"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it. What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore."
Stream Season Opens
Many streams in our area open to trout fishing this coming weekend.
I grew up fishing in the coast range where the opening of fishing season was a big deal. Here in the Sierras, spring runoff usually puts a damper on opening weekend stream fishing. Usually. This year looks to be different. This year the streams are not as high and the water clarity is better than normal so the stream fishing should be better than it is most years.
I am looking forward to that. I might have to check out some of my favorite spots on the Middle Fork of the Feather. I prefer to fly fish so I’ll probably try some small stonefly and mayfly imitations. I will use nymph patterns with a small split shot if don’t see anything hatching. I haven’t done the necessary preseason scouting, so it’s a matter of being observant and having a good variety of flies to match whatever is hatching.
Another good spot worth checking is the North Fork of the Feather above Caribou. Even when other streams are running high, that area has consistently moderate flows due to the up-stream dams. Caribou Crossroads is once again hosting their annual tournament. It’s a great family friendly gathering complete with big fish prizes and a great lunch/dinner BBQ with music and campfire activities. Give them a call at 530 283-1384 for more information.
Remember that the streams that are tributary to Butt Lake and Lake Almanor do not open for fishing until the end of May in order to protect spawning rainbows. Be sure to check the regulations before you go fishing.
Lake Almanor sounds like the hot spot right now. The water level has risen significantly in the past couple weeks. The lake is very nearly full. The water temperature has risen into the low fifty degree range and the water clarity has improved.
All the indicators are pointing to an excellent spring bite.
I was at Almanor last Friday. The bank anglers I talked to weren’t having a lot of success.
It was another matter for the trollers; and there were lots of trollers.
The parking lot at the Canyon Dam boat ramp was packed. Most of the boats headed up the east shore. Anglers were boating lots of brown trout along with a few rainbows and a few king salmon.
Trolling close to shore worked best. Start fishing shallow (10 to 5 feet) early in the morning. Once the sun gets on the water try fishing deeper; 15 to 25 feet.
Try pond smelt imitations or dodger and night-crawler combinations.
There were only a few boats at the Almanor Campground boat ramp.
If you want a less crowded place to fish, try the west shore. Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-6732) was finding some good fish on the east shore but when he moved over to the west shore to get away from the crowds he found even better action with lots of 1 to 3 pound fish.
Brian Raccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service (283-4103) stayed on the east shore and that paid off nicely. His clients caught a number of brown trout up to 4 pounds.
On Thursday one of Brian’s clients, who was celebrating her 18th birthday out fishing with her dad, landed a 7.5 pound monster brown. Not a bad way to spend a birthday!
Fishing is picking up at Frenchman according to the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post. Fly fishers and bait anglers are all picking up nice rainbows in the 14 to 16 inch range. Night-crawlers and Powerbait are the preferred offerings.
Trolling with Tasmanian Devils or nightcrawlers behind flashers is also working well.
Butt Valley Reservoir
Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company in Chester (283-3944) reports that the fishing is picking up at Butt Valley Reservoir. Water temps are in the low 50's. Smallmouth are biting. Call Tom at 283-3944.
Last week I shared so Spring fishing tips from some of our local expert fishing guides. One of those was Reese McAllister of Reese’s Fish Hunt. I listed his phone number incorrectly. The correct phone number is 283-3625.
Give Reese a call or check or check out his web site at www.reesesfishhunt.com.