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Mark Kautz
07/31/2014 12:51 PM
The dam at Bear River Reservoir had no fish visible from above. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Mark Kautz.

Since I was forced to fish among the masses at Bear River Reservoir on a weekend back in June, I wanted to give it another try, just on a Tuesday, instead of on an overcrowded Saturday.

I headed out of the house around 7 a.m. and, after my usual coffee stop, got to the lake at a little before 8. I figured my best chance of catching anything was to fish about 100 feet on the near side of the first dam. In the past, I’ve caught most of my fish in that spot.

When I got there, one gentleman was fishing on the dam and had gotten one bite earlier, but nothing since. I parked in the little pullout and hauled my gear down to the lake. I found a nice flat rock to put my chair pad on (those of us with boney butts need something extra) and put out two rods with rainbow Power Bait.

The level of the lake was down 25 feet or so, but nowhere near where it’s been in years past. The rock pile that’s usually out of the water by now was just beginning to stick out.

To get a handle on the lake and where the fish might be, I put one line out 25 feet and the other one about 75 feet. After a half-hour without a bite, I moved one toward the dam and the other far to the left. Another half-hour passed without a bite, so I pulled both lines in and put one out with rainbow Power Bait and slathered on a little Pro-Cure garlic scent. On the other, I put some Pro-Cure Sweet Corn scent. The Sweet Corn scent has always been good at Bear River.

I gave it another half-hour and changed to plain rainbow Power Bait on one and added a little Anise to the other. Another half-hour and still nothing, so I reeled in the one with plain Power Bait and, with my little Okuma, started throwing Kastmasters. First, the rainbow pink one I’ve had the most success with lately and then silver, gold and brown trout color. Once again, nothing at all.

About that time, a friend and fellow Amador Flyfishers Club member showed. She put out a beetle imitation on a Tenkara rod (yes, we’ve gotten another one to the dark side), but didn’t fare any better than I did. She said that standing on the dam earlier and looking around, she didn’t see a fish. There were no masses at Bear River and no fish as well.

I follow a couple of local forums from time to time, not to be one of those that when one person catches a fish and 35 guys go “Yeah,” but to see if others are fishing where I’ve been and if they are catching anything. After hitting Bear River on Tuesday and having a skunk kind of day, I went out and looked.

There was a guy posting that apparently was camping up there and went out in his boat. Over a period of eight days, he fished ten times and was skunked all ten. That doesn’t bode well for future fishing at Bear River Reservoir. Keep in mind that the DFW has stocked all it’s going to this year in this lake (with the closure of the hatchery at Nimbus Dam).

The only hope I can see is the tournament in the second weekend of September, if the resort does any stocking for it. Personally, I’ll be skipping this lake until at least next year.

I’ve got one more week until we head out for our delayed July camping trip in the Coachman Clipper. We still have reservations at the same place in the same spot and I’ll have a story for you when I get back about fishing the **** River. You didn’t think I was going to give the location away, did you?

In the meantime, I think I’ll wander up to Silver Lake. I wanted to fish Silver Fork of the American, but the fall I took back on the 16th is still affecting my body, so rock-hopping is out of the question for now. It’s hell getting old and you can only take so many stupid pills. I’ll let you know how it goes in the article on August 8, which is the day I get back from the **** River.

A little later in August, we’ll be heading for the coast and some saltwater fishing. Stay tuned.

Tight Lines.

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