JULY IS ALMOST here and the Highway 4 corridor is open to fishing all the way to Ebbetts Pass now that the Highland Lake road has been plowed.
Fishing analyst Marla Allison says the best trout bit has been in the evening hours because of insect hatches. Flycasters are hitting with a variety of dry flies, including grasshoppers, mosquitoes, humpies and attractor-patterned goodies like the Royal Coachman.
The high-country lakes still are cold and the fish are staying in shallow water. The eastern end of Alpine Lake is producing in the top six feet for boaters using dodger-worm combinations. Most of the rainbows are in the 12-inch range, but the occasional three- to five-pounder is showing up.
Bank fishermen at Alpine are using worms, salmons and Power Bait on a short leader.
Limits are being taking with Kastmasters at the Mosquito lakes and with orange Power Bait at Kinney Reservoir at the top of the pass.
Boaters at Spicer are scoring in the top 10 feet with dodgers or flashers and a lure or a worm. Bait casters are using salmon eggs and Power Bait.
Union and Utica lakes are open and a few holdover trout are being caught at Union, although there have been no plants yet this year.
Dick Burns of Dublin fished the North Fork of the Stanislaus River at the Spicer road for a 19-inch rainbow that weight 1 1-2 pounds. Some other big trout were caught in the North Fork at Boards Crossing.
At White Pines Lake, the ticket has been chartreuse Power Bait with a three-foot leader of worms drifted off the bottom. Susan Lockhart used a green wooly bugger fly to catch a tagged rainbow left over from the Fathers Day Fishing Derby and worth $20. The fish measured 22 inches and weighed three pounds, four ounces.