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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Northern CA Freshwater

Stampede kokanee still on a rampage!

By BILL KARR/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 10, 2017

TRUCKEE — Guides on Stampede Reservoir are still experiencing one of the best kokanee salmon bites in years, and it showed no signs of slowing down over the weekend.

Guides James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service and Bret Brady of Bare Bones Guide Service both fished it this week and both had the same report of excellent fishing, although staying away from boat traffic improved the catch rate, and getting out early proved beneficial.


stampedekokeSTAMPEDE KOKE — 6-year-old Thomas Madrid of Salinas caught big fish of the day on Saturday, a 14-inch kokanee caught at Stampede Reservoir with Mack's orange Cha Cha and Shasta/Mack's UV pink Slingblade.


Netzel fished the lake on Saturday and was done with limits for his four clients by 9 a.m.. “I’ve been doing really well, but most private boaters won’t learn and they just keep doing the same thing they’ve always done, even if it doesn’t work. You have to go small, and the lure has to be close to the your dodger, only 8 to 10 inches away from the dodger. That gives it a lot of action, and green color has really picked up this past week. Use pinks up higher and oranges and greens deeper, and when you find fish stay with them! If a lot of boats crowd you, move away from them.


On Saturday Netzel started at 5 a.m. and was the first boat out. They fished right in front of the ramp and had four fish to 16 inches while it was still dark. Then boats started showing up, so he went to the island and caught doubles, triples and even a quad. The it started getting crowded again and he went back to the ramp where they finished up with 20 fish 14 to 16 inches in the box and many more released. They were done at 9 a.m.. Netzel will be fishing Stampeded until mid-September.


Guide Bret Brady of Bare Bones Guide service said, “The kokanee fishing at Stampede had been consistent all year long, and they are maxing out now at about 15 1/2 inches, and the magic depth is 35 to 45 feet in front of the boat launch.” He said the dam hasn’t been very good yet, but as the spawn draws closer the fish tend to congregate there. “Follow the boats,” he suggested, “There’s about 15 to 20 boats, and skiers on the weekends.”


Brady fished the lake Saturday and used green micro hoochies in the morning and switched to pink and orange latter, and averaged about 5 to 10 fish an hour. “That average was in my boat, since I saw some other boaters struggling. This weather messes the fish up bad!”


He was talking about the thunder boomers and rain that’s been plaguing the Sierra, and Brady said that there was some major rain on Saturday afternoon, and it was “coming down in buckets” around Cisco Grove and Nyack.


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