Sweden, Uncategorized

Free things to do in Örebro

Örebro is located roughly in the middle of Sweden and is the fifth most populous city in the country. It still has the feel and charm of a town but boasts all the amenities you would expect in a big city. Many of these things like dining out or taking cruises on the nearby Lake Hjälmaren will cost you money but fortunately there are a number of free things you can do in and around Örebro.

Örebro Public Library

One of the best free things any city can offer is library access. Örebro Bibliotek has a number of branches in the city with the main branch being near the town centre. You can become a member without having a Swedish Personal number, you just have to ask. The staff have all been very friendly helpful. They also have a great website where you can search for and reserve books from anywhere in Sweden, once they arrive at your local branch you will get a text message to come and collect them. Most of the books are in Swedish but they have a decent selection of books in other languages too.

Parkrun Örebro

Running may not be everyones cup of tea but parkrun is generally one of the free things we like to do wherever we travel. This one scores bonus points because of its beautiful setting and the fika (coffee and treats) afterwards. If you want to read more about our experiences at this weekly event follow this link.

Birdwatching

Some free things will not appeal to everyone and this is not usually on my to do list. Sometimes however it is just really breathtaking to see huge flocks of birds taking flight, aquatic species floating around on a lake or dive bombing into the water in search of prey . Judging by the number of photographers I see on my morning runs, all lined up with their gigantic lenses the lakes and river around Örebro must be an area worth frequenting. There are loads of pathways and access points all around with convenient hides where you can sit and watch all day. Some areas even have glass fronted buildings with woodturning stoves where you can hang around and watch the wildlife, and people, go by.

A hide hidden down a snowy pathway

Have a braai (bbq for non-South Africans)

Another of our favourite free things to do is to have a braai, although of course you still have to provide your own supplies. Littered along the river banks, the shore of the lake and in most of the outdoor areas in Örebro are fire pits with built in grills. Most of these also regularly get stocked with firewood. What more could you ask for? Perfect for summer afternoons or chilly autumn evenings, in fact, there’s no reason not to use them all year round!

Friends and a fire

Fishing

Certainly my favourite pastime and even more so when it makes the list of free things to do in any area! A large part of the river Svartån running through Örebro is designated as a free fishing area. There are some restrictions to number of rods used and species you’re allowed to fish for, read more about these on the Örebro municipality website. Although I haven’t caught many fish here you do have a chance of hooking into something decent. Species like pike, perch, zander/walley, trout and bream are all present.

Small pike I caught off jetty on the river.

Go hiking

There are many short trails and small nature preserves littered around Örebro and its outskirts. Most of them have marked trails and a map at the entrance. Just a 30 minute drive out of town is Naturreservat Annaboda ( it can also be reached by bus). Here you can find even more trails, camp sites and bbq/picnic sites. Entrance is free of course

Go for a walk around town

Sometimes the best way to explore any new place is on foot. You get a much better feel for the city or town you’re in when you can walk around and explore at your own pace. Not having to worry about parking, accidentally turning into a one-way street or find yourself driving in a pedestrian only zone. Yes, I have done all of these at some point over the last few years. Örebro is very pedestrian friendly and there are parks and benches all over where you can take a break from all the exploring.

What are the best things you like to do to find your feet and get a feel for a new city or area you visit or live in?

Sweden

You’ve moved to Örebro, now what?

Moving to a new city can be quite daunting. Moving to a new city, in a new country, using a different language even more so! Kayley and I have done this twice now in the last 3 years. This time around I’ve decided to put together a post on where to get all the basics you need in order to make your move to Örebro, Sweden as smooth as possible.

Where to get a bicycle

The first thing you’ll notice in Örebro is that almost everybody is on a bike. Where to buy a bike in Örebro is largely budget dependent. There are quite a few second hand bike stores scattered throughout the town as well as a number of stores where you can buy a brand new one. Facebook Market Place or Blocket are also great resources. Just be sure to ask for an original receipt or police clearance if you’re buying second hand, bicycle theft is an issue! Make sure you get a good lock! Our first bike was from A-Cykel, they carry a good range of used bikes at a range of prices. Another good store to try is Cykelreturen, they stock bikes at all price ranges and as they’re close to the university they also give a student discount. For more high-end bicycles you can check out Lindells or XXL.

