Spooner Lake, Nevada
Fly Fishing Spooner Lake: Located just a stones throw from the western shore of Lake Tahoe, Spooner sits at nearly seven thousand feet in elevation. Spooner was Nevada’s only catch and release fishery until Marlette Lake opened above Spooner to fishing in 2006. Currently Marlette is catch and release only and Spooner allows for all methods. Fishing is open year-round but you can count on the lake freezing in late fall and thawing again in mid spring. The best fishing takes place in the spring and fall. Summer brings an overwhelming amount of vegetation and can make shore fishing a challenge to say the least. Float tubes or pontoon boats are a requirement by June to get out past the shoreline aquatic vegetation. Occasionally large fish kills occur due to heavy winter snowfall cutting off light to the waters frozen surface. This unfortunately takes care of many of the trout in the lake, while the chub population always bounce back quickly.
Spooner has had cutthroat, cutt-bow, rainbow, brown, brook, and tiger trout all introduced to the lake. Oddly enough the Tui-Chub population dominates all other species in the lake. Leech, callibaetis, dragonfly, midge, scud, water boatman, and damsels are all very productive patterns. I would really discourage wet wading here due to the number of leeches in the lake. Rods can be light due to the smaller size of the average trout in Spooner. Four to six weight rods are best and sinking lines can come in handy here during the hottest summer months. Kicking backwards in a float tube here dragging a weighted woolly bugger is almost always guaranteed. Dries are best in the morning and evenings and nymphs either slowly retrieved or under and indicator will take fish in the afternoons. A few larger tiger trout have been reported over the last few years but I have yet to get one over about fourteen inches. In the past Spooner grew very large trout when conditions allowed.
Fly Fishing Gear for Spooner: 3-5 Weight rods 8’6″-10′ in length. Sturdy reels with a floating line and full sinking are useful. Leaders – Dry 6X 9′-12′ – Nymph 4X-6X 7′-10′ – Streamer 3X-5X 5′-7′. Read lots more on Spooner Lake in The Fly Fisher Guide to; Nevada or book a Guide Trip with the author.
Nymphs for Spooner Lake: Sheep Creek Special, Bead Head Sheep Creek Special, Crystal Sheep Creek Special, Zug Bug, Wood Duck Callibaetis, Zebra Midge, Bead Head Stillwater Nymph, Stillwater Nymph, Jan’s Stillwater Nymph, Jan’s Bead Head Stillwater Nymph, Peacock Snail,