August 27, 2018

Comins Reservoir in White Pine County

Not much of a blog for this trip.  Mostly a pictorial essay.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and accompanying notes.

The moon over Ely, NV.  This photo looks west down E. Aultman Street,
aka U.S. Highway 50 and Lincoln Highway. The Silver State Restaurant
has been an Ely landmark for me since the 1970s, but is under new
ownership who will be changing the sign to read Nardi's Family
Restaurant. The Magnuson Hotel (yes, they named it a hotel) is down
and across the street where you see the red sign sporting a white star.
This is where I rest my body when it desires a bed over a sleeping bag,
mostly because it was across the street from the Silver State
My first trout of Monday's late afternoon session. It was a handsome
specimen of 13+ inches and a great start.
This rainbow was caught four minutes after the first, and was an inch
or two longer than the first.
A pretty rainbow trout of almost 17 inches. I caught many juvenile
largemouth bass, the largest being maybe 10 or 11 inches. In fact, 
I suspect I caught nearly as many bass as trout over the two days 
of fishing.
This perspective is from the northern end of Comins looking towards the
Schell Creek mountain range. The highest peaks are 7 to 10 miles
away.  Starting from the left, the humpback-looking mountain ridge
is unnamed in Google Earth, but its highest point is about 10,190 feet
as it separates the Steptoe Valley from Duck Creek basin. The obvious
peak in the middle is Camel Peak slightly lower at 10,078 feet (it's
actually closer to the camera than the humpback ridge). It's hard to tell
from this distance and angle, but I believe the highest point on the right
 side of the horizon is Cave Peak at 10,744 feel.

Another rainbow close to 17 inches. I noted its
darker coloring, which always makes me wonder
about the brood stock used in northern Nevada
reservoirs. I've written many times before that
Nevada seems to favor brood stock from Tasmania
in the southern hemisphere, which seems to
produce rainbows that still want to spawn in the
fall rather than their indigenous springtime in the
northern hemisphere. Note the very dark trout
below as additional evidence of fall-spawning attire.  
Around 6:15 PM on Monday a noticeable hatch of mayflies occurred.
The larger trout, in slightly deeper water than I was presently fishing,
began rolling with the hatch in what I describe as pods. I had been
casting larger versions of woolly buggers with my new 5-weight
using a sinking line. I didn't want to change lines, so I snipped off my
fly and tied on a size 14 gray/yellow nymph that had some mottled
grizzly hackle. That did the trick; keeping up with the pod movement
I caught 4 large trout in the span of 15 minutes. I would cast the fly
into the pod and was getting strikes before it sank but a few inches.
That was as close to dry fly fishing as I've come for several years.     
Here's a fine "pod" trout with the grizzly-hackled fly in the corner of his
jaw. I can attest to the sharp set of teeth in his mouth. Note the thick 4x
tippet (i.e., 6 lbs. test) I was using. This time of late summer the
aquatic weeds can be thick. These fish know how to use them to rub
off flies and break tippets. I can't do much about the thrown flies
because with catch & release comes barbless hooks, but I'll be
damned if I was going to lose a fish in the weeds with a 6x tippet (i.e.,
3 lbs. test). Seems most of the trout weren't spooked by the 4x size.
Another good trout that was rolling on the hatching mayflies.  He had
a dark golden-green color that in my mind somewhat resembled
pictures that I had seen of South America's golden dorado. 
My June 1st blog told about how I lost my 8-foot, 5-weight rod at Wayne
Kirch.  Earlier this month I built its replacement, and I used it exclusively
on this trip. I enjoyed its moderate-fast action. It had a little trouble
with the larger flies, but I believe it cast slightly better than its predecessor...
or maybe that's just what I want to believe. 
Getting prepared for Tuesday morning's session.  I do like the Water
Master Grizzly. I suppose many would say it's overdoing it for stillwater
fishing.  But at age 62 I feel very comfortable with the water craft,
maybe even safer than the small and nimbler Fish Cats, but it's not that
bulky that I have any trouble handling it in or out of the water. My only
complaint is that netting 20-inch or larger trout over the side of the
bladders with my 5-foot, 5-inch frame is a little cumbersome for me
verses the open design of a Fish Cat or NFO Escape (... nothing is
ever perfect). The folding stool with my name embroidered on it was a
gift from my previous executive assistant. It works well for me when
getting in/out of waders and boots. I take it everywhere I fish.
A sleek rainbow of 15 inches, perhaps longer.

I didn't fish-count, but there was plenty of action both on Monday
evening and Tuesday morning. It would not be an exaggeration to say
I landed close to 40 fish (plus/minus 5 fish for memory nuances).  As
mentioned above, it seemed like half of the fish caught were young
largemouth bass.  As I was packing up to head home later Tuesday
morning, I spoke with a man from Oregon who was visiting his brother
who lives in Ely.  He said they had caught many larger trout in the
upper, marshier end of the reservoir, and that one measured 23 inches.
I also chatted with another angler who mentioned that someone recently
caught and killed two small pike, which means that it might be a matter
of time before the Comins trout fishery is ruined once again. Maybe the
Nevada Wildlife folks will continue killing the pike discovered during
routine electrofishing. Time will tell. 
Yet another slender rainbow trout.  This one was at least 17 inches.
It was a good looking fish.
This was my last fish of the trip. It may have been 14 inches. I was
happy to let it go so that l could get back on the road home.
Truthfully, my arm was getting a little tired.


Anthony g said...

Hey Fisherdad, my apologies, I messaged previously on one of your post and I cannot find it! I remember years ago going through your blogs and many years later, it’s got me to become a trout nut! I’d like to share some information with ya! Do you have an email I can contact you at?

FisherDad said...

I don't find any posts from an "Anthony g" so you might have been anonymous. If you provide your email address I'll reply to that.

OfficerMilo said...

Hey bud, sorry, I forgot my log in. is my email