Hello fellow fishermen. Ah, has winter arrived in the Sierra? The month of November has given us the most snow totals in many places since 1994. But we have a long way to go to fill our lakes for the 2023 season.
While many anglers put away their gear for next year, for the real anglers, it’s time to break out the overalls and do some winter fishing. Many of the local ponds and lakes in the area have begun to freeze over.
I ask all of you not to venture onto the ice. All our urban ponds are not stable enough to support the weight of a person and are extremely dangerous. The higher lakes in the area will freeze over enough later in the season to do some ice fishing.
As of November 17th, fishing regulations have changed in California.
SILVER LAKE: The boat ramp is closed for the season, the lake level is low, and the snow has flown. Ice has started to form around the edges of the lake.
CAPLES LAKE: The complex is closed for the season. The EID ramp and day use area has also been closed. Ice has begun to form along the spillway and dam area. Most of the lake still had open water last weekend. I will let you know when the lake has enough ice to fish.
WOODS LAKE: CLOSED
RED LAKE: The lake had a thin layer of ice last weekend. It’s not safe to venture out right now.
BLUE LAKES: The road is now closed until the spring season.
LAKE BURNSIDE: Closed for the season
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The lake has some ice along the edges. Fishing has been fair for anglers on green Powerbait or Salmon Peach. Swollen crawlers have been productive. I still recommend rinsing the steaks before freezing. The road to the lake is covered with snow. Be careful if you venture out.
WOLF CREEK: Closed
EBBETTS PASSES ROAD 4: Closed from 7 miles east of Alpine Lake to Monitor Pass.
CARSON RIVER EAST FORK/MARKLEEVILLE CREEK ALPINE COUNTY: The river flows nice and very cold. Watch for frosting along the edges. Fishing is open to catch and release using artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks. Carson River Resort is open year-round for cabin rentals and some RV hookups.
TOPAZ LAKE: Now open year round for fishing. The NDOW has planted over 10,000 catchable trout in the past month. Douglas County Day Use Area and Smoothie Ramp is open. Water levels have started to rise and fishing has been fair to good for shore anglers. Boaters have been using black/silver or gold/white Rapalas. Small leaves and half caterpillar have also been productive. I have not heard that Topaz Lodge will be holding a derby in 2023.
BRIDGEPORT/TWIN LAKES RESERVOIR: closed for the season.
JUNE LAKE AREA: Those pleasant autumn days we enjoyed in October ended with the arrival of November and a bit of winter. The temperature has dropped along with a few inches of snow on the 1st and over a foot this past Tuesday, creating an earlier than usual change for fishing the Upper Owens above Crowley Lake and the wild trout section of Lower Owens below Pleasant Valley Campground. Both sites are open year-round, catch-and-release flies and baits only. The general fishing season ends after the 15th in the Loop along with most waters in the Eastern Range, except for some year-round creeks that are becoming inaccessible.
Time: The 10-day forecast calls for mostly clear, sunny days and cooler temperatures. Here at June Lake we are seeing lows of 12 to 20 degrees and highs of 30 to 40 degrees. Upper Owens about the same Friday. Lower Owens will be warmer than usual, which is a big reason I’ll be spending more of my fishing days there. These temperatures will be 20 degrees minimum and 40 to 50 degrees during the day.
Upper Owens: Tuesday’s storm dropped about 12 inches of the white stuff at Benton Crossing. Even though it’s cold out there, sunny days and vehicular and foot traffic should help make it more manageable. I will work the Upper on future trips as it becomes more accessible unless more snow falls. Up until last year, I was hanging upstream and fishing back to the Travessia, but that’s a lot of work even though it can be some of the best fishing of the year for big Rainbows.
We want similar fish here on the Lower with these Caddis flies, Wooly Buggers and Sheep Creek Specials. However, the best method is to cast nymphs to rainbows hiding in deep bends and cut banks. The favorite nymph is a flashback pheasant tail on a jig hook. Other good choices are Zebra Midges, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears and Tricos.
Lower Owens: We fly fish and lures in this section with similar results with lures mainly for a change of pace and we don’t mind if it’s windy. Both methods produce 6-12, mostly browns up to 14″. Attractive, practically hooking with Panther Martins, Thomas Bouyants and Rapalas. Since it’s catch and release, I remove the belly hooks from the Rapalas. When fishing with fly we mainly use an ECCaddis and Sheep Creek Special downstream and an olive or black Wooly Bugger downstream. Watch for a midday fly hatch and throw a Blue Wing Olive or Caddis fly. This report goes be provided by my friend and fishing partner, Champion “Knot”.
Good luck on your next fishing adventures. Stay off the ice! If you have a photo of your catch, send it to the editor. Hope to see you on the water soon. Goog fishin’ and tight lines.