Troy and Taylor Weyer, from Sparks, Nev., proudly display their catch from a Saturday afternoon outing at Frenchman Lake. Photo submitted
Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.
So far spring fishing has been three or four weeks ahead of schedule. Area lakes are in high gear. Fishing pressure has been fairly light in most areas. Several days of strong north winds have kept the lakes churned up and the boats off the water. But when anglers have been able to get out, many are finding some very good fishing.
Antelope Lake may be the big surprise lately. Allan Bruzza of the Sportsman’s Den on Highway 70 in East Quincy calls Antelope a “sleeper.”
This lake does not usually get the attention of some of its better-known neighboring lakes. But lately Antelope has been producing lots of limits of Eagle Lake rainbows, according to Allan. Trollers are doing very well fishing Jay Fair’s Trolling Flies.
For those not familiar with Jay Fair, he is a local fishing legend. Jay guided for decades on Davis and Eagle lakes. After many years of careful observation and experimentation Jay and his son have developed a line of fly tying materials and fly patterns that are highly effective. His trolling fly gives non-fly anglers an opportunity to take advantage of Jay’s innovation. A small swimming disk rigged in front of the trolling fly gives it an enticing side-to-side wobbling motion that really gets the trout’s attention.
The fishing at Almanor has slowed just a bit. According to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures, the full moon has fish feeding at night and very early in the morning. The action slows down before picking up again in the late morning. The biggest fish have consistently been caught in the late morning.
Doug says the insect activity continues from Dorado to Lake Cove, attracting lots of fish. Doug’s sonar showed fish at all depths, but most hookups came in the top 20 feet of water. He also likes to keep a line deep because the salmon are all over Lake Cove.
The two most productive setups for Doug continue to be fast-action lures like Speedy Shiners, Moose Looks, Needlefish and Rapalas, fished at 2.6 to 2.8 mph. Fast-action trolling lures become more effective with the addition of some Pro-Cure “Trophy Trout” scent. During the late mornings Doug adds a little “Garlic Plus” to the Trophy Trout scent.
The other effective presentation is the chartreuse Sep’s Strike Master Dodger with a short, 14-inch leader, size 4 octopus hook and half of a threaded nightcrawler. This rig is trolled more slowly at 1.2 mph.
The bass bite at Almanor has also been very good. Dave Johns, of Quincy, recently managed to catch several between 2.5 and 4 pounds. He said the fishing was great as long as the wind wasn’t blowing.
The fishing continues to be very good at Frenchman. According to the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post, Troy and Taylor Weyer from Sparks, Nev., each caught their limit Saturday before last. They were fishing near Lunker Point using nightcrawlers and chartreuse PowerBait. Their fish measured between 15 and 22 inches.
Haleigh Higgins caught three nice rainbows in about three hours Sunday, April 28, at Spring Creek. Two of her fish were about 12 inches in length and one was 14 inches.
A group of 14 friends came up for the opener. They caught a total of 40 fish — all between 14 and 17 inches. They used PowerBait and nightcrawlers at Spring Creek and Big Cove, fishing about 10 to 15 feet deep.
Chilcoot, Frenchman and Spring Creek campgrounds are currently open. Call Wiggin’s Trading Post for the most current information at 993-4683.
Lake Davis is waking up. The spawning activity is coming to an end. More fish are starting to show on the west side of the lake and to the north of the islands. Trollers are doing very well as are the fly anglers. Woolly Buggers and Jay Fair Trolling Flies are catching fish. Blood midge patterns and ice cream cones are also working for the fly anglers.
Eagle Point, Coot Bay and Mallard Cove have all been producing nice results for the bait anglers. Remember that the streams going into the lake are closed until the Saturday of Memorial Weekend.
The opening of stream fishing was almost a non-event. Fishing pressure was very light in most areas. This was surprising considering that the local streams were in much better condition than they have been in in many years thanks to the very light rain and snow this spring.
Fishing was good on the North Fork Feather from Belden Reservoir down to Caribou Crossroads. Fly anglers reported some success further downstream near Pulga and also on the Middle Fork Feather. Nymph fishing was the key as dry fly hatches are still pretty sparse.
There were also good reports from Indian Creek below Antelope Lake, Little Last Chance Creek below Frenchman Lake and from Deer Creek.