Bridgeport.. Your Bridge to Adventure!!

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“Bridgeport.. Your Bridge to Adventure!!”   A short drive, North on Highway 395,   from  the June Lake Loop,  (a very beautiful place, in it’s own right),  past the majestic Mono Basin, up and over Conway Summit,  another world awaits. 

The sound of wind through the Pine trees and Aspens, meet.. Twin Lakes, Green Creek and the Virginia Lakes. Stunning! The smell of damp meadows and sagebrush after an afternoon rain, with expansive views.  Meet Bridgeport  Valley.  Awe and Beauty wrapped together! Clear starry nights, crystal blue days. This could be anywhere on the East Side of Sierra. God’s Country, utopia, unspoiled and raw.  Feisty and sassy. Our home.  Your home. Away from home.  Come visit soon!! 

Remember, Fishing Season opens April, 25, 2015. There are a few waters open year-around. Ski in the morning, fish in the afternoon! Special regulations apply, zero limit catch and release.

Not quite as  well  known  as Crowley , Convict or Mammoth, Bridgeport, Ca, is a  place for all  to catch many  trout  The majority being large!   Big Meadows, as it was historically called, is home to the “infamous” Bridgeport Reservoir.  Developed in 1917-1924,(building a dam in those days took awhile) it is primarily, an irrigation body of water, serving the Farms and Ranches in Nevada.  But, it is also an amazing fishery!!  Think Crowley Lake.  They both have rich eco- systems. The waters are  huge cafeteria’s, serving 24/7.  These fish grow FAST!!  Which, obviously, we all like!   Footballs!!  That is what we call them.  The Reservoir, I do believe, was  planted in the early 1930’s,(maybe earlier) by enterprising sportsman who foresaw the need for recreational fishing.  Rainbow and Brown Trout were trucked in often. The Walker River strain of the Lahontan Cutthroat was “native” to this drainage, but whether it was around then, or now, is many a campfire conversation. We do catch Cutthroat, but more Rainbows and Browns. None the less, the trout population today thrives, even with a serious drought staring us in the face.  Time to have a serious sit-down with “Mother Nature!” There is a  launch ramp, store and marina(the only real one, btw) here at the RV Park.  My place.  I lease the property from the WRID, Walker River Irrigation District. Big yellow sign, just past airport, one mile north of Bridgeport on Hwy 182.  Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park and Marina.  Our website has informative links, weather forecasts, fish reports etc.. Sierra Drifters Guide Service, and Kens Sporting Goods,  has up to date info also!  We rent boats,  educate you about the area, and how to catch these beauty’s!! The passion lives! If the lake is low, (reservoir’s tend to move up and down much more than high alpine lakes), there is a launch site near the Dam, to the North, called the “Bathtub.”   Note of Caution!!!.. If lake is low watch  where you launch..  The shoreline has a great reputation for sucking up large trucks and boats.  

OK.. Real quick. We usually fish 3 or 4 different ways. Trolling, very common, Bait or Still Fishing and..the life changer if there ever was one,  Fly Fishing!!    I think, this year, 2015, “Catching” will be great! The fish are concentrated. Easy. Trolling will start out great while “Spring Time” keeps H2O low.  Lead Core line works. Simple and easy  to use. Two to three colors, 30 yards or so, 6 to 10 foot leader, 6-8 # test. Attach your favorite lure or fly(Trolling Flies are great to use), check your action and go for it. If you don’t have “The Core”, Monofilament with some keel weights should be just fine!  Rapala’s, Excel Lures, Needlefish, Spoons, Swim-Baits(absolutely), Thomas Bouyants, Flat Fish, the list goes on and on. Something the fish maybe have not seen. Ocean stuff? You bet!! Vary your speed. Do short trolls, check your line often. Make figure- eights, boxes and circles.  The fish bite on the turn!!   Still Fishing, anywhere near Rainbow Point, Buckeye Bay or in the middle is always a crowd pleaser. The fish tend to move around in groups feasting on bugs that are hatching beneath the surface. So place your , Worms or Power Bait, not big amounts, smaller is better,(don’t go there!!)…. about six inches to three feet off the bottom.  Let them float up!!  Easy cheesy!  Move frequently, unless you found the “Honey Hole.”   Many three year old urchins consistently out- fish their parents!! Remember.. Disney poles work! Eat, drink,(water suggested) and enjoy the views. Remember.. Keep it all simple!  Watch the weather and always have personal safety gear on board!! Being prepared will always “save the day.” Now we get to Fly Fishing. My favorite for a number of reason’s. Mostly though it is my self-centered,  egotistical, selfish lust for fun!!  Float Tube, Boat, Canoe, Kayak, Horse, whatever.  “Still- Water Nymphing”(Indicator’s) or “dragging” Streamers are the best techniques. Easy to learn, hard to master, but oh so much fun!” Dry fly  presentation does not see a lot of action, as these fishes are feeding below the surface. Midge Patterns(main diet in reservoir’s), Mayfly imitations, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ear,s etc. are sure bet’s! The Callibaetis(lake mayfly) and Damsel(dragonflies) hatch is pretty awesome if conditions are right.  If you are new to Fly-fishing and want to learn we have access to a few very professional and qualified guides to show you the ropes!! Always try to learn any new sport from a pro, it will save you a lot. Believe me, been there!!                                       

Don’t forget the, very tasty, Sacramento Perch.  Am sure that State Record is lurking down there.  Trolling with Rapala’s work the best. And, not to be left out are the Carp! Many go to over 25#’s. ”Sierra Tarpon”   On the fly or with a bow.  I just want to mention all the other outdoor activities there are up here. “Endless opportunities abound…”  Hiking, fishing, off-road riding, photography, birding, horse/mule pack-trips(call me about this!!), bicycling, rock climbing, the list grows as one’s mind begins to wander. Bodie, Mono Lake, Yosemite,  Mammoth Mountain, Reno, Sonora Pass (home to the Marine Warfare High Altitude Training Center, God Bless these folks!) and so much more!! And …. if one water is not producing, the one close by probably will be!! The beauty of it all!!   Stay in touch, see you all soon and be safe!  Jeffrey   BP Reservoir  760 932-7001