A good bike will get you places
A good bike will get you places

Where to get groceries

Now you have a bike the next important thing is to stay fed! The main options in Örebro are ICA, COOP or WILLYS. There are a few others but these are the most common. ICA is the most widespread and have a good range of everything you would need. Just beware items marked as ‘kortprys’, these specials are for loyalty card holders only. WILLYS is also great for all the basics. COOP is my least favourite grocery store but if it is your only option it will suffice.If you settle in Sweden for an extended period you will get a personal number which you can use to sign up for the ICA as well as WILLYS benefit cards. Öob is a great all round store for basic home goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries at much lower prices than the regular grocery stores.

Where to get your all important Swedish personal number

Some see this as a terrible chore but if you’ve dealt with home affairs in South Africa this process is a breeze. Your first visit will be to register at the Skatteverket, The Swedish Tax Agency. There are two branches in Örebro, the one near Vivalla is newly built and usually much quieter than the one in town. After you first register it can take up to 8 weeks for you to receive your personal number. You then have to visit the Skatteverket again to apply for your ID card which takes about two weeks. You can book appointments online which beats waiting in lines. The website does have an English option.

Where to get a sim card/home internet

To get a sim contract or home internet contract you need your Swedish personal number. You can however get a prepaid sim from Telia until you have your personal number. They can also sign you up for month-to-month home internet. After you receive your personal number it’s time to start shopping around for the best deals. These change all the time as there are a number of providers vying for market share.

Where to get some exercise

Örebro is a running/cycling paradise. There are numerous trails ranging from single track to gravel and paved all over the place. Whether you fancy a short run/ride in the heart of the old town or want to head out into the serenity of the woods and grasslands around Hjälmaren Lake on the edge of town. A very useful website is Naturkartan, they also have an iOS/Android app. You can find any trails/activity centres in your area as well as download offline maps.

Örebro is of course also host to a Parkrun every Saturday, read more about that here.

The city has a number of gyms, yoga studios, sports clubs and organisations ranging from professional to weekend warrior.

Currently we are, with a mixture of trepidation and excitement, awaiting winter to see what the winter sport options are in the area.

Runners in action on the parkrun course
Runners in action on the parkrun course, photo courtesy of Jimmy Glinneras

Where to buy alcohol

You have two options here. Beer, with maximum 3,5% ABV, is available at most supermarkets. If you want anything else you have to go to the Systembolaget, the state run liquor store. Here you will find a big range of almost any alcoholic beverage you could need. Everything neatly arranged with descriptions for each product, even meal pairing recommendations.

These are the basics we felt we had to cover to get settled into our new home.

Need to know anything else about getting yourself set up in Örebro? Let us know in the comments section.

Europe, running, Sweden

Parkrun Örebro

Explore, always

Running is one of my favourite ways to explore any new place we travel to. It is an easy way for me to get my bearings in a city, town or area. More often than not I do it early in the morning so there are no crowds or traffic to deal with. It’s a great way to get nice photos of tourist attractions and of course its good exercise! Which is especially good when you spend your days sampling the local delicacies and brews, another of my favourite things to do. I also use these excursions to scout potential fishing spots before I head out to them with all my gear.

Parkrun

Whenever we plan to go somewhere new I pour over google maps for a few hours to see if there are any trails to run and any bodies of water to fish. The next thing I do is check the days of the week we will be there. The reason for this is of course is Parkrun, which happens every Saturday. Parkrun is a free, weekly timed event. It is open to all participants no matter your age, gender or ability level. Most are also dog friendly and thanks to the tail walker you can never be the last person to finish.

So for me moving to Örebro was a no brainer. Beautiful Swedish town with a river running through the heart of it, bordering a huge lake and Parkrun Örebro every Saturday. Smiles all round.

Parkrun Örebro
Out on the course, photo courtesy of Malin Wirelam

Parkrun Örebro

Where is it?

Parkrun Örebro is set on the outskirts of the city, a ten minute cycle from the center of town. It starts on the bank of the Svartan river which runs through Örebro and drains into lake Hjälmaren. The course winds though the forest for its first kilometre. After crossing a boardwalk and a few small waterways a spectacular view of the lake is revealed. You then follow a spur of land, that feels like you’re running into the lake itself, before turning back to shore for the second half of the run. This takes you along some more trail through scrubland and back though the small forest to once more cross the boardwalk and get to the finish (start).

