Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
While Bailey Creek and the Super Ditch still have water flowing, they have both slowed to a trickle. Volume through both Hamilton Branch and the North Fork of the Feather has also slowed to a more seasonal level. Lake level continues to rise, 4492.61, which is a little more than eight feet higher than last year on the same date. Water temperatures are in the mid-60s. Underwater visibility varies depending on proximity to inflow sources, understandably, and clarity fluctuates throughout the lake.
“For you fly anglers the Hex Hatch is just getting started along the west shore,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “I spoke with Lance Gray of Lance Gray & Company, and they are finally seeing Hex activity.” Fish are already keying in on both Hex larvae and emerging flies. Afternoon winds have made for challenging conditions. “The Hexagina Hatch on Almanor is like none other, when conditions are right, you can see literally thousands of bugs emerging at dusk with rainbows, browns, bass, bats, ducks, grebes, and geese feasting on these tender morsels,” said Crotty.
From the water
Trollers continue to target fish on the west side of the lake with Red Bank receiving most of the pressure. Slow trolling crawlers, king worms and plastics off the bottom have been producing fish. As the Hex Hatch improves along the west shore, trollers will begin targeting fish from Flag Island to the tip of Almanor West.
Shore fishermen continue to target fish at the Super Ditch where it enters Almanor, off the Causeway and Hamilton Branch. Fishing at the Branch will improve as the water temperature increases. “Crickets, crawlers, power bait and hardware will all catch fish,” said Crotty. “We are going to see a cooling trend this week with the high today (Monday) not reaching 60 degrees. Winds will be a problem for fishermen early in the week.
Highway 70 and Highway 89 have had restrictions and closures lately. It is a good idea to check with Caltrans before traveling on either. Highway 36 has minimal delays.
Boat launches and hazards
Canyon Dam and Almanor West USFS ramps are open. The high water is creating a plethora of navigational hazards, and while the thermometer may say otherwise, summer is here. Patience is the watchword and mandatory for safety and pleasure at the ramp and on the water.