New moon brings great catches

Last week, we hoped we would have a report on South Fork Reservoir from the Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist responsible for it. Unfortunately, the electro-survey of the water was canceled due to weather conditions.

This time of year often produces some of the best trout fishing in area reservoirs as water temperatures cool and the fish are fattening up for the long winter under the ice. This past weekend was a perfect example of this at anglers report great fishing at both South Fork and Wildhorse.

We had the perfect storm of a new moon, cooling water temperatures and a low-pressure front moving in over the weekend. Reports of up to three to 10 fish per hour ranging in size from 15 to 23 inches. However, this weekend’s weather includes wind, rain and snow for much of eastern Nevada making fishing difficult.

While the moon phase will not be ideal this weekend, there will still be the good water temperatures and another low-pressure front moving in. While the weather will not be ideal for fishing, it should be good for catching. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.

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The downside to this time of year is that the higher elevation lakes in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt’s are freezing over and with snow on the ground, travel is difficult and only experienced back country trekkers should attempt the back country now.

Traveling on the back roads of rural Nevada can also be difficult with snow, ice and mud. Often the trip into an isolated water may be over frozen ground, but with a warm sunny afternoon, the road or two track may turn to mud.

Always leave a trip plan with the specific location you are heading to and a firm time of when you will return. As always, go prepared with appropriate safety gear and equipment to spend the night in the event of getting stuck or a vehicle breakdown.

WildhorseThe surface water temperature was 48 degrees on Monday, before the air temperatures cooled and is more than likely closer to 45 now. The dock is still in the water and the boat ramp is usable. Algae and other aquatic vegetation is clearing and improving water clarity though there is still some suspended algae. Fishing for trout has been good to excellent while fishing for bass is slow. Anglers fishing from shore are having success throwing rooster-tails, spoons, or a worm or PowerBait suspended under a bobber. Anglers fishing from a boat are doing well trolling flashers, spoons, and Rapalas just under the surface. Perch fishing is slow due to the die-off earlier in the year. An occasional perch is being taken jigging or using bait near the bottom. Fly fishermen report success using black wooly buggers or leeches fished with a sinking line as well as with chironomids under an indicator. PT nymphs, gold ribbed hares ears and red copper Johns should also produce fish. Balanced leeches under an indicator on these windy days has been productive. South Fork Reservoir

On Thursday the surface water temperature at the boat ramp was 45 degrees and the suspended algae is mostly gone. However, waves caused by the wind had stirred up the bottom and there were plumes of suspended mud in the water on the northeast side of the lake. Fishing the edges of these plumes with chironomids is an excellent tactic. Bass fishing has been slow. Fishing has been good to excellent for 15-to 20-inch trout for spin, bait and fly rodders from boats and float tubes as well as for shore anglers. Shore angles are reporting good success in many parts of the lake. Fly fishermen report that fishing for trout has been good using an intermediate sinking line with buggers or leeches. Black or red snow cones with white beads and contrasting red or black wire ribbing, fished under an indicator are also working. Flashback pheasant tail nymphs, red copper Johns, hares ears and scud patterns along the dying weed bed edges are also producing nice fish. As the aquatic vegetation dies off with the colder water and shorter days, leeches and scuds are being expelled looking for new homes. Fish leech and scud patterns along the dying vegetation, especially at the south end of the lake. Spin fishermen have had good luck from shore using rainbow trout colored rooster tails, small spoons and minnow imitations. Boaters will do well trolling these same patterns as well as flashers tipped with worms.

Jiggs/Zunino ReservoiRAlmost dry and no fish.

Wilson ReservoirThe water level is low but fishing conditions at Wilson are similar to those at South Fork with trout fishing starting to pick up and bass fishing starting to slow down. Surface water temperatures are right in the mid-40s and fishing is good. Shore fishing has picked up and fishing from a boat or float tube has been good. Use the same techniques as at South Fork Reservoir. Shore anglers are having success fishing rooster tails, spoons, Rapalas, or bait fishing a worm under a bobber. Fly fishermen seem to be having the best luck using leeches, wooly buggers and chironomids. Bass fishing is slow to poor. With low water conditions the boat ramp is unusable so canoes, small cartopper boats and float tubes are the way to go for those wanting to get on the water.

Ruby Lake NWRNot much change at the refuge as the water level is still low in the south marsh and the Narciss boat ramp is unusable, though the main boat ramp is. The dock will be coming out soon if it hasn’t already been. Surface water temperatures have dropped into the mid-40s and the trout bite is good and the bass fishing is poor. With the cooler water temperatures, the few bass that are being caught are taken in the afternoon. Minimum keeper size is 10 inches. Soft plastic grubs in blue, black or purple and rigged weedless should work, but really slow the presentation down. Fishing conditions in the collection ditch have been good for 15 to 20-inch trout with an occasional fish over 20 inches. NDOW has started stocking the collection ditch with trout. Chironomid patterns such as zebra midges, red butt buzzers, chironocones and ice cream cones should catch fish. Other flies such as leech patterns, balanced leeches, crystal buggers, #14-16 hare’s ears, #16-18 PT nymphs and scuds fished under an indicator are recommended. Like the south marsh, the weeds are thick in places in the collection ditch though receding with the colder temperatures. As the vegetation dies off, scuds and leeches lose their habitat and make easy pickings for the trout. Fish leech and scud patterns along the edges of dying vegetation. Spin anglers should be using small spinners in black or olive with contrasting yellow or red colors as well as small minnow imitations. The collection ditch is artificial lures only, no bait.

