Is that a skunk I smell?
Sometimes a lake or stream can be red hot, but the fisherman ice cold.
That happened to me recently.
I went to my favorite fishing hole: Lake Almanor.
Almanor can be a tough lake to fish. But it has lots of fish. Many kinds of fish. And many big fish.
The fishing at Almanor has been excellent lately. The pond smelt, whose populations are cyclical, are extremely abundant this year. Between generous trout plants and abundant feed Almanor has a healthy fish population now.
Best of all I knew where the fish were. I had been catching lots of fish.
I was so confident of the impending success that I talked the son-in-law into taking a couple days off work to go fishing. I assured him we would get into lots of fish … little did I know.
So we went to what I thought was the sweet spot only to find the fish had moved.
I have no idea what happened.
I had high expectations. The fishing had been great. How can you go wrong this time of year? The fish are everywhere and they are hungry. They practically jump into your boat they are so anxious to be caught. But not that day.
The pond smelt appear to be scattered throughout the lake and likewise the trout.
The trout are still there, and still hungry. You just have to work a little harder to find them.
So the first day we got skunked. The next day we got rained out. I am not big on fishing in the rain and I am not thrilled about getting skunked.
Despite all that, I have no complaints. I enjoy hanging out with the son-in-law. He keeps me young. What is not to like about a cozy cabin with a warm fire.
The lakes seem to be where the most action is, but don’t forget our local streams. The general fishing season for most local streams closes Nov. 15. Be sure to check the fishing regulations before you head out.
Recent northeast winds have really stirred up the lake and as a result water clarity is now only about 6 – 8 feet. The wind makes it difficult to stay on anchor and bait fish, so most boats have been trolling the East Shore or the west side of the peninsula where the mountainside provides some protection from that wind.
According to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures the East Shore has been the "go to" area, providing lots of action for the trolling crowd. Limits have been found from the Dorado Inn and into Lake Cove.
However, the fish have been running on the small side with most averaging around 14 to 18". Needlefish in the silver prism pattern rigged down from 5 – 20 feet have the top water hits coming early, and red and gold Speedy Shiners stacked down deeper at 25 and 35 feet, from midmorning into the afternoon. Keep in mind that water clarity is poor right now, and dodgers or flashers will really help the fish find your hook.
Bait fishermen have been working Big Springs and the Spar Buoy areas, and some big fish have been coming from the late afternoon right up to dark. Crickets and mealworms three cranks off the bottom have produced some big brown trout while nightcrawlers and anchovy tails are the key for salmon.
The fishing is good, and the drive up to Frenchman is incredible. Fall colors are at their best. Little Last Chance Creek Canyon and Dixie Valley are incredibly beautiful in the fall.
The water level has dropped so docks are no longer in the water. Shore fishing is still excellent and nightcrawlers are the bait of choice.
Call the good folks at Wiggins Trading Post (993-4683) before you go to find out the latest conditions.
Lake Davis is fishing very well now cooler temperatures have arrived. Fly fishing has produced plenty of 8- to 10-inch trout at Mosquito Slough.
Shore fishing has been great at Mallard Cove. The fish are right off shore and biting.
Ellis Hickman produced a 4-1/2 pound trout. He was using a silver one-eighth ounce Kastmaster.
He also brought in a stringer full of 3- to 4-pound fish. He was using half of a night crawler at 10 – 20 feet out towards the island.
Ed Dillard from Dillard’s Guided Fishing reported he landed 17 14- to 16-inch fish in four hours. He was using the silver and the Copper Red Head Dick Nite #1.
The current temperature of the lake is at 58 degrees.
Call Dollard’s Market for the latest Lake Davis fishing information.
No matter which lake or stream you choose, fall fishing is great. The air is crisp, the fish hungry and the fall colors are beautiful. The only shortcoming is that fall is too short. So get out and enjoy it. The ice and snow aren’t far off.
1997 NEW YEARS FLOOD VIDEO in Plumas County is now available on DVD. We’ve completely re-mastered from the original tapes all of the exciting footage that inspired the first video-tape. See the damage beyond the roadblocks. Featuring: The Feather River Canyon flooding, Two Rivers washout, Sloat Bridge, Dog Rock washout, Indian Valley flooding, Quincy and American Valley flooding. To order your copy, send a check or money order for $20 to Kevin Mallory, PO Box 1785, Quincy, CA 95971 and include your name, phone and return address information. Or call (530) 283-0150. Includes tax and shipping.