The Carson Pass area in the Central Sierra is one of the most popular areas for Stockton and Sacramento area anglers to target trout in the spring, summer and fall. Rainbow, brown and mackinaw trout are caught in Caples Lake and the lower Bear River Reservoir near Highway 88.

Caps Lake: After a slow start to the season, anglers are catching brown and rainbow trout and mackinaw trout while fishing from shore and boats at Caples Lake, reported Joe Voss at Caples Lake Resort.

“Anglers who fish from the shore with worms and spoons like Kastmasters catch browns and rainbows in the 12 to 13 inch range at the corner of the dam and near Woods Creek,” Voss said. “They average about two or three fish per rod.”

Boaters snagged mackinaws while trolling Rapalas, flatfish and other lures.

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Tom and Gabby Schaefer of Pleasanton reported catching several quality browns weighing two to three pounds and mackinaws weighing four to five pounds over the weekend while hanging out in Woods Creek and off Bruno Point.

Ryan and Justin, two anglers from Gardnerville, Nevada, caught and released 10 mackinaws on their trips to the lake in early to mid-May. Ryan released seven macks between nine and 13 pounds, while Justin released three mackinaws.

CDFW has not planted any brown or rainbow trout this year to date.

The lake is full and the EID and station launch pads are in the water. Information: (209) 258-8888.

Lower Bear River Reservoir: The Bear River Lake Resort held its annual two-day fishing derby on June 11-12.

Floyd Girardin took first place in the event by catching a 4.3-pound rainbow, winning $700. Justin Lee placed second in the event with a 4.2-pound rainbow, winning $200. Justin Lee Jr. placed third with a 3.1 pound rainbow trout, winning $100.

“Most of the people fishing at the event had boats,” station owner Janette Frasier said. “Few fish were weighed during the event. The names of anglers who caught fish at the event were bagged, getting their top pick of t-shirts, rods, tackle boxes and hats.

Prior to the event, the station was stocking 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout from Oregon’s Desert Springs Hatchery, weighing an average of 4.1 pounds each. A total of 75 people attended the event.

“The weather was absolutely beautiful,” Frazier said. “CDFW has not stocked the lake this year to date, but PG&E stocked 1,000 pounds of trout on May 6.”

Frazier said the lake is full and the boat launch is in the water.

“The fishing hasn’t been hot, but average,” she noted. “Fishermen caught mackinaws after the lake thawed this spring.” Information: (209) 295-4868.

Delta Costa Bass-N-Fly: Outdoor writer and American Bass Association (ABA) Tournament Director Clara Ricabal participated as captain in the annual Costa Bass-N-Fly, hosted by Tournament Directors Captain Maury Hatch and Captain Noel de Guzmán from the Sugar Barge Resort on Bethel Island on June 9-10.

John Sherman and Ric Rodgers won first place and $3,000 with a total weight of 22.37 pounds, with a big fish of 8.64 pounds. Brian Pultz and Greg Holland finished second at 20.01 pounds and a big fish of 3.92 pounds.

Ricabal told us:

The fishing has been tough for anglers who regularly fish the Delta and who fished the event last year. The heater never turned off. On Thursday there were gusty winds but both days from temperatures above 90 degrees.

It was my very first fly fishing tournament and my partner’s first time fishing for largemouth bass. Needless to say, we didn’t bring home a check.

There were 40 boats with 80 fishermen. I was asked to be captain for a representative from Costa who came from Florida the day before (Nick Jones). There were all different types of boats including bass, aluminum, jet, center console, etc.

There were no double-digit bass scales and virtually no limits. Between day one and day two, the rising temperature and water clarity affected the sting, essentially stopping it after 10 a.m.

Interestingly, fly fishing techniques for bass mimic the same patterns as conventional ‘Topwater Hopper Droppers’ on thick cover, and crawdad stripper fishing patterns in open water, much like a crankbait.

I have a ton of practice to do before next year’s event, but if you know me, you know I’m not giving up!

Contact Stockton Record correspondent Dan Bacher at [email protected].