bass, chasingkm, Fishing, fly fishing, travel, trout, USA

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.

tahoe keys, fishing, south lake tahoe

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.

tahoe keys, fishing, south lake tahoe, bluegill

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.
tahoe, fishing, fly fishing, south lake tahoe, brook trout, trout creek, dry fly

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.
fishing, fly fishing, trout, upper truckee, south lake tahoe

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.
sunset, caples lake, south lake tahoe

 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?

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.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, gilmore lake

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?

backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, Germany, travel

Eurotrip Part Four – Berlin

Berlin, a city steeped in history, a city that has suffered so much, yet a city that is a pleasure to explore. Amongst the hustle and bustle of people getting on with their everyday lives, 5 star hotels, shopping malls and parks – you wouldn’t say this city had been nearly destroyed by the end of World War two.

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backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, Germany, travel

Eurotrip Part Four – Cologne and Dusseldorf

We stopped through Dusseldorf on our European adventure as our friend, Jade (from Durban whom we met in Korea) is currently living there. She offered us her futon in her gorgeous apartment as well as local beer and wine on arrival (now that’s a friend)! The few days we were with her were well spent, exploring both Dusseldorf and Cologne.

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Amsterdam, backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, spring, thelazyfisherman, travel

Eurotrip Part Three – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We are finally on the adventure of our life time (up ’till now)! After resigning from our jobs teaching English in South Korea in February, we are traveling through Europe, visiting Paris, BelgiumThe Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. We spent almost a year planning our two month trip to Europe which eventually evolved into a ten month journey that will see us crisscrossing Europe, Ireland and the USA for a few months. Central America may (hopefully) make its way onto our itinerary.

The way we travel is a combination of hostels, couchsurfing, workaway and friends. This means we get to experience regular life and meet locals in the places we visit as opposed to just being main stream tourists. It also means we can stretch our budget further and travel for longer!

Amsterdam

The first things that come to mind are Red Light districts, “coffee shops” and liberality. You will find these in abundance all over the city center. Amsterdam has much more to offer than just this though. We started our first full day in the city with a “free” walking tour with Sandemans NewEurope. These tours are not actually free as you have to tip the tour guide afterwards. It does mean you can pay what you feel they deserve or you can afford, though. They are usually quite good and are a nice way to find your bearings in a new city, and pick up bit of history along the way.

Things to see/do:

The Red Light District. If you wander through it during the daylight hours it is a fairly tame area. Most of the window boxes are empty or have their curtains drawn. Basically each window is privately owned/operated by the lady inside. She will stand in the window to attract clientele. The later it gets, the busier it gets. So more of the windows will be filled and the streets will be teeming with tourists, stag parties, tour groups and curious onlookers. No photos/video are allowed in the area and apparently you will get chased down if you try. We also saw a few of the ladies pull their curtains shut if any youngsters walk past. All of them were clothed in about the same amount of clothing you would see on the average beach on a sunny day.

The Museum Quarter.

Here you can find all the major museums in the city. Our highlights were the Rijksmuseum and The Van Gogh museum. The first has a range of exhibitions from many famous artists though the ages (Rembrandt, Van Gogh etc) and covers more than 800 years of Dutch and world history. When we were there it even had a whole section on Dutch history in South Africa which was very interesting. The Van Gogh museum takes you through his whole life, his influences and his troubled end with displays of his paintings and his peers/mentors and idols. Interesting even for the non-Van Gogh fans. This area is also home to the I Amsterdam sign (in front of the Rijksmuseum). Get there early if you want a photo as it gets super crowded! There is also a nice park/square where you can hang out if the weather is good. The Anne Frank house is not in the Museum Quarter, obviously, as it is still in its original location. If you know exactly when you will be in Amsterdam books these tickets online, way in advance. They sell out quickly! If you don’t do this you have to wait in a queue, possibly for hours. From 9am to 3:30 pm you can get tickets for a certain time slot. After this you join the queue and buy a ticket at the door. If it’s too busy you won’t make it inside. We joined the queue at about 3:50pm and waited 2 hours to get inside. It was so busy you were just bustled through each room and it felt like the museum had no actual impact. Not the recommended way to do it.

Walk the streets.

