Starting Friday morning, all roads leading to Mono County will be open to the Eastern Sierra – and thus, to the many lakes and streams in the mountains.
Tioga Pass will officially reopen 9 am Friday, marking the full opening of the three high-elevation gateway passes that close each winter season and provide access to the Eastern Sierra.
The annual official opening of the three gateway mountain passes to the Eastern Sierra – Tioga Pass (SR 120), Sonora Pass (SR 108) and Monitor Pass (SR 89) – comes after a lackluster winter weather season.
Tioga Pass connects Mono County to Yosemite National Park’s only east entrance. It provides access to the Yosemite’s east side, including Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake and Olmsted Point.
For those planning a visit, a peak-hour reservation is required for all visitors, including annual and lifetime passholders, to drive into or through Yosemite between 6 am and 4 pm through Sept 30.
Last week’s fishing report:Inspect your boat before heading out on the water
Here is this week’s fishing report, as compiled from various sources.
LAKE DAVIS: The lake is at about half capacity. The boat docks are not in the water at Honker or Camp Five. Anglers are launching their boats at Camp 5 sand and are using rainbow runners, Dick nites or needlefish for rainbow trout. Anglers should troll either west to east on the north side of the island, or south to Eagle Point and back to Camp 5 in 20 feet of water. Browns and rainbows are up to 20 inches. Shore anglers fishing Mallard Cove and Honker Cove are doing better with orange Powerbait than nightcrawlers. Spring fishing derby set for June 18, register at J&J Grizzly Store. Info from J&J’s Grizzly Store and Camping Resort, 530-832-0270; and Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844.
FRENCHMAN LAKE: Almost entire lake is open, fishing around west cove by the dam producing fish. PT nymph under indicator is doing well. Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844.
TRUCKEE RIVER: You have been fishing well and continue to run strong. Flows are around 800-1,000 CFS in Truckee around Glenshire Drive and about 1,100-1,300 down in the canyon section at the Farad gauge. As the days become warmer, the flows are fluctuating throughout the day. Try getting time in on the river primarily in the mornings when runoff will be at its lowest point.
With the bigger water found downstream, now is a great time to check out the sections of the river from Glenshire upstream, where the water will be running clearer and lower. There is a great variety of bugs and fish don’t seem to be picky when it comes to what they are eating, as long as you are using enough weight and giving them a good drift. Doing best on stoneflies, worms, eggs, baetis, march browns and caddis pupa. The carpenter ant hatch should begin soon. From Miles and crew at Trout Creek Outfitters, Truckee, 530-563-5119.
LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER: Continues to fish well as the flows remain around 200 CFS and the rainbows have finished their spawn. Starting to see some hatches and dry fly fishing is becoming more consistent. The best way to find fish is still euro nymphing as most fish hang in the medium-speed water. Using heavy weighted nymphs will be important to assure you are getting your flies down as fast as possible as most of the runs found on this river are short and the fish are typically only found in the most prime locations on any given run.
With the high water, the fish will be a little more spread out, so fish any good looking water found in between the typical buckets, even if just for a few casts. If your presentation is good, you should get a take within the first few drifts. If you haven’t had any luck after fishing some prime water, changing flies, weight and depth can help. Maintaining some degree of stealth will also help your odds for these picky fish, even during high flows.
A 5x tippet will work well with the current flows especially when nymphing, and only use 6x when fishing flies below a #18. The bugs have been similar to what works on the main river, only dropped down to size or two. If you head out here for the day, have a good selection of midges, baetis, march browns, caddis, eggs, worms and even stoneflies, which will make for a great anchor fly with the current flows. From Miles and crew at Trout Creek Outfitters, Truckee, 530-563-5119.
TOPAZ LAKE: Topaz has been stocked well this season and is fishing great, especially around the south end. Aim for the beds, where the smallmouth bass are more aggressive. Mark Fore & Strike, 775-786-3474 or 775-322-9559.
MARINE SPARKS: Kastmaster lures have been working well here, because they can be cast farther out and they sink deep. Nightcrawlers or Powerbait are also working well, with a bobber. Some rainbows up to 3 pounds coming out lately. Fishing for carp and catfish has become popular here, especially along the east side.
The Rotary Club of Sparks, in partnership with the City of Sparks and Nevada Department of Wildlife, is hosting a Kid’s Free Fishing Event on June 11, free for everyone 17 and younger. All youth must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Only registered youth for this event may fish without a license. Registration is the day of the event only on the south side of Sparks Marina. Fishing poles and bait are provided, while supplies last. Volunteers will help youth anglers. Mark Fore & Strike, 775-786-3474 or 775-322-9559.
DONNER LAKE: A good bet for shore anglers. There are some anglers trolling for macks in the early morning or late evenings, but shore fishing from the docks seems to be the most popular. Shore anglers should fish Powerbait or salmon eggs with a slip sinker rig for best results. Kokanee isn’t too popular here currently. Other lakes are doing better for Kokanee. Currently at 97 percent capacity. Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844.
MOUTH RESERVOIR: Hasn’t been stocked yet, but the water levels now are making it a great fishery for holdover rainbows, or the occasional brown trout. Shore anglers are doing well using an inflated nightcrawler floating off the bottom or Powerbait. Anglers trolling should try the shore line with small spoons and small Rapalas. There is a five fish limit at this reservoir with no size limit. Currently at 85 percent capacity. Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844
STAMPED: A great Kokanee bite. The best areas to troll for good-size Kokanee are near the creek and river arms. Anglers fishing for Kokanee should be top-lining because the fish aren’t too deep in the water column yet. Try to top line with spinners or wedding rings behind a purple, pink or green dodger. Shore anglers fishing for trout at Stampede should use Powerbait, salmon eggs or nightcrawlers. Currently at 55 percent capacity. Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844.
PROSSER RESERVOIR: The smallmouth bass bite has picked up. Anglers should focus on bass near the rocky points or ledges using Powerbait or worms. Shore anglers fishing for trout are catching some nice rainbows and cutthroats where Prosser Creek flows into the reservoir. Trout anglers should try using Thomas Buoyant Spoons, Kastmasters or Powerbait. Currently at 60 percent capacity. Mountain Hardware, Truckee, 530-587-4844.
CROWLEY LAKE: Fishing has remained consistent for all three species of trout. There is a large concentration of cutthroat trout here, especially in McGee Bay. Fishing depths are 16-20 feet with holding at all levels of the water column. A few perch have congregated with small schools being observed. Midge accounting patterns for the bulk of the catch with dark assassins getting looks and takes also. Sierra Drifters, 760-935-4250, email@example.com.
HOT CREEK: Higher water levels and stable weather conditions are moving fish around. Look along the edges and pockets of slower water for feeding trout. Scuds are great this time of year, along with annelids and midges. Hatches will resume once water levels stabilize. Sierra Drifters, 760-935-4250, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Krajewski covers high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RGJPreps. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com.