Fishing Report; The year’s best fishing is about to start

Michael Condon
Staff Writer

The weather is cooling and fall is just around the corner. That means the best fishing of the year is about to happen. The trees at the higher elevations are starting to show some fall colors and the summer crowds have given way to peaceful solitude.

Now is the time to hit the water. Plumas County offers an abundance of great mountain fishing. A few of my favorites are below.


Bucks Lake

The hot kokanee bite continues at Bucks Lake. According to local guide Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy's Guide Service, this will go down as one of the best kokanee seasons of all time for the lake. Limits have been the rule, with plenty of fish up to 16 inches.

Best results have come at various points along the Bucks Creek channel between the marinas and the dam. The best action has come from 50 – 60 feet down using downriggers.

Roccucci recommends using either a pink wiggle hoochie behind a dodger. He tips the rigs with corn treated with Pro-Cure's Kokanee Wizard.

Remember that small lures tipped with corn or a corn-like bait seem to be the consistent key for kokanee.

Kokanee aren't the only game in town at Bucks. Rainbow and brook trout are also being caught. They are holding deep, but moving in towards the coves in front of Bucks Creek and Mill Creek.

If you want to have a great day of fishing and learn more about fishing Bucks Lake, you can hook up with Big Daddy's Guide Service by calling 283-4103. He has a large and very comfortable boat. He specializes in light tackle, which makes the catching that much more fun.


Lake Almanor

Oops! Last week I talked about the good fishing at Lake Almanor and attributed much of the information to Roger Keeling of Almanor Fishing Adventures.

Well, Keeling is an excellent guide who has fished Almanor for a very long time, but he was not the source of my information nor is he affiliated with Almanor Fishing Adventures.

My apologies to Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures who did provide the information, as Well as Roger of Roger’s Guide Service. My son-in-law and I fished with Neal last year. He knows the lake well and got us on plenty of big fish in no time at all.

Check out his website at or call him at 258-6732.

This week Neal reports cooler weather and shorter days have surface temperatures on the decline, which will make an already good bite even better.

Pond smelt are spread throughout the lake. They are abundant, and they are large (2.5 inches average).

Neal says the East Shore from Lake Cove to the Dorado Inn has been providing some of the best action. Threaded Crawlers rigged 20 –30 feet down and trolled at 1 mph or less has been doing well all week.

Also, the small red and gold Sep's Pro Secret, or the small 1/16-ounce red-and-gold Speedy Shiner (RGSS) have been the best fast-action lures.

Rec. # 2 kicked out a 12.2-pound brown last week, off a white jig. There's lots of fish rolling every morning just outside the log boom.

The