Parkrun Örebro
Thinking of the coffee at the end, photo courtesy of Lars Loven

Why you should do it

Parkrun Örebro happens regardless of the weather and has seen very few cancelations since its inception in April 2017. If you stay long enough you can watch it transform through the seasons from a summer paradise to a winter wonderland. The trails are well maintained and always checked the morning of the event to ensure they are in good condition.

Parkrun Örebro
Winter Wonderland

The other great thing about Parkrun Örebro, Sweden in general for that matter, is being able to ‘fika‘ when you’re done. The Parkrun start and finish is conveniently located right next to the Naturenshus coffee shop. Here you can enjoy a bottomless coffee for 25kr and a sweet or savoury bite to eat. It is also a great way to meet some of the participants and volunteers if you were too breathless to chat to them out on the course.

The people who make it happen

Parkrun Örebro, and any other Parkrun for that matter, would not happen without the selfless work of its volunteers. These are people who not only give up their time on a Saturday morning to run the event but also spend time during the week planning and ensuring everything will run smoothly on Saturday morning. The group at Parkrun Örebro are super friendly and helpful and have made my wife and I feel very welcome in our new home town. If you enjoy taking part in Parkruns, volunteering is a good way to give back to the Parkrun community.

If you’re in the Örebro area and want to experience a bit of nature, at a run or a walk, Parkrun Örebro should be on your list of things to do.

You can find more details on their Facebook page or on the official Parkrun site. They are very responsive to messages on their page and if you’re lucky you might even get a tour of Örebro and some local information from one of the event directors.

Europe, Fishing

Streetfishing along the canals of Amsterdam

Where to go fishing

You may think that fishing is restricted to finding isolated spots in the wilderness and escaping the crowds. You’re not completely wrong. For some of us though this is not always possible. Some of us live in the heart of a big city and just don’t have the time to get away for a whole day or weekend to scratch the fishing itch. For those people lucky enough to be in a city with waterways, streetfishing is the way to go.

Eurotrip

My wife and I, fiancee at the time, spent two months traveling mainland Europe with backpacks in 2017. This meant no space for fishing gear! We also only spent a few days in each location so it didn’t leave much spare time to go fishing. This didn’t stop me from hopefully peering into every body of water we saw to look for signs of life!

Water, water everywhere, nor any place to fish

Considering how many European cities have rivers and canals I was quite surprised at the lack of streetfishing activity I saw. In Paris I saw a few guys fishing in one of the canals near a hostel we stayed at. In Prague I only met one guy fishing in the river even though I saw lots of fish activity on my morning runs along the bank. That was it!

streetfishing
Great stretch of river bank to fish

Apart from Amsterdam that is. I had been trawling instagram in every location we went to to see if anybody was posting catches in the heart of the city. I was lucky enough to make contact with Huib Lommers, aka the_streetfishing_activist, based in Amsterdam.  He graciously agreed to take me streetfishing along the canals one evening, he even lent me fishing rod!

Hitting the streets

It was still early spring and the weather wasn’t the greatest for streetfishing. Windy and cold! Nonetheless we headed out. Neither of us managed a fish but it was still a great experience, sidewalks crowded with cyclist and pedestrians, two of us with fishing gear looking for likely places that could hold some perch or zander. I was surprised at the number of people who asked us what we were doing and incredulously nodded when Huipie told them we were fishing. Even more so when he told them that there were actually fish to be caught. Some people even stopped for selfies!

streetfishing
Cold but happy!

Pack you gear everywhere

Next time you find yourself in Amsterdam be sure to pack some gear and go streetfishing! You do of course also need a fishing licence if you want to fish in The Netherlands. I will say that we were not asked for licences at any time during the evening…

Since then I have been following the streetfishing hashtag on instagram to see who is out there doing some exploring and fishing in the heart of big cities. It has been an eye opener! It has also become a goal of mine to at least have one fishing session everywhere we travel to from now on.

I did manage this in most places in the USA and there will be or have been posts about most of these on our blog or on my instagram account, @thelazyfisherman, so be sure to check it out if you want more up to date information.

