In the Tahoe area there are a number of alpine lakes to go fishing in. They are all impressive in their own way. Even though they are dwarfed by the sheer size of Lake Tahoe itself, many of them provide great fishing as well. Again, for a lot of them, fishing off a boat is the ideal. Bank fishing is possible at some of them though. Keep reading to see which ones I tried fishing at.
Lakes with bank fishing opportunities:
The first ‘lake’ I tried fishing was not a beautiful alpine lake. Situated in Meyers, part of Tahoe Paradise Park, is Lake Baron. It is regularly stocked with trout and has a catfish population. There is ample parking and bank fishing is very accessible. You can launch a float tube or kayak there as well. Fishing is free, two trout per person limit. You can leave donations if you wish. I didn’t have any luck here. I did however see a crawfish devouring a trout. This gave me hope that there were some trout in there!
Red Lake and Caples Lake
Off Highway 88 you can find Red Lake and Caples Lake. Red Lake is the smaller of the two. It has a lot of accessible water from the dam wall. I only tried fishing it once, late afternoon going into evening. I fished with a small spoon as well as a dry fly. The dry fly got a few hits in the corner near the outlet stream. I didn’t land anything. Lots of bank fishing access.
I went fishing at Caples Lake twice. Once for a late afternoon/evening session that saw fish rising everywhere but where I was fishing! I was fishing with spinning gear. The second time I tried some Berkley Powerbait dough and Berkley trout worms. I landed one small rainbow trout drifting this rig off a bobber. Caples has a number of places you can fish from the banks or from the dam wall. Check out the map below. Bank fishing access at a number of places around the lake.
Echo Lake is also just up the road from South Lake Tahoe. I spent a few hours there but conditions were not great, the wind was pumping so hard it looked more like an ocean than a mountain lake. Fishing reports there are good though. Parking is limited so I would go very early or after 6pm when most of the day trippers have cleared out. Bank fishing from the dam wall near the parking lot or along most of the shoreline. There is a well used pathway to follow.The lake is accessible off Highway 50 heading out of Meyers.
Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods is also a hike to only lake. You can head out from Echo Lake along a very scenic trail. It follows the contour of Upper and Lower Echo lakes until you join up to the Pacific Crest Trail. There are a number of lakes situated off this trail. Currently a few a of these have had all their fish removed. This has been done to protect the habitat of the Yellow-Legged Frog. Lake of the Woods is also off this trail, about 8.5km along. It has ample camping space and still has fish in it. Bank fishing from most of the very scenic shoreline. We hiked out there but I only had about twenty minutes to fish before we had to head back. An overnight trip would be ideal.
Another lake accessible via hiking is Gilmore lake. It is situated behind/above Fallen Leaf lake. If you drive all the way past Glen Alpine falls, a very narrow and pothole filled road, you will get to a trailhead. Get there early to find parking. Follow the signs for Gilmore lake. The trail will take you past a small creek, worth a few casts, before getting you to Gilmore lake 7km later. It’s not a strenuous hike. Lots of people camp on the lake shore as well to maximize their fishing time. I didn’t get a chance to fish here but I spoke to some guys camping and fishing there. They were bank fishing using worms and had landed a small rainbow in the time they had been there. We stopped there for snacks and a swim after a long hike to the Mt Tallac summit.
There are so many options in the area for bank fishing. A bit of hiking will get you to some out of the way and quiet spots where you can enjoy the fishing, scenery and solitude. As always, remember to check fishing regulations before heading out!
Have you fished in the Tahoe area? Do you have any spots to recommend?