Fishing Report for the week of 5/14/2014

Michael Condon
Outdoor writer

A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.  ~Author Unknown

I recently received an email from a big box sporting goods store with a subject line that read “Spend more time fishing.” What angler is not going to open that email?

I took the bait and opened the email.

The email contained fishing ads and the headliner at the top of the page was an ad for a new boat.

My first thought was shame on them for such a shameless ploy. But then as I thought more about it I saw the genius in their ad.

If I were to buy a new boat, I would absolutely have to fish more. How else could I justify that expense?

My boat is pretty old. Its age is measured in decades rather than years. If boat years were like dog years, it would be ancient. Actually, it is ancient by any measurement.

Just think how much safer a new boat would be. My wife would spend much less time worrying about whether or not I broke down out on the lake.

I know she worries about my safety. A new boat would be much safer. She would worry less and I would go fishing more.

What is not to like about buying a new boat? I will have to ponder that while. In the meantime, I need to get “old faithful” ready for our next fishing trip.

Lake Almanor

Almanor continues to fish very well, producing a mix of browns, rainbows, and king salmon.

The best king salmon fishing is between the dam and a reef a short distance up the east shore called the snag.

If you are not sure where the snag is, there are two effective ways to locate it.

You can start trolling up the east shore from the dam. When your gear gets hung up you will know you have arrived.

The easier way is to look for a bunch of boats congregated near the east shore a little less than a mile from the dam.

Most of the kings are being caught on suspended baits fished near the bottom. Anchovy tails (available in Chester) are a favorite.

The water temperature is near ideal for the fish right now. There are pond smelt and good bug hatches all around the lake. As a result, the fish are scattered all around the lake and feeding at a variety of depths.

The successful angler needs to move around and change techniques until finding the combination that works.

The water along the relatively shallow west shore gets a little warm in the summer. But right now it is perfect.

The area between Almanor West and airport flats is holding some nice fish right now. Prattville and Rocky Point are also good areas to try.

The usual spots along the peninsula and east shore (Rec 1, the A Frame, Big Springs, and Hamilton Branch just for starters) are producing some nice fish. As much as I like a bit of solitude when I am fishing, watching where the other boats are working will help you find the hot spots.

Slow trolling a threaded crawler behind a dodger is a favorite technique. If that doesn’t work, try a red and gold Speedy Shiner trolled a little faster.

Lake Davis

The fishing continues to improve at Davis. The water is warming and the hatches are increasing. Trout are starting to move to the west shore around Jenkins and Cow Creek.

Fly anglers are catching some nice fat rainbows on midges, snail patterns, and damselfly nymphs.

Trolling has been very good. Fish shallow; 5 to 10 feet deep. Dick Nite Copper Red Head and Red Dot Frog are doing well.

Bank fishing has been best around Mallard Cove and Eagle Point.

The old Camp 5 boat ramp is the only one with a dock in. Honker Cove is still closed.

Call J and J’s Grizzly Store and Campground for the latest fishing information. (530) 832-0270

Stream Fishing

Fishing is fair on the Middle Fork of the Feather River and most other area streams are no different.

The water is cold but fishable in the morning. It warms up as the day goes on increasing the insect hatches and improving the fishing. Sometimes it is nice to know you don’t have to be up before sunrise to find some decent fishing.

Fish midges and blue-winged olive nymphs in the morning. As temperatures rise during the day, look for fish rising to march browns, and a few caddis. Stonefly patterns and beadhead nymphs will produce in tailouts and slow pocket water. Expect hatches of yellow sallies, caddis and pale morning.

Fishing streamers along the edges with a sink tip line is also a good tactic when hatches aren’t happening.

Fish Plants

Last week in this column I complained about the paltry fish plants scheduled for Plumas County. The fish plants may have picked up a little bit.

Antelope Lake and Lake Davis were scheduled to receive plants last week. I did see a couple of fish trucks on the highway so I think we did get some trout delivered.

Little Grass Valley Reservoir, Jamison Creek and the North Fork at Belden are scheduled for plants this week, so it looks like things are picking up.

Graeagle Millpond Fishing Derby

The Feather River chapter of Trout Unlimited will be hosting a fishing derby at the Graeagle Millpond on May 17 from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

This annual event is Feather River Trout Unlimited’s way of encouraging positive outdoor experiences for families in the area.

Everyone is welcome and the chapter will have a limited amount of bait and tackle for use that day. For more information call Tim Kurdupski at 836-2828 or Cindy Noble at 249-0444.

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