Stampede kokes on fire
By: Kirby Desha for The News Messenger
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The word has been out for a while on the tremendous kokanee fishing at Stampede Reservoir and we finally got a chance to get in on the action.

The Desha family did our annual summer trip to the Truckee area last week.

Using Donner as our home base, we fished the area and got in a lot of good outings with the Saturday trip to Stampede being the highlight.

The old road across the dam has been closed for repairs this year so we drove up Friday afternoon to check out the new detour via Hobart Mills Road. My daughter Raina and I got to the ramp around sunrise. We filled out the self-inspection form and launched along with five or six other early birds.

The air was actually quite chilly, a nice break from the valley heat. We started trolling right away within sight of the ramp and immediately hooked (and lost) two fish.

Although Raina was extremely upset at losing these first two, I told her it was actually good news because it meant we were in the right area and at the right depth. A few minutes later, I landed one and we had the first fish in the box, a shiny 15-incher.

Then Raina got her turn and she bagged her personal best, a feisty koke that went about 16 inches and probably weighed 2 pounds. Loud war whoops were shouted and high-fives exchanged! 

A short time later, I reeled in a beautiful brown trout that was quickly released to fight another day.

As the morning progressed, we moved around and found at least one or two fish in each location. We lost a few more and turned some little ones loose.

Raina saw one of the really odd occurrences that will happen occasionally to everyone who trolls, that is one rod caught 90 percent of the fish. Even with the exact setup and depth, one rod was still out-fishing the other. What causes this is a mystery to even the most experienced angler.

By 11 a.m., the bite had slowed and the jetskies came out, so we called it a day.

Back at the ramp chaos reigned. The line waiting to launch went as far as the eye could see. I got the trailer and drove out and circled back to get in line. After maybe 30 minutes, we finally got the boat out of the water.

If you get up there this year, remember it’s best to get in early and get out as soon as you have your limit.