Bonus fishing session

I also stumbled upon a lucky fishing session at a hostel in Ireland. We had rented a car to drive cross country and offered to drop off two girls from Canada at their next hostel as we were heading in the same direction. Upon arrival I saw two dams next to the building and trout rising all over the place! I promptly rented gear and fished for an hour with a can of corn as bait before we headed off.

streetfishing
In Ireland, somewhere…

 

 

Fishing, South Korea

소사소류지 a fishing spot in Ungdong

fishing spot
Catch a nice sunrise when you can’t catch any fish.

Fishing spot sweet fishing spot

Having a fishing spot close to your house is every fisherman’s dream. It means you can go there for an hour or two whenever you have spare time. Having to travel far to get to fishable water really limits the amount of time you can spend actually fishing.

During my first two years in Yongwon (용원) I was lucky enough to have a fishing spot within 15 minutes of my house. It really helped having a car as initially my fishing was limited to one dam that was reachable by bus.

Shattered dreams

On our return to South Korea I was really disappointed to find that this fishing spot was now closed to the public due to construction. On the upside this meant I had to go back into exploring mode to find somewhere to fish!

The search

I spent hours pouring over Google maps and Kakao maps (South Korea’s version of Google maps) searching for those blue spots that indicate dams. I needed a new fishing spot! This lead me to some interesting places in the area. I fought through thickets, traveled on little roads barely wide enough for a car and hiked through rice paddies to see if any of the dams held bass.

Success, somewhat

One of my first outings was a success as I found a little dam and spotted a small bass almost immediately. I fished here a few times but it only ever yielded tiny bass and fishing got progressively worse until i stopped going there. Alas, it was not the fishing spot I was hoping for.

fishing spot

I tried quite a few other little ponds and dams scattered through the area but couldn’t find any that held bass.

fishing spot
Weird little red eyed bass

The holy grail

Finally on a day when I had had enough and was heading home I decided to try one more place. I met a fisherman as I parked my car and established that he was fishing for bass. Success!! Sort of. I hooked a bass on my first cast! Then lost it. Then, not a single bite for an hour! Three more trips at different times and still no fish. I often spotted a few bass cruising around and loads of bluegills. I just couldn’t catch anything!

One fateful morning after waking up late to go fishing with a friend we tried this dam again. I landed a small bass within a few minutes. A short while later I hooked and landed a 40cm bass, which is to date the biggest I’ve caught in Korea this time around.

fishing spot
Tired eyes, happy smile

Since then I’ve been back a few times and usually manage to land one or two fish. Haven’t caught anything decent again but I know they’re in there!! The dam is convenient to fish with easy access from the road. About half of the bank is a cement road and the other half is overgrown wilderness, only for the brave during summer when it is overgrown and teeming with all kinds of insect/bug life. I’ve also spotted a snake whilst fishing. I will definitely be back at this fishing spot a few more times before we leave South Korea again. Where is your favourite fishing spot close to home?

Don’t be fooled by the big dam to the left. It is inside a military base and has some formidable fencing around it. Park on the road under the bridge and walk down to the small dam.

National Parks, Travel, USA

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park was the first national park on our road trip through the United States. It is situated in South Dakota and is easily accessible from the I90. We actually ended up driving through it along our road trip and spent most of an afternoon there. The park has hiking and camping options but most of it you are able to see from the road that runs through it. There are plenty of pullovers to stop for photos of this gorgeous scenery.

badlands national park badlands national park

Hiking in Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park has some impressive scenery. It is made up of a different layers of rock. These have eroded at different rates and this has led to the formation of all the canyons and spires. The park is also home to prairie dogs, big horn sheep and bison.

badlands national park

 

 

badlands national park badlands national park badlands national parkThere are a number of hiking options available in Badlands National Park. They range from easy hikes on paved boardwalks  to more strenuous hikes up rope ladders and along canyon walls. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the park so opted for the Notch Trail. It is a moderately strenuous hike that goes up a rope/log ladder before taking you to a spectacular view of the rest of the park. It is a 2.4km round trip, depending on where you parked your car. The footing is loose sand/rock in some areas and the rope ladder is a bit shaky, but overall it is not a difficult trail.

badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park badlands national park

 

America the Beautiful Pass

Badlands National Park was the first national park we had the pleasure of visiting in the USA. This is also where we bought our America the Beautiful Pass. The America the Beautiful pass is an absolute must if you plan on visiting more than 2 National Parks in the USA. It costs $80 and allows you entry into all the national parks in the USA. You can purchase the pass online (for a delivery and service fee) or from the entrance at any National Park. I would advise phoning ahead to make sure they have them in stock.

