West Carson River – A photo Essay

I have been busy as of late.  I have about 4 posts in the draft bin to finish to get caught back up on my fishing chronicles, but wanted to start by showing a few pictures of my most fished spot.  Enjoy this photo essay.

Gimme Power!Water Flow measuring pole

This is why this section is called the gaging station section…in case anyone was wondering.  You can clearly see the green power outbuilding from the highway, but you have to get a wee bit closer to the river to see the actual gage…not much more than a post that sticks into the water.

Fly and Line eaterWC Looking upstream from the gaging station

Here are your upstream and cross stream views of the gaging station area.  The upstream view should give a good indication of the type of river the West Carson is in the canyon section.  This is a pocket water creek that holds smaller fish, but they are normally more than ready to hit dries and they can be fun to fight with their crazy acrobatics and spirited runs.  Some people do not like to fish here because there can be some pretty difficult rock climbing and some of the holes are hat floaters.

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West Carson River – 06/29/08 Early AM

I woke up early this morning and headed out the door.  Out of habit, more than anything else, I decided that I was going to hit the West Carson at my usual spot.  After getting some coffee at the local 7-11 and driving the short 12 minute drive to the river, I found myself stringing up the rod is some chilly morning temps and a medium velocity wind.  Gonna’ have to dress in a long sleeve and wear waders and shed layers when it warms up.

As I stood over the bank at the gaging station hole, I saw tons of bugs on the water.  I knew that this would be another great dry fly morning despite the wind.  I quickly waded into position and checked out the bugs flying around.  Seems that there were a good combination of midges, PMD’s and even some Yellow Stoneflies floating around.  A few larger drakes were still fluttering around, and I had a nice Callibaetis land on my rod tip.  Don’t know why I saw the lone Calliebaetis, but I just assumed that it was “gusted” to the river from one of the nearby lakes.  There might even be a small hatch of Calliebaetis on this river.

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West Carson River – 06/24/08 Early AM

I just cannot seem to get enough of this early AM dry fly fishing.  I headed back to the West Carson River, this time to the Gaging station section.  Upon arrival, I note that it is noticeably colder (my thermometer in the car read 31 degrees…brrr) than the previous morning.  It was also windy.  On a positive note, the water is lower and clearer each time I get a chance to fish the river.

As I string up the rod, I keep a vigilant eye on the water.  Because of the winds and cold ambient air temps, I do not see nearly as many bugs on the water.  I only see one little shaker splash the surface, but that is enough to encourage me to tie on a dry to start the morning.

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West Carson River – 06/23/08 Early AM

Another early morning and another day on the West Carson.  Water levels are getting better by the day and the water clarity is excellent.  This morning was nice and warm, so I dressed lightly and headed out the door at an early hour.

I headed to one of my favorite sections that I call “the automatic hole”.  I immediately saw bugs flying around, mostly smaller mayflies (probably PMD’s).  I tied on a small #16 winged Adams and started fishing.  I got strikes right away.  I hooked and landed two fish in quick succession with the biggest being about 10″ inches.  I switched up flies to a #16 red Humpy and continued to get strikes, mostly refusals, but I still managed to hook one small 6″ rainbow.   Another quick fly change to a #18 E/C Caddis, and another two small trout.

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West Carson River – 06/18/08 Late PM

Today presented a treat in that I was able to get on the water first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.  My in-laws were camping at the Hope Valley RV Park and invited my family to dinner.  We loaded Bailey into the car, along with our fishing gear and headed up to Hope Valley.  We arrived in Hope Valley right around 6:30pm and almost immediately deposited Bailey with “Granny”.  We are told that we have approximately 30 minutes before dinner.  Erin and I rigged up and headed a short 50 yards to the West Carson.

This section of the West Carson is very rocky with lots of rock climbing and tons of bankside brush and fallen obsturctions in the river.  A very good trout habitat for smaller fish and for some technical fishing in a drop-pool envirnment…my favorite!  We immediately notice that there are tons of bugs on the river, along with a larger mayfly (I did not stop to identify and none of these bugs was generous enough to land on me for observation).

I decided to tie on a larger #12 Elk Hair Caddis to start the evening.  After rigging up, I get into the water and carefully make my way to an advantageous spot from which to cast to a nice hole on the opposite bank.  I was getting strikes on my fly from the first drift, with fish checking out the fly on every drift.  No takers though.  Erin was fishing the hole behind me and by her shouts, I figured that she was experiencing the same thing.  The main problem is that the fish were too small to take our offering and the bigger fish were avoiding our flies, or striking short.

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