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Fish are jumpin’ … and the snow is gonna fly

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

Lake Almanor

Water level is up another 3/10ths of a foot over the past week, water temps hover between 39 and 41 degrees and visibility varies between 6-10 feet. Weather over this past week has been more like spring than winter. It appears that is about to change. A high wind watch went into effect Sunday night that is to run through Tuesday with gusts exceeding 30 mph on Tuesday. There are chances of snow beginning Friday, Jan. 22, with additional snow predicted for Sunday and Monday, Jan. 24 and 25.

Fishermen have been taking advantage of the weather resulting in an increase in boat and bank fishing pressure. “Hamilton Branch remains your best shot at catching mature fish from shore,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “We are still not seeing many large fish in the coves around the dam.”

Power bait, crawlers and jigs are the preferred baits. Trollers caught an even mix of browns and bows, this past week, with the majority of the boat pressure on the south end of the lake. “If you can find bait you will catch fish and all methods will work,” said Crotty. “We caught fish slow trolling gulps and crawlers at one mph, while I had friends catch fish fast trolling hardware and pulling flies.”

Hardware at 2.5-3 mph and flies at 1.5-2 mph, wonder bread speedy shiners and Arctic Fox pond smelt patterns have been the most productive. Fish have been in the top 15 feet of water early in the morning, moving deeper as the sun comes up. The fog has been thick early around the lake and burning off around 9 am.

The snow is gone at lake level and Almanor roads are in great shape. Canyon Dam remains the only public boat ramp on the lake.

Lake Davis

Jeanne Graham at J&J Grizzly Store reports that fishermen say they are getting bites mostly on nightcrawlers. “Most (fish reported) were caught in the dam area, usually one or two each in a couple of hours,” said Jeanne Graham. “Last weekend ice at the dam was reported to be 6 inches and at Coot Bay, 5 inches. “This is as reported by fishermen, not officially monitored,” said Jeanne.

Nights have been cold and there has been rain and less than an inch of snow.

The annual February Davis Lake derby is not a sure thing yet. Jeanne and Jim Graham are working with the Forest Service on the event. The “Maybe Ice Derby” is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 13. The Father’s Day Weekend Derby is still planned for June 19.

Send your fishing stories and pictures to [email protected] for inclusion in this regular article.


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