casting bubble. Unfortunately, the fish require patience, which my little 5 year old doesn’t have yet. To see pictures click here.

Desert Creek, April 7, 2002 – Took my son, Henry, for a couple of hours. We saw lots of fish in the pools and some were fairly nice (12″ and maybe bigger). We both fished nymphs, me with my fly rod and Henry on his spinning rod and bubble set up. We only caught one small brown. The water was very clear and the fish very spooky (which explains why we saw so many as they darted away).

Mason Valley WMA, April 6, 2002 – Fished Hinkson Slough again. Caught 7 Rainbows up to 17 inches on tiny little olive no hackle wooly buggers dubbed, by me, the Hinkson Special. Caught one other early on a brassie under an indicator. The strikes on the wooly bugger are subtle, but all the fish fight well and are healthy. I still did not see any damsels, but some size 10-12 callibaetis hatching but not enough to interest many trout. Maybe next weekend I might go somewhere else…maybe.

Mason Valley WMA, April 2, 2002 – Went back and fished from 9 am till about 1 pm. Caught 6 Rainbows all in the 14 to 18 inch range on size 18 brassies under and indicator and on slow stripped pheasant tails. Saw a guy that must have caught 25 trout over the same period and finally asked him what was his secret. He showed me a tiny olive wooly worm no hackle and gave me one to try. Thanks! He was stripping it slow near the bottom. Too early for damsels?? Maybe not! Anyway, never talk to a guy with a website.

Mason Valley WMA, April 1, 2002 – Went to check on Hinkson and found many risers in the southwest pond. Fished from about 2 pm to 4 pm. I caught 37 fish all over 20 inches…April Fools! I caught nothing but had a few good grabs on a pheasant tail. Looks promising. Though, I do seem to be a slow starter. Two skunks in a row to start out the year.

East Walker River, March 9, 2002 – The water was very clear and running about normal for this time of year. I saw no rises and caught no fish in about three hours of fishing. The storms over the last couple of days could have put the fish off or chilled the water, who knows. Either way this year started out like last year with a skunk.

2001

Mason Valley WMA, September 23, 2001 – Went to Crappie Pond again, this time with my son, Henry, my nephew and my dad. Henry showed us all up by catching six bass, while I caught a nice 14 incher. My nephew, Steve, caught another 14 incher, though it might have been the same fish. My Dad was skunked, but in his defense he was helping the kids a lot. All the fish were on floating, broken-back Rapalas.

Davis Lake, September 9, 2001 – Arrived at Cow Creek at 7:30 AM and found solid weeds. Drove over to Mosquito Creek and finally got in the water. Took me a while to figure out that a nymph under and indicator was the ticket. had a strike on the first cast and landed a 18 inch Rainbow on the second. Then as soon as I released the fish a breeze kicked up a mall chop and ruined the indicator fishing. Tried just stripping the nymph, but no luck and soon after left to watch football.

Mason Valley WMA, August 26, 2001 – Took my Son, Henry, and we each landed a bass in Crappie Pond (on floating Rapalas, wish I had brought the fly rod, though). I also had a bigger fish that I never saw and finally got off in some heavy weeds. I would guess 16 inch or more, a respectable fish for these waters.

Hot Creek, August 24, 2001 – Stopped here on my way home and immediately spied a 24 inch Rainbow languishing over a light colored sand bottom, apparently totally unconcerned with me or anything else. Of course, I had to try for this fish, but with my 7 1/2 foot 4 wt. rod rigged and a steady headwind it was not to be. I did get a strike but the wind took the line from hand before I could set the hook. I would suspect that a 24 inch trout in that kind of water is nearly uncatchable… nearly.

Middle Fork San Joaquin, August 24, 2001 – I woke up at 4:00 AM to beat the 7:30 AM road closure and avoid taking the bus into this prolific stream behind Mammoth. It was worth it as I landed 8 fish, all on a floating Hare’s Ear, and nearly completed the grand slam (no Golden). I had many more fish on and more strikes at my fly than I could count. I found a hole that held over one dozen fish and several 18 inch plus specimens. Quite surprising considering the limited growing season on this stream.

