Bought the card? Go fish
It is time to return your steelhead report cards.You may think that you bought the card last year, but the reality of the situation is that you just rented it.
The Department of Fish & Game now requires us to return our 2004 cards by January 31, 2005. In years past, the returning of the cards was requested on an individual basis, but now things have changed to a mandatory system.
The information on the cards is valuable in assessing angler usage and success. The address to mail them to is printed on the report card that you probably have with last year’s license.
We have been having some unusual weather.
There has been foggy cold conditions on both sides of the Sierra. It is to be expected in the Sacramento Valley in the winter, but this year it has plagued the Reno area as well.
I was in Reno for a few days last week. They have yet to get any above freezing temperatures since the big storms early in January. Every morning there is freezing fog that clears by afternoon but leaves behind trees, fences and, practically everything else, covered with ice.
It is warmer in Truckee and Tahoe during the day than it is in the Reno area. Fishing at Pyramid Lake has been OK, but not good. Some fish are being taken but anglers are putting in long hours to get them. The recent full moon has not been a help. Hopefully, the change in the weather pattern this week will mix things up and break the fog cycle on both sides of the mountains.
Up in the Truckee area there are anglers fishing through the ice for trout at both Boca and Prosser reservoirs. Both of these impoundments have a foot or more of ice on them. Bait is the main offering, outproducing jigs significantly.
Donner Lake is 90 percent covered with ice, but there is not enough thickness to the ice for safe fishing. There is some open water at the west end. It does make for a nice photo-op if you happen to be over that way.
Locally, the Yuba and Feather rivers have been producing a few fish for the dedicated anglers who brave the cold and fog to put in the time. The Yuba will give up some trout to nymphs drifted near the bottom. On the Feather, a few post spawn steelhead have been caught.
Neither river is a high percentage bet.
Lake Oroville has been in the fog most days. The bass are deep and need some warmer days to become more active. The land-locked silver salmon are 50 to 60 feet deep in the main lake. They were not planted last year and so the numbers are steadily declining, but the average size is now 1 to 3 pounds with an occasional 5 pounder.
If you want to catch them in shallow water, look to the incoming creeks. That’s where some have been caught. Bait has been more effective than artificial lures. The water temp is 46 degrees.
The best fishing reports I have received, have come from New Melones Reservoir near Angels Camp.
This past week a 7.3-pound brown trout was weighed in at Glory Hole Sports for their big fish of the week. It was caught near the dam by trolling a Yozuri Minnow near the surface on a foggy day. There was also a 3.7-pound brown caught in the same area.
New Melones has already had a number of trout plants this year and anglers are doing well on planted rainbows from both boat and shore. The water temp is 52 degrees.
The weather systems approaching the north state this week will have snow levels near 6,000 feet in elevation, which should warm things up. Storms will also break up the fog. I am hoping for improving conditions as the number of daylight hours begin to increase in February.
Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio.
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It’s just good to be back playing.