While it is known for its harsh, dry environment, Nevada is also a fishing destination for the intrepid angler. Nevada has hundreds of thousands of acres of waterways and diverse species ranging from trout to panfish.
Trout are some of Nevada’s most varied fish, with species like rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat, lake, redband, bull, and more. Lake Mohave provides excellent trout fishing in fall and winter. Angle for redband, which are a subspecies of rainbow only found in two parts of the country, along the Bruneau River. Visit the Jarbridge River for bull trout, and for the rare golden trout visit Kern River.
Many site-specific sub species of trout exist, too, like the Bonneville cutthroat, Lahontan cutthroat, and Yellowstone cutthroat. Try for Bonneville in most creeks located in White Pine County. For Lahontan, fish along the Humboldt River, primarily in its upper, northern and southern forks in Elko and Humboldt County, and Lake Tahoe. Snake River is good for Yellowstone cutthroat.
There are some salmon within Nevada, though dams have significantly limited their original territory. Lake Tahoe is the most popular large lake for kokanee salmon.
The majority of Lake Tahoe is within Nevada’s borders. This clear lake is a beautiful attraction as well as a productive fishing location, more so for boating fishermen than those onshore. Trout are avid hook biters, ranging from rainbow, brown, brook, lake and Lahontan, with the occasional catfish in Lake Tahoe too.
Bass are found mostly in the southern part of Nevada, throughout the Colorado River, and in its tributaries. For sizable smallmouth bass try South Fork Reservoir, site of the state record holder. Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are both great summer bass fisheries, with the latter yielding a whopping sixty pounder that took the state striped bass record.
The largest lake in the state, Lake Mead, is a man-made reservoir spanning for over a hundred miles. Trout are popular within Nevada, with many found in Lake Mead, along with plenty of bass, crappie, catfish, and walleye. In fact, some of the best largemouth and striped bass fishing in Nevada comes from Lake Mead. After all, Lake Mead is home to the state’s largemouth bass record of twelve pounds. Alongside its aquatic wildlife life live some endangered species, giving you a rare glimpse at a peregrine falcon as you cast.
For the vacationer looking for a little of everything, Echo Canyon State Park is within a couple hours of Las Vegas. It also holds a lake within the park that has excellent fishing for rainbow trout, crappie, and bass. There are also campgrounds available, making it a perfect chance to get some fishing and gambling within one short trip!
Anyone over twelve needs a license which can be purchased online, through the mail, or at a licensing agent within the state. Social security numbers are required. Groups can buy a single day group recreational fishing license. Residents are defined as persons living within the state for six months, who have not applied for similar licensure in other states during that time.
Nevada has a free fishing day the second Saturday in June every year!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.