Hello fellow anglers, it’s that time of year again when things start to change.
The time of year we all love or hate. Daylight saving time ends on November 6th, so we can set our clocks back an hour. Which in my book limits the amount of night fishing time. But then again, it gets colder and produces ice on the higher lakes for fishing.
A week later, the California fishing season changes on November 16.
Most rivers will switch to catch and release on artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. Consult your regulations, because there are some rivers and streams that close for the season until the last Saturday in April.
With this change comes the closure of Inyo County lakes. These lakes are located in the Bridgeport and June Lake loop area.
But on the brighter side, Assembly Bill 817 passed and was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 7th. AB817 will give all anglers the privilege of a 365 fishing license from the date of purchase.
Beginning January 1, 2023, AB817 will allow you to download your license and track your validations and report cards on any mobile device and show them to any CDFW officer upon request.
It’s been a long road to success, but now it’s official.
SILVER LAKE: The colder weather has kept many anglers away. The boat launch is open, but I would use caution maneuvering into the lake. This time of year is great for big mackinaws and browns. I prefer a black and silver Rapala right on the bottom on the east side of the lake.
CAPLES LAKE: Fishing has picked up and anglers have been producing some nice rainbows and browns. Inflated night vehicles have been productive. This time of year, casting closer to shore is your best bet. Many of the larger fish feed close to shore. The resort has closed cabin rentals and will soon close the store and boat rentals. The EID boat ramp was open last weekend, but will close very soon when the weather turns.
RED LAKE: Fishing has picked up a bit from the coast. A couple of anglers last week caught a few rainbows on salmon eggs. I’ll be waiting for the ice to cover the lake and we can all go ice fishing.
BLUE LAKES: As of this week, the road was still open. But with changing weather, the road can be closed at any time. The lake level is low and fishing was fair for small rainbows.
HIGHLAND LAKES, WOODS LAKE, BURNSIDE LAKE, SUNSET LAKE, TAMARACK LAKE, WOLF CREEK: All roads are open on this date but are subject to closure at any time with changing weather.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake is low and the fishing has been pretty good. A group of anglers fished the lake this week with good success. I would recommend cleaning the fish at home or at the campsite, then rinsing the fillets before freezing them. The campsite remains closed until further notice.
CARSON RIVER EAST FORK ALPINE COUNTY: Connie at Carson River Resort reported a few nice cutthroat trout this week and a few rainbows. The water level is low, but there are some nice holes for those who walk a little. The resort is open all year round for cabin and camper rentals. For more information, stop by Carson River Resort.
LAKE HEENAN: Fishing has been good for fly anglers using a copper jig right in the drop zone. The lake is open to catch-and-release artificial lures or fly with barbless hooks until the end of October.
TOPAZ LAKE: The NDOW has stocked the lake with over 4000 triploid strains of rainbow trout. Fishing has been very good for trollers with flashers followed by a crawler or not. 1 needle fish Shore anglers have been using green or yellow powerbait. The county park is open for camping and boat launching. Fishing season is open all year now at Topaz. I haven’t heard from the lodge if they will be bringing back the fishing derby in 2023, but I hope to see it all on January 1st for the new year.
FISHING REPORT FOR THE JUNE LAKE AREA: Gull, June and Silver Lake fishing has been some of the best I can remember since early September with some days bringing 30-40 Rainbows. Grant Lake was a bit off all summer due to low water, but has picked up a bit lately as the water temperature has dropped.
Seagull Lake – The last day the marina was open was the 9th. The Forestry boat launch is still open for private boaters and the lake is accessible by float tubes, kayaks, etc. The top three baits of the last two months have been Garlic and Salmon Peach Powerbait and nightcrawlers with bobbers. Cast the bobber close to the weed lines along the reeds, which keeps your nightcrawler above the weeds and your floating baits further out where there is less weed. Fly fishing the top water in the morning and evening is also a good approach.
June Lake – June Lake Marina’s last day of operation is the 23rd and Big Rock Resort and Marina expects to remain open until the 31st weather permitting. The forest ramp there is useless due to the lake level and the private ramp at June Lake Marina may or may not remain open after they close so best to check. We have been doing our best with these same three baits working the south end from the marina to the big rocks across the lake from the marina. This is a good area to fish along the shore as well as along the lake road. Trolling lures with lead cores or downriggers are likely to produce larger Rainbows and Cutthroats in 20 to 30 feet of water.
Silver Lake: The Silver Lake Resort Marina and Forestry Ramp are closed due to construction, so there is no trailer boat access. So you can fish from the shore near the station or along the campsite and tubes, kayaks, etc. near the marina or day use area south of there. Try the same lures as Gull and June or look for a big brown with mostly Rapalas near the inlet end of Rush Creek Lake or the outlet at the north end. Note that the creek closed to fishing on October 1st, so don’t venture below the lake.
Grant Lake: Grant Lake Marina is closed. Boats can be launched from the beach near the highway near the north end, but four-wheel drive may be required. Most of the coast is accessible from the highway, back dirt roads, or on foot to the Rush Creek entrance area. Also note that you do not fish in the creek as it is closed. What I would do on Grant is fish baits or night crawlers on a bobber from the shore at the inlet end or the same with a float tube hitting the submerged channel in and near the creek.
Rush creek: The creek is closed to fishing!
Upper Owens: After a very slow summer fishing, the Owens have shown that last week may be picking up for bigger Browns and Rainbows. Now we are starting to land about 18” and more of both, so with cautious optimism we expect this trend to continue. As these bigger fish migrate from Crowley Lake, I’m pretty much hooked on dry flies and stick to nymphs in the deeper bends and wooly bugs on the straight runs between the bends. My favorite nymph is a Flashback Pheasant Tail pearl head on a jig hook or try Midges, Hare’s Ears or Prince Nymphs. Chuck Olive or Black Buggers downstream well so the fish can’t see you. Pull it slightly during the subterranean swing, then strip a little and go down a few steps with each re-formulation.
BRIDGEPORT RESERVOIR: Lake levels are low and fishing has picked up for shore and boaters. Steve Hamilton of Gardnerville NV caught and cast a nice rainbow on a black wooly bug with an intermediate sinking line. Bridgeport Marina will be open for boat rentals through November 15th. For more information, stop by or call the Bridgeport Marina.
NDOW FISHING REPORT: Topaz Lake, Wall Canyon Reservoir, West Walker River, Carson River-Douglas County, Liberty Pond, Mitch Pond, Baily Pond, Squaw Creek Reservoir.