Planting was scheduled for June 24th, “just the drive up there alone is worth it folks,” said fishing guide Jack Trout. The usual methods will work, indicators ($35 word for bobber) with 3 flies using small size 20 to size 16 midges and mayflies about 13 feet under the bobber with a small weight. “Now there’s a winner folks,” said Trout. Intermediate sinking clear line (slim line) or a light full sinking tip and throwing a white crystal bugger size 8 works too. “Concentrate on the north sides of the lake, you can catch both trout and bass on flies, bait or lures, it’s wide open now,” suggests Trout. Getting out early and then off before 3 p.m. will help afternoon north winds. Fishing from just outside the shores to the shorelines can instigate trout and bass to rise on Griffith knats size 18 & 20. “If you can’t see it, tie a large dry on you can see to the gap of the other hook as a marker fly,” says Trout. “Work the shorelines, I see so many fish along the edges of this lake, feeding, frolicking and happy to be Plumas County residents.”
Rebecca Guereque at the lodge said, “Everyone up here is catching big ones, 8-10 pounds. Lot of fun.” Little Jake Romero caught his first fish out of Mill Creek. He is actually the fourth generation in his family to fish at Bucks Lake. “We still come up here a couple times a year,” said proud papa Corey Romero.
With lake planting now past, fishermen are picking up small brookies at the inlet of Mill Creek. Jeff Armstrong, owner of Bucks Lake Lodge, said his three grandkids, ages 4, 7 and 9, all caught fish there this week.
South wind on Bucks Lakes has been tough after 3 pm. Black or green crystal bugger (Imitating dragon fly nymphs) size 8 on a slim line are a good option. Lower Bucks lake fishermen are having some luck with dry fly near Grizzly Forebay, along the shoreline. This is the time of year when fly fishing starts to pick up on all Plumas County High Mountain Lakes. “Concentrate on Bucks Lake for the next two months, you’ll thanks us,” said Trout.
The Lodge fishing shop is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., or later.
“There has been a prolific Daphnia hatch,” according to Stillwater Guide Chris Wharton. Daphnia are freshwater fleas the size of a pinhead, and their abundance on the water have made the bite challenging. As water is warming, boating is a likely alternative to fishing. “There are some big fish in here,” said Wharton, “and fishing should be great in the fall.”
“Fishdog” bass fishing guide Ben Williams said, “The Bass have recovered from the stress of the spawn and fishing has picked up.” Half-day trips are yielding 20-30 fish according to Williams. “Fish are relating to submerged ambush points like stumps and rocks. Water is very clear so use light line,” advises Williams. For more insider information contact Fishdog Outdoors at 258-3905.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association was very busy this weekend helping to organize a day on the water for Veterans. Crotty was part of an effort coordinating boat captains with veterans for a relaxing day fishing on Lake Almanor.
The timing could not have been better as rumors of the Hex hatch made their way across the county toward the end last week, just in time for the Sunday “Vets Fishing Day.”
Almanor has receded a few inches and remains full. Recent warm weather has increased water temps, which are quickly approaching the 70-degree mark. “I did check water temp throughout the water column and did not find any meaningful change until the 35’ mark where temps dipped 8 degrees,” said Crotty. Water clarity remains in the 21-23’ mark.
Catchable Rainbows were recently planted in the Canyon Dam area and they are receiving lots of pressure. “These fish will not be good table faire and should be returned,” said Crotty. “After a year of a high protein Almanor diet they will have a nice pink color and be excellent eating.”
As suspected, the Hex Hatch is in full gear and going strong. “I counted 24 boat and float tubers in Geritol Cove last night plus a few dozen bank fishermen,” said Crotty June 25. The Prattville to Almanor West area is also receiving lots of pressure. Almanor Fly Fishing Company can provide up to the minute reports on fly patterns and locations, 258-3944.
Bass fishermen are picking up on crankbaits early and targeting fish in deeper water when the sun gets on the water.
Troller’s and boats on anchor are all catching fish in a variety of methods, slow trolling crawlers and Gulps, fast trolling speedy shiners and throwing out an Almanor Cocktail (cricket/mealworm) are all productive. Bank fishermen are also picking up a few fish on cricket and mealworm combo’s.
“The fish we are catching are fat and happy feasting on insects and mayflies,” said Crotty. Signs of Pond Smelt are beginning to show, which should become the major food source for these fish. “Please fill out CF&W angler surveys if your fishing Almanor and provide your feedback,” said Crotty. The information gathered will be used to plan future plants.
Fishing is improving. Trollers are using wee Dick Nite Copper Red head, Red Dot Frog, Firetiger and all of the bright Rooster Tails. “They are trolling 15-20 feet deep between the two islands and having good luck,” said Jeanne Graham at J & J Grizzly Store. “Bank fishermen are using worms and Rainbow-Garlic Power Bait from Mallard, Coot’s Bay, Eagle Point and Lighting Tree.” The bugs are starting to hatch, so fly-fishing is also improving.
Have you noticed the Feather River looking a little like Lipton’s tea or is that Killian’s Red? It is possible an algae bloom from out in Sierra Valley is the cause but whatever it is, the outcome has turned the normal gin-colored river red. “This made fly fishing this week slow down to half because the trout can’t see the flies as well in the red skies at night,” said Trout. “I landed six trout in about two hours and Zachariah Stone Silver caught and released eight trout in the same time using streamers like a crystal wooly bugger size 8.” Trout was using a size 12 caddis with a black copper John size 14 and a micro may fly size 18 under that. “Yes, 3 flies on one rig! It’s legal as long as the barbs are all debarbed,” said Trout, who finds the set up very effective in the Feather in knee to hip deep water high sticking only. “River levels are dropping fast this season, get out there while you still have some favorite spot to hit,” said Trout.