Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
Thanks to Almanor Fishing Association and specifically John Crotty for providing extensive details for the week of Oct. 20.
“Still no precipitation here in Plumas county with none in sight for the next seven days,” said Crotty. “Afternoon temps are reaching into the 70s while night-time temps are in the high 30s.” Shorter days and cooler mornings have water temps hovering in the low 60s, we should see high 50-degree water temps within the next week. Water clarity varies throughout the lake, 6-10’ between Prattville and the Peninsula north, 10-plus feet of visibility on the East shore.
Fish continue to feast on pond smelt, on calm days smelt can be seen boiling on the surface and getting airborne when chased. Floating smelt can also be found being picked off the surface by seagulls.
“Fish are scattered throughout the water column, we caught fish on the surface and a few feet off the bottom this past week,” said Crotty. “Find the bait, if you are marking fish stay on them, they will eventually eat. Gulps at 1 mph and hardware at 2.5-3 mph will catch fish. So too will Jay Fair trolling flies, I spent a day on the water with Denis Pierce of Arctic Fox and Jay Fair trolling flies, and Justin Wolff of Angler West TV; we fished a little over 6 hours and pulled flies the entire time. We caught 9 fish trolling between 1.5-2 mph. We had four rods in the water, two on downriggers and two on the surface. Denis and I were changing flies, patterns and colors attempting to figure out a preference.
“After a couple of hours, the Jay Fair Tui-Chub fly stood out, we ended up catching six rainbows between 2 ½ and 3 ½ pounds each on the Tui-Chub. The downrigger rods had wiggle discs and the top lining rods did not. We were working the top line rods in a variety of motions and confirmed Jay Fairs figure 8 trolling method works on Almanor as well as Eagle Lake, with the top line rods catching seven of our fish. Most of our local sporting good dealers sell the Jay Fair and Arctic Fox flies; they are must have for Eagle Lake and a great option on Lake Almanor. Denis also makes a custom fly line for top lining flies, the line is made with a section of floating line and a short section of intermediate fly line that will get you just under water surface (1-7’ depending on speed) and he also has rods that are custom made to match the trolling line. Both the rods and fly line are made to the specs that legendary Jay Fair perfected for trolling Eagle Lake years ago, the combination works as intended.”
Hamilton Branch remains the top option for bank fishermen, and fly fishermen are beginning to target fish in the coves around the Canyon Dam boat ramp. There was a bass tournament Oct. 18 with boats targeting fish of the usual rocky points.
Lake level continues to drop and boaters need to be aware of navigational hazards including; Peninsula, Flag Island and Dakasu Island. Both USFS boat ramps are currently open and the dock at Canyon Dam has been adjusted. Delays of up to a half-hour can be expected on Hwy. 36, over Fredoyner, and Hwy. 70 up the Canyon have sections of one-way traffic.
Most RV Parks have closed for the winter and lakeside dining facilities will be closing soon. The weather will be spectacular for at least the next week as is the Plumas County landscape now is the time to enjoy a fall trip to Lake Almanor.
Planning for the 2021 derbies has begun. Tentative dates are Feb. 13 for the Ice Derby and Father’s Day Weekend Derby June 19.
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