Red Hot Kokanee Bite at Stampede Reservoir

Not many other lakes throughout California can say that 75-100 fish by late morning is the norm.  Non stop action is to be had at the beautiful gem of a reservoir nestled about 15 mins northeast of Truckee.  Currently I’m mainly fishing Stampede Reservoir due to the incredible catch ratio and the lack of heavy boating pressure.  Typically we see Bald Eagles and Ospreys diving down to grab a quick meal everyday.  And, oh yes, the fishing is spectacular!!!!  I do not update these fishing reports regularly as its much easier to report on my facebook page Tight Lines Guide Service.

If you are interested in getting in on the action, call now at 888-975-0990 or book online at

deckfull of Stampede Kokanee 6/29/19

Boca Kokanee

7/3/16 Boca Kokanee

Clients Rohn and Willow had so much fun at Folsom 3 days ago, they wanted to go fishing again.  This time, the search was for Kokanee.  The hot bite for Boca Kokanee was kept a secret by many locals, myself included, due to the size of the lake and the fact that we were absolutely knocken em dead at Boca.

We met at the ramp at 5am and 5 mins later, we were fishing.  As I was explaining that I would undoubtedly knock off a few fish with the net and miss a few, there would be plenty of fish caught.  As I was demonstrating what a bite looks like, a fish pulled the release and the fight was on.  As avid trout anglers, I told them that Kokanee had super soft mouths and could not be horsed in and they found that out quickly.  After the 3rd lost fish, we got one in the boat.  I think 10 mins had gone by since we started fishing.

The bites and fish came fast and furious and within 1.5 hrs, we had 3 limits of Boca Kokanee to 17″ with an average in the high 15″.  It took them longer to drive to the lake than it had to catch limits!!!!  Then we went back to the ramp, boat on trailer, and started to fillet the fish.  Takes me a bit to fillet them because I’m very meticulous.  They were back home to Orangevale by noon.

Top bait of the day was Powerful Pink Radical Glow Tubes with ProCure garlic scented shoe peg corn behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle 4.25″ pink n purple dodger.

Speed was 1mph gps speed.

Target depth was 20′-35′ on the wire with 30′ set backs

To get in on the action, give Capt James Netzel a call toll free at 888-975-0990 or book online at

Willow with her first Kokanee.

Willow with her first Boca Kokanee.

6/30/16 Folsom Lake Trout

6/30/16 Folsom Lake Trout

A client called me the other day and said he was new to the area and wanted to learn the how to fish for Rainbow Folsom Lake Trout.  I told him that fishing is best May and June when the weather is cooler but I can at least show him the ropes and maybe catch a few.

We started by the dam and almost immediately caught a nice rainbow.  Then another, and another.  Only losing a few every now and then.  It helps to have an experienced angler fighting the fish.  And he just wanted to practice catch and release so all fish caught, were released.  It took about 5 mins to revive them since the water near the surface is so warm but it can be done and they all swam away back to deep water.  It was a great day except for all the smoke from the nearby forest fire.  The smoke got so bad at one point that we could not see the shore anymore.  But the fishing was great.  By 9am we had caught and released 12-13 rainbows and were still catching them and marking them on the fish finder.

Once the breeze died, the bite did too and it really started to get hot out there.  We decided to stop at 11am but we had caught and released 16 Folsom Lake Trout.

Top Presentation was yellow and silver speedy shiners and rainbow bread speedy shiners trolled 2.5mph GPS speed at a depth between 35-45′.

To get in on the action, call Capt. James Netzel at 888-975-0990 or book online at


6/29/16 Folsom Lake Trout

6/20/16 Folsom Lake Trout

The Stephan family wanted a little fishing action close to home and chose Folsom Lake.  Since I had not been there in over a month, and a projected 108 degree temperature, I suggested we go up the hill to the high country where its much cooler.  They were going to be taking a road trip the next day and decided it would be best staying close to home.  So I made a bunch of calls and found that the trout are still on a good bite and was pleasantly surprised.

We started the day where I normally start, directly across the granite bay ramp on the bumps I called em.  Within 10 mins we had our first hook up and a Folsom Lake Trout in the boat.  A beautiful holdover rainbow.  We continued on and lost a few fish and caught a 13″ spotted bass.  The bite was slower than I was expecting so we continued up the North Fork towards the bathroom.  We hooked and landed a nice 17″ rainbow but the canyons were blocking the breeze and it was starting to get hot so we packed up and moved over to the dam.

We had a nice 5mph breeze which kept us cool as we caught 2 more rainbows and lost about a half dozen.  They were biting very deep and darting to the surface.  Before we could get all the slack outta the line, they would come off.

We ended the day with 4 rainbows and a bass before a few of the kids started getting sea sick from playing all their video games on the cell phone and decided to call it a day.

