ten miles east of the summit Hwy 88 eventually joins the West Carson and
follows it several miles to about the California/Nevada state
line. Along this stretch there are many turnouts and campgrounds
that provide good access to the river.
Chances of a big fish on the West Carson is rather slim, but the
chance to catch quantities of fish is quite good.
Local businessmen learned a long time ago that when you have an
abundance of cool clear rivers and streams loaded with fish, the
fishermen will come. In
addition to weekly plants of hatchery fish by the California Department
of Fish & Game, the county purchases large quantities of fish from
private hatcheries just to ensure no fisherman goes home empty handed.
Mind you, just because very few of the fish are of trophy size,
they’re not dinks either and if you should hit it right, you might
catch one up to three or four pounds after the hatchery dumps in some of
its brooders at the end of the season.
Weirauch who along with her husband Don owns the Angler’s Edge fly
shop in nearby Gardnerville, Nevada says that the West Carson is one of
the best places to hone your dry fly skills.
Because of overhanging foliage, a shorter rod such as a 7’ or
8’ three or four weight
rod is perfect in the canyon sections and a
9’ five weight is OK
for the more open sections near the campgrounds and in the
says, fish aren’t real picky so 5X
tippet is about as small as you have to go, unless you are fishing real
early or late in the year and need to go to tiny beatis and midge
patterns. If you are
going to nymph the pocket water in the canyon sections, the usual strike
indicator/nymph rigs will work fine work fine here.
Due to the aforementioned overhanging foliage you you will want
to avoid overhead casts, so a heavier hard foam strike indicator will
make your roll casts a little easier.
selection is very straight forward as all of the generic stuff works
well, even on the wild fish. Adams
Parachutes, Elk Hair Caddis, Beetle
and Ant patterns will work
most of the time for dries. The
fish go crazy for hopper patterns up in the meadow section later in the
summer. For nymphs, #14,
#16 & #18 bead head Pheasant Tails both flash back and standard are
perfect for mayflies, and simple patterns such as the Green (or tan)
Rock Worm and the “Gas Caddis” pupa work for Caddis.
The West Carson It is a great destination for an enjoyable fishing weekend or a last chance stop for those on their way back to Sacramento or the bay area from the more technical waters of the Mammoth Lakes area. It’s only about thirty minutes from the nightlife of South Lake Tahoe so one can combine some adult fun with some great fishing all in one trip.