Wednesday, June 20, 2012

West Fork of the Carson River

This is the creek/river (I list it that way because it's called a river, but this time of year it's not much more than a creek) that they usually dump the trout under the bridge at the 88/89 intersection then everybody in the "secret circle" descends in mass and fishes it to extinction.

My plan for today (and you know Shoreman always has a plan or three) was to fish this creek/river elsewhere. The question was where to start. I picked the creek along the road in Hope Valley because I would come to it first. How's that for ease of decision? Keep in mind that this creek/river runs for miles and miles. A LOT of miles.

After a swing by Cooks Station for coffee and drop off some books (you know which one), I headed up Highway 88 past Bear River, Silver Lake, Caples Lake, and Red Lake taking the turnoff to Hope Valley. It was only a couple of miles until I hit the creek.  

This was the first place I fished. Note the HUGE boulders (I know they look small, but some of them were the size of a Volkswagon) I had to navigate just to get to the water.

West Fork at Hope Valley
A couple of casts and "fish on". This a Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (futurely referred to as LCT).

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
This one came on the green (reasonable facsimile) stimulator.

Another pool
Another Cutt, same fly.
Note the color on the bottom of the gills
After a good Cardio hike, 4 Cutts brought to hand, and 400 mosquito's murdered, I moved to another part of the creek. I had forgotten just how many mosquito's there are in that part of the valley.  

Upstream from the 88/89 bridge
I walked a half mile of this part of the creek and had a few drive bys, but no hookups. I tried to interest one in a pool that was a good 16", but it wasn't having anything to do with what I offered.

Then off to another section of the creek. This one downstream a couple of miles from the 88/89 bridge in country more like the first stop. Here again, there was a bridge to fish buy, but there was an Asian Lady fishing, who had caught one, so I went upstream a ways so as not to interfere with her fishing. I worked my way down to a  nice pool and missed a nice hit by one a good 14 inches long. I moved to another hole, but didn't find anything.

Walking back to the truck I noticed that she was leaving so I worked my way down to the creek so I could fish under the bridge and then downstream. I got several hits in and around the bridge, but missed them all. Then I started downstream. Saw these flowers and snapped a shot.  

Yellow Something
Somewhere along that hike I landed one more Cutt for a total of five today. All small, the biggest maybe 9 inches, but fun on Tenkara. OK, I waited until the end to say it.

Stopped by Red Lake on the way home (I couldn't help myself), but it was the same old, same old so I kept going.

I think that's it for today. Don't know what's next, but I'll let you know.



  1. Looks like a very nice place to fish.

    Not being familiar with LCT are they western specific trout?

    1. They are. The Lahontan cutthroat is native to the drainages of the Truckee River, Humboldt River, Carson River, Walker River, Quinn River and several smaller rivers in the Great Basin of North America. These were tributaries of ancient Lake Lahontan during the ice ages until the lake shrank to remnants such as Pyramid Lake and Walker Lake about 700 years ago, although Lake Tahoe -- from which the Truckee flows to Pyramid Lake -- is still a large mountain lake. From Wikipedia. They are breed in Heenan Lake for distribution through out the area.


  2. Great post.
    Again it's another stream I'd like to fish. I love moving waters.
    Those cutts are beautiful.

  3. bugs are the worst part of summer trout, at least for me. i tend to lay off the trout once the grass gets waist high and the mosquito and gnats become unbearable

  4. "...they usually dump the trout under the bridge at the 88/89 intersection then everybody in the "secret circle" descends in mass and fishes it to extinction." Yup, itwas the same in some of the streams I fished in eastern Fresno County years ago. Usually parked the car and hiked 100 yards up or down stream and started fishing to catch the "naturals" or acclimated ones with nice color and good eating.

  5. Hi, Mark, just took some time tonight to catch up on reading your most recent posts. I have been a "bad" blog reader and commenter of late.

    Enjoyed reading more about your Tenkara adventures! Pretty fish and pretty country. Tough to beat!

  6. Nice post in a different universe from mine. I live in the Scottish Highlands and our love of trout fishing is just the
    the same.
    Tight lines