Jakes Creek/Boies ReservoirThe water level is low, the surface water temperatures are in the mid-40s and the vegetation is receding. However, shore fishing is still difficult. The bass bite is very slow with the cooler temperatures. Trout fishing is good from a float tube or small boat. A Worm fished under a bobber seem to be the presentation of choice for trout, though small spinners should also work for those who want to throw some hardware. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, PT nymphs, hare’s ears, small black or wine buggers and leeches.

Cold Creek ReservoirWater levels are coming up nicely this fall and water temperatures are sitting in the low to mid-40s. Anglers can expect to catch 8-to-10-inch Rainbow Trout and there is the potential to catch a similar sized Tiger Trout. Anglers will catch the occasional Largemouth Bass however they are heading into their least active time of year so a fishing trip shouldn’t be planned to just target Largemouth Bass.

Cave LakeCave Lake is lowered to minimum and unfishable. Fish stocking will resume once the dam repairs are completed. Cave Lake is closed to fishing due to shorelines that are very soft and dangerous due to the complete saturation of the soil. For more information on Cave Lake, please contact the NDOW Ely Field Office.

Comins LakeWater temperatures are in the 40s and trout fishing should pick up nicely before ice starts to build on the lake. Anglers can expect to catch a 14-to-18-inch Rainbow Trout. Anglers will catch the occasional Largemouth Bass however they are heading into their least active time of year. Dense vegetation continues to dominate most of the lake, making it difficult to fish areas of the south lake. With all the weeds, look for open channels where the trout are congregating. Trout are hitting both chironomids and leech patterns for fly angles. They do tend to head for the weeds, so a bit heavier leader is recommended when appropriate especially if stripping leech patterns. Black spinners with some red in them should also work well for spin fishermen. Bass fishing is slow with the cold water temperatures. A few bass may still hit on soft plastic worms and grubs in a variety of colors as well as swimbaits and minnow imitations though angles should slow down the retrieve. Pike fishing is starting to pick up as the water continues to cool. Anglers, please note that NDOW has placed radio tags in several Northern Pike. These pike will have an orange Floy tag near their dorsal fin and a small antenna (~7 inches long) coming from their stomach. Please return these fish to the water for research purposes. All other pike should be humanely dispatched. There is no limit on the pike.

ElizabethWater levels here are recovering from seasonal irrigation lows and surface temperatures are in the high 30s first thing in the morning and ice is starting to build along the old dam. Fishing is good for eight-to-12-inch rainbow. A few brown trout are also being caught. For bait anglers nightcrawlers and rainbow PowerBait are the best bet. Small spinners, spoons and Kastmasters for those throwing hardware should work. Black or olive wooly buggers and black, olive or wine-colored leech patterns as well as chironomids are all working for trout. Brown trout have moved into the creek above the reservoir for the fall spawn, though it is over, and fishing near where the creek empties into the lake could be good for browns. Fishing the creek should also be productive for brown trout.

Angel LakeIce is forming on the lake and the road is snow covered as you get closer to the lake. Both are making fishing here difficult. Expect the road to be closed after the next round of storms comes through.

Alpine LakesThe road into Lamoille Canyon is open to the top, but there is snow and ice along much of it. Those wanting to hike into the Rubies can expect snow covered trails with ice. The lakes are freezing over and there will be no more fishing reports until late next spring or early in the summer depending upon snow conditions this year.

StreamsLamoille Canyon is passable to the top, however, there is snow and ice above Thomas Canyon Campground and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. A few more warm days and the road will most likely be completely open. Anyone looking to use the trails should come prepared to hike in the snow. Lamoille Creek is frozen from the Terrace picnic area upstream but, there is still a lot of fishing opportunity lower in the system. The Jarbidge and Bruneau will be difficult to access with the snowfall and these streams are also starting to have ice covering them in slower portions. Flows are closer to normal than they have been in a while in the East Fork of the Owyhee River. However expect ice in portions of the stream but fishing should be good here. As of November 4, the East Fork of the Owyhee was flowing at 8 to 17 cfs, the Bruneau River at 7.7 cfs, the Jarbidge at 3.6 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 41.3 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 3.79 cfs, the South Fork of the Humboldt at 3 to 8 cfs, Cleve Creek at 3.72 cfs, Steptoe Creek at 1.58 cfs and Kingston Creek at 2.1 cfs. Most of eastern Nevada’s creeks are very low and fishing is difficult except in the pools, beaver ponds and springheads which will soon be icing over.