Many thanks to those fishermen and women who have provided information on their favorite fishing spots and baits with the reading public this year, much appreciated. Thank you John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association, Jack Trout, Robert and Ella Garcia, Goodwin’s Store staff, Mark Tieslau of Blairsden Hardware Store, Jim and Jeanne Graham of J & J General Store, John Pato, Ben Williams, Rebecca Guereque at Bucks Lake Lodge, Valerie Aubrey of Eagle Lake and special thanks to our world traveler and avid fisherpal, Gary Blanchard.
The road to Bucks is officially closed, but the store and restaurant are open on the weekends. Oh, and there are fish biting and fishermen on the lake willing to pull them out! If you manage to get up to the lake over the holidays one way or another, chances are good that if you drop a line, you will catch a fish, or three. Happy Holidays.
The fishing season closes at Eagle Lake on Dec. 31. Valorie Aubrey sent us these details: Eagle Lake continues to fish well. CDFW planted more fish last week so Pikes Point and the jetty area were inundated for a few days. Shore fishing is still producing a few fish. Jigs, small spinners, mini crawlers and PowerBait are producing.
Christie Day Use Area has been up and down. Eagle’s Nest is producing a few from shore, but access has been a bit slippery getting in and out. The few trollers are still doing well, trolling flies, mostly cinnamon leeches and Tui Chub patterns.
“Gold and silver rapalas and metallic perch Little Cleo’s haven’t been gang busting like earlier this fall but limits are being caught,” said Aubrey. “Mostly all close to the surface. Fly fishing has been ok.” Some days the fish are up close to shore and other days holding out over deeper water but still up top. Burnt orange leeches and minnow patterns are the most taken, but along the west side small pheasant tail nymphs are also getting attention.
“The last storm was mostly in the form of rain and we’ve seen somewhat warmer temps,” said Aubrey. Paved roads in the basin have been in good shape.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association checked in Dec. 16, “With a series of warmer storms dropping rain instead of our usual December snows, water level increased slightly this past week.” Water temps continue to hover in the low to mid-40s. Boating pressure remains light. As is typical this time of year there is an increase in shore fishing between the dam and Rocky Point. The majority of the fish being caught are small with an occasional larger fish thrown in the mix.
“We fished this past Tuesday and caught two nice rainbows past Rec #2 in 20-25 feet of water trolling speedy shiners at 2.5-3 mph,” said Crotty. “We picked up, headed to Big Springs and fished south past Hamilton Branch without a grab.”
Then Crotty and crew picked up and headed to the Willows just north of Dorado and fished south past Lake Cove where they picked up a half dozen fish along that run. “We finished up with seven fish, the largest a 3-plus-pound brown. We also caught two smaller browns as well,” said Crotty. Red/gold and red dot frog were top producers fished in the top 15 feet.
“I spent most of yesterday, Dec 14, with Kevin Guess searching for fish from shore with our fly rods,” said Crotty. The pair fished Rocky Point campground, roadside cove , Keddie, Geritol and three areas on the east shore where springs enter Almanor. “We could only find smaller fish in our travels,” said Crotty.
The storm over the holiday may have dropped rain or snow for a white Christmas, but the forecast is for clear skies and cool temperatures this week at the lake ranging between 22 degrees at night and up to 43 during daylight hours.
All roads leading to Almanor are open and cleared regularly as is the Canyon Dam boat ramp. Keep in mind that chains may be required over the passes since roads without sun maintain ice that can always be a problem throughout the winter season. Travel safe.
John Pato Ice Fishing Derby happens ice or not Saturday, Feb. 2. “It’s starting to ice, the ice is very thin,” said Jeanne Graham at J & J Grizzly Store. “I don’t want anyone going out on it right now.”
With mountain access HOPEFULLY limited during the winter, the solution for a fishing itch could be to travel down instead of up. Pyramid Lake temperature is currently “sitting at 45 degrees with gin clear water,” said fishing guide Chris Wharton. Is that shaken or stirred?
There have been cutthroats to 20 pounds coming out in the last couple of weeks. “The big trophy fish are active right now and this is a great time to get a 8×10 money shot of a Pyramid trophy,” offered Wharton.
Stripping and indicators have both been working well with Tui Chub baitfish patterns being go to flies. “If you are going to fish the indicator wait for some wind and clouds so you can get some good motion on your bugs,” suggested Wharton. All areas are fishing about the same pace. “The fish are very strong right now, so have a rod with some backbone in it,” said Wharton.
The pro is recommending the following flies: The Chewy Tui, white and olive Balance Leeches, Midnight Cowboy and Olive Buggers and Popcorn Tadpoles.
Insider tips from Wharton include: “If you are running a Bugger Beetle combination, make sure to tie your Bugger on top off a tag end and run the Beetle about 30 inches below that,” said Wharton. “Loop knots and 13 lb. 1x Floro tippet is a must in my opinion. Make sure your hooks are either 2x or 3x heavy or you have a 50/50 shot at landing fish over 10 pounds.”