View Full Version : Carson River Update

08-17-2005, 09:33 PM
Just got back from our 4 day trip on the Carson. What a trip! This is a really long post I know, but I think you'll enjoy our adventures, so I thought I'd share. If you want the quick and dirty, rained on us 2 of the four days and we had great fishing. For the more entertaining and in depth version and to see just what we caught, read on!
drove up from Scotts Valley, arrived around 3. (Stopped at the old Chili restaurant on 88 and despite new ownership the food is still great; excellent burger!). Found our nice little spot on the west fork to be empty (about a mile up from woodfords), so we pulled down the dirt road, parked and set up camp. Decided we go fish a little. Caught 4 small guys (4-6 inches). Had a nice dinner, thought it was gonna storm, heard thunder, but no rain, just lots of wind. Decided to call it a night, not before asking dad if we should put the food up a tree and the cooler in the truck... "NAH, they're (the bears) aren't gonna come down here for just one campsite, they'll be at the campgrounds" he says... (do you see where this is going?!). I tell him I'm gonna take a couple of pans to bed just in case. He laughs, but says "whatever makes you comfortable. So, we go to bed, I spend 2 hours trying to fall asleep, hearing EVERY noise (pretty sure I heard the earthworms). Finally decide that I'm just being silly and go to sleep. 35 minutes later I am abruptly awoken by a noise that is most definitely not the wind! Shaking dad awake and whispering "it's out there" "where?" "in the cooler!". Now I'm having my first ever anxiety attack, perfect timing... He shines the flashlight out and all it does is reflect on the screen and blind us. Bear is still deciding what to eat. I grab my pots and start banging them as if my life depends on it. Dad hops out of the tent to take a look. "Hey, wait, you forgot the gun!" He's confident he's gone (I'm less than sure). I stand there in the tent trying to remember how to breath. Finally realizing that if the bear wants me, the tent ain't gonna stop him I climb out banging my pots every 3 or 4 steps (just in case). Amazingly he had gently opened the cooler, taken only ribs and a dry food box. Needless to say I didn't sleep much after that, despite the fact that we left the lantern on all night long (boy those little propane tanks last a long time!). The next morning we woke out 30 feet from the site and find the dry box has been opened and all the plastic bags and wrappers strewn about and the rib wrapper and 3 remaining ribs. Nearby was a present (I think I literally scared it out of him) and some huge rocks that he had overturned while running away from the crazy lady with the pots.) Oh yes, and let's not forget the great watchdog that slept through the whole thing! POS dog... Needless to say, we packed up and headed to a campground with bear boxes.
After unloading and setting up camp again at Markleeville Creek we headed out onto the east carson. Looked over the bridge and saw a "Monster" fish, had to be close to 30 inches. Had a great time watching everyone stop and try to catch him, smart fishy. We limited out in about 2 hours, all 11-13 inches. Total that day we caught 21 (releasing the rest) all in the same size range. Weather was perfect, cloudy all day, keeping the temps in that sometimes very hot valley pleasant. Even got some rain and thunder. What a great day!
Hmm... must have been tired, slept til 8! (see bear story for reason why!) Wow, there are a lot of clouds out there... (It starts raining somethin' fierce by 10:30, course that doesn't slow us down. On and off all day long.)
Back out on the river (east first). Not doing nearly as well the day before, maybe the fish recognized us? C&R'd 2 in about 2 hours. Decide to head to the west fork. Wow, what a let down. Fished for 3 hours up and down the river, pretending to be a billy goat climbing boulders and NOTHING! Don't get me wrong, I don't need to catch all day long like we did on monday, but a bite once in awhile to let me know there is something in there would be nice. Ok, well it may be slow today on the east, but at least we were seeing a little action. So back down the road we go. Head all the way out to wolf creek road. Hit some nice water and fed the fish. Got so irritated with one I spent 45 minutes feeding him before I finally landed him. It was personal! Caught 2 up there. Headed back down the road with my last worm. Stop just past the resort and toss it out. 15 inches, first cast. Dang, no more worms! We both throw eggs all the way up to the store with not a bite. I cross the street only to see a "CLOSED" sign. 2 nice guys on the porch and I started chatting. Got some great pointers on fishing the river, talked bears (really a big problem this year, more than usual. They’re even seeing them in the daylight walking down the road). I must have looked pretty pitiful, cuz they opened up the store so I could get some worms and fresh green labels. Headed back down the river after telling dad the bear stories and “secret” fishing tips. We rig up with our “secret” and NADA. All the way back to the pool where I had caught the first one, and then it began. 6 great 14 inchers in a 50 foot stretch of river. Meanwhile we are having an awesome light show courtesy of mother nature. Boy does the thunder rumble in those canyons. It started to rain at dusk, what a cool finish to the day.
Time to pack up. Headed out for a few more hours of fishing. Back to our original spot. Thought I’d give the set up one more try. 1st cast, nothin’. 2nd cast BAM, sliced my finger when the line ripped off of it. Dad had gone up to the truck and came down just in time to see this monster fish turn and jump, not realizing that what he had jumped at was my bait. He hit like a truck. I squealed, have in shock from the attack half in startle from the way he almost ripped the pole right out of my lazy hand. “keep the line tight” dad says. Sounds easy enough, except for the large fish at the end of the line who thinks that is a really bad idea. 20 minutes of wearing him down (honestly I’m not sure who was more tired, the fish or me) I start to get him closer to shore. By this time another fisherman has joined us to help cheer me on. Dad is now running along the bank with our two pathetic C&R nets trying to figure out how he’s going to get a fish that’s 28 inches long in a net that’s 12 inches long…. “Get in the river if you have to dad, just don’t let him get away!” Finally, my lucky break, he moves his head left and I reel like crazy pulling him to within a few inches of shore at which point dad uses both nets to try and sandwich him enough to throw him on shore. Tweaking his shoulder in the process he gets him a few feet up and we jump on him. Wow, that’s a big fish. Took him to Carson River Resort, got my picture taken holding my fish of a lifetime.
10 lbs. 12 ounces and 28 inches long!!! According to the guy there who stocks the trophies that was the biggest one left in the river. The biggest one they planted was caught last week weighing in at 11 pounds flat. Dad caught 2 more today, both 11-13 inchers, which had felt like great fish up until Big Bertha.
So, needless to say, we had a great fish. All total we caught over 30 fish over our trip. Brought a handful of them home, haven’t a clue how we’re going to cut up the big one!
So, there’s my report on the Carson, sorry it was so long, but hope you enjoyed.

