Is summer here yet?

Michael Condon

We may finally be on the verge of some “normal” weather (whatever “normal” is). But the past few weeks have been anything but normal.  I have been chased off the water by lightning and by high winds. I have cancelled several outings due to winter storm warnings and just plain windy weather.

Those who did brave the weather when they could usually did reasonably well.

What I am wondering is what the late winter-like weather will do to the fishing as we finally move into summer.  Will the colder water delay spawning activity? Will it delay or hopefully prolong the insect hatches that are critical to the fishes’ food supply?  I suspect the answer to these questions is probably “yes.” But I can’t say for sure what the impact will be.

I do intend to find out.  I am anxious for some seasonable weather so I can get out look for some answers.

That is part of the allure of fishing; it offers the opportunity for life-long learning (along with a good mental health break from the daily grind).

So, where to start?

Frenchman Lake

The folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post in Chilcoot (993-4683) report that the unsettled weather has not been hurting the fishing one bit.  The fishing has been excellent at Lunker’s Point (near the channels) and between Big Cove and Turkey Point.

Anglers using inflated night crawlers have been catching limits of rainbow trout from 15 to 21 inches long. Lures such as Rooster Tails, Dick Nite spoons, and Tasmanian Devils have also been effective.  Trolling is good around Lunker’s Point and east of the dam.

Lake Davis

All fishing access points are open and the boat ramps are in the water.

The lake is around 90 percent full and the water temperature is in the mid to high 50-degree range, according to the folks at J&J Grizzly Store and Resort (832-0270).

It sounds like all systems are “go” for some excellent fishing.

Several 3- to 5-pounders have been caught recently although most fish are in the 1- to 1-1/2-pound range. Many anglers report catching limits.

Bank anglers have been doing well with night crawlers, or PowerBait in rainbow or chartreuse.

Trollers are catching are doing well with Dick Nite spoons in Copper Red Head, and with Needlefish in Red Dot Frog and Metallic Perch patterns.

Lake Davis has long been a very popular lake for fly anglers. Fly patterns that are working well include Jay Fair Wiggle Tails in burnt orange or olive, Woolly Buggers, and Bead Head Flash Back Pheasant Tail. Blood Midge Pupae can be particularly effective this time of year.


Bucks Lake

Bucks Lake is fishing very well, according to Allan Bruzza of Sportsmen’s Den in Quincy (283-2733).

Large Mackinaw are still being caught although the pace may have slowed a bit.

The early season rainbow and brown bite has been very good. The fish have moved into shallow water in search of the very abundant Callibaetis mayflies.

The road to the dam and beyond is still blocked by deep snow.

Once the road is open, boaters who use the Sun Dew boat ramp frequently may want to consider the season pass for boat launching offered by the concessionaire Royal Elk.

Instead of paying $7 for each launch, boaters have the option of purchasing a season pass for unlimited launches for $35. The pass is also good for the ramp at Antelope Lake. Passes can be purchased at the Sportsmen’s Den in Quincy.


Stream Fishing

Area streams are still running unseasonably high and cold. But things are finally looking up as flows and temperatures start to moderate. I have noticed increased afternoon fly hatches and surface feeding trout lately: a very good sign.

Tom Maumoynier of the Lake Almanor Fishing Company in Chester (258-3944) reports that the North Fork of the Feather River is fishing well. Nymphs are more productive than dry flies as the insect activity is still on the slow side.

Tom also reports that the road to Yellow Creek in Humbug Valley is now snow free. Yellow Creek is one of my favorite places to fish. The valley is beautiful and the fishing is very challenging. It is a classic spring creek. As such it is likely to be less affected by the spring runoff than other local streams. The scenery alone is worth the price of admission.


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