Amsterdam has something for everybody. From trendy bars and cafes, hipster hangouts, street markets and buildings dating back hundreds of years. Amsterdam was also where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) started up, probably the first stock exchange/market/publicly traded company in the world. The city is, of course, also filled with canals. These are still used for boat transport, cruises, fishing (I tried this one evening from the banks/bridges) and the mooring of houseboats/cafes/bars. We love to walk around the cities making our way from landmark to landmark on foot with breaks in between to people watch and enjoy some local beverages and snacks.

Dam square, right in front of the Royal Palace, is a popular hangout spot in the center of the city. Most of the trams/busses also pass near here. You could easily spend a few hours here in good weather with a few drinks watching the goings on of the tourists and locals (pro tip – the bigger department stores usually have bathrooms if you’re desperate).

The public transport in Amsterdam is well organized and reasonably priced with single ride to 72 hour passes available. The city center is very walkable though so do a bit of research before you invest in a pass. We were in a hostel just outside the center and found that most days a single ride ticket in and out was sufficient. The other way to get around is of course cycling. Most of the roads have dedicated cycling lanes and cars/pedestrians usually give way to the cyclists.

Useful information:

We stayed at WOW Amsterdam. It is outside the city center but has some supermarkets and tram/bus stops nearby. Beds were comfortable and the rooms were spacious. Bathrooms were well equipped and close to the rooms, towels were provided. There was no kitchen worth speaking of. Just a small room with a bar fridge, microwave and basin. No cutlery or crockery. The breakfast was sufficient to start the day, buffet style, cold meats, bread/rolls, cereals coffee tea etc. The wifi was patchy most of the time.  Can’t really complain too much as it was only 10 Euros a night for a mixed dorm.

Albert Heijn supermarkets are great. They usually have good food specials, you can get a loyalty card free, most of them also have free wifi.

The Apple store has free charging stations and wifi if you have an iPhone.

The train network is quite extensive and many places are within day trip distance from the city itself. Kayley went to Keukenhof for the morning and we both spent an afternoon in the nearby town of Harlem. Beaches are also within reach.

Google maps worked fine for the public transport. If you don’t have a sim card be sure to download the offline map before you head out and screen shot all your transport options for later in the day.

 
We have found apps that have offline functions to be specifically useful. What has been the most useful app you’ve downloaded for traveling? 
backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, The Netherlands, travel

Eurotrip Part Three – Gouda, The Netherlands

We are finally on the adventure of our life time (up ’till now)! After resigning from our jobs teaching English in South Korea in February, we are traveling through Europe, visiting Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. We spent almost a year planning our two month trip to Europe which eventually evolved into a ten month journey that will see us crisscrossing Europe, Ireland and the USA for a few months. Central America may (hopefully) make its way onto our itinerary.

Continue reading “Eurotrip Part Three – Gouda, The Netherlands”

backpacking, chasingkm, Europe, outdoors, The Netherlands, travel

Eurotrip Part Three – The Hague and Delft, The Netherlands

We are finally on the adventure of our life time (up ’till now)! After resigning from our jobs teaching English in South Korea in February, we are traveling through Europe, visiting Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. We spent almost a year planning our two month trip to Europe which eventually evolved into a ten month journey that will see us crisscrossing Europe, hopping on over to Ireland and then onto the USA for a few months. Central America may (hopefully) make its way onto our itinerary.

Continue reading “Eurotrip Part Three – The Hague and Delft, The Netherlands”

backpacking, Belgium, chasingkm, Europe, Ghent, Travel

Eurotrip Part Two – Ghent, Belgium

We are finally on the adventure of our life time (up ’till now)! After resigning from our jobs teaching English in South Korea in February, we are traveling through Europe, visiting Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. We spent almost a year planning our two month trip to Europe which eventually evolved into a ten to twelve month journey that will see us crisscrossing Europe, hopping on over to Ireland and then onto the USA for a few months. South and/or Central America may also make its way (hopefully) onto our itinerary.

Continue reading “Eurotrip Part Two – Ghent, Belgium”

Korea, South Korea, Travel

Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju Hanok Village
If you’re looking for good food, hustle and bustle and some traditional Korea, Jeonju is the place to find it. Tucked into the city is a traditional Hanok village that seems to be the tourist hot spot of Korea. It has a wide river running along one side with traditional Korean  bridges dotted across the water.  With no cars being allowed in during certain times, it really gives you the feeling you’re in old town Korea.

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