Fishing Report for the week of 10/24/2012

Michael Condon
Staff Writer


  “Land a good trout or bass, hold it for a second on the wet skin of your hand, and you have, in one compact bundle, as beautiful and bewildering a combination of opposites as it’s possible to imagine; strength and litheness, fragility and toughness, intelligence and obtuseness, fastidiousness and voraciousness, boldness and stealth.”

—W.D. Wetherall

  The leaves in Plumas County are starting to turn. Over the next few weeks they will explode into beautiful displays of red, gold and orange.

  There is lots of good fishing to be had in Plumas County right now. The awesome fall colors are a big added bonus.

  Some of the most colorful fall foliage in the state of California is found in Plumas County. Much of that beautiful forest color is on display in and around the riparian areas that border our streams. Combining stream fishing with viewing the fall foliage offers an exceptional outdoor experience.

  This just happens to be the same time of year that our lakes are cooling off and the fall fishing is heating up. On our streams, the October caddis, a favorite trout food, is hatching. There are also good hatches of blue wing olive mayflies, midges and stoneflies.

  The fall weather brings lower water temperatures that shake the fish out of their summer doldrums. Winter is not too far off, so the fish instinctively eat more to build up their fat stores to sustain them through the cold weather to come.

  For current information on the progression of fall foliage check the Plumas County Visitors Bureau website at


Frenchman Reservoir

  Fall colors are coming on, so take a ride out and enjoy the beauty of the area. Bring your fishing rod along, as the cool nights are causing Frenchman to turn over now and the trout are feeding for winter.

  The fish are biting well on worms and flies of various kinds.

  Troll with nightcrawlers behind flashers or weighted line.

  Call Wiggin’s Trading Post (993-4683) for the most current information.


Bucks Lake

  Bucks Lake is hot right now. It is always a beautiful place to fish, but especially so this time of year with the fall foliage. Bucks Lake is hard to beat for scenic beauty.

  If it is fish you are after, Bucks Lake is the place to go. If you enjoy variety, Bucks Lake is hard to beat. Browns, rainbows, brook trout, Mackinaws and kokanee are all being caught right now.

  If there is any knock on Bucks Lake it is a minor one. These are not the biggest fish of the year.

  The big Mackinaw are very deep and hard to catch. The larger browns are spawning and very spooky.

  But what Bucks Lake fish lack in size right now, they make up for in numbers. Catching limits is the norm right now.

  This is the point at which I should tell you about the most successful tactics. I have fly-fished, bait-fished and used a variety of lures. My conclusion is that the most successful tactics right now are the tactics you happen to be using. These fish are hungry, not fussy.

  The only advice I can give is that the action is near the surfaces before the sun hits the water. After that most of the fish go deeper. But they are still eager feeders.


Lake Almanor

  The lake is still very high. The fishing pressure is light. But unfortunately the water temperatures are still in the mid 60s, a bit high for this time of year. The bite is still a little on the slow side. But it can only get better as the water continues to cool.

  I fished Almanor a few days last week. I heard there were plenty of fish along the west shore. I did not see them. Nor did many of the anglers I spoke with.

  I did find many more fish along the west side of the Peninsula, especially around Rec 2.

  Doug Neal, of Almanor Fishing Adventures, fished the west shore on different days and saw lots of fish.

  I think the key right now is to understand that the fish are moving around. Based on my experience and the anglers I talked to, there are plenty of fish to be caught, but any given place is hot one day and cold the next.

  A fish finder is the key. Try the usual spots: the A-Frame, Big Cove, Rec 1 and 2, the dam and the west shore. If you see fish, work crawlers or shad imitations shallow until the sun hits the water, then go deeper (20 to 45 feet). But if you don’t see fish right away, keep moving.


Lake Davis

  Lake Davis is fishing very well right now. The lake has cooled of and the bite is hot.

  A small group of my fly-fishing friends gathered at Davis a week ago. Aside from great companionship and good food they reported some excellent fishing.

  Woolly buggers under indicators were the most successful combination. There are also some blood midges and small mayflies hatching.

  Trollers are doing well with Dick Nite spoons. Bank anglers should try the always-productive PowerBait.


Stream fishing

  Warner Creek is fishing well in the evenings; fall colors are starting.

  The North Fork Feather River above the lake is fishing well in the evenings. Try nymphing in the morning and dry flies in the evening. October caddis are starting to show. The river below the diversion dam has been planted.

  Deer Creek is fishing best around Elam and below the falls in the catch-and-release area. Road access is very good from Highway 32.

  Hamilton Branch is a consistent producer. Try olive woolly buggers, birds nest and red copper johns or drifting salmon eggs. This is a pretty creek any time and especially inviting in the fall.

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