Truckee River, Verdi, August 18, 2001 – Caught one nice Rainbow right off and then nothing. I fished until dusk waiting for the hatch to come off but it never did. No Little Yellow Stones, no Caddis, nothing. I have been to the river this time of year for probably the last four years and there has always been a heavy hatch of both Stones and Caddis. I wonder if the fire upstream and the silt and ash that entered the river has something to do with it.

McLeod (McCloud), August 11, 2001 – A pretty lake about a mile from Horseshoe Lake in the Mammoth chain. This is a catch and release Cutthroat fishery with gin-clear water and sandy beaches. Hiked in at about 3 PM and found howling winds and inactive fish. The beaches allow casting a fly rod from many places and the sandy, shallow edges of the lake permit easy wading for access to deeper water. Saw some sporadic rises but no takers.

Blue Lake, August 11, 2001 – Located about 1/2 a mile behind Virginia Lake in the Virginia Lakes chain. I hiked in in the AM and float tubed until noon or so. I caught 7 trout (6 Brooks, 1 Rainbow) all on nymphs. Fish were rising all over the lake with the Brookies near shore and the Rainbows in deeper water. Not much fishing pressure, but lots of hikers pass by on there way to other places.

Prosser Creek Reservoir, July 21, 2001 – Water is way down but the fish are very active. Fished from about 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM and landed 2 and had half a dozen on with many more strikes. Fished a Wooly Worm with a nymph dropper on a intermediate line, and the fish were hitting the streamer. I think the dropper line was causing the missed strikes, not to mention my constant attention to keeping my tube from being blown across the lake by the howling wind. A pleasant surprise in the middle of July!

Milton Reservoir, July 8, 2001 – A very pretty little lake. My first time there and I only fished for about 4 hours. I caught 5 little brown trout on a #16 Bird’s Nest fished behind a big black Wooly Worm on a intermediate line. Fish the rig very slow. Mornings and Evenings would be best if for no other reason than the wind, which picks up in the afternoon. I plan to go back.

Truckee River, Verdi, June 7, 2001 – Picked up a few fish near dusk within sight of the I-80 Bridge. Fish were feeding on caddis both on the surface and sub-surface. Two sizes or caddis were present, size 20 early and a larger size 14 later, along with a few little yellow stones. As the water warms and clears the dry fly action in the evening will improve and last longer.

Round Valley Lake, June 2, 2001 – Took my sons fishing for bluegill. They both caught fish, my son Owen caught his first ever. The fishing was slow due to the wind and 70 degree temps (that means I wasn’t catching bluegill on every cast just almost every cast.) This is a nice place to take kids as the bluegill are numerous and easily caught. I have had 150 fish days!

East Walker River, April 22, 2001 – I fished hard for 4 hours from 1 PM to 5 PM using nymphs. Mostly high- stick nymphing with golden stones, pheasant tails and hare’s ears. I picked up one small rainbow at about 4:30 PM on a hare’s ear. The water was fairly clear but cold. I’m sure the snow on Saturday didn’t help.

North Pond, April 15, 2001 – Nothing! Not even a rise. Dead, dead, dead. You know its going to be slow when you show up for the evening rise and everyone else is leaving. Don’t ask me.

Cooling Ponds, April 15, 2001 – The bass are rising in the evening. I only fished for about half and hour right at dark but got a strike on a black wooly bugger. Could fish real well given some stable weather.

Davis Creek Pond, April 7, 2001 – Took Henry (my Son) fishing but I caught all the fish. Picked up four rainbows on nymphs under indicators. I think Henry’s bubble was spooking them. They will rise to dries in the evening, but they tend to stay just out of casting range so wading or a tube is helpful (if you can maneuver around all the bait fisherman’s lines). Weeknights are best for evading the crowds.

Pyramid Lake, March 31, 2001 – Slow, Slow, Slow. Apparently the warm weather hasn’t warmed up the water enough. Trollers said that lots of fish were stacked up in the deeper water. Give it a week or two and it will be non-stop action.