Robert Ross and Kristin King are shoving off to fish at Lake Almanor on July 17 around 3 p.m. Ross said he was going to try Speedy Shiners and Downrigger Fish trolling around 1.8-2.5 mph. Ross is willing to invest the time to “learn the lake.” Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Fishing around Plumas County during fire season

While fishermen are finally getting a reprieve from triple-digit heat in the mountains, they are now dealing with smoke and air quality concerns from the Dixie Fire. As smoke settles over the Lake Almanor basin the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department has issued a Mandatory Evacuation order from the Plumas/Butte County line east to Twain. There is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon (July 18) through Monday morning. Everyone is hoping for rain without the lightning.
Lake Almanor
Fish continue to migrate to deeper water and springs. Trollers are targeting fish in 40-50 foot of water 35-45’ deep on the wire. There are more boats on anchor around the A-Frame, Big Springs, Rocky Point and Dorado than there has been. Slow trolling crawlers and gulps at 1 mph, remains the best shot while trolling, crickets, mealworms and crawlers on anchor will also catch fish.
Although the Hex Hatch is winding down, fishermen continue to see Hex casing scattered throughout the lakes. There are a few fly fishermen targeting the Hex Hatch along the West Shore. There is beginning to be more pond smelt as all species of fish are targeting the tasty smelt, they are quickly approaching the 2-inch mark. Hamilton Branch remains the best shot at a quality fish from shore.
There are traffic delays on Highway 36 over the Fredoyner Summit and there are closures along 70/89 as a result of the Dixie Fire.
John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association would like to remind all AFA supporters that they are quickly selling out of dinner tickets for the AFA “Paul Garido” Family Picnic. If you would like to attend, tickets are available on the AFA Website at or via email at [email protected] “This is our major fundraiser and your support is appreciated, if you can’t attend the picnic you can go on our website and purchase raffle tickets for $10 a ticket. The grand prize for the raffle is a lifetime fishing license ($900 value), a Weber pellet grill, a Yeti Cooler, a fuel card and a custom spiral wrapped 8’ Duncan McIntyre trolling rod with a Diawa 100 line counter reel (you don’t need to be present to win our raffle prizes),” said Crotty.
Bucks Lake
Just shortly before the mandatory evacuation of Bucks Lake and Meadow Valley around 3 p.m. July 18, we received some details on the great action. “Fishing is great up at Bucks Lake,” said Kevin Griffin. “Water is warm on the inlets but got our limit everyday by 11 at northern boat launch. Lake is empty of boats. People don’t know what they are missing.” Everyone is hoping that we can all get back to fishing soon and thoughts are with those brave firefighters for their safety as they protect our homes and forest.