Spring storms challenge anglers

An angler is a man who spends rainy days sitting around on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won’t let him do it at home.

~ Author Unknown

Spring storms continue to hit Plumas and Lassen counties and that is making for some tough fishing. Heavy snow, as recently as earlier this week, makes access difficult if not impossible to the higher lakes.

Snowdrifts and muddy roads are a challenge on the lower lakes. With so much runoff, water clarity can be an issue.

Even with the unsettled weather, getting out on the water is far better than sitting at home. And if you know where to go, you might just get lucky. There are plenty of hungry fish out there. Just don’t forget your rain gear.

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor continues to be the hot spot locally. Patient trollers and bank anglers are catching some very nice rainbows and browns.

Hamilton Branch is running high and muddy and that is affecting water clarity throughout most of the east basin. Clarity is a little better in the west basin where the North Fork of the Feather and Bailey Creek are running fairly clear.  Super Ditch, as the diversion channel that keeps Chester from flooding is called, continues to run adding a bit of color to the water between Almanor West and Airport Flats.

Lake surface temps are in the 40F degree range. The trout are becoming more active as the water warms. Trout are cruising the near shore areas for pond smelt.

Trollers are finding fish from the tip of the peninsula up to the mouth of Bailey Creek. Fish are scattered all along the west shore from the dam and rocky point area up to Almanor West and Airport Flats.

Rapalas and Speedy Shiners are favorite lures. Crawlers trolled slowly behind a dodger are also effective.

Bass are off points and rock piles and will become more active as the water warms.

Butt Lake

The lake is full and road is open. Fishing pressure is very light and reports are sparse. The power house/creek channel closed until end of May.

Lake Davis

Ice fishing is over for the season, but the ice has not yet pulled back from the shore enough to allow for much decent fishing.

Frenchman Lake

There is open water and anglers are catching trout from the bank near the dam. Access to the dam is open, but snowdrifts and deep mud prevent access beyond the dam.

Anglers are picking up rainbows in the 16- to 18-inch range at the dam using Powerbait or nightcrawlers suspended off the bottom.

Call Wiggins Trading Post, 993-4683, for  current lake conditions and updates on fishing.

Antelope Lake

The road to the lake is open, but I have yet to hear any fishing reports.

Stream Fishing

The Middle Fork of the Feather River from the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge (1/4 mile upstream of County A-23 bridge) to the Mohawk Bridge opens on the first Saturday in April. I checked out this section of river last week. The water was high and a bit off color but fishable. Despite that, I did not see a single angler.

There are no other streams open in Plumas or Lassen counties. If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, the Truckee River is open. The water is high, but the clarity is not too bad and anglers are picking up a few healthy rainbows.