Fri, Sep 27 | Heenan Lake

Fishout: Heenan Lake (1)

Large Lahonton cut-throats from Heenan Lake. Also, option of wild trout rainbow section and browns in nearby East Carson River.
Registration is Closed
Fishout: Heenan Lake (1)

Time & Location

Sep 27, 2019, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Heenan Lake, Heenan Lake, California, USA

About The Event

Plan your own place to stay at a motel, hote, or campground Thursday night 9/26 and start fishing Friday am 9/27 at Heenan Reservior (see description below). Gate opens at sunrise. Also fishing the nearby East Carson River is an option, which has a trophy wild trout section, as well as planted fish & take sections. Other nearby streams also hold trout.


• Leader: Tom Grant, 530-263-2492, •

• GCFF Fish-out Coordinator: Tom Grant, 530-263-2492,

Directions: To Heenan Lake is near Markleville, CA. From South Shore Lake Tahoe drive through Meyers on Hwy 50, take Hwy 89 south, 24 miles to Markleville, then continue on Hwy 89 four (4) miles to where Hwy 89 turns left up Monitor Pass. Continue up Monitor Pass on Hwy 89 four (4) more miles to the sign for Heenan Lake parking lot on your right.

East Carson River is near Markleville where it parallels Hwy 89 for several miles.

Campground: Grover Hot Springs Sate Park: 2 miles west of Markleville, camping is available year-round. Resort has a pool fed by hot springs, open year round. A small trout creek runs through the state park.

Fish For (species): Heenan: Lahonton Cutthroat trout, and Carson River: Trout

Fishing Strategy: Heenan is ideal for float tubing. Trolling streamer patterns of Zug-bugs, Woolly Buggers, Leeches and Matukus in Black, Purple, or Olive from a float tube has been the favored method to fish Heenan. No gas-powered craft are allowed. It's shallow so an intermediate sinking line is sufficient. Dark colored nymphs in sizes 12-14 such as Pheasant Tails, Bird's Nests, and Prince Nymphs with an indicator also work well. Use a slow retrieve.

Recently, using a chironomid pattern has become quite popular when used as a dropper below the nymph from 2 to 8 feet in depth, . Allow the rig to sit with an occasional twitch. Generally, an intermediate sinking line is the best bet with a 7-8 foot leader. The Lahontans do not put up as rigorous fight as a similar-sized Rainbow so a leader of 4x should suffice.

Recommended Gear: Heenan Lake

• Rods: 5 or weight

• Lines: 4X, intermediate or sink tip for nymphs. Floating with indicator for chironomids

• Leaders: 3X - 4X

• Tippet: 4X

Flies: Heenan: Barbless Nymphs and Chironomids (Since its Catch & Release).

• Prince Nymphs 12,,14

• Dark PT and Birds nests 12,-14

• Bead-headed Zug Bug, 12 ,14.

• Wholly buggers, Leaches and Matukus (In black, greens, and olive)(6, 8,10)

• Chironomids, 12 (Try burgundy/red with white bead head, or use a Prince Nymph with a Chironomid dropper.

Recommended Gear: Carson River:

• Rods: 4 or 5 weight

• Lines:

• Leaders: 3X - 4X

• Tippet: 4X- 5X

Flies: Carson River:

• Dries: Parachute Adams 14,16, Stimulator 14 – 10, Royal Wolf 14, 16, EC Cadis tan 14, 16, Fat Albert tan 10, Hoppers 12, 10, Ants 14, 12 10

• Nymphs: Hogan’s Military May Olive 14,16, Rocco’s Red Alert 14,16, Pheasant Tail 14,16, Hares Ear 14,16, Sparkle Cadis pupa 14,16, October Cadis 12, 10, Rubber legs size 10. Golden stone 12, 10.

What participants need to know:

Heenan Lake:

The 135 acre Heenan Lake has been renowned for producing huge Lahonton Cutthroats up to 26"+ with the average being 16 to 20". CA F&G maintains a station to take spawners from the lake for egg collections, which are distributed to CA & NV hatcheries. These Lahontons are a hybridized strain of the original Lahonton Cutthroats that inhabited Lake Lahonton in prehistoric days. The regulations to Heenan Lake is a strict catch and release on barbless hooks on flies or artificial lures. The season opens on the Friday before Labor Day and continues until the last Sunday of October. You can only fish Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, open dawn to dusk.

Note: Heenan Lake’s main parking lot is about 600+ yards above the lake. Usually we park in this lot when we arrive…and walk our float tubes, rods, etc… down to the lake. However, when departing in afternoon there is less of a crowd, so we can drive down to a lower (2 car) lot near lake to quickly pack-up and leave. Parking in the small lower lot is “short-term only” and is usually not available in early am.

East Carson River:

East Carson is one of California blue ribbon waters. From Hangman’s bridge (a few miles south of Markleville,with parking off Hy 89 ) running northeast to the Nevada State line the Carson is designated a California Wild and Scenic River, only artificial lures allowed. More remote areas of the Carson can be reached from Indian Creek Reservoir with a 1.5 mile hike down to the river. Several miles with no artificial lure restrictions are found south of Hangman’s Bridge paralleling Hy 89.

Accomodations. Campers will meet at Grover Hot Springs State Park, 2 miles west of Markleville. Motels: Creekside Lodge in Markleville 530-694-2511, maybe less expensive is the Woodsford Inn in Woodsford 530-694-2111.

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