By Chris Moran
Fall is the season many associate with hunting, but don’t rule out fishing for an outdoors getaway.
Granted, September can be a bit tough for the sport: warmer temperatures and lower water levels at this time make fishing tricky, especially trout fishing. But if you’re going after largemouth bass and catfish, says Nevada Department of Wildlife fish biologist Mark Beckstand, “that type of fishing is still pretty good right now.”
Beckstand, who monitors waterways in Nevada’s southern and central regions, mentioned Kirch Wildlife Management Area (about 400 miles east and south of Reno), with its multiple reservoirs, as a good spot for largemouth bass and catfish, especially if you can get out on the water in a boat. Consider overnighting in Ely (about 320 miles east of Reno on U.S. 50). From there, it’s about a one-hour drive to Kirch. (Ely’s also a great place for mountain biking, and is home to the historical Nevada Northern Railway, which offers excursion rides.)
Another fishing option is Eagle Valley Reservoir inside Spring Valley State Park, about 460 miles east and south of Reno. Beckstand pointed out that Eagle Valley sits at a slightly higher elevation (5,869 feet) than other area reservoirs and is in a canyon, keeping the waters a little cooler for the hardcore trout fishermen and women. Spring Valley is one of five state parks in Lincoln County: when you’re not fishing, consider visiting nearby Cathedral Gorge, known for its slot canyons. Mountain biking also is popular here: Lincoln County recently installed 22 miles of trails. Overnight lodging can be found in the small community of Caliente.
Waterways closer to home include the Truckee River, which NDOW notes is one of the most heavily fished waters in the state, supporting 60,000 to 100,000 angler days per year. Fall is a good time to fish here, and NDOW recommends baiting with nightcrawlers or Powerbait and fishing in large pools.
Fishing in Nevada does require a license, which can be bought online at the NDOW website ($10 for a one-day fishing license for Nevada residents; $41 for an annual fishing license for residents). Beckstand noted that you can keep your license on your cell phone, rather than carrying a printed license.
The NDOW website also has information on when and where waterways will be stocked. People planning to introduce younger children to fishing may want to pay attention to this: “if you’re just there fishing with your kids, fish right after a stocking event,” Beckstand said, “you’ll catch a lot of fish.”
With fishing, as in life, it’s always good to set yourself up for success.
For more ideas on Nevada getaways, visit TravelNevada.com.
Chris Moran is a public relations specialist for the Nevada Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada.)