If weekends are made for fishing, we certainly took full advantage of this past one! The group had been talking about heading up to Hobart Reservoir for a few weeks now and we had heard some great reports of 20-30 fish days being common. Hobart Reservoir is located at an elevation of 7,650 feet in the Carson Range of the Toiyabe National Forest and getting there can be a little tricky depending on weather and road conditions.
There are 2 ways into Hobart Reservoir, one way is to start at Spooner Lake off of highway 50 and hike about 5 miles to the reservoir. The second option is to take a high clearance 4×4 up a gnarly dirt road for about 40 minutes or so then hike down about a 1/4 mile into the reservoir.
Well now I’m sure hiking 5 miles with your gear and float tube strapped to your back sounds like a good time to some of you out there, but the When The Line Goes Tight crew may or may not also be known as the OFS (old, fat and slow) crew…so yeah option 2 seemed like the better choice. But sometimes the path of least resistance isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
We departed Reno in two trucks at about 6am Saturday morning and by 6:30am we started making our way up the before mentioned gnarly dirt road. Kelly couldn’t make this trip but our buddy Quinten (yes the Quinten who landed 2 Pyramid LCT’s over 20lbs this season…yes I’m still very jealous) joined us on this excursion. The reports weren’t joking about needing a “high clearance” 4×4 as we started to familiarize ourselves with the sound of large dirt mounds scraping the bottom of the truck.
Looking down below us on the drive up the hill made you think about how sketchy this road could be if we actually had some snow this year. At the bottom of the canyon you could see the mangled remains of a few vehicles that weren’t so fortunate on their way to this high mountain fishery.
After about 40 minutes we made it to the locked gate which was our cue to park and get ready to hit the trail. We all inflated our float tubes, got our gear securely strapped down and started making our way down the hill in front of us.
The hike down wasn’t bad at all, well because it was downhill and even though the anticipation of fishing for high mountain Brookies was pretty much consuming all my thoughts there was a little voice in the back of my head saying “Hey, remember you have to get your out of shape ass back up this steep hill, with all your gear, wearing waders after you’ve kicked around in your float tube for hours”. But when you have fishing on the mind, in the famous words of Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”.
Once on the water it wasn’t long before we started getting into fish. Glenn was the first to hook up and it was a colorful Tiger Trout (Brown Trout/ Brook Trout Hybrid). Not long after that I hooked and landed a nice looking Brook Trout. This fishery boasts having Brook, Rainbow, Tiger and Cuttbow trout, but only the Brookies are self sustaining. The other 3 are planted by NDOW throughout the year.
The reservoir is beautiful and the trek it takes to get there keeps a lot of people out for the most part. We had our group of 5 anglers all on float tubes, there was only one other guy on his float tube and I think I counted maybe 4 other people fishing from shore.
We called it a day a little after noon, the fish counts were for the most part in the teens but Jason came out with the most fish landed at 27. There is no doubt a healthy population of Tiger and Brook Trout in the the reservoir and though there weren’t many Rainbows caught they undoubtedly put up the biggest fight with the handful we caught going vertical right after being hooked.
We got our float tubes and gear packed up and started the hike back up to the parking area, all of us in good spirits about the the great day we had on the water and discussing where our next outing should be.
Then came the realization of walking up the “Steep ass hill” that nobody had time for earlier. I won’t say that all 5 of us are Old, Fat and Slow. Matt is in good shape and managed his way up the hill without too much fan fair and Quinten who I now believe is part billy goat charged that mountain like a champ, while eating gummy bears…no joke.
I won’t go into detail about how myself and the rest of the team made our way up the trail, but if slow and steady wins the race I’d say at least got the slow part right.
But at the end of the day we had a great time and we all felt grateful for having such a unique and beautiful fishery so close to home.
Stay tuned because this wasn’t the only fishing done this past weekend. We still have boat fishing at Pyramid and crossing the boarder into California for some river action to report.
But until then keep those lines tight and knots strong!!!