“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?” Lee Wulff
This past week I was able to take my kayak to one of our many small lakes for a morning of fishing.
Before headed out, I checked the Fish and Game web site to see if this lake was on the list of lakes still being stocked by DF&G. It turns out it is not.
I release most of my fish, but I do like to bring some home for the table. But I knew I would not be bringing any fish home from this lake. Time will tell how well the fish population in this little gem of a lake will sustain itself. It would be a shame if we anglers removed all the fish before they could establish a solid self-sustaining population.
I believe in “catch and release” but not as a hard and fast rule. Many lakes and streams waters can easily handle the harvest of some fish; others cannot. It is a good idea to consider the state of a particular fishery before deciding whether it is best to release all of your fish or take a couple home for the table.
Fish are active, the moon is dark, and conditions are perfect. Water clarity is still good although recent windy weather has stirred up a little mud in the shallows.
As summer progresses, the water will warm and the fish will move to cooler water. The fish will tend to congregate nears stream mouths, under water springs, and generally deeper water.
For me this is a mixed bag. While it is easier to find concentrations of fish, if you know where to look, I enjoy spring fishing when the fish can still be caught in shallow water, even though they are scatterd throughout the lake.
According to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures, trolling has been more effective than bait fishing deep holes and should remain that way until surface temps really rise above 65 degrees.
Doug says there is a lot of food available right now and the bite has been finicky, hot one day, and not so hot the next.
The best bite is very early in the morning. Doug suggests trolling fast action lures at 2.5 mph rigged from 4 to 6 feet deep.
Later in the morning Doug likes to switch to chartreuse or 50/50 “Strike Master” dodgers and with night crawlers trolled at 1.5 mph and rigged to 16 ft.
With the fish so scattered, all of the normal trolling lanes are producing fish. The east shore, both sides of the peninsula, and the west shore are all good areas.
Fly fishing on the north end of the lake is still excellent. Rainbows up to 15 inches are coming out of Salmon Egg Shoals. Use wet flies such as bead-head nymphs, midges and mosquitoes.
Trollers are using green frog-type lures such as Kastmasters or Needlefish. Yellow Panther Martins with black spots are also working well.
Bank fishing with all baits has been good also.
The campgrounds are all open now. Happy Memorial Day!
Call Wiggin’s Trading Post for more information (530) 993-4683.
Other local lakes
I have heard that Butt Lake and Antelope Lake are both fishing well although I have not yet sampled them this year. Both lakes are producing both trout and bass. Butt Lake tends to produce larger fish while Antelope Lake yields more fish.
The road through Lakes Basin is now open. The roadside lakes are accessible and the resorts are open as of Memorial Day weekend.
The Feather River Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) hosted the Annual Juniors Fishing Derby at the Millpond in Graeagle on Saturday, May 19.
More than 80 youthful anglers enjoyed the annual derby held, in part, to introduce kids to the delights of rod and reel.
The Feather River chapter of TU received support from the Plumas County Fish and Game commission for the purchase of tackle and provided free bait to the young anglers.
The members of the Feather River Chapter of Trout Unlimited encourage all anglers to check out their website at frtu.org to learn more about their educational guest speaker series and conservation projects. Call the chapter president Cindy Noble at 249-0444 if you want to join, or get involved in their local projects.