View Full Version : Caples Lake and area report

07-13-2009, 09:33 AM
Craig and I just got back from fishing the Caples Lake area. Caples Lake is full of stocked fish right now. The DFG has loaded it up with fish after the lake was lowered for dam repair. We caught easy limits from shore. I was using a gold Kastmaster, though the resort owners recommend the silver and blue. Craig caught his own a rainbow colored Panther Martin. Most people did not have as good as luck with bait, but one guy using green power bait. I can never figure why color should matter with power bait, but sometimes it just does.
The West Fork of the Carson is heavily stocked right now. They have put it some very big trout here and at Caples. Easy limits if you use light test. I started out with 6 lb. test and got zilch, when I switched to 3lb. leader easy limit. We figured if we worked it hard all day we probably would have caught 40 fish apiece.
We also did a quick hit of Caples Creek lots of hiking, mosquitoes, and small fish, but they were very willing to hit dry flies. This is not a stocked creek and I would hope that you practice cath and release.
We also fished a lake near Blue Lake called Twin Lake. It is shallow and perfect for float tubing. I got skunked, but Craig caught a nice 16” cutthroat. If you want solitude this is pretty close to it for a drive to lake. You won’t catch many but they will be good size. Craig is still swearing about the one that got away.

Natural Lefty
07-13-2009, 04:22 PM
Troutasaurus, my wife and I went to some of the same places the week of June 15 - June 20. Nothing bit at Caples Lake, although some small fish followed our lures and baits. We kept driving by the West Carson River, but didn't fish there. We had really good luck in Caples Creek, both above and below Caples Lake, but they didn't seem as into flies yet as they are now. On the other hand, I spent much of my effort helping my wife and nieces catch fish, so I wasn't really trying my best to catch my own fish in my own way (i.e. artificials). It is interesting how quickly the fishing changes up there as the weeks go by. The trout live on a quickly changing schedule.

07-14-2009, 08:14 AM
We were originally going to camp at Woods Lake, but the camp host said that Woods Lake was planted the previous week, while Caples had been planted this week so we opted for Caples, because of that and we got a nicer campsite. Sometimes when we retrieved a lure we would have 10 trout following it.

billy b
07-14-2009, 11:56 AM
I'd love to be in touch with you folk. I recently moved up to Gardnerville which is about 25-30 minutes away. I've driven up by Caples but have never fished it. Also drove to Blue Lakes (gorgeous) and I know there are other lakes around. I'll be happy to give you my email. Do you all live nearby to Caples area?

Natural Lefty
07-14-2009, 01:12 PM
billy b, I live in Moreno Valley, but my brother lives at South Lake Tahoe. I put a report about my recent trip there in the Eastern Sierra section. I went to Tahoe once before, in late August of 1993 or 1994, and fished quite a bit then too, so I have some fishing experience in the area. I hope to get a lot more! In my experience, this area grows larger trout than farther south, and plenty of them.

On my first trip, I remember having good fishing at Red Lake (roadside) and Frog Lake (short hike). I went to Blue Lakes also, but nothing bit there. This time, the fish didn't bite much at Red Lake and I didn't go to Frog Lake.

billy b
07-14-2009, 06:14 PM
and told me the other day he caught about 8 brownies that were all about 2 #'s

... in the Carson River up towards Caples

Natural Lefty
07-14-2009, 08:47 PM
billy b, did he mean the Carson River or Caples Creek? The West Carson River is on the way to Caples Lake, but Caples Creek runs through Caples Lake, while the Carson River is on the opposite (east) slope. I think both of them have Brown Trout, but they are more predominant in Caples Creek below the lake.

billy b
07-15-2009, 10:36 AM
I thought he said the Carson River. As you're headed towards Caples, He said it was just past the turnoff (to the right) that goes up to Tahoe ... is that the Carson River?

Natural Lefty
07-15-2009, 11:34 AM
billy b, coming from Tahoe, there is an intersection by the Carson River, where a right turn heads over Carson pass and toward Caples Lake. The road is near the river here, and it is fairly heavily fished. I believe it is stocked with hatchery Rainbows and spawned out Cutthroat from Heenan Lake in this area. This area is called Hope Valley, and it is relatively level and meadowy. Perhaps farther downstream or upstream, there is less fishing pressure and more Brown Trout. From your description, I think your friend was fishing the West Carson River, but not sure exactly where.

07-16-2009, 07:41 AM
The West Fork of the Carson is heavily stocked in the Hope Valley where 88 and 89 meet. This is where I go to catch dinner. Upstream of the bridge at 88 and 89 is another bridge which is also heavily planted. If you hike upstream from the second bridge you can catch wild fish though they are generally smaller. It's a great place to practice dry fly fishing as long as its not to windy.

The East Fork has a catch and release, barbless hooks only section from Hangman's Bridge downstream, big fish. There is no stocking in this area. It is much bigger water in this section as compared to the West Fork. Upstream of Hangman's Bridge you can use any legal methods and keep 5 fish.

I live in Cupertino and am married with children. Next year my children will be old enough to go with me, so it looks like I will be teaching fishing for the next few years.

07-21-2009, 04:51 PM
Just got my clearance to post on this website and thought I'd put a little note in. Troutasaurus has it covered for Caples, but there's a lot of other lakes on the Highway 88 Corridor that have good fishing. Since I already write a blog about the area, I won't go into detail explaining the where, how, and with what, but just give you the link. This year I've already caught 70 trout and last year 130. If you've got questions, feel free to drop me a note.


billy b
07-23-2009, 01:48 PM
I'm familiar with the one in the June Loop and the one in L.A.

07-23-2009, 05:04 PM
West on Highway 88 - 6 miles past Caples toward Jackson.