CA opening weekend 09 – West Carson River

Headed out Sunday morning to fish the West Carson.  Been since closing day in November, so I was curious to see how the river weathered the winter.  The weather cooperated and the flows were high, but the water was running only slightly off-c0lor.  I have seen it much worse, and as runoff starts up, it will get worse.  The West Carson in one of the Alpine County waters that the DFG has been instructed NOT to stock until further notice.  Even though Alpine County will most likely take stocking into their own hands, I was doubly curious to see what kinds of numbers of fish are in the water, and will be keeping an eye out for numbers of fish as the summer progresses.  I know this is a put and take river, but I plead with anyone that will listen to PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE practice catch and release until fish plantings resume.

In a nutshell, I spent 2 hours fishing, caught 2 dinks and missed a very nice Rainbow.  Since the water clarity was about 6-8″ it was easy to see fish moving about in the shallower sections.  I was very please with the numbers of fish that I spotted.

I stopped at gauging station and there was already someone there.  I strung up and got ready to fish while observing the river.  I then hit the car and drove downstream to the parking area at the bottom of the meadow.  I proceeded to walk into one of my favorite hike-in spots.  Some serious bushwacking and two ticks later, I am staring at a beautiful greened out stretch of water.  In this section, the river splits out and creates a nice island that allows you to fish both river channels while also sneaking up on trout.  Normally this works, but not today.

One observation is that there is a ton of downed timber in the river right now.  Hope that when the river blows out in the next few weeks, that some of that timber gets blown out as well.  I lost 6 flies, all to branches and logs in the river.

I also did a driving reconn of the river starting about Woodfords and turning around at Pickett’s Junction.  There were 12 cars at the bridge at Pickett’s, and cars lining the highway all the way down to Sorenson’s.  That mile or so took the brunt of the fishing pressure.  As I drove down canyon, it was evident that no one wanted to brave the raging river in its element – the canyon.  There was one car and one fisherman at gauging station, but anyone who reads my posts knows that I only fish there if I am the sole person.  There is just too much good water requiring light hiking.

With everything open for the season, I hope to have more excuses to get out and fish!

Save the Mokelumne

EBMUD is attempting to get approval to raise the height of Pardee dam.  If they succeed, miles of the Mokelumne river will disappear under the raised dam.  In my humble opinion, the potential recreational opportunities provided by the expanded dam will not even come close to the destroyed recreational opportunities buried under feet of water.

I understand the argument that several years of drought have depleted water reserves for Bay Area and Southern CA water users, but I propose that BEFORE we spend billions increasing water storage and transportation, that we spend a few million educating people on water conservation.  I know that folks “think” they are conserving, but the majority do nothing.  Most waste considerably more than they should.  We need education programs, subsidies or credits for installing water saving devices, and in certain communities, restrictions and enforcement.

For more information, please read Mikey Wier’s blogs on this topic here and here.  You can also find more information on the Foothill Conservancy’s website as well as over at Friends of the River.

Volunteers needed for 20th Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby

The 20th Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby is set to be held at Lampe Park in Gardnerville, NV on June 6th and 7th this year.  Last year there were over 2,200 participants, so there is a real need for volunteers to help out with everything from setup to tear-down.

I went with my daughter Bailey last year to check it out, and she really wanted to fish.  I just felt that she was a year too young, but that is not the case this year.  She has been practicing her casts and is ready to catch some fish!  This is a fun day for the kids and is important for the continued success of our sport.

If you would like any additional information, or wish to volunteer, please contact one of the event organizers  below:
Trent Dowell, President (775) 267-2724 or email:
Pam Rodrigues, Treasuere (775) 265-1795 or email:

East Walker River (03/27/09)

Did a quick morning session on the EW Rosachi section today.  Temps were in the mid-50’s, light to moderate winds and definitely less crowding then last week.  I drove straight to my favorite starting spot and there was one car there, but no anglers in sight.

A short hike later and I am in the water.  The flows were also noticeably higher than the previous week and a look at the flow reports that evening showed they were at 125 cfs…perfect!  Water temps were still pretty cool…but no specifics.  I forgot my thermometer (again).  There was no evidence of any hatch activity on the water at 9AM when I arrived.  Throughout the morning, I kept vigilant watch for noses and hatches, but they remained elusive, at least to my observations.

I fished my favorite spots pretty hard and was able to hook into two nice browns on a #18 Copper John.  I was also getting some hits, but could not set up quick enough.  Guess that I am still rusty with the reaction times, but getting better versus the previous week.

Continue reading “East Walker River (03/27/09)”