To get in on the Rainbow action for Folsom Lake Trout, give Capt. James Netzel a call toll free at 888-975-0990 or book online at


6/28/16 Kokanee

Today we went to an undisclosed lake in the eastern sierra’s for some Kokanee fishing.  I say undisclosed due to its small size and no plants.  The lake is self sustaining.

Clients did not wanna get up at the crack of dawn so I went out early and caught 3 nice Kokanee before they arrived.  Lost 2 fish also.  Not bad for trolling with just 2 rods and netting them myself.  I was stoked before my clients arrived.  My clients arrived at 6am and we were fishing by 6:10 after filling out the required captains log.  As I was explaining that if we lose 50{7a4ac4d41b4460d34b281f63b723a7d44734ea67a7ce96d64bb383ade0b55738} of the fish we hook today, we are doing good, we hooked up and lost it.  Then lost another one.  And another one.  Not long after, we boated our first fish.  A fat 14″ Kokanee.

By 9am, I believe we had 2 limits in the box then we had a quiet spell for about a half an hour.  All this time I was marking waypoints of the schools of fish I was marking and we had a pretty good circle of waypoints and made my way through em.  It was like a light switch turned on.  From 9:30 on, we netted 15 fat Kokanee and lost another dozen and we had a boat limit of 25 fish before 11am.  3 times, we didn’t even have a line in the water because I could not get the lines out quick enough before we hooked another fish.  We were putting on a show for the other 3 boats out there fishing and left them scratching their heads.

Back to the ramp for some pictures and fish cleaned by a little after noon, and while the valley was sweltering in 100 degree temps, it might have reached 80 degrees here.  Oh, how I love the high country in the summertime!!!

Top lure today was a pink Radical Glow Tube behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle Pink n Purple 4.25″ dodger with either ProCure’s Kokanee Special or Garlic scented shoe peg corn.  Depth was 20′-40′ and target depth of water was 40′-60′.  Trolling speed was 1mph GPS speed.

To get in on the action, call Capt. James Netzel toll free at 888-975-0990 or book online at


6/18/16 Stampede Kokanee

Stampede Kokanee

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. I’d have to agree, with forecasted 20 plus mph winds my clients still wanted to fish. Ugh!! Gonna be a rough one today. But we ended the day with a huge tangle of everyone of our lines but had 10 Kokanee plus a nice cutthroat in the box! Not bad at all considering the conditions.

4.25″ Rocky Mountain Tackle Company Dodgers teamed with double glow pink planktons were the hot bait today. Best depth was 30’deep in 45′ of water.  ProCure’s Kokanee Special scented shoe peg corn.  Trolling speed was tough with the wind.  Tried to stay at 1.2mph gps speed when we could but not always possible.

To get in on the action at Stampede Reservoir, call Capt. James Netzel at 888-975-0990 or book online at


6/17/16 Stampede Kokanee

5/17/16 Kokanee

Started off cold this morningand a tough bite.  Marked a ton of fish, they were just not in the mood to bite.  Switch up the presentation and lures a bit and started to catch fish.  Losing a bunch too.  About 9 am, the bite really turned on and we hooked numerous fish but failed to get most of em in the boat.  Then the wind started to blow and by 10:30, the wind started to howl!!! Makes for a tough day trying to keep at 1mph with a 20 plus mph wind.

We ended the day with 10 Kokanee to 16″.  Top presentation was a Dick Nite spoon behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle 4.25″ pink n purple dodger with ProCure Kokanee Special scented shoe peg corn.  Best depth was 30′ in 45′ of water.  Trolling speed between 1mph to 1.3 mph gps speed.

To get in on the action, call Capt. James Netzel at888-975-0990  or book online at http://FishTightLines.coom


6.26.16 Stampede Kokanee

Stampede Kokanee

Today I had the privilege of taking an Air Force Veteran out on a guided fishing trip for some Stampede Kokanee.  The morning started of cold with a light fog on the water and a very calm breeze.  Beautiful summer time conditions.  But it also started out slow.  It was more than an hour before we got our fist bite but fish did not make it to the boat.  In fact the next 3 fish did not make it in the boat.  Oh boy, thought it was gonna be one of those days.

Around 6 am, we boated our first Stampede Kokanee.  A fat 14 incher that lept out of the water several times and was so active, was difficult to net.  Made me look like a rookie netter. lol  We put the next 2 fish in the boat back to back, then lost a couple.  But the bite had definitely turned on.

Between 8am and 9 am we put 7 fish in the boat and lost just as many.  A great hour of fishing.