Have you visited any national parks in the USA? We have loved exploring 14 of them through our travels the past few months. One of our most memorable was visiting Yosemite National Park in California – undoubtedly one of America’s most popular parks!

Travel, USA

Where to hike in South Lake Tahoe

Go on a Hike in South Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is surrounded by mountains, snowcapped peaks, valleys and lakes. The whole area is generally referred to as the Tahoe Basin. There are a multitude of trails to hike in South Lake Tahoe. Each of these comes with gorgeous views of undulating hills, rocky peaks and (even in the summer), snow capped mountains and, of course, the beautiful Lake Tahoe.

One of our favourite past times (among a bunch of other free summer activities) while staying in South Lake Tahoe has been to hike. If you’re wondering where to hike in South Lake Tahoe, here are four of our favourite hikes in order of difficulty.

hike in south lake tahoe, south lake tahoe, hiking
Left: Wildflowers, snow and the view on Mt Tallac. Right: Lake of the Woods from Echo Lake

Lower Eagle Falls

This one is a hike to a hike in South Lake Tahoe. You have to hike down to Vikingsholm/Emerald Bay from the roadside parking lot. The hike down is 1.6km. When you reach the bottom follow the signs for lower Eagle Falls. This is a short trail with a few stairs before you get to the viewpoint to see the falls. As a bonus there is usually a small beach where you can swim and hangout, water levels were super high when we were there so the beach was very small!

hike in south lake tahoe, lower eagle falls, hiking

If you’re interested you can also take a tour of Vikingsholme. This is a holiday home built in the 1920’s inspired by Scandinavian architecture. The walk back up to the parking lot isn’t nearly as bad as you would think, personally we found the downward trip more taxing. If you’re feeling very lazy you can also view the falls from the top next to the road.

The drive to the start of this hike is also very scenic and quite dramatic at stages as you drive along narrow ridge line between with sheer drops on either side. There are a number off pullouts along the road if you want to stop for photos.

hike in south lake tahoe, emerald bay
Emerald Bay from the parking lot

Railroad Grade/ Powerline Trail

This hike in South Lake Tahoe is a very easy to access trail and starts in a residential suburb. You can make this as long, or short a hike as you wish. The trailhead is situated in the cul-de-sac on Columbine Trail. The first part of the trail is called Railroad Grade. It follows the banks of Trout Creek with gentle ups and downs. It is 2.4km long and ends on Powerline Trail. You can follow Powerline Trail in either direction from the junction. It has a few other trails branching off it as well.

If you’re looking to do about 10km of not too strenuous hiking take a left where Railroad and Powerline trails intersect. Take your first right onto Corral Trail and follow this up to the intersection with Cedar Trail. Cedar Trail will bring you back down to Powerline. Turn right where the trails meet and follow Powerline back to the culdesac where you started. You should get a few glimpses of Lake Tahoe in the distance.

hike in south lake tahoe, powerline trail
Picnic stop on Powerline Trail

Echo Lake to Lake of the Woods

This is an out and back hike in South Lake Tahoe, so again the distance is up to you. It starts with an undulating trail that follows the shores of Lower Echo Lake before heading into the desolation wilderness. You have to register your hiking party at the start of the hike and carry your permit with you. Registration is free. The trail head is just behind the dam wall near the general store. Some of the trail gets technical with loose rocks etc underfoot and on a hot day there is very little shade for long stretches of the trail. Carry lots of water!

