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Tahoe Fish & Fishing Tips

[Gallery, Tips ]

Fish of Lake Tahoe and Sierra rivers, lakes and streams

Click on any image to view enlargement or click on the fish name to jump to fishing tips.

Brown Trout - Click to Zoom
Brown Trout

Brook Trout - Click to Zoom
Brook Trout

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout - Click to Zoom
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

Volcano Creek Golden Trout - Click to Zoom
Volcano Creek Golden Trout

Rainbow Trout - Click to Zoom
Rainbow Trout

Mackinaw - Click to Zoom
Mackinaw (Lake Trout)

Kokanee during spawn - Click to Zoom
Kokanee (landlocked) Salmon
colors while spawning

Kokanee Salmon - Click to Zoom
Kokanee (landlocked) Salmon

Photos shown here are from exhibit displayed at the Immigrant Trail Museum at Donner Memorial State Park
Fish are hand carved and painted by Vrooman Woodcarvings & Wildlife Gallery in Truckee

A few tips for netting Lake Tahoe fish:

bulletBrown Trout
bulletUse night crawlers or lures. Early summer and just before dusk are the best times to fish for Brown Trout. In Lake Tahoe try the west end, shallow areas along piers and rocky bottoms.
bulletBrook Trout
bulletUse small lures or worms. Dry flies also work well. The best fishing is in early summer. These fish are most commonly found in higher elevation lakes and streams.
bulletCutthroat Trout
bulletTry a topline troll with night crawlers or shore fish with salmon eggs or worms. Spring and summer are the best seasons to fish.
bulletGolden Trout
bulletUse a small, colorful lure or worms on light trippets. Spring and early summer are the best time to fish. These trout are scarce and are found only in a few remote, high elevation lakes.
bulletRainbow Trout
bulletUse small lures when toplining and inshore fishing. September through November and May are best time to fish. Rainbows are planted throughout the summer.
bulletMackinaw (lake trout)
bulletDeepline troll at least 80 feet with large flashers. Drift fishing with live minnows or night crawlers also works. Jigging with flashy lures can be effective. Mackinaw are caught year round.
bulletKokanee (landlocked) Salmon
bulletTry topline trolling with clusters of worms on size 4, 6 or 8 hooks. Early spring and late summer provides the best fishing. In Lake Tahoe most fish are found in the southwest corner with a few taken off of the Cave Rock area. It is highly unlikely you will catch them from shore.
bulletGeneral Lake Tahoe Fishing Tips
bulletAvoid fishing during times of mirror like calm, unless fishing deep for Mackinaw. Even a slight surface riffle will break up shadows cast on the bottom and will partially obliterate the angler from view.
bulletUse a light monofilament line.
bulletUse very long line for trolling or make very long casts if fishing from shore.
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Last modified: July 19, 2009

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