Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.
Day length is getting shorter by nearly two minutes a day. High temperatures are on the decline.
Fall is just around the corner.
The fishing will soon be in transition to a fall pattern. But it is not there yet.
We are still in a late summer pattern. That means the fishing is a bit on the slow side. But don’t despair; patient anglers are being rewarded with nice fish.
And besides, what is better than a day on your favorite lake or stream?
The late summer pattern still prevails at Almanor but the transition to a fall pattern is just around the corner.
The key to the late summer pattern is the fish are now focusing on the pond smelt. The pond smelt are plump and plentiful, and the insect hatches in the lake are pretty much over for the year.
According to fishing guide Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures, pond smelt are very abundant this year and the fish are after them.
White Gitzits jigs have been the best bet for trout the past few days.
Doug suggests trolling from 35 to 55 feet down. Fishing isn’t red hot, but patient anglers are finding fish.
For bait anglers, anchovy tails fished six feet off the bottom, with Pro-Cure Herring Super Gel, have been the most productive bait for salmon. Crickets, meal worms and night crawlers all work for trout.
The “on anchor bait bite” is a good way to go, according to Doug. Some of Almanor’s bigger fish are often caught with suspended baits, especially this time of year.
From late summer into the fall season, anglers that take their sweet time and sit on anchor near places like the A-Frame, Snag, Spar Buoy and Big Springs will get fish, some very large.
The Butt Lake powerhouse is running and there are fish in the inlet. Some of Almanor’s abundant pond smelt are getting caught up in the water coming through the powerhouse creating a chum line in the inlet.
This is a good time to try for some of Butt Lake’s sizeable trout. Try white jigs or Gitzits. Fishing during low light conditions can be very effective.
Fishing at Lakes Basin will be terrible for the next several days.
I am not just saying that because as this newspaper hits the streets I will be camping and fishing there with some old friends for several days.
OK. Maybe that is why I am saying it.
What the heck. Come on up. There are plenty of lakes and plenty of fish to go around.
The fishing at the many lakes in the Lakes Basin area is seldom red hot, although I have had a few excellent days in previous fall seasons.
But it is hard to image a more pleasant and more beautiful place to fish.
My friends and I will be sampling several of the lakes close to the road system from our kayaks.
Lakes Basin presents another interesting and pleasant dilemma.
As we were planning our meals for camp, someone suggested we hit one of the lodges for dinner one night. Packer Lake Lodge, Gold Lake Lodge and Sardine Lake Lodge all offer outstanding meals.
You can check out their menus online at packerlakelodge.com, sardinelakeresort.com and goldlakelodge.com.
Stream fishing remains good. Insect hatches are plentiful and stream flows and water temperatures are nearly ideal.
The slower stretches of the North and Middle forks Feather River may be a bit on the warm side. In these areas, look for the tributaries. Trout will move into the tributaries in search of cooler water.
Water temperature isn’t just a matter of comfort to fish. Warmer water contains less oxygen, which is a critical habitat component for the fish.