Insect hatches scatter fish while clarity improves at Almanor

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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Lake level was 4483’ on April 24. That same number appeared in 2021 as the highest level of the year. The recent storms deposited large volumes of snow in the mountains and most of the Almanor feeder streams are flowing. The Super Ditch appeared to be a mere trickle April 28. Typically, Almanor will see water levels increase until the 1st of June. “We are cautiously optimistic the lake will come up a few more feet before it begins to recede,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. Water temperatures are hovering around the 50-degree mark and clarity is increasing daily since last week’s storms.

Insect hatches have resumed and fish are gorging on their new high protein diet of choice. Fishing has been tough as fish are scattered; fast trolling hardware has been the top producer. “I have been targeting fish in the top fifteen feet of the water column and red/gold is our top producer,” said Crotty.  “I have been fishing hard for eight-ten bites a day.”


Shore fishing has also been tough with Hamilton Branch a fisherman’s best shot at catching from the shoreline. The weather is settling down and water temperatures are reaching back into the 50s; the bass bite should pick up. Showers do not reappear in the forecast until Cinco de Mayo (May 5) so it’s beautiful spring weather for the next seven days.

Canyon Dam remains the only usable public ramp while the resorts, restaurants, and RV parks around the lake are beginning to open up. “I would expect the USFS ramp by Prattville should open soon.” said Crotty. “Debris removal is ongoing, and you can expect traffic delays through the Canyon.”