“Fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.” —Ed Zern
Bank and fly-fishing have slowed some but there are still fish being caught. Congratulations to Jason Rachal who was bank fishing just north of the buoys at the dam where he landed a 23-inch trout weighing 4 pounds, 8 ounces.
Lake Almanor is settling into a normal summer pattern. The only difference is that there is not a well-defined thermocline due to the abundant cold runoff this summer.
The fish remain scattered through the water column. They are shallow very early in the morning but will mover deeper, anywhere from 20 to 40 feet, once the sun is on the water. This means that downriggers or lead core line are essential for trolling.
I talked to local fishing guide Mark Jimenez (596-3072) recently. Mark grew up fishing Lake Almanor and has over 40 years of experience on the lake.
Mark shared a tip I had not considered before.
Most anglers know how important oxygen is for fish. Trout will move to find oxygenated water. Their activity levels (including feeding) decline in water with less than optimum amounts of oxygen.
Mark has observed that feeding seems to slow down after consecutive days with little or no wind on the lake.
This makes sense since wave action is one way that oxygen gets incorporated into the water.
This may also explain why the east lobe of Lake Almanor, the windier side, often has better fishing than the west lobe.
Conditions continue to improve on all of our local streams as the snowmelt is finally decreasing.
Reduced stream flows are making the fishing easier and higher temperatures are bringing increased insect hatches. Stoneflies, mayflies and caddis flies are now abundant on all local streams.
Unfortunately, good insect hatches are not the only thing to be found on our local streams.
Guide Jay Clark (414-1655) was fishing with some clients on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Two Rivers when he found a mess left on the river bank by some partiers. Jay packed out two bags of garbage. But he came back a couple weeks later and again found the aftermath of another party on the river bank.
I hope local law enforcement has the opportunity to crash this little party. Maybe a littering citation with a hefty fine will help these folks reconsider their outdoor ethics.
Hamilton Branch and the North Fork of the Feather River, both upstream from Lake Almanor, received trout plants from California Department of Fish and Game this past week.