As many of
us know, when you hit the 75-year mark, you qualify for all the benefits of the
“Golden Years”-- good or bad. The past month I became intimately aware with one
of the less desirable benefits in the form of open-heart surgery.
today’s medical achievements, skilled doctors and a devoted (sometimes rather
dominant) wife all is well. Now it’s time for a little catch-up on the Eastern
conditions for year round anglers have been a complete reversal compared to
last year. At this point in time, frigid temperatures and deep snow made access
to high elevation year-round waters (Upper Owens River, Hot Creek and East
Walker River) limited to skis, snowshoes or snowmobile. This year finds all the
side roads snow free, high and dry making for easy vehicle access for just
about any off the paved road favored location.
long-range weather predictions, all indications are we aren’t going to see the
first major storm of the season until after the first of the year. Downside is
still frigid. Bridgeport and Crowley Lake area. Morning temperatures have been
hitting the sub-zero mark. Spin-off is the trout population is locked into a
short feeding cycle — late morning to early afternoon when the surface warms a
past few years, I’ve been the sounding board for complaints aimed at DFG’S
hatchery stocking operations. Not so this year. The majority of my weekly
e-mail fishing reports from locations from Bridgeport to Bishop consistently
praised “stocker” operations. Major improvement in frequency, numbers and size
topped the kudos. At this point DFG indicates next season will be a carbon copy
of this year’s operation.
“So far we’ve
stocked right around 850,000 pounds of catchables in Eastern Sierra waters,”
said DFG Senior Hatchery Supervisor Gary Williams. We’re looking at a season
total of 900,000 pounds. Right now we’re planting the Lower Owens and Pleasant
Valley Reservoir. The heavyweight brood stock from Hot Creek Hatchery are scheduled
for Owens Valley waters shortly after the first of the year.”
There was a
noticeable absence of wall hanging brown trout making a showing this season. I
can’t remember any hitting the teen poundage range. My recollection is the
heaviest catch for the season was a 13-pound plus rainbow taken from the Lower
Owens River late spring near Bishop-probably an Alpers plant that’s been dining
on stockers for a couple of years.
looking for some “chilly” opening day action, check out Northern Mono County’s’
Topaz Lake. Catching at the popular winter water kicks off New Year's day.
Conditions are ideal with a near-capacity water level holding all summer. The
lake has been primed with California and Nevada rainbows and cutt bows. My
prediction? There will be a good showing of holdover rainbows that have been
increasing in size following steady habitat improvement since the 1999 flood.
benefit for Topaz angler is the annual derby hosted by Topaz Lodge and Casino.
Cash and merchandise prizes will be awarded for any catch 2 pounds or better with the heaviest
catch of the week good for $100. The derby runs until April.