08-17-2005, 10:12 PM

You need to pursue your two skills- angler and writer. I very much enjoyed your long story!

08-18-2005, 08:23 AM
Great story I was with ya all the way through. Good job on landing the hawg!!! :o

08-18-2005, 08:44 AM
Thats a great long story...awesom


08-18-2005, 12:04 PM
I loved the story- I liked it even more because I was totally able to relate to the spots you mentioned to all the times I have fished that river- made the story even more lifelike for me-
As for the POS dog...he probably figured that if you were on vacation, then so was he!! ;D
Tight lines...

08-19-2005, 12:44 AM
Great story and VERY SMART DOG. the line about living to fight another day comes to mind.Had a dog who decided to get brave with a bear in our camp above red lake and well lets just say I miss that dog. :'(

08-19-2005, 08:46 AM
Great story, where is the picture of your hog?

08-19-2005, 12:37 PM
Great Story!! Smart Bear!

08-20-2005, 01:15 PM
Can you pinpoint your spot for me as I am hopefully headed up to the Carson on the Labor Day weekend and would love to catch half as much fish as you all did! Sounds like you used worms for all you catches. Any hints for me would be great. I have only caught the small fry in the 12 inch range and want to catch that lunker! Is the bridge that you are refering to the first bridge towards Markleeville from the Carson river resort? Great Story and we had a bear scare too in July at the Carson River Resort campsite.

08-20-2005, 02:26 PM
in alaska they caution about bears mostly grizzly. they also sell little silver bells so the bears can hear you coming and dont startle them and provoke an attack. They also suggest that you examine the scat [pooh] for berries or fur. by doing that you can tell if its bear scat, the next question is how do you tell if its black or grizzly scat. The grizzly scat has little silver bells in it.

08-20-2005, 03:13 PM
in alaska they caution about bears mostly grizzly. *they also sell little silver bells so the bears can hear you coming and dont startle them and provoke an attack. *They also suggest that you examine the scat [pooh] for berries or fur. *by doing that you can tell if its bear scat, *the next question is how do you tell if its black or grizzly scat. *The grizzly scat has little silver bells in it.

08-20-2005, 08:44 PM
I agree with mark,the was one awesome story.I could of read it for another hour.And agreat report,thanks for taking the time to type it and share it. ;D.


08-20-2005, 09:10 PM


There's my fish of a lifetime!

08-21-2005, 07:16 PM

Let's see if this works now! Here's my fish of a lifetime!

08-22-2005, 06:58 AM
Hey Earlyo,
If you’re going up on Labor Day go check out Heenan Lake between the river and Monitor pass about 5 miles or so from Carson River Resort.
Its barb less artificial flies or lures, catch and release only for Cutthroat but their huge fish. Loads of fun.

08-22-2005, 07:59 AM
What a beauty.....both of you ;D

08-22-2005, 10:40 PM
Nice Fish! I hope to catch one half the size!

09-05-2005, 01:23 PM
Went up this Labor day weekend and it was great. For the two days that I was there caught and released about 50 trout and kept my limit but the big one eluded me. On the first day I hooked the big one and had it on the line for about a minute and a half but then with all the jumping and running he spit the hook. From the look of it when it was jumping, I estimate it about a little smaller than the one in the picture above. The second day I hooked another big one but not nearly as big. Maybe 4lber and same thing happened. Jumping and running and spitting out my hook. All other trout were a little over a 1 lb or smaller. It was fun and l can't wait to go back to the East Carson!

09-05-2005, 03:10 PM
i think i will be making a trip to carson soon!!! probably bring my fly and spin rod... i dont know about camping though... anyone want to go on a one day trip?

09-05-2005, 03:47 PM
Glad to hear the fishing is still good, they just planted last week so I'm sure that helped! Must live closer to go up for a one day trip, it's a 4 1/2 hour drive for me! I'm so ready to go again though.

09-06-2005, 07:26 PM
Great story backed up with a great fish. That's one for the books. Good job!

09-08-2005, 08:13 AM
Yeah... Unless you have an exceptionally large dog, or an exceptional number of them, best they don't get too aggro with Mr. Bear- he will take their head off, no problem.

Good story. Went up that way myself this weekend, and WF Carson was very low. Spotted some fish (planters, mostly) but they were spooky as all getout. Eventually wound up with a couple fish from Silver and Red Lakes. But, the weekend was more of a social trip- it's hard for me to get my expectations up for a major holiday weekend like Labor Day...