Red Lakes has multiple inches of ice covered by multiple feet of Snow! We have been fishing Red Lakes since the first part of December and it continues to produce a pretty good size Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Bring a shovel which will be needed to get through the layer of snow and then plan for about 8-12 inches of Ice to get through. (an Auger is a must and if you don’t have one, try bringing an extra six pack to bribe someone who does have one) You can also rent one from Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters.
We have been fishing within 10 to 50 feet of the dam face and doing best in about 4-8 foot of water. The best spots tend to be right in front of the Gun Turret stand, probably because that is the most convenient! Anywhere along the Dam area should be good. Some of the baits we have been doing well with are Bay Shrimp, Worms, Corn, Meal Worms, Power Bait, Salmon Eggs as well as Jigs bounced off the bottom. I like to use smaller pieces of bait, especially smaller pieces of Worm for best results.
Caples Lake took a little longer to get to a safe thickness of Ice but as of Christmas it is good to go. Fish either the Dam area or Spillway area, both fish quite well. One of my favorite spots is to line up with the pump house on the dam which is about where the channel lines up. Once again closer to the dam tends to work well, no need to be out in the deeper part of the lake. Caples is known for bigger fish with the possibility of catching a Mackinaw that go as big as 20 pounds! Most of the larger fish are caught fishing with a Jig rather than bait. I would suggest having a two pole stamp and fishing one bait rod and the other saved for Jigging a Kastmaster or other type of spoon.
Silver Lake is also good to go and will fish similar to Caples with the option to catch larger fish. We don’t tend to spend as much time at Silver due to the distance from Tahoe but definitely convenient for those coming up from the foothills. There are also some large Mackinaw in Silver Lake as well as some pretty nice Brown Trout.
All of these lakes are accessible from the highway and do not require long hikes with the most convenient being Red Lakes which is only a few yards from the parking area and an easy sled down the dam face! One of our favorite tricks is to keep your bait moving slowly up and down rather than letting the pole sit motionless, I think the fish like a bit of movement but not too much. We are offering guided Ice Fishing trips for those that want the help of a professional, we can supply all of the gear and a nice BBQ lunch as well.
As far as fly fishing goes, the opportunities should start to increase as we get into the month of January. We have had quite a bit of snow and single digit temperatures leaving the month of December with tough conditions but as things warm up the fly fishing will get better as well! The East Walker River as well as the Truckee River in Nevada should fish well with Midge Nymphs and really small Baetis Nymphs. We seem to have plenty of water now so we are looking forward to getting some folks out on the rivers this Winter, join us for a guided trip as we get closer to the end of January.
Pyramid Lake has been producing some good action for larger fish but not yet the numbers game that we will see in the Spring. Chironomids under an indicator are doing best with stripping a close second! The fish are now in the shallows as the storms mix it up, look for windy days or rain to turn the bite on. We carry a good assortment of Pyramid bugs including Balance Leeches and Chironomids for under the indicator.
Give us a call if you would like to get out with one of our guides or stop by the shop for further details. We are located at 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd. and about 3.5 miles from the Casinos. We can be reached by phone at 530-541-8208. Thanks for reading and the fishing never stops around here, get out and fish!