Well, they pretty much emptied Caples this year. But thanks to a bunch of dedicated fishermen, a lot of the fish in the lake were saved. Most were transplanted to Silver Lake and some to other lakes.
El Dorado Irrigation District plans to start restocking the lake this Spring. According to the plan, EID will be restocking the lake with 31,200 pounds of trophy rainbow and brown trout - approximately 12,400 fish along with 9,000 pounds of catchable rainbows, or about 18,700 fish. By autumn 2009, some 175,000 fingerling and sub-catchable rainbows and 50,000 fingerling mackinaw will join the larger fish. It's a ten year plan so, nine years of additional stocking will begin in 2010. If you are a Mackinaw fisherman, it's going to be years before there are any trophy sized fish in this lake. If you are a trout fisherman, keep your fingers crossed. If you are a shore fisherman like I am, maybe sometime during the summer, things might get back to the way they were.
Now, how and where in the past. I fished the spillway area on the sandy side. Over the "hill" from the bathrooms. I've fished mainly from the spillway to about 100 yards out. This area has always produced good numbers of fish for me, although I've seen people fishing all around the lake. That's the where. The how, is I use my slip sinker rig. That's an egg sinker above a swivel with 18" of Florocarbon leader and a #14 or #16 gold treble hook. I've caught both Rainbow and Brook Trout this way. For bait, I use Chartreuse or Red/White/& Blue Power Bait and had the best results. I haven't used the new Gulp bait in this lake since I didn't acquire it until after they drained most of the lake. You can bet I'll be there to try it as soon as the lake can be fished.
Between Silver Lake and Caples Lake is Kirkwood Lake. I've not been there and don't know anyone that has fished it. I intend to try it this year and will report what I find. There is also Salt Flat Reservoir. I've never fished this one either, but might try it this summer too. There's also a bunch of mountain lakes to fish, if you don't mind hiking miles to get to them. Since I don't have a quadrunner or a dirt bike to get to some of these back country lakes and at 62 years, I'm really too old to be hiking those kind of distances, I'm happy to fish the lakes I can get to.
This brings me up to the top of Carson pass on Highway 88. Next time We'll drop over the pass and talk about fishing over "there".
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".