The Snake Range includes recreational lands administered by Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Great Basin National Park, Bureau of Land Management, and private lands. This mountain range includes Mt. Moriah in the north and Mount Wheeler in the south. this range, located in eastern Nevada, are not widely known for their fishing opportunities. Nonetheless, over 60 miles of perennial streams and an alpine lake with fish provide a variety of fishing experiences. The Snake Range is a rugged mountain range characterized by steeper slopes on its western face and more moderate slopes on the east side. Streams originate at high elevations and often disappear before they reach the basins.
The Snake Range offers a variety of angling experiences from remote headwater streams to alpine lakes. Most coldwater streams remain at or near their carrying capacity of trout and offer a great opportunity to catch a variety of species throughout the year. So the reality is that the best place to fish depends on the type of experience each angler desires. Remember, fishing pressure tends to be highest nearest the roads.
A warm water fishery exists in Pruess Lake (Garrison Reservoir), located two miles south of the town of Garrison, Utah. A Utah fishing license is required to fish in this body of water and can be obtained in Delta or Milford, Utah. Fish in Pruess Lake include channel catfish, common carp, Sacramento perch, Utah chub, and Utah sucker. Some winters are cold enough that the lake freezes over with several inches of ice, providing an angling opportunity for ice fishermen.
Locations to Fish
Stop at a park visitor center and obtain the Snake Range Recreational Fishing brochure. This interagency map of the north and south Snake Ranges also contains full color illustrations of fish species.
Lehman Creek – From Upper Lehman Creek Campground to the park boundary. Brown, brook and rainbow trout.
Baker Creek – From Baker Creek trailhead through Grey Cliffs Group Campground. Brown, brook, and rainbow trout.
Snake Creek – From park boundary to pipe outlet (3 miles in). Brown and brook trout. Snake Creek is more difficult to fish, but offers good fishing in certain places below the pipeline, where brown trout are established. To get to the water you must often slide down steep banks or crash through thick vegetation. This is not only difficult, but it often spooks fish. Above the pipeline, the newly established population of Bonneville cutthroat trout is small and thus is more difficult to fish.
Strawberry Creek – Catch and release Bonneville cutthroat trout. The population of Bonneville cutthroat trout in Strawberry Creek is not large enough yet for high quality fishing, but there are good numbers of trout in certain sections of the creek. Please use catch and release techniques for this species since at this time they are very limited in number.
Baker Lake – Accessed by a 12 mile hike round trip from Baker Creek trailhead. Baker Lake is at an elevation of approximately 10,730 feet. The lake is approximately 4 surface acres at its maximum and drops rapidly through the summer. Brook and Lahontan cutthroat trout. Baker Lake is different from the streams in several ways. It requires casting and careful fly selection and presentation. The average trout in Baker Lake is larger than in the streams, but much more selective. Often fish take both nymphs and dry flies. Locating the fish visually and then casting to them was an effective way to catch fish at Baker Lake. It is easy to spot the fish in the calm clear water but it is also easy for the fish to spot you. Keep that in mind when approaching the lake and you will increase your chances of catching fish.
Shingle or Williams Creeks – Accessed by four wheel-drive roads on west side of park. Rainbow trout.
On the streams using a fly rod like a cane pole, attaching a short length of line from the rod tip with a fly on the end, then dipping the fly into the water can be effective. The fish are so aggressive that the strike should come within a few seconds. If there is no strike and the pool looks like it should have held fish, it is likely the fish was spooked and you should move on.
In the streams, there was rarely a fly that fish would not take. Dry flies, wet flies, and nymphs all worked well, but small dark colored nymphs used just below the surface appeared to have the most success.
* Spooking fish so that they hide. To avoid detection, approach trout from downstream, fish from behind streamside vegetation, and make few sudden moves. Walk carefully to avoid tumbling rocks and other things that cause noticeable vibrations in the water.
* Overestimating a trout’s size. Use smaller lures, bait, and hooks since the fish are usually less than 10 inches long.
Please do not move fish between creeks. Whirling disease is expanding into Utah and northern Nevada, and we are trying to keep it out of the park. Thoroughly wash all waders and other gear before entering a different creek.
This information is a summary of fishing regulations for all land management agencies associated with the Snake Range. The official fishing regulations for the State of Nevada are published by the Nevada Department of Wildlife in Nevada Fishing Seasons and Regulations. Read it before you go fishing! A copy of this booklet is available at all registered license agents or by calling (775)-289-1655. Great Basin National Park has additional fishing regulations, which are officially published in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A copy of the Code of Federal Regulations may be found at most ranger stations and visitor centers.
Please report violators to the nearest ranger or call (775) 234-7331. Wildlife violations outside Great Basin National Park can be reported to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030.
Persons possessing a valid Nevada state fishing license may fish all open Snake Range waters. Licenses must be displayed on demand by authorized personnel. Trout stamps are required for annual fishing licenses when fishing on waters containing trout. A trout stamp is not required for temporary fishing licenses. The Park does not sell state fishing licenses, but they may be purchased in Baker and Ely and other towns in Nevada.
Nevada License Requirements
Residents and nonresidents age 12 and older must have a valid Nevada fishing license. Residents age 65 and older may be eligible for a discounted fishing license. Resident children 12 to 15 years of age may obtain a junior fishing license. Nonresident persons under the age of 12 are entitled to a limit not to exceed 50% of the established limit for that water.
Fishing is permitted year-round in open waters. The Snake Range is most accessible after most of the snow has melted, usually from June through September.
Fishing is allowed any time day or night.
Daily Possession Limits
The limit is 10 trout daily and in possession from streams and 5 trout daily and in possession from lakes.
There is no size limit.
Lures, Bait, and Equipment
The use of worms as bait is permitted, however it is unlawful to dig or collect worms in the Park. The possession or use of fish as bait along with amphibians or non-preserved fish eggs or roe and/or chumming in the Park is prohibited.
The use of flotation devices on streams is prohibited. However, float tubes may be used on lakes in the Park, but motors are prohibited. Fishing by other means other than hook and line attached to rod or reel is prohibited. It is unlawful to transport any fish from one body of water to another.
The possession or use of fish as bait, whether dead or alive, or any parts thereof, except for preserved salmon eggs, is prohibited. Other aquatic bait (live, unprotected amphibians; crustaceans, and mollusks) may be used only in the water from which it is taken.
Fish entrails are not to be returned to the water or discarded on the banks. Please dispose of fish waste in trash receptacles.
Holes cut through the ice must not exceed 10 inches in diameter.
Standing and wading in streams can drain body heat and lead to hypothermia. Rising water levels resulting from sudden mountain storms may occur, so monitor water level. Water currents are swifter than they appear and footing is treacherous on wet and moss covered rocks. Please use caution.
Be a clean fisherman
If there’s a tangle of line, or an empty can at your feet, clean up after your fellow angler. Please pack out all that you pack in. Leave your favorite fishing hole cleaner than when you arrived.
Source by Jay Bryce