We hiked out to Lake of the Woods for a total of 17.7km. The last bit going to the lake is a quick, steep climb up and then switchbacks down to the lake. It is beautiful down there though, well worth the effort. You can also head to Lake Aloha if you don’t take the split for Lake of the Woods. This trail also follows a part of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Pack fishing rods if you want as a lot of the lakes up there hold some trout.

hike in south lake tahoe, echo lake
Echo Lake

hike in south lake tahoe, lake of the woods
Incredible views of Lake of the Woods

Mt Tallac

This was definitely the best hike in South Lake Tahoe we did. Rather than taking the more popular hike up the ‘front’ of Mt Tallac we took a longer more scenic route around the back. It was 20km round trip. The trailhead is situated at the far end of Fallen Leaf Lake. There are a few parking bays but they fill up quickly on the weekend. This is also a popular starting point for back country campers as there are a number of smaller lakes off the same trail.

The terrain varies a lot on the hike – loose gravel, hard packed earth, rocky slopes and possibly some snow! The scenery is spectacular as you go through the valley and start ascending the back of the mountain. The last bit to reach the peak is a scramble across loose rocks and boulders so can be quite tricky. The view at the top is completely worth it as you have almost 360 degree vistas of Lake Tahoe and the surrounds. At the start of the Glen Alpine trailhead keep following the Mt Tallac and Gilmore Lake signs.

Gilmore Lake was a place for a rest on the way up and down. There is a tricky water/river crossing at the outlet. It was also a great place for a swim on the way down. You will also pass a small hot spring you can poke your fingers into near the start of the hike. Also, be aware this a backcountry hike so you have to register your hiking party at the trailhead and carry a permit.

hike in south lake tahoe, gilmore lake, mt tallac
Gilmore Lake on route up Mt Tallac

hike in south lake tahoe
Lake Tahoe from Mt Tallac

Here is a map with all the trailheads and turnoffs marked.

Fishing, USA

Where to find a random freshwater fishing spot in Palm City, Florida

 

Are you looking for a random freshwater fishing spot in Palm City, Florida? Look no further. I am ever a fan of fishing less popular ponds and streams, especially in places that you wouldn’t think to fish. Read further to find out about a few places where I found some fish in Palm City and the surrounding areas.

 

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #1:

I found this random freshwater fishing spot by pouring over google maps as soon as we arrived. I ran out there one afternoon to make sure it was accessible on foot and of course to see if I could spot any fish activity. I wasn’t disappointed on either case. Lots of easily accessible bank to fish off and I spotted a bass within a few minutes of walking the bank. There are actually two ponds here, I only got fish in the one, check the map at the end of the post for the location. This pond holds large mouth bass, mayan cichlids, plecis (armoured catfish) and goodness knows what else.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #2:

If you’ve been to Florida you’ll know there are retention ponds all over the place. This one is right next to a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. I stumbled upon this random freshwater fishing spot  when we took our rental car for a wash. On a quick walk around the pond I spotted fish activity and a few small bass hanging on the edges. I returned the next morning and managed to pull a few out. Nothing huge but a convenient pond to pass a bit of time. I also spotted more plecis as well as tilapia in the pond. I went early in the morning and parked in the Ruby Tuesday parking lot.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #3

This random freshwater fishing spot is actually a number of retention ponds in this suburb. They all seem to hold large mouth bass, alligator gar and some other unidentified species. I just drove from pond to pond and fished for a while in each one. Most of them produced at least one fish.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #4

I didn’t get the chance to fish this random freshwater fishing spot unfortunately as I only found it on the morning we were leaving Palm City. I spotted a small school of bass roaming the shallows as I ran past. They were at least 30cm in length so I would assume there may be some larger specimens in there as well.

There are of course a multitude of ponds/canals in the area to choose from. Most of the fun comes from finding a random freshwater fishing spot and seeing if it actually holds any fish! There is a map at the end of the post with the spots I’ve fished.

 

Have you fished this area? Do you know what other species can be found in these waters?

 

Fishing, USA

Bank Fishing Lakes in South Lake Tahoe

In the Tahoe area there are a number of alpine lakes to go fishing in. They are all impressive in their own way. Even though they are dwarfed by the sheer size of Lake Tahoe itself, many of them provide great fishing as well. Again, for a lot of them, fishing off a boat is the ideal. Bank fishing is possible at some of them though. Keep reading to see which ones I tried fishing at.

