By LEN ACKERMAN
The Union Democrat
This week's heat wave may have put a crimp in fishing in the lower-level lakes, but the only way to beat the sweltering temperatures is to start at daylight and quit beforenoon. The other alternative is to fish at night with submersible lights in waters such as New Melones or Don Pedro.
Beardsley Lake, off Highway 108 above Strawberry, is a bit higher at 3,400 feet elevation and the difference there is you can count on Mother Nature's fan to turn on about11 a.m.which cools it down a bit. This writer and my neighbor have been down to Beardsley the past two Saturdays and have managed limits of rainbows and a few browns, despite the full moon.
Launching has been difficult at times, requiring backing well out into the water before floating off the trailer, with someone wading out to get back on the trailer. This is due to the relatively shallow water at the bottom of the ramp.
The Forest Service advises people not to park in the sandy area to the right ofthe ramp. There is a sign at the top of the ramp (right side) indicating this. I spoke with a Ranger last week and she said parking below the line of the bottom of the ramp is OK and this area will open more space as the water level drops. Otherwise, it is a long climb up to the upper parking area.
The hot weather has broughtmany people to the mountains to get out of the heat, and, as expected, Pinecrest is packed with campers, anglers, boaters and swimmers.
Cooler conditions might be found by going higher up Highway 108 to Dardanelle or Kennedy Meadows. Similar conditions exist along Highway 4.
Scott Myers caughtand released a 9-pound, 11-ounce brown trout at Melones recently. That is the mark of a true sportsman as the release of browns is encouragedsince an environmental lawsuit stopped the future planting of brown trout in California.
The Big Fish contest winner last week at Glory Hole Sports was David Hylt, of Murphys, who hooked a 3-pound rainbow caught while night fishing near the spillway.
The bite continues at Melones for the small, chunky kokanee which may be from 45-to-85 feet deep. The key is to experiment with different depths on your downrigger.
A two-day Kokanee Power Derby will take place at Melones onJuly 13 and 14. For complete information, go towww.kokaneepower.org. The Annual Fishermen's Yard Saleon Dogwood Lane in Sugar Pine continuesSaturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.