Local lakes still producing lots of trout

Michael Condon
Staff Writer


“In this busy, noisy, impatient world, faster often seems better. Many of us wear stress like a badge of honor and take pride in exhaustion. Perhaps we won’t solve these problems by going fishing. But I like to think it can’t hurt.”

—Shawn Terrich


Butt Valley Reservoir

There are still a few Hexagenia mayflies hatching in the evenings. The best place to find them is down by the dam.

The powerhouse is running and that provides the best source of food and colder water to the lake. Try white jigs or other small light colored baitfish imitations. Evenings when the sun is off the water is the best time to fish the powerhouse.


Bucks Lake

What I enjoy about Bucks Lake, aside from the beautiful setting, is the variety of fish the lake has to offer. Like so many Sierran lakes, Bucks has rainbow and brown trout. It also has brook trout.

What makes Bucks somewhat unique is that it also has kokanee salmon and lake trout. The kokanee are actually land-locked sockeye salmon and the lake trout are not really a true trout but rather a variety of char.

The kokanee are not a large fish but they are a big draw for fishermen. They are as numerous as they are tasty. They also provide the main food source for the much larger lake trout.

The kokanee and lake trout can be caught all summer, but the big lake trout are caught mostly during the spring and the kokanee action is hottest just before they spawn in October.

Part of the fun is when you hook up with a fish at Bucks Lake, you don’t really know for sure which of the five species is on your line. Rainbow trout are providing much of the action at Bucks right now. But all five species are in the mix. I have managed a Bucks grand slam, at least one of each species, on more than one occasion.

Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service (283-2103 or has been getting his clients into lots and lots of fish lately. Far more than I have been catching. I asked him what he was doing differently.

Bryan’s secret is putting his gear right on the bottom. Down riggers are the best way to get your gear deep. Most anglers, myself included, try to stay off the bottom in order to avoid snagging the gear. Bryan isn’t afraid to let his down rigger weight bounce on the bottom. The reward for that is a lot more fish.

If you want to get into lots of fish your best option at Bucks is to give Bryan a call. Even if you have your own boat, a lesson from someone who really knows the lake is worth it.


Lake Davis

Fishing has slowed a bit as the water warms but patient anglers are still finding some nice fish. Damsel flies and Callibaetis mayfly imitations are the best bet for fly anglers. Try the west shore of the lake.

For the most current information, call J and J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort at 832-0270.


Frenchman Lake

Frenchman Lake has been busy with fishermen, boaters and campers this past week.

Most fishermen are bank fishing using the standard baits for Frenchman — rainbow PowerBait and worms. Two Reno anglers were fishing at Lunker Point and caught an 18-inch rainbow using nightcrawlers.

Trollers are going deep: about three to four colors out during the day. If you fish early, try trolling a nightcrawler or a Needlefish shallow. Go deeper once the sun hits the water.

Check in at Wiggin’s Trading Post on your way up to the lake or give them a call at 993-4683 for the latest information.



The North Fork Feather River is in good shape according to Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company in Chester (258-3944). Golden stoneflies are hatching in the evenings. There is also a good hatch of mayflies in the evenings.

The Middle Fork Feather is getting pretty warm in the upper reaches. The water is a bit cooler and fishing better downstream from Two Rivers. Work the deeper water and stretches of river just below the colder tributaries. Stonefly patterns and hoppers are catching fish.

Warner Creek, Deer Creek and Mill Creek are all in good shape and fishing well. Fishing is best in the early mornings and evenings. Although the fishing slows a bit in the heat of the day, hopper imitations can entice a trout to strike.


Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor can offer trout an amazing abundance of food. The pond smelt and Hexagenia mayflies are prime sources. But both can have off years.

That is not the case this year. Hexagenia, which are normally pretty much over by this time of year, are still hatching along the west shore. And the pond smelt are large and very plentiful again this year. This is making for some fat and happy trout.

This is the best bite since 2009 according to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures.

Doug says trollers are getting fish up to 4 pounds working from Hamilton Branch to Big Cove. The east shore from the Dorado into Lake Cove has been another trolling hot spot this past week. Work the top 8 to 12 feet of water early, and when the sun gets on the water, fish down to 35 to 40 feet.

Bait anglers are also doing well. Salmon have moved into Big Springs. King salmon from 18 inches to 3.4 pounds have come out of this honey hole last week. Anchovy tail fillets with Pro-Cure Bloody Tuna or Super Herring Gel have been the most effective salmon scents. Half of a threaded nightcrawler with a blend of Pro-Cure “Trophy Trout” and Garlic has also been catching lots of salmon according to Doug. Big rainbows are hitting just the crawler, so it’s a good idea to have at least one of those down there as well. Rainbows will seldom take the anchovy.


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