Fishing Report for the week of 12/28/2011; Winter is here — really?

“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.” —Patrick Young

Michael Condon
Staff Writer

The recent weather has been a very mixed blessing.

I got a bit nervous when we got our first snow during the first week of October. I am not a huge fan of heavy snow years and that seemed to me like a bad omen.  As it turns out, we have only had a few light snows in the nearly three months since then


The lack of snow has allowed for great access to local lakes. Even the boat ramps are still open in many areas.  With the exception of Eagle Lake, most lakes are still plenty high thanks to last year’s abundant precipitation.

But enough is enough. Or in this case, not enough. We need the snowpack to maintain our fisheries and other resources into the future.

I am ready for some storms. (I just bought a new snow plow!)

Come on Mr. Weatherman. Bring it on!

I won’t grumble while I plow the snow. I will just take solace in knowing the days are getting longer now.

Frenchman Lake

There is ice on the east side of the lake in the morning and it is starting to stay longer and longer each day, according to the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post.

The west side of the lake is still open and anglers are catching limits near Lunkers Point and just north of the boat landing.

Shore fishing has been good with catches of rainbow trout in the 14- to 18-inch range.  Shore anglers are using night crawlers and marshmallows. Some are using PowerBait (rainbow and garlic) with good results.

The roads around the lake are still passable, but there is ice early in the day so drive carefully.  Early afternoon seems to be the best time to fish.

Call Wiggin’s Trading Post (993-4683) for the latest condition.


Lake Davis.

There has been plenty of open water at Mallard Cove recently, but with the current cold weather that could change any day. The fishing in the open water has been very good.

Elsewhere, the lake is just about completely frozen. Folks started ice fishing near the dam last week and there are reports of some nice fish being caught there.

It is still early, so be very careful on the ice.


Lake Almanor

Shore anglers at Geritol Cove near Canyon Dam have been catching brown trout all month. Try eggs near the bottom or drift a baby night crawler about 8 to 10 feet deep.

Fly fishers have been catching some nice rainbows in the spring- or creek-fed coves along the west shore of the lake. Try midges in size 18 and 20. Larger woolly buggers may work as well.

Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures advises trollers that the water clarity is only about 8 feet. He suggests using dodgers to compensate for the lower water clarity as part of your trolling strategy. Doug likes the 04 size UV dodgers with a threaded night crawler about 16 inches back.


International Sportsmen’s Exposition

The mother of all fishing and hunting shows, the “International Sportsmen’s Expo” is coming to Sacramento Jan. 19 – 22.

There will be hundreds of vendors displaying the latest in gear for the outdoor enthusiast; everything from fishing lures to camping gear to high end fishing boats.

Outfitter guides from all over the country and even international destinations will be there. There will be demonstrations of everything from fly casting to working hunting dogs to game preparation.

My favorite features are the seminars. There are dozens to choose from and they cover every imaginable fishing and hunting related topic.

Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures will present “Trolling and Still-fishing Techniques for Lake Almanor and Beyond.” I attended Doug’s seminar last year and it is excellent. He shares some great tips and fishing rigs that will improve your fishing at Almanor as well as other lakes. I highly recommend it.

Another seminar that I am looking forward to this year is “A New Approach to Stillwater Fly-Fishing” by Hal Janssen.

Hal is a bit of a legend in the fly-fishing community and a regular at Lake Almanor.

For more information on the Sportsmen’s Expo, check out

Stay warm, be careful on the ice and have a happy and fish-filled new year.

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