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Home - Fishing

Fishing in and around Lake Tahoe

Young angler at Sawmill Pond

There is no shortage of fishing opportunities here in the Tahoe Basin. Whether you prefer fly fishing a quiet stream, or trolling the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, you can find it here, plus so much more.
Nevada Fishing license information- From the Nevada Department of wildlife. Includes forecasts, fishing reports, and a list of places you can get your license. Note there are different requirements listed for interstate waters, such as Lake Tahoe. Nevada Free fishing days
California Fishing License information- From the California Department of Fish & Game. Information on licenses, stocking, and more. Lake Tahoe tributaries can be fished only from July 1-September 30. Tributaries are defined as the area from the first lake upstream to 300 feet into Lake Tahoe. Free days this year (2019) in California are July 6 and August 31.

Fish in the Tahoe area include Mackinaw (Lake) Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Brown Trout, Brook Trout and in some areas like the Tahoe Keys you will find Bass and Catfish.

 extra $30 in Moosejaw Dollars on a full-Priced Item over $75
Kids Fishing
Fishing some of the secluded lakes of the Sierra can provide an excellent opportunity for for family bonding. But what about the really young ones? Fortunately, the Lake Tahoe area has excellent opportunities for them as well, both locations and events. In South Lake Tahoe, Sawmill Pond (map) is an excellent place for young ones to learn. It is for kids fifteen and under and parents are welcome to help, but not allowed to fish themselves. In the Carson Valley, Lampe Park is the home of the Kids Fishing Derby which has been held there since 1990. Not quite the same experience, but a great way to let youngsters catch their first fish is the Trout Farm across from Meeks lumber's South Lake Tahoe location.

The Holes
Lake Tahoe - Big Blue is best fished from a big boat. There are a number of fishing charters available as well as plenty of rental boats. Additionally, shore fishing is good at certain places most of which are on the east shore. Cave Rock is among the most accessible of these. Lake Tahoe has Brown and Rainbow Trout as well as the mighty deep dwelling Mackinaw and the land-locked Kokanee Salmon. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are no longer viable since their young are predated by the Mackinaw, which is not a native fish.
Note- Most operations will clean your catch and some restaurants will prepare them for you for a nominal charge. This does take extra time so it is a very good idea to take them the fish when you get off the boat, and make a reservation for later. Your guide should know about some restaurants that will do this. Looking to charter a boat?
Fishing Guides on Lake Tahoe
Eagele Point Fishing Charters -  Tahoe Keys
Tahoe Sportfishing Company -  Departs from Ski Run Marina or Zephyr Cove.
Mile High Fishing Charters - Tahoe Keys
NorCal Charters - Tahoe Keys
Blue Ribbon Fishing Charters - Departs from Cave Rock

Many of the lakes and rivers listed below do not allow motorized boats. Fishing from the shore is an option but a better choice would be a fishing kayak. There are numerous options depending mostly on the type of water you'll be in (rivers, lakes, or ocean). Check out reviews and options at  GearWeAre.

Fallen Leaf Lake - The second largest lake in the Tahoe Basin is Fallen Leaf Lake. The fishing is generally very good and there are numerous points to fish from shore as well as boat rentals, slips and a ramp. Fish include Rainbows, Mackinaw, and Brown Trout. While the native Lahontan Cutthroat Trout is unable to replenish its species in Lake Tahoe due to the hand of man, success is being had at Fallen Leaf Lake.

Cascade Lake - Fallen Leaf Lake's little sister provides excellent fishing for those willing to hike to it. The accessible portion of the lake is private property and they will take your fish before turning you in (at least I guess). However, hiking from the Bayview Trailhead at Emerald Bay will get you towards the far end of the lake. The fishing is good but it is quite a scramble to get down to the lake, which is rather marshy in spots, from the trail. When you get near the falls, it is not even worth a try because falling to your death is a real possibility. Lots of cutthroat trout populate this lake, as well as rainbows and browns.

Woods Lake - (Gallery and more info) Located west of Carson Pass but east of Caples Lake is Woods Lake, an alpine gem. The fishing is good but the scenery is better. The handicapped access is also good here and quite near the parking. Rainbows and browns are here. Motorized boats are not allowed.

Echo Lakes - Echo Lakes provide just about everything any Sierra adventurist could want. The fishing is excellent, both from the shore and by boat. The catch includes brown trout, brook trout, Kokanee salmon, and rainbows. The Kokanee and brook trout represent the only self sustaining populations. The rest are DFG plants, which occur all summer. The best shore fishing here occurs near or from the dam. This is also an excellent ice fishing lake, although the road is closed in the winter. Echo Lakes are located off of Highway 50 just west of Echo Summit.

Blue Lakes - (Photos) These two lakes are located about 9 miles off of Highway 88 on Blue Lakes Road. If you haven't been recently you will really enjoy the brand new paved road. The views on the way there make the trip worth it, regardless of the catch. The lakes are maintained by PG & E which means that the water level may be a huge factor in drought periods. This an excellent place to take the family on a camping/fishing trip though it is best to do it before late summer when the water levels get too low.

Caples Lake - Caples is a stunningly beautiful lake in Alpine County located just east of Kirkwood. There is excellent shore fishing from numerous points in addition to a boat ramp (and rentals) at Caples Lake Resort. Rainbow, brown, brook, and Mackinaw trout are all caught regularly here. Caples is one of the, if not the most popular ice fishing spot in the Tahoe area. Camping is also available just across hwy 88 at the Caples Lake Campground.

Silver Lake - West of Kirkwood on Highway 88 is Silver Lake, under the shadow of Thunder Mountain. This lake is similar to Caples Lake in many respects, including the beauty and the fishing. Silver Lake has several resorts including Kay's Silver Lake Resort, the Kit Carson Lodge, and Plasse's Resort, though wherever it says resort, you should read rustic. Catch here includes Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Mackinaw Trout.

Upper Truckee River - (Photos, more info) The upper Truckee flows from Meiss Meadows to Lake Tahoe. As a Tahoe tributary the season runs from July 1 thru September 30. It has been designated as a Wild and Heritage Trout Water, which means the Department of Fish and Game is attempting to bring back a sustainable population of the native Lahontan Trout. Fishing is best near the entrance to Lake Tahoe (especially in July after big snow years), or in deep pools throughout the length of the river.

East Fork Carson River - This river is the longest un-dammed river in the eastern Sierra and one of the most scenic. It is important to be aware of the different regulations along this river. From Carson Falls upstream including tributaries there is no fishing. From Hangman's Bridge downstream to the Nevada Stateline there is no keeping, no barbs, and no live bait (or powerbait). From Carson Falls to Hangman's Bridge there is a five catch limit. Fish include rainbows, lahontan cutthroat, browns, and mountain whitefish. Once on the Nevada side, standard Nevada regulations apply.

West Fork Carson River - The west fork of the Carson river flows from Faith Valley through the length of beautiful Hope Valley until it meets the east fork in Carson Valley. this is a very accessible river since it's entire length is along Highway 88 or the recently paved Blue Lakes Road. The river is stocked regularly by DFG and Alpine County with rainbows and cutthroat. Due to years of cattle on areas surrounding the river, it is not a good area for a self sustaining trout population. The cover that typically surrounds a streambed and provides shade and insect life had been overly trampled. The grazing has been eliminated and the river is recovering.

"Please take care of the outdoors.
It was not passed down to us from our parents,
but loaned to us from our children."

I liked that so much I borrowed it
from an excellent fishing site, FishResource.com

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