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Fishing varies at Almanor

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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The continued snow melt and almost daily thunderstorms over the past week have the Super Ditch, North Fork of the Feather, Bailey Creek, and Hamilton Branch, depositing large volumes of water into Lake Almanor. The lake level has risen fractionally in June and sits at 4492.07, which is 7.5 feet higher than last year on the same date. Water temps are approaching the 70-degree mark. Afternoon summer storms remain in the forecast for the next few days with clearing expected to begin Wednesday when daytime highs are expected to reach into the low 80s with overnight lows to be marked in the low 50s.

The USFS ramps in Canyon Dam and Prattville are open and are receiving considerable traffic. High water is resulting in debris scattered throughout the lake presenting numerous navigational hazards. Shore anglers are targeting fish in the coves around the dam, Hamilton Branch, along the Causeway, and where the Super Ditch enters Lake Almanor.

Trollers are picking up fish from the end of the houses on the West side of the Peninsula north to Bailey Springs. “Some days are better than others as the fish are chasing Hex larvae and insects,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “The bug hatches have been consistent, and we are starting to see Hex larvae in fish.” No significant Hex Hatches have been reported to have occurred along the West Shore, but those hatches are expected to start as early as the beginning of next week.

“We are seeing more fishing pressure and an increase in boats on anchor, which is typical this time of year,” reported Bryan Roccucci, the “Big Daddy” of Almanor fishing guide services. “Trollers are catching fish on crawlers, meal worms and plastics, the guys on anchor are having success with the Almanor cocktail (cricket/meal worm), crawlers and crickets.”

Highway 70 remains closed with limited access. Travelers can expect small delays on both Hwy32 and Hwy 36. Campgrounds are opening, call ahead to ensure availability. Most local restaurants and lodging facilities are open for business.

“I would like to thank everyone that reached out to me over the past two weeks. On Friday, May 26th I had back surgery in Reno. Upon returning home Friday evening I received news that my mother had passed. My back is healing well, and I will be back on the water tomorrow,” Crotty said. “My mother led a great life and while my heart aches, mom was an amazing woman and a role model to her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is missed more than I can convey.”

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