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Winter puts icy kibosh on great Davis bite

The fall bite was hot before hard water became a problem at Davis.
The fall bite was hot before hard water became a problem at Davis.
Photos by Brian La Rue

Lake Davis was on fire until old man winter reached out and made for some tough conditions in the form of hard water. It's that time of year when the ice is too thin for the bait and jig guys and well, the fly guys, we either have to hit Pyramid of fish the open water along the Truckee. Start tying some more flies because before you know it, the ice will begin to receded and ice out season will begin.

Gary Bonanno of Reno Orvis enjoyed a fun day on Davis before winter took hold on the area.
Photo by Brian La Rue

I hit Davis in early November and enjoyed good results on intermediate lines with orange and olive bugs like Pop's Buggers and Thin Mints. Other key bugs included midges, damsel patterns and chronomids. Gary Bonanno from Reno Orvis also enjoyed the day on the water as shoreline and pontoon action was good in the Mosquito Slough area.

With winter and colder temperatures dominating the scene now, you'll have to tie some patterns or head to your local fly shop to get ready for ice out. As temperature warm in months like March and April depending on the year, ice begins to pull back opening water along the lake's edges. These 10 to 25 yard openings are ideal for fly anglers capitalizing on ice out.

Throw a double nymph rig, maybe a Prince paired with a San Juan worm at ice out. Go as light as possible with your bugs. Throw your bugs onto the edge of the ice and pull the rig slowly off the ice and into the water. They will slowly sink attracting aggressive takes from cruising trout as they look for easy meals during the thaw. Lots of insects get caught in the ice and slowly thaw free, sinking slowly. A midge would also be a good idea, but the bright-colored or natural worm has to be a part of the combo to attract fish from longer distances away.

Stay current on the ice conditions. Ice out can be one of the best times to fish a fishery like Davis. This short window of ice breaking off the shoreline typically last about two weeks to a month if we are lucky. Don't miss out on this bite. Stay tuned.

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