Lakes with bank fishing opportunities:

Lake Baron

The first ‘lake’ I tried fishing was not a beautiful alpine lake. Situated in Meyers, part of Tahoe Paradise Park, is Lake Baron. It is regularly stocked with trout and has a catfish population. There is ample parking and bank fishing is very accessible. You can launch a float tube or kayak there as well. Fishing is free, two trout per person limit. You can leave donations if you wish. I didn’t have any luck here. I did however see a crawfish devouring a trout. This gave me hope that there were some trout in there!

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, lake baron

Red Lake and Caples Lake

Off Highway 88 you can find Red Lake and Caples Lake. Red Lake is the smaller of the two. It has a lot of accessible water from the dam wall. I only tried fishing it once, late afternoon going into evening. I fished with a small spoon as well as a dry fly. The dry fly got a few hits in the corner near the outlet stream. I didn’t land anything. Lots of bank fishing access.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, red lake bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoered lake

I went  fishing at  Caples Lake twice. Once for a late afternoon/evening session that saw fish rising everywhere but where I was fishing! I was fishing with spinning gear. The second time I tried some Berkley Powerbait dough and Berkley trout worms. I landed one small rainbow trout drifting this rig off a bobber. Caples has a number of places you can fish from the banks or from the dam wall. Check out the map below. Bank fishing access at a number of places around the lake.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake, trout bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake

Echo Lake

Echo Lake is also just up the road from South Lake Tahoe. I spent a few hours there but conditions were not great, the wind was pumping so hard it looked more like an ocean than a mountain lake. Fishing reports there are good though. Parking is limited so I would go very early or after 6pm when most of the day trippers have cleared out. Bank fishing from the dam wall near the parking lot or along most of the shoreline. There is a well used pathway to follow.The lake is accessible off Highway 50 heading out of Meyers.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is also a hike to only lake. You can head out from Echo Lake along a very scenic trail. It follows the contour of Upper and Lower Echo lakes until you join up to the Pacific Crest Trail. There are a number of lakes situated off this trail. Currently a few a of these have had all their fish removed. This has been done to protect the habitat of the Yellow-Legged Frog. Lake of the Woods is also off this trail, about 8.5km along. It has ample camping space and still has fish in it. Bank fishing from most of the very scenic shoreline. We hiked out there but I only had about twenty minutes to fish before we had to head back. An overnight trip would be ideal.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, lake of the woods

Gilmore Lake

Another lake accessible via hiking is Gilmore lake. It is situated behind/above Fallen Leaf lake. If you drive all the way past Glen Alpine falls, a very narrow and pothole filled road, you will get to a trailhead. Get there early to find parking. Follow the signs for Gilmore lake. The trail will take you past a small creek, worth a few casts, before getting you to Gilmore lake 7km later. It’s not a strenuous hike. Lots of people camp on the lake shore as well to maximize their fishing time. I didn’t get a chance to fish here but I spoke to some guys camping and fishing there. They were bank fishing using worms and had landed a small rainbow in the time they had been there. We stopped there for snacks and a swim after a long hike to the Mt Tallac summit.

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There are so many options in the area for bank fishing. A bit of hiking will get you to some out of the way and quiet spots where you can enjoy the fishing, scenery and solitude. As always, remember to check fishing regulations before heading out!

Have you fished in the Tahoe area? Do you have any spots to recommend?

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Alternative Fishing Spots in South Lake Tahoe

Fishing is somewhat of an obsession of mine. Few things beat the thrill of feeling a fish on the end of your line, or the satisfaction of figuring out how to catch one. Coupled with this is the spectacular scenery you often find yourself in. Whenever we reach a new destination I always spend ages looking at Google Maps, searching for any body of water that may hold fish. Then there is the exploring to find a way to get to the water and, of course, trying to figure out if said body of water actually has any fish.

Fishing in South Lake Tahoe

Spending a summer in South Lake Tahoe, on the shore of Lake Tahoe has been a very exciting as well as frustrating “fishploration” for me. Lake Tahoe itself is, of course, a very popular fishing destination and can produce some record catches. It is, however, highly unlikely that you would catch anything fishing from the shore. You need to head out on a boat to improve your chances. (Here are the top fishing charters in the area according to tripadvisor). Not owning a boat nor wanting to spend too much money on a fishing charter (#travellerbudget), I had to search around a bit more.
Just a stones throw from the house we’re staying in is a small creek, aptly named Trout Creek. The river/creek fishing season on the Tahoe basin opens on July 1st. This meant I had to wait around for over a week before I could even attempt to fish this creek.

