Don’t put that fishing gear away quite yet
Fall is my favorite time of year. The sometimes too hot days of summer have given way to pleasantly comfortable weather. Even the occasional rains are a welcome change.
Fall brings hunting season and time to harvest bounty of the vegetable garden. The colors are spectacular and the fishing is at its best of the year.
But, fall has one very serious flaw: eventually it gives way to wintry weather. The garden harvest is over. Hunting season is finished. Fall colors fade. Stream fishing is closed for the season and the snow limits access to our wonderful lakes. That pretty much sums up this past week.
But all is not lost. Despite all the changes, the fishing continues.
There are excellent lakes here in Plumas County that can be accessed all winter over plowed roads. The most notable may be Lake Almanor, which is surrounded by plowed highway.
Geritol Cove (by the Canyon Dam boat ramp) and the East Shore all the way to Hamilton Branch are productive spots in the winter.
The action usually slows down as the water temperatures drop, but Almanor yields some of its largest fish in the winter.
Construction at Canyon Dam boat ramp should start any day now. The ramp will be closed, but shore access should be fine. The boat ramp at Almanor Campground near Prattville will remain open.
Fishing at both Frenchman and Davis lakes was excellent before last weekend’s snowstorm. That should continue.
The weather over the next few weeks will dictate what access will be like. To get the latest access information, call Wiggins Trading Post at (993-4683) for information on Frenchman Lake and J & J’s Grizzly Store (832-0270) for information on Lake Davis.
Eventually both lakes will freeze over and ice fishing will begin.
If you don’t mind a short drive, Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta offer excellent fishing opportunities for both bass and trout in the warmer Sacramento Valley. Boat launching can be a bit tricky as both lakes are drawn down in the winter to make room for winter storm and spring run-off.
There are also some excellent “pay to play” private lakes in the foothills. Those lakes are normally catch and release and tend to be fairly expensive. They cater to fly anglers and offer the chance to catch some very large trout.
One such property is Eagle Canyon Trophy Trout Lakes. Nestled in the foothills of Lassen Peak on a working cattle ranch, the facility includes two small spring-fed lakes easily fished from shore or from a float tube.
The lakes are open to catch and release fly fishing only.
The average rainbow trout in the lakes is 5 – 8 pounds and 10+ pound fish are abundant. The lake record is a 23-pound rainbow trout.
For more information, call Confluence Outfitters at (888) 481-1650 or visit EagleCanyonTrout.com.
Another source for excellent private water is the Fly Shop in Redding. It manages several properties with excellent trophy trout fishing.
All the properties are catch and release only and fishing pressure is strictly limited to provide a memorable experience for the lucky angler who fishes those special places.
The Fly Shop may be reached at 669-3474 or at TheFlyShop.com.
I am not going to let the weather stop me from fishing. Whether it is right here in our backyard, or a short drive down to the valley, I will wet a line every chance I get.
There is no reason to put your fishing gear away for the winter. So get out there. Go fishing.
Tight lines and stay warm.