Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3815 July 5-19 2019 - Page 18

16 July 5 - 19, 2019 MAP FEATURE VOL.38 • ISS. 15 Every spring, thousands of rainbows move up Hobart Creek to spawn. Fishing in the creek is closed until July 1. This is the inlet to Hobart Creek near the boat ramp. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. T A Trout Trip to Spicer Reservoir Gone Awry he person that came up with the phrase, “The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work,” has obviously not gone fishing with me. Mixed in with those epic days of fishing are plenty of tough days – and some really horrible days when you wish you had stayed home. A trip to Spicer Reservoir on June 14, was one of those days. After receiving reports of excellent fishing at the lake, I left Sacra- mento in the late morning and expected to arrive at Spicer in the early afternoon Spicer is located in the Ebbetts Pass region on the border between Tuolumne County and Alpine County. The reservoir, situated at an elevation of 6,620 feet in the Stanislaus National Forest, impounds the waters of Highland Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Stanislaus River. The recreation area is 8 miles southwest of Highway 4 on Spicer Reservoir Road and is about a 45-minute drive from Arnold – and about 3-1/2 hours from Sacramento. The lake features beautiful square-tailed rainbows that are wild or grown out from CDFW fingerlings. I first encountered a long road work delay on Sunrise Boulevard out of Sacramento and then another one where a road crew was repairing the Shore fishing is productive at Spicer Reservoir, as this shore angler can attest. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. The area near the dam is one of the top locations for anglers to target rainbow trout at Spicer. Photo by DAN BACHER, Fish Sniffer Staff. pavement on the Jackson Highway between Rancho Murieta and Jackson. When I got on Highway 49, I encountered the worst traffic I’ve ever experienced driving to the Central Sierra. Maybe it was because of the Father’s Day weekend, but the drive was grueling. Finally, I got on Highway 4, where the traffic was much better, and went into Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods to talk with Bill Reynolds, the owner, and buy some hooks, bait and gear. I encountered another major “road work” sign on Highway 4 before Big Trees State Park. I shut off the motor where the flaggers had stopped traffic and we waited and waited and waited. Finally, the pilot car arrived and the long line of cars followed, only to be diverted into the park entrance to wait for another pilot car. I finally arrived at the lake five hours after I had left my house. One angler bank fishing near the boat ramp told me, “I haven’t got a bite. I landed two 20 inch rainbows at the same spot yesterday.” One boat with two anglers from Stockton pulled in at the ramp. “Did you catch any fish?” I asked. “It was tough. We landed six trout while trolling,” the successful angler replied. Trollers usually catch easy limits of rainbows at Spicer, along with releasing plenty of fish. Six fish is a very tough day for two trollers at Spicer. One family and a couple pulled in to fish the area from shore. I threw out Power Bait and nightcrawlers on two rods myself. After a couple of hours with no bites from any of the anglers, I left to check out the dam. “Hook any trout?” I asked two shore fishermen near the dam. “Not a bite,” one replied. “We’ve been watching the boats here and have seen only two fish caught by a guy in a pontoon boat.” The next time I go to Spicer the fishing and traffic will just have to be better, like it has been other days since the road to the lake opened. For example, several days before