Naturally I had to find an alternative fishing spot.

The Tahoe Keys

A bit of Google searching and reading random fishing forums, I found out that ‘The Tahoe Keys‘, being shallower and warmer than the lake itself, had become home to bass, bluegill and even crappie. A small boat or kayak would open up all of this water to fish in quite easily. Not having these I had to hunt around for a few access points where you could get to the water (check the map below for these). Fishing in the Keys is not amazing. You can easily catch the bluegill and small crappie if they’re around. The bass are a lot more finicky but not impossible.

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Tahoe Keys Overflow

Situated behind the Keys is another body of water that seems to be a spillover for the Key’s canals. Here, there were also a large amount of bluegill – fun on fly tackle, as well as some cruising bass.

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HINT: If you park at the end of the road near the water treatment plant there is a little pathway that will take you down to the water. I didn’t see any no fishing or private property signs etc. The path was well used. 

 

Trout Creek

The creek season finally started and I had my first attempt at Trout Creek early on a Saturday morning. I caught nothing! One flash at a dry fly and that was it. My next outing was late afternoon and also produced nothing. Tahoe had just been through a record winter and snow melt meant the rivers and creeks were all very full and very fast, bursting their banks in a lot of places, not ideal for fishing.
A week later Trout Creek finally paid off for me at about 7pm. I finally landed a brook trout on a dry fly. I’ve fished the creek few times since and found a few decent spots. I even found  bluegill in some of the slower bends. A lot of the bank is accessible from Railroad Trail. You can park in the cul-de-sac on Columbine Road. It is also accessible from Golden Bear Trail.
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Upper Truckee River

A few days later I headed up Luther Pass, just outside the town of Meyer. The Upper Truckee river is accessible from here by taking the Upper Truckee Road South turnoff and traveling down into the river valley. There is parking near the bridge and quite a lot of the river is accessible from here. Hiking through the area is also very scenic and if you’re feeling adventurous enough you can hike up to it’s source to fish as well. The water was still very high and my morning out did not produce any fish. A few days later I tried the Upper Truckee again and landed two trout. One was very small, the second about  30cm. Both came as the sun was almost down on a dry fly. This spot produced another small trout for me a week later and every time I’ve tried it I’ve had at least one hit on the dry. There is quite a bit of river bank to fish there and ample parking at the corner of Elks Club Dr and Emerald Bay Rd. Check the map at the end of the post.
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Carson River

At the top of Luther Pass you will also come upon the West Fork of the Carson river. Quite a lot of the river is accessible. You can park near the bridge just before the t-junction. I’ve fished the area once just as the sun was setting. Lots of rises all over and hits on the dry fly. I didn’t land anything though.
An adventuring spirit and willingness to look around for fishing spots will eventually lead to results. The Tahoe area abounds with creeks and rivers and mountain lakes begging to be explored. Even if you don’t catch anything you’re bound to see some spectacular scenery or a breathtaking sunset.
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 Here’s a short recap of my alternative fishing spots:

Tahoe Keys – between the houses, lots of bluegill, some crappie and bass if you’re lucky.
Tahoe Keys Overflow – bigger and more aggressive bluegill, very fussy bass.
Trout Creek – small brook trout in most areas, dry fly and early evening has been good for me.
Upper Truckee River – bigger trout, also all on dry fly.
West Fork of the Carson – chances of Rainbow and Brown trout.

Don’t forget to get the right fishing license for the area. On Lake Tahoe itself you can have either a Nevada or California license. I bought a California license from Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters. The staff were very friendly and readily gave advice about the area and fly choices. Licenses are also available online or at most sports/tackle shops in the area.

I often prefer this search and all the frustrations that come with it to guided trips or charter boats. Call me crazy or call it therapy. Some days I do wish they would put up a big neon sign that says, FISH HERE, use this bait. But those days quickly fade from memory when I do find that perfect spot.

I’ll be posting on more fishing spots soon. Follow me on Instagram @thelazyfisherman for up to date catches.

What is your favorite way to fish? Guided, popular spots or out of the way and quiet?