Plumas County Fishing Report for the week of 6/15/2011

Michael Condon

Staff Writer

Stream fishing

A couple days of heavy rain last week followed (finally) by some warm weather have increased the runoff. Stream flows on many area streams have actually increased over the last week or two.

My advice to stream anglers: consider fishing some of our many fine local lakes for the next couple weeks.

If you are determined to fish a stream make sure to present your offering deep. Current conditions are not conducive to surface feeding.

Flows are higher and the water is colder than it usually is this time of year. Use extreme caution when wading.

Bucks Lake

Bucks Lake continues to produce some big Macs. Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service (283-4103) reports clients catching a number of fish in the 20-pound-plus range. The largest was a 25-pound, 11-ounce, 44-inch-long monster caught and released by Hanns Balkowitsch, of Roseville.

Bryan’s clients have also enjoyed some hot action for rainbows and brown trout mostly up to 18 inches with a few larger fish. Needlefish, Dick Nites and Cripplures have been the most productive lures.

Bryan adds a little scent to his lures and fishes them between 12 and 20 feet deep for the best results.


Lake Almanor

I made it out to Lake Almanor a few days ago. I had a few chores to take care of first thing in the morning so I wasn’t on the water until nearly 10. I wasn’t worried because I kept hearing that the best activity was in the late morning until early afternoon.

I will spare you the details. (That way I don’t have to talk a lot about getting skunked.) But next time I will be on the water a few hours earlier.

I did see a few fish being caught, but for the number of boats fishing the west shore where I was, the action looked to be on the slow side.

Still, it was great to get out on the lake with my four-legged fishing buddy, Sierra. I know she enjoys fishing and my company, but I think mostly she goes for the jerky we share any time we go fishing.

I don’t mind getting skunked all that much. It is much better than not fishing at all. But it does become a bit of a problem when I am supposed to be sharing some good fishing tips and instead come up empty.

That is where the fishing guides come in. They spend a lot more time on the water. They catch a lot more fish than I do when they are on the water. And fortunately they are willing to share some good information so I can share tips that are more useful than just saying, “Get out of bed earlier than I did.”

Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-6732) reports a mixed bag of browns and rainbows scattered along the west shore from Prattville to the airport.

Most fish are in the 2-pound class, however, some 4- and 5-pounders are being caught.

Needlefish in Clown, Silver Prism, Chicken Wing and Pearl as well as Nickel Speedy Shiners, Rainbow Runners and Pro Secrets in red and gold have all been effective. Try trolling 6 to 8 feet down early, and dropping down a little deeper later in the day.

I think a fish finder is an essential piece of equipment for trolling. What I saw on my finder last time out was fewer fish than I had previously seen along the west shore. That suggests to me that the fish are pretty scattered. Next time out I think I will try the west side of the peninsula.


Lake Davis

Jay Clark of Jay Clark Fly Fishing, based out of Loyalton, reports that fishing is starting to pick up at Davis. Blood midges are hatching consistently. The fish are keyed in on them, providing dry fly opportunities with both emergers/cripples and duns. Size 10 blood midge pupae and smaller zebra/snocone type midges in dark colors are also providing action. Try slow stripping in or drifting under an indicator.

Callibaetis mayflies are emerging in the southern end of the lake. Pheasant tail and hare’s ear nymphs in sizes 12 to 16 are good imitations for this hatch. You can contact Jay Clark at 414-1655 or visit his website at

Shore anglers are doing well fishing night crawlers, or PowerBait in rainbow or chartreuse.

Trollers are fishing Dick Nite lures in Copper Red Head and Needlefish in Red Dot Frog, Metallic Perch or Fire Tiger.

For more information call J&J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort at 832-0270.


Frenchman Lake

Years ago I learned from my father-in-law that trolling was much more sophisticated than just dragging a lure around a lake on the end of some fishing line. Now I think of trolling almost in chess game terms. A downrigger, fish finder and a good knowledge of the ecology of the lake are just starting points.

As much as I enjoy the technical side of trolling, my favorite method of fishing will always be fly-fishing.

I was hooked from the time I was 14 years old and caught an 8-inch rainbow on a royal coachman dry fly. I was so excited that when I set the hook, I launched that poor little fish out of the water and well over my head onto the bank. So much for catch and release!

But what I really enjoy about fishing is when we are reminded of the basics. It’s as if fishing grabs you by the ears, shakes your head a bit, and tells you not to be so full of yourself and your fancy ways.

This week’s reminder comes from a Monterey resident who caught a 3-pound, 22-inch rainbow trout. He was bank fishing with night crawlers and marshmallows at the dam at Frenchman Lake.

I didn’t see this event, but my guess is that he wasn’t using a $300 dollar rod with a $200 reel. He probably wasn’t wearing $400 dollar waders and a $200 fishing vest.

One of the things I love about fishing is how it reminds us to keep it simple.

The guy with the fancy boat and expensive gear can get skunked on any given day. And the guy with the marshmallows and night crawlers down by the dam gets the big one.

That is just the way it is; and I like it that way.

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