There are not many people up at the lake as of Sept. 7, the fire is keeping everybody away. The fish were hitting pretty good before the fire started though, bass, smallmouth, big mouth and trout were all being reported as biting as folks came through the campground store. Fishing from the shores was good with PowerBait and worms.
There was a lot of pressure over the Labor Day weekend but it’s completely empty now. So far the wind has been blowing the smoke away from the lake area, but of course winds shift and that could change; so far, so good.
Long Point closes the 15th of September. Lone Rock and Boulder Campgrounds close the 22nd. That is the same date the dock comes out of the water and the bathrooms will close, but the lake is open for fishing year ’round.
How’s the fishing? “As good as it was,” reported Bucks Marina staff. “Things have been slowing down.” There hasn’t been much traffic for tackle or folks on the water after the Labor Day weekend.
Nayla Goodwin at Goodwin General Store said, “So far what I have heard is the fish are all at the dam. A guy caught a 20-incher at the dam with PowerBait, worms and marshmallows; he used all he could for the catch.”
Overall the report is that fishing has been kind of slow, a few storms have come to the area here and there.
Chilcoot Campground is closed, but Spanish Creek Campground, the main launch at Frenchman with the boat launch, and Big Cove Campground are open until Sept. 30. “There is only one boat launch this year, no boat launch at Lunker Point,” said Goodwin.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association sent in the following information Sept. 2.
“To say Lake Almanor was crowded this Labor Day weekend would be an understatement. Boats and watercraft of all varieties were on the water. Labor Day is typically the last hoorah for large crowds on Almanor,” said Crotty. “Our days are getting shorter and we are beginning to see a drop in both night and day temps.”
Water temps remain in the mid-70s and fish are seeking refuge over springs and up Hamilton Branch. The bite remains tough for trollers.
“We fished six hours yesterday (Sept. 1) for eight or nine take downs and five fish. Most of the fish caught were good quality and all were rainbows,” said Crotty. “We slow trolled Gulps and crawlers at .8 to 1 mph on a size 8 hook targeting fish in 40 to 50 feet of water, 35 to 40 feet on the wire. It’s a grind for sure; just stick with your game-plan.” As water temps drop fishing should pick up.
Bass fishermen are targeting bass off rocky points, docks and deeper water with plastics. Bank fishermen are concentrating their efforts at the Branch.
“Fall is a great time of year to enjoy the mountains and fishing will only get better from here,” said Crotty. “If you have never fished Almanor or visited Plumas County in the fall, plan a trip, you will not be disappointed.”
Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy Fishing agrees. “We have made it past the official end of the summer season, the Labor Day weekend.” Roccucci said, “Fishing continues to be solid at Lake Almanor with good numbers of the lake’s rainbow trout coming to the net. This is a fantastic time of year to be fishing Almanor, as you are likely to still have great weather, great fishing and not many people on the water, it’s a magical thing.”
“Trout are picking back up, it always gets slow in the summer,” said Jeanne Graham up at J&J Grizzly Store. “Bass, catfish and sunfish are doing well, like bluegill and pumpkin seed, and trolling trout are doing well.”
Eagle Lake trips will begin in just a few short weeks. “This year, as in years past, we will be splitting the fall season, fishing both Almanor and Eagle,” said Roccucci of Big Daddy Fishing. “Eagle Lake is shaping up to have some pretty exciting fall fishing this year. It doesn’t get any better than battling the hot rainbows in the shallows.”
Middle Fork Feather River
Colder mornings lead to more trout activity, but it’s the size that matters in Plumas County.
“So head down the river south of Quincy down the long and winding road which will take you to strawberry fields forever,” said Jack Trout. “Get that fly rod out and look for rocks that you can high stick behind a size 14 pheasant tail and a black micro mayfly size 18 on the bottom. She’ll love you, yea, yea, yea and the trout may want to hold your hand if you don’t try any of that helter skelter stuff, these trout around these parts enjoy catch and release.”
Providing more suggestions, “In the mornings and evening put on a mayfly size 16 that looks like Norwegian wood, later by 2 a.m. if not successful, crawl off and fish in the bath tub,” joked Trout. “If the next day you don’t catch anything, let it be, it was just a day in the life, the next day here comes the sun, so come together, let’s go fishing Jude.” When out fishing use a Beatle imitation, the trout in Plumas and Sierra counties always loved the British Invasion.
North Fork Yuba River
“The fishing rebounded this week with colder water temps. Trout are getting goosey knowing they need get a move on it now. The fall bite is like a rib eating contest. This is the time of year when I start tying bigger flies for September and October,” said Jack Trout.
Trout said, “Every day more caddis are hatching like baby backs and the trout use Elephant Ears that line the river as their napkin bibs. Trout get a going on bugs like size 18 red Copper Johns, that red wire tastes like BBQ sauce and they just can’t eat one, you know.”
A day on the water with Jack Trout is a day filled with jokes and parables. “Wow, these trout are hungry little buggers, who’s eating who now, don’t forget the insect repellent, it’s that time of year,” said Trout. “Have a great week people and if you’re a vegetarian, don’t let this article bug you.”
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