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How’s fishing at Davis, Frenchman and Almanor; plus streams are open

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth


Lake Davis

Straddled between winter and spring, the lake level is improving every day and is up to 88 percent according to Jim Graham at J&J Grizzly store. There haven’t been any fishing reports to him lately at the store, but that doesn’t mean no one is fishing. The ice has crossed into the “unsafe for ice fishing” territory as it melts more than just along the edges and begins to lean toward “ready” for open water fishing. “We do have some open water,” said Jim. “It should be fine to fish from shore at some spots, I just haven’t had any reports lately.” Fishermen that head to Lake Davis this week could be some of the first to tempt fish looking for spring snacks.

Frenchman Lake

The spillway is still going as the lake remains at maximum capacity. “Two fishermen came in last Friday,” reported a staff member at Goodwin’s General Store, “and they said they each had 25 fish in their net that day.” The pair were doing “catch and release” and stayed on the water until late afternoon. Stream fishing opened last Saturday, April 29, and will remain open until Nov. 15. There was no report on local stream fishing, but you can bet the fish are out there for any who seeks them.  Fishermen are primarily catching German brown planters in the lake. The baits of choice being sold at Goodwins? “Flies and PowerBait mostly,” said our source at Goodwin’s, “and then there’s always ‘Old Faithful,’ nightcrawlers!”

Lake Almanor

After a week of beautiful, warm, summer-like conditions, the forecast for Plumas County is cooler, wet weather, over the next seven days with chances of snow early in the week.  Overnight lows are predicted to be in the low 30s and daytime highs in the low 50s, as is typical for this time of year. Folks in the area can also expect afternoon winds.

Locals are seeing snow melting fast at Bailey Creek, the Super Ditch, Hamilton Branch, and the North Fork of the Feather River. Every little tributary entering Almanor is depositing large volumes of dirty water. The lake level has risen a foot and a half in the past week and sits at 4481.16. Inflows to Almanor have almost tripled in the same measure of time rising from 3,461 (acre feet) March 22 to 9,302 (acre feet) March 29. “To put some perspective on the area snowpack and the amount of water entering Almanor, an acre foot is 325,850 gallons of water,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “The 9,302 (AF) increase on this past Saturday equates to 3,031,056,706 gallons of water added to Almanor in a single day (my freshman math teacher would be proud).”

Fishing was good early in the week as insects are hatching and water temperatures are rising. Fish are scattered and fishermen continue to catch more browns than rainbows, there are a bunch of one-to-two-pound browns, and they are hungry. Fast, slow, hardware, flies and baits will all work, it’s all about covering ground to find fish. Fish are scattered throughout the water column as well, fish in the top 20 feet early and drop deeper as the sun gets on the water.

Shore anglers are battling the rush of incoming water, as the Super Ditch and Hamilton Branch clear and flows slow, fishing will improve. “There were some people fishing off the causeway this past week not sure how they did,” said Crotty. “The coves around Canyon Dam are your best shot at catching fish from shore.” The bass bite has picked up and should only get better, there are tournaments every weekend and the Canyon Dam ramp can get busy on weekends.

Highway 70 remains closed, there is construction work on 32 with minimal delays and 36 is clear. All area campgrounds remain closed, and Canyon Dam is the only usable public ramp.


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