Regional Reports-West

Rye Patch Reservoir

Most people traveling I-80 south from Winnemucca on their way to Reno usually don't give a second glance to the nearby ribbon of water amid all the sagebrush. Nevada anglers know better. Rye Patch Reservoir was formed when the Humboldt River was dammed for irrigation purposes. The first walleyes were stocked in 1969. Additional plantings have helped the program along and the walleyes have proliferated. Two- to eight-pound fish are caught with regularity. The lake record is a football of a fish-a 14-pound, 14-ounce walleye caught in 1992. That's pretty darn good when you realize that Wisconsin's record walleye is an 18-pound fish, and Minnesota's went 17 pounds, 6 ounces. (The all-tackle glaze-eye, taken from Greer's Ferry Lake in Arkansas in 1982, weighed in at 22 pounds, 11 ounces.) The best fishing gets going in late March and extends into early summer. Bank-casters and boat-fishermen favor the area around the dam and frequently catch fish in less than 12 feet of water. Minnows are best for still-fishing, while the trollers use deep-running lures-the Sassy Shad and Deep-Wee-R have been favorite choices in the past couple of seasons. The daily limit is five walleyes. Resident season fishing licenses are $21; nonresidents pay $51. A one-day nonresident license is $12, with each additional day $4. Trout have been stocked here recently and anglers wishing to keep trout must purchase a $5 trout stamp. Contact: Rye Patch State Recreation Area (775-538-7321); Nevada Division of Wildlife (775-623-6517).