Fish Bits: Fishing on Lake Almanor

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

Special for Feather Publishing

[email protected]

Thanks to Almanor Fishing Association and specifically John Crotty for providing these current details.


Water temp continues to hold in the mid 60s; clarity is 12-15’ on the south end of the lake and half that on the north. Lake level on Sept. 26 was 4479.65 compared to 4487.10 on the same date in 2019. Air quality has improved over the past week. We are expecting a warming trend this week with daytime temps reaching into the high 80s.

Road traffic continues on Highway 36 between Goodrich Creek and Fredonyer Summit with delays up to 30 minutes.

Fish are scattered throughout the lake and the bite was tough the past few days. There are large schools of pond smelt along the rocky edges and fish continue to gorge on the tasty high protein morsels. “You can choose your poison this time of year with similar results,” said Crotty. “Hardware at 2.5-3 mph and/or crawlers and gulps at 1 will work. Needle fish and flies will also catch fish at 1.5-2 mph; as mentioned, the bite was tough so experiment until you find something that works.” Rec #1 to the Peninsula, Rec #1 to the A-Frame, Dorado and Rec #2 in water from 25′ to 50’ are always good areas to start a morning.

Hamilton Branch remains the only viable option for bank fishermen. Bass fishing pressure is picking up with fish being caught off rocky points as the bass are also keying in on Pond Smelt. “Not much happening for the fly fishermen without a boat, contact Mark at Mark’s Guide Service for current fly fishing information at,” suggests Crotty.


It is cooling down at night with temps dipping into the high 30s, if you are camping call ahead to ensure campgrounds are open. Canyon Dam remains the only public ramp. Boat traffic picked up last weekend but has slowed considerably during the week.

The Almanor Fishing Association received fish food for the 2020-2021 pen season. Fish will arrive sometime around the end of October at which time Almanor Fishing Association volunteers will begin feeding fish daily through the winter. Past volunteer feeders should have received an email from fish pen coordinator, Brett Hurff. Any interested persons who would like to lend a hand to assist in the program can reach coordinators via email to [email protected] or by calling 284-0861.

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