“The best time to go fishing is when you can.”
If this report reads a bit like last week’s report, there is a reason for that. It turns out that conditions have not changed that much from last week. We are stuck somewhere between spring and summer fishing patterns.
Cool breezy weather this past week has stalled the transition to summer fishing. But be prepared.
Water temperatures will soon reach summertime levels and fish will be seeking cooler water.
The North Fork Feather and Warner Creek are both in good shape. Nymphs are working well through the day. Mayflies begin hatching in the late afternoon.
Golden stoneflies are also present. Stonefly nymphs crawl along the stream bottom to the shore where they transform into adult insects on streamside vegetation. If you don’t see adults, try drifting a stonefly nymph.
Deer Creek is in good shape. The upper end has been best with nymphs early in the day and an evening hatch of mayflies. Prince nymphs and Para Adams are working well.
Hamilton Branch at the mouth is fishing well. Be prepared for a crowd. Farther upstream the Branch is a very pretty stream with lots of smaller rainbows.
The Middle Fork Feather River in the Graeagle area has been fishing very well, but the water is starting to warm up.
Water temps are now running in the mid- to high 60s. Trout prefer water a bit cooler than that. They are now moving into the well-oxygenated whitewater of riffles and heads of pools during the day, according to local guide Jon Biaocchi of Biaocchi Troutfitters.
Jon has been doing well working size 14 royal trude flies, but he says that as the water warms it will be all about the evening rise. He suggests anglers bring a head lamp and fish until dark.
Active bugs now are golden stonefly adults, little green stoneflies, yellow sallies and green drakes.
Downstream of Two Rivers (where Jamison Creek enters) water temps are running 58 – 62 degrees and will fish well for the next month with an emphasis on the evenings.
Water is in the mid-60-degree range. Fishing continues to be good.
Eagle Point continues to be hot. Try PowerBait in rainbow, chartreuse or sherbet. Inflated nightcrawlers are also working well.
Fly-fishing from Eagle Point to Freeman has been good. Assorted nymphs, damsels, woolly buggers, flash back pheasant tail and copper johns have all been doing well.
Trolling remains good on the west shore and near the islands.
It’s been another windy week at Frenchman Lake so the fishing pressure has been light.
There have been some good reports from anglers fishing crawlers or salmon eggs near Nightcrawler Bay.
Hopefully the wind will not be so bad this week, and fishing will get back to normal.
For the latest conditions, call the folks at Wiggin’s Trading Post at 993-4683.
According to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-6732) the hot rig these days has been threaded crawlers or meal worms behind a dodger.
Doug prefers to use the Chartreuse Prism Strike Master Dodger. He suggests rigging it down from five to 15 feet and trolling from 1.5 to 1.8 mph. This killer combination has been getting fish when other applications have not for the past two weeks.
There is a lot of insect food available right now, and less smelt on the sonar, except at Canyon Dam where they are very abundant.
The fish are well fed, and will feed casually over the entire morning and into afternoon. Anglers should expect to work it a little longer for their fish until these aquatic insect hatches peak, and begin to decline. Once these hatches begin to decline expect the bite to spike.
Doug says to expect the bite to remain about the same, and probably build as we will have darker nights and less night feeding.
The Hexagenia are hatching along the west shore. They hatch right at dark, but the nymphs are active through the evening.
And remember, the best time to go fishing is when you can.