Try cool streams, high lakes to find fish beating the heat
There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
Frenchman Lake, at 5,600 feet elevation, is one of the hotspots for anglers in this hot weather.
Inflated nightcrawlers and rainbow and pink PowerBait have been the offering of choice for lots of feisty rainbows between 13 and 17 inches.
Frank Bartz, resident fly angler, caught six nice-sized rainbows using gray and white Parachute Dun dry flies. He was fishing the west side of the lake past the boat ramp between 7 and 9 a.m., according to the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post.
The campgrounds have been filling up fast as the weekend approaches, so come up early for a great spot. For the latest camping and fishing information call Wiggin’s Trading Post at 993-4683.
Antelope is another very good alternative when the weather heats up. At 5,100 feet in elevation, Antelope stays a little bit cooler. Anglers are catching lots of brook trout and rainbows. Successful anglers are working the deeper water near the dam.
The hot weather has raised the surface temperatures into the mid 70-degree range. The fishing is reported to be fair or good depending on who you talk to. I come down on the “fair” side. Trout arein colder water so your best bet is to fish the springs and river inlets.
Boats are scattered all around the east basin according to Doug Neal of Lake Almanor Fishing Adventures. There are Callibaetis and caddis hatches going on, but at much lower intensity levels. Expect to see fish turning to smelt as the bugs complete their reproduction cycles.
Anglers drifting crickets and mealworms in the afternoon to early evening from Goose Island to Rocky Point have been picking up some browns presumably still looking for Hex dinners.
In the mornings Doug has been trolling the Big Springs area to Hamilton Branch. He is in the water early, rigged down 25 to 40 feet running Sep’s chartreuse “Strike Master Dodgers” with half a threaded crawler. That must be a good combination because he has been averaging 10 to 12 hook-ups a morning. The bite tapers off quickly after 11:30, and then picks up again in the late afternoon, according to Doug.
The powerhouse has been running and some decent fish are being caught in the outflow. Drifting pond smelt imitations or white jigs in low light conditions (early morning and late evening) works best. Bass are biting in the main lake.
The NorthFork Feather above Lake Almanor is at summer levels. Nymph fishing has been the most effective method.Caddis and mayflies arehatching in the late afternoons.
Warner Creek has a good evening hatch of caddis and mayflies. The trout are feeding on grasshoppers in the afternoon.
Deer Creek flows are at low summer levels. Fishing is best below Elam Creek Campground.
Mill Creek has finally cleared up. Try fishing dark flies in the evenings. The Mill Creek Queen (very similar to a Prince Nymph) has been a longtime standard on Mill Creek. You can buy them at the Mill Creek Store along with really good old-fashioned burgers and shakes. (I was happy to see this as I used to tie the Mill Creek Queens for the store about 35 years ago!)
The upper portion of Hamilton Branch is fishing well. Nymph fishing has been best. There are some evening hatches. Fish are moving into the lower section to get to cooler water.
At Yellow Creek try midges and caddis flies in the evenings forbrowns and rainbows. On windy afternoons hoppers are the main attraction.
Many thanks to Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Co. in Chester for the stream fishing information.