View Full Version : winnemucca and round top report

07-21-2008, 11:32 PM
My wife and I take our annual wildflowers trip to the beautiful but often crowded (during the day) carson's pass area by lake winnemucca and round top lakes. This trip is always focused more on flowers and photography, and fishing often takes a way back seat to those priorities. Last weekend was our trip for this year.

We invited another couple this time, to mix things up. It's our 7th year, and my 8th trip (I went twice my first year). Every year but last year we stayed at winnemucca. Last year, since permits are first come first serve, we stayed at round top and enjoyed it, and it provided easier access to fourth of july lake, where we caught lots of small brookies. Each year the fishing got progressively worse in winnemucca for me (the first year resulted in lots of brookies and a fat rainbow), so the last few years, I took a few token casts and got skunked with the half hearted effort. And every year I've tried (more than half of the time) fishing at round top, i've gotten skunked, despite seeing some cutts swimming a few years back.

So, that set the stage for this year's trip. I brought rods anyway, and had a bit more hope after hearing some BoD's reports of a few cutts being pulled out of round top last september. And last year I saw some guy pull a bunch of brookies out using worms out of winnemucca. My friends wanted to catch so we brought worms and armed with new confidence, I was determined to try a bit harder to catch something.

We fished Winnemucca around lunchtime on saturday while eating lunch - and the worms seemed to do well. I got a few bites and landed a small brookie that didn't seem as stunted as usual - maybe 9". lost it putting it on the stringer. lame. my buddy trevor landed two around the same size - that was a relief for me - he's been skunked for two years, so we were on the board. orange meat, very lean, but good flavor. I tried fishing the deep, south side after hearing of brookies up to 13" on that side. I saw a skinny 11" fish that hit my tiger z-ray a few times before losing interest. I got a few hits on a worm but nothing else in an hour. That was only my second attempt on that side in seven years.

Camped at round top that night but super high winds kept the rods stashed away and we focused on dinner and staying warm. An early, cold night meant I was to bed early and wide awake shortly after sunrise. So that meant private fishing time. Hitting the lake before 7am, I set out by the inlet with two rods- a worm rigged rod, and one with a lure, and after throwing out the worm, I starting flinging a silver/blue kastmaster.

My buddy showed up 30 minutes later, with rod in tow. he threw his worm out. i'm glad he showed up - it was good to have company, and he provided good luck. I shortly landed a chunky 10" cutt. nice. I asked him if I caught another one on my lure if he'd switch to lures. he said he'd consider it. I then landed another, similar size. we had breakfast!

He of course switched up to my normal mountain lake technique and 5 casts later had a strike and lost it. Two casts later and he landed a fat, 12" or 13" cut. I did my part to land another, but it was a small 8" fish hooked very badly. He caught another decent fish - 11", and I did the same, and he repeated again. 7 fish, 4 from me, 3 from trevor, and all in about an hour. After 8:15 or so, it shut down for a bit, but breakfast was ready so headed back with some our catch. While cleaning the fish, their stomachs were engorged with fresh water shrimp. Nice. The meat was a lighter orange/pink - not dark but still a nice change over the pasty white kaiser wilderness fish. They were quite fatty and tasty.

It seems like the cutts are having some success in reproduction given the one smaller fish we caught. The inlets probably flow enough for there to be spawning potential. Didn't see any of the bigger fish I've seen in the past, but the water was surprisingly cloudy. Of note was that in addition to being engorged, the fish had very small mouths. Both suggest a healthy diet and faster growing rate than say, lake winnemucca.

the area is one area in the sierras to avoid if you're not into crowds, and if you want to avoid thunderstorms. More often than not, it rains on us, and it did so on sunday. Nowhere else have I ever had rain while backpacking. There's a reason Kirkwood gets so much snow... Something about that area. I didn't mind it so much but we were leaving that day anyway.

Overall, a great trip. The fishing still isn't the main attraction here but this trip's fishing added to the weekend for sure. Pictures coming shortly.

07-22-2008, 05:15 AM
Right on Cyclocroos! Sound you you guys had fun! I am glad you got into some fish! A 13"er :o :o. That is a nice fish. Can't wait for the pictures! ;D

07-22-2008, 01:05 PM
alright, jumping straight to the money shots cuz I know that's what you guys wanna see:

more pics soon.

07-22-2008, 02:06 PM
Yummy what time is breakfast [smiley=chowtime.gif]

Mackattack [smiley=cheers.gif]

Captain Compassion
07-22-2008, 02:50 PM
Nice report. Nice little Cutts. Not even one flower pic?


07-22-2008, 04:01 PM
Very good read! The Mokelumne & Carson Iceberg are notorious for wildflowers. The fishing is pretty good too. Thanks....I'd type some more but you've made me too hungry with the pics...gotta go eat.

Thanks for sharing,


07-22-2008, 04:04 PM
Great report, I enjoyed it!

07-22-2008, 08:11 PM
here are the other pics, for you soft, sensitive types (that's you captain). :-) enjoy:










Captain Compassion
07-22-2008, 08:19 PM
here are the other pics, for you soft, sensitive types (that's you captain). *:-) *enjoy:

Thank you sir. The flowers are worth the trip and the trout a bonus. Very beautiful. I feel my blood pressure going down and I'm going into meditation mode.. Ommmmmmm....


07-22-2008, 08:35 PM
Oh great I just finished eating the trout and now you toss out some wild salad(are any of those edible). So whats for desert ?
Great pics dude.


rc mckokanee
07-23-2008, 10:57 AM
very nice pics. one question. is the road from red lake to the lost lakes still open ? and there is another lake accessable from both carson pass and hwy 89 near south lake tahoe that you can catch nice cutts in. its called round lake and it is an easy walk from a trailhead on hwy 89 just south of hwy 50 and meyers. the carson pass area all the way into faith, hope and charity valleys is beautiful

07-23-2008, 12:10 PM
oh, you're talking about the other end of blue lake road. I'm not sure. you could approach it from upper blue lake - that's open for sure. what's in the lost lakes? any good?

07-23-2008, 05:01 PM
Great pics of the flowers! Thanks for taking the time to post them. The fish truly are a bonus. *[smiley=thumbsup.gif]


Captain Compassion
07-23-2008, 05:39 PM
Great pics of the flowers!

Perhaps MM is another flower child. [smiley=hippie.gif] ;D


07-23-2008, 05:42 PM
I dig high desert and mountain flowers! Let's face it, fish live in beautiful places. ;D