Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Unsafe Conditions For Fishing

I'm sure you all have seen the reports of rain that we received in the last week. As National News goes, you would have expected us in the West to have been washed away with all the flooding they've been showing you. Let me assure you that they only show you the good stuff.

They will give you one street out of all of Sacramento that has flooded and make it seem that all of Sacramento looks that way or they will give you one of the local creeks (Arcade Creek or Dry Creek are good examples) has overflowed it's banks and make you think every creek and river is overflowing their banks. T'is not the case. All this news coverage you've seen is a pretty typical event when it rains a lot in Northern California.

One of the news stories was the fear that the Truckee River was going to overflow it's banks and flood out all the residents in the area. What area? The Truckee River runs 121 miles from the dam at Tahoe City to Pyramid Lake and it turned out that the rain came as snow and the river was fine. All that aggravation for nothing and the same aggravation applies to the Valley. 

So what does this have to do with me going fishing today? Last Thursday I checked out Bear River Reservoir and today I wanted to continue up the hill to see if any of the other lakes could be fished. As I passed Silver Lake I noticed that the lake is starting to freeze over. There is still a good portion of the lake open, but to access it you'll be required to find a place to park that is not a foot deep in snow and then walk the distance of a couple of football fields in that foot deep snow to get to fishable water.

I continued on with Caples Lake or Red Lake in my sights. I bypassed Caples Lake and shot (very slowly) over Carson Pass for Red lake. In the picture below I'm parked at the local pitstop at the pass (7990 feet elevation) and you can see how the parking lot looks. The road from 8000 feet was just like that. Not 4 wheel drive type road, but slippery none the less.

Pitstop parking lot

Same parking lot back toward the way I came.
Jumped over the pass only to find Red Lake frozen over. OK, Plan B, back to Caples Lake. I had watched for a good pull off on the way up and this was the only one plowed. You can see how far down to the lake it was in 12 to 18 inches of snow. Walking down there would not be a pretty picture. 

The only plowed pull out at Caples
Oh, did I mention the next storm due today? Close, but not quite here yet.

Same pull out looking Northwest.
I drove back to the usual fishing spots at Caples and all I could find is snow, snow, and more snow. Had I been able to find, even a small pull off, I would have had to negotiate areas that are difficult to walk down when they are dry let alone have 12 to 18 inches of snow on them. No need for a broken leg or a dip in the lake today.

Since there was to be no fishing today I thought I'd just take a couple of spectacular nice photos of the view from Carson Spur on the way back. Risking life and limb by stopping in an avalanche area I got out (sign says no stopping, parking, or pedestrians) I shot these for your pleasure.    



For those of you in the warm conditions back East, I hope this helps you cool off some. At the time I'm writing this, the previously mentioned storm is just north and moving in my direction. The last three storms produced just short of 11 inches of rain to add to the 10 inches we've already had this year. No more dry, powdery dirt here.

I did stop at Bear River Reservoir on the way back and the gate is closed until next spring. I could have driven around it, but I hear the fine is $500 if you're caught and a walk of 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile was just not in the cards especially with the storm coming.  

Maybe I'll hit Lake Amador or Lake Camanche later this week when the storm is gone, since I have neither errands to run or remodeling (my part is done) to do.  

I'll let you know what happens.



  1. How many months are there when there isn't snow on the ground?

    I am telling people in Boston to stop complaining about our winters.

    1. Hi Ed. There are times, in some very shady spots, where the snow will last all year, but most melts during the Summer.

  2. Mark
    I only wish we could get some of that snow here in Alabama, it look like it might be a while before you get back on the water. Great images thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Bill. I just move to the lakes downcountry in the winter.

  3. Here in Northern Colorado, we love to see that kind of snow. Pretty dry winter so far and still a fire burning up in the trees. Let it snow!

  4. Mark, those are some awesome photos.

  5. Great photos Mark. I'm with Mel, send us some snow!

  6. Keeping our fingers crosses out this way. We supposedly have a wet weekend on the way. Right now we're so dry that there's still a fire burning up in rocky Mountain National Park that's been burning since October. Howard's comment is right on. "send us some snow!"

  7. Still a beautiful sight. Snow on the mountains is a great view.