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Northern CA Freshwater

Truckee: Big kokanee numbers again at Stampede

BY PAUL LEBOWITZWON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 05, 2019

TRUCKEE — If the kokanee bite at Stampede Reservoir is on its last legs for the season, it’s going out with a bang, as guides reported catching big numbers of better-sized fish and although many are darkening, most still had good meat.

“There are fish stacked everywhere,” James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service said on Sunday. “On the graph they look huge. Between 60 and 80 feet was the best, trolling at .8 to 1 mph. The best colors were Paulina Peak Tackle Cotton Candy and Clown hoochies.”


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SOCK IT TO ’EM — Ellios Nasri of Danville and family booked with Tight Lines Guide Service Saturday, August 31, for what was sure to be a good day fishing, because he was wearing his lucky socks. They used Paulina Peak Tackle to put limits all around for big kokanee 14 to 17-plus inches at Stampede Reservoir.

He said he and his clients caught 35 fish on Sunday, and that followed a wide-open bite Friday and Saturday during which he had multiple quad hook-ups. “We’re getting bright fish and dark fish,” he said. “Only one fish had light-colored meat, everything else was good.”


With the season winding down, Netzel is making plans to fish Sacramento metro salmon after one final week of the year at Stampede. His appraised the kokanee season, saying, “The fish were definitely smaller than last year and a lot more of them. I’m looking forward to next year. They planted one-quarter what they did 2 years ago, I’m expecting them to be bigger.” He said it’s already possible to see the size difference in the second-year fish. “They are already 12 inches,” he said.


Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service also experienced fast kokanee action reminiscent of the height of the season. “Fun day on Stampede Reservoir trying to keep fish from biting,” he said. “It’s often difficult to extend a fishing trip when you only need 10 fish. All of the fish we kept had good, firm pink meat. We threw some back that felt a little soft. The biggest was almost 17!”


Rainsbarger said he used Paulina Peak Tackle Flutterbugs and Cotton Candy hoochies. He, too, is looking forward to a better grade of kokanee in 2020, and good fishing. “Should be a good stocking year coming up,” he said. “If you see the graph, it’s loaded with kokanee from 65 to 80 feet. There will be a lot of fish going into that creek to spawn this year, a lot of fish.”


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