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!