Steve Monteverde has his finger on the pulse point up at the lake while manning the seasonal store and watching out for the campers at the Antelope Lake campground.
Fishing is good and plentiful with loads of room for more fishermen in boats or along the shoreline of the high altitude haven.
The water has warmed up but is still cool enough that fishermen can get hit anywhere above 35 feet. “The bite it’s kind of hit and miss,” said Dewitt Henderson at Bucks Lake Marina, “but the Kokanee are on fire, so let’s start there.” The big fish are about 20 feet down, mostly concentrated around the east side of the channel.
On the topic of trout, the CDFW have been generous with their plants this year. Shoreline fishermen are using worms and Castmasters along the edges. But fish or no fish, is there really any place better to be on a hot day in July except beside a lake or puttering around in a boat?
Goodwin’s Store gets a fair amount of traffic with fishermen looking for last minute fishing supplies and lunch to take on the water. “It looks like fishing has been good with Garlic PowerBait,” said staff member Blake Allison.
Gold Lake/Lakes Basin
Mark Tieslau at Blairsden Hardware Store said fishing is good at Gold Lake. “They are catching at about 10 to 15 feet with Rapallas.” The river level is perfect according to Tieslau and the store was hopping with action.
The third annual Veterans Fishing day took place June 23rd. “We had over 40 boats taking close to 100 veterans fishing,” said John Crotty. There were three veterans from World War II participating, two 94 years old and the other 96.
The big day was put together over a period of months with the coordination of Almanor Fishing Association and the many, many hands of local guides and fishermen. The vets caught plenty of fish and quite a few “big ones” got away. Most fish caught by the vets were released during the day’s adventures and there are still plenty of “fatties” waiting for the Free Fishing Day Saturday, July 6.
Road construction continues on Highway 70 through the canyon with extended road closures. “Please check with Caltrans for current road updates,” advises Crotty.
Jim Graham at J&J Grizzly Store said, “Yesterday I saw a 27” rainbow weighing about 5 pounds.” It was caught at Mallard Cove on Rainbow PowerBait with Garlic. “We had another fish plant July 1,” added Jim. And a reminder that there is a free fishing day everywhere in California on July 6, this Saturday.
Mark Tieslau said he heard “Fishermen are aiming at about 20 to 30 feet for cooler water temperatures.” Perhaps Monday’s fish plant has fattened up the bite a bit.
Middle Fork Feather River
“Fishing is great right now with a PMD Mayfly hatch early morning around 9 a.m.,” said fishing guide Jack Trout. “Use Light Cahills size 14 and 16.” Little Yellow Stone Hatch size 14 is suggested for midday from 1 to 3 p.m., and size 14 emergent crippled (E/C) Caddis is a great match for this hatch or a Yellow Elk Hair Caddis.
These flies are “also very productive with beaded nymphs under the dry fly and high sticking the dry through pocket water,” said Trout. “Have the dropper at least 3 feet from the dry fly and put on a second beaded fly that is smaller for a trailing fly 2 feet down from that.”
Three flies on one rig is legal as long as the barbs are smashed down. “This is a very good rig for right now and gives the trout a smorgasbord of food choices they can’t easily resist,” said Trout.
The magic fly right now is a size 16 to 12 Poxy Back Golden Stone “I had a beginner last week who hooked into a monster that must of gone over 2 pounds,” said Trout. “Those big ones in the MF Feather, you gotta respect them and let them run some line out or they’re gone!” There are some great trout in our Feather River.
Parachute Adams size 16 or an indicator with some mayflies like a size 16 Black Copper John or a size 18 Rainbow Warrior and Blood Midges are suggested by fishing guide Trout. There are more trout in Sardine Lake right now due to fish plants, but for a little quiet solitude interrupted less frequently by hungry pesky fish, Packer Lake might be the hot ticket.
Fishing is good with consistent trout plants and happy anglers. “Look for dry fly in the afternoons near the creek on the west side,” suggests Jack Trout. “Use a Parachute Adams size 16 or a indicator with some mayflies like a size 16 Black Copper John or a size 18 Rainbow Warrior and Blood Midges.”
Mark Tieslau confirms Parachute Adams as the number one choice at Sardine Lake netting results.
North Fork Yuba River
Near Downieville, “The flows were high and now that they are receding, trout can relax and feed graciously with a little effort from the heavy currents,” said Jack Trout. River fish can relax a little and take in some nutrients like Golden Stones size 12 and Red Copper Johns size 14 and 16 suggested Trout, “a spring time favorite amongst the trout that inhabit the mighty Yuba force.”
River trout are taking Golden Stone dry flies in riffles in the evenings. “Now’s the time of year to call up family and friends and have them come up to visit, and save a neighbor by buying something in the area,” said Trout. “Mayflies, Caddis and Stones are very prolific right now in the river.” This is a great time to learn fly-fishing and get on the rivers, fishing the edges of the seams is the ticket right now for success!