The lake is now officially “closed,” but the boat ramp remains open and accessible. The store and the campgrounds are closed, but the lake is still there and so are the fish.
“Oh my gosh, fishing is great,” said Rebecca Guerque at Bucks Lake Lodge. “We caught three off the bank yesterday.” Guerque said that “everyone” has been coming in with fish and pictures to show off their success on the lake.
The store at the lodge opens every day with fishing supplies at 11 a.m., except Wednesday and Thursday, and stays open until 6:30 p.m., “or later if there are people,” said Guerque. The restaurant is open weekends, Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Folks are catching a little bit of everything. “It’s not easy to get boats in,” said Guerque. “I think they are still launching at Sandy Point,” but all other ramps are closed.
Fall season has arrived. “October and November are prime months to experience Eagle Lake at its best,” said Big Daddy Guide Service’s Ben Williams. If you would like some help landing fish from local waterways, Williams can lend a hand or a rod, 370-1001.
As the season changes, fish are strapping on the feedbags and chewing on pond smelt. Mornings definitely have an icy chill shooting across the lake, but afternoons have been warm and sunny.
Goodwin’s Store staff reported that based on fishermen coming through the shop, “they are doing pretty good now that it is cooler the fish are coming to the top more.”
Gary Blanchard sent in a picture worth a thousand words of his adventures on the lake this week. The message: He is catching fish.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association shared details with us Oct. 14. Temps have dropped to the high 20’s. Water temps hover in the high 50’s. Visible changes are occurring throughout ranging from 5-15’. Lake level was 4,484.47 elevation last week; October 2017 water level was at 4,487.26. “Our mornings have been cold,” said Crotty, “ and our afternoons have been spectacular, October is my favorite time of year especially in Plumas County.”
Fishing pressure is light in the morning, picking up as the sun hits the water. Almanor is full of pond smelt as are the fish. “Keep a look out for sea gulls picking up floating smelt on the surface and you will find fish,” said Crotty. “When slow trolling, Gulps and crawlers at one mph will produce fish. Speedy shiners, rapalas and flies have (at times) produced fish trolling between 2.2-2.8 mph in 15-40’ of water.” Troll depths are changing daily. Try targeting fish in the top 20’ early and moving deeper as the sun gets on the water.
Fly fishermen are beginning to pick up fish in the coves, the majority of the fish caught are smaller with an occasional big fish thrown in the mix.
“Sadly, Mary and Tom have closed the doors at the Chester Fly shop and Thirsty Trout pub,” said Crotty. “Both local landmarks provided info to fishermen and visitors alike … they will be missed.” Flies and fly fishing supplies are found at Intermountain Hardware. Mark Guillory of NorCal Bait & Tackle has Tom’s flies at [email protected]. Artic Fox trolling flies and Jay Fair flies, Almanor and Eagle Lake troller favorites are found at trollingflies.com
The bridge replacement project at the Canyon Dam spillway is complete with no road restrictions. Both public boat ramps are open with docks in place. “The drive to Almanor is beautiful this time of year and fishing will only improve,” wrapped Crotty.
Robert Garcia and his daughter Ella have been out fishing at Lake Davis again. “We caught 17 fish this week,” said Robert and sent along a colorful picture of 10-year-old Ella to illustrate.
Jackets and boots have taken the place of shorts and sandals for fishing attire. The fish wardrobe has remained mostly the same. On top of the 17 count, “I caught another big boy this morning,” said Robert on Oct. 11, “and last night we caught four fish in five minutes.”
“Visions of the Lost Sierra” is a film just completed on the Feather River. The world premiere will be at the Town Hall Theatre in Quincy Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m.
Three other films accompany the premier. “A Misty Existence,” by local filmmaker Colby Elliot will be shown as well as “The Wild President,” about Jimmy Carter, and “Run Wild, Run Free,” about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in this, its 50th anniversary.