To get in on the action, call Capt. James Netzel at 888-975-0990 or book online at

Top producer today was a pink Radical Glow Tube behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle 4.25′ pink n purple dodger with Garlic scented ProCure shoe peg corn.  Trolling speed was 1mph gps speed.  Fish caught between 20′ to 35′ deep.  Target water depth was 75′


6.25.16 Stampede Kokanee

Stampede Kokanee

Today  I had the privilege of taking out Mark Fong, a write for the Fish Sniffer magazine, and his buddy on a guided fishing trip to Stampede Reservoir for the famed Stampede Kokanee.  I got there at 4:30 am and was surprised to see that I was not alone.  In fact 3 other boats had already launched.  Knew then it was gonna be a busy day on the lake.

Started off in front of the launch ramp where there were already 3 boats working the area.  Didn’t mark many Kokanee and no bites so I trolled on to look for fish.  I don’t like to use the big motor and make a big move because you will drive over fish and not know it.  Plus trolling is the best way of finding a school.  Well it didn’t take long and bam!!!!  A kokanee pulled off the release and soon after, a 14″ fat Kokanee in the boat.  We didn’t even get that rod re-rigged before we had another bite, then another bite.  Both fish came unhooked.  But we were starting to get noticed by the other boats.  I look back to see that there were about 7 boats now working their way from the launch ramp to where we were.  Yep, gonna be one of those days.  I placed a way point on the school and decided to move on to search out another school and found one shortly thereafter.  I marked that school and since I was doing a live on the water report on Sep’s California Sportsman radio show in about 30 mins, I headed to where there was good cell coverage and started making tight turns to keep the cell service in range.  That made me get noticed again by the other boats on the water which was about 15 boats now and they started heading my way.  I made a figure 8 for about 45 mins while on air and there were about a dozen boats within 200 yards of my boat.

I leave after the radio show and head back to my waypoints marking the schools to find that the schools are not balled up tightly anymore and are on the move.  That’s good news!!!  Means fishing is gonna get real good.  And boy did it.  From 8am to 9am, we put 5 Kokanee in the box and lost about the same.  Then the bite turned off like it always does while Kokanee fishing and we drew blanks for about 30 mins.  The other boats must have been struggling too because they all became very spread out looking for some fish.  I didn’t have that problem, because I had over a dozen waypoints marked where schools are and sooner or later, they would be on the bite again.  You just gotta keep hitting em till they bite.

10 am rolled by and the water skiers started to launch and I knew it was gonna start getting rough with waves from the skiers.  Luckily the bite picked up and at 11am, we decided to head back in with 12 Kokanee to 14″.  Could have stayed and braved the skiers but my 2 clients had their limits and I had enough for a dinner.

Disclaimer:  Losing fish is part of Kokanee fishing.  If you are losing only 50{7a4ac4d41b4460d34b281f63b723a7d44734ea67a7ce96d64bb383ade0b55738} of your  Stampede Kokanee, you are doing it correctly.  Sometimes you don’t lose em at all, rarely happens, sometimes you cannot get those guys in the net.  It happens, and remember is better to hook and lose the fish than to not hook the fish at all.

Top producer was a Rocky Mountain Tackle Double Glow Pink Plankton spinner behind a Rocky Mountain Tackle 4.25″ Pink n Purple dodger with ProCure Garlic scented shoe peg corn.  Fish were caught between 25′-50′ and trolling speed was 1mph to 1.2mph gps speed.  Target water depth was 85′.

To get in on the action with a professional fishing guide for Stampede Kokanee, call Capt. James Netzel toll free at 888-975-0990 or book online at


6.22.16 Stampede

Today’s clients were 2 young children so we got a later start today at Stampede fishing for Kokanee.  There were a lot of boats on the water today but they were fairly scattered when we got there.  We started fishing the area we did well yesterday but it was pretty evident on the sonar that the fish had moved.  So we started trolling towards Sage Hen Creek marking a few fish here and there then bam!!!!

A double to start out the day.  Its very amusing watching youngsters reeling in their first fish whipping the rod around while desperately trying to reel the fish in.  The first kokanee made a huge leap and tossed the hook but we managed to net the second.  It was all smiles on the boat from then on.  We caught fish after fish in an hour, losing quite a few too till the entire fleet on the lake saw what we were doing and soon we were not alone anymore.

Got pretty crowded in a short time so we moved to find another school but didn’t mark very many Kokanee so we headed back to the circus of boats only to find that they had moved on.  We caught a beautiful 17″ Cutthroat Trout on the way.  We caught a few more till the clients decided to call it an early day, then I went to cleaning the catch and taking pictures.  I think its good luck to continue to fish while cleaning fish and it paid off.  We got another 15″ kokanee before the last fish was cleaned.

Fish got cleaned, pictures taken, then started to reel in the lines and put the down riggers to rest when we got 1 last Kokanee while reeling in.  What a day it was for the 2 kids and proud father and uncle.  They had been fishing from shore for 4 days without a nibble and now they are going home with an ice chest full of fish.

To get in on the action at Stampede Reservoir, call Capt. James Netzel toll free at 888-975-0990 or book online at