Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
There is little change since last week; water level is down slightly at 4475.87, water temperatures are unchanged at 62 to 66 degrees and the weather has been nothing short of spectacular. Highs are in the 70s, lows in the 40s and there has been no wind. More of the same is expected through Thursday with a slight chance of showers next weekend. The first widespread frost of the year is expected next weekend with lows finally dropping into the high 20s.
“The algal bloom seems to spread daily, water quality is poor at best,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “This is the third year in a row that we have seen unprecedented algae blooms here on Almanor.” There is lots of speculation as to why: water temperatures, multi-year drought, and certainly the Dixie Fire are all playing a role in water quality.
Fishing remains inconsistent — good one day, tough the next. “We caught fish slow trolling plastics and crawlers, and while it can be a grind if you are persistent, you will be rewarded with quality fish,” said Crotty. The bite changes daily, early one day and not starting until noon the next. “When the bite has been slow, I will put out a fifth (bonus) rod off the back of the boat,” said Crotty. “The bonus rod is actually a rod I use at Eagle Lake; it is set up with two colors of lead core followed by seventy-five feet of mono and a five-foot six-pound test leader. The bonus rod runs five to ten feet deep and has been our top producer at times. My downriggers are set at 10, 15, 20 & 25 feet deep with preferred depths changing daily.” Fish are scattered from Red Bank to the dam, and as is typical, if fisherfolk can find the pond smelt, they will find fish. As mentioned, it can be a grind. Hamilton Branch remains the best shot at quality fish from shore. Dorado, Lake Cove, and the East Shore from the dam to the start of the houses are all good places to start a day of fishing on Almanor.
Captain Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy Fishing says, “Almanor is fishing fantastic.” As a local fishing guide, like Crotty, Roccucci is up close and personal with fishing conditions at local spots. “Many of the people who had previously booked trips at Eagle simply opted to move their trips to Almanor, while others decided to wait for the future at Eagle (Lake).” That means there are more guide dates available for folks who want to take advantage of the great fall fishing with a guide on Lake Almanor. For information and to check availability for October and November dates on Lake Almanor with Capt. Roccucci, visit bigdaddyfishing.com or call 370-1001.
Cool mornings and warm afternoons with very little wind, are making for some extremely favorable fishing conditions. The days are getting shorter, and the water temperatures are dropping. The leaves are changing color and fall is in the air. The fish of Lake Almanor are making preparations for winter. Fall is a great time to head out in search of quality Browns Rainbows and even some Salmon. “We are currently seeing solid action on a mix of all three and have some days available,” said Roccucci. The good people at Plumas Pines Resort on the west shore of Lake Almanor have decided to make lodging available this fall through the winter and offer discounts to fishermen. During the month of November, they will have 3 cabins, 4 double rooms and Suite 11 available. The cabins will close on December 1 leaving the 4 rooms and the suite open until April 27. If you are fishing with Big Daddy’s Guide Service, use the code “Fish 10” at booking to receive a 10 percent discount.
“First the bad news: Unfortunately, the receding water level has finally caught up to us,” said Roccucci. “Due to the extremely low water level currently at Eagle Lake BDGS will not be offering the usual fall fly-trolling and fly-fishing trips this year. The water is just simply too low to safely launch the boat and there is uncertainty as to how soon the dock at the low water ramp will remain in.” Originally it was scheduled to be pulled Oct. 19, however the USFS is now taking a wait and see approach so there are no guarantees. “We will miss Eagle this year in hopes of retuning to our normally scheduled trips in fall of 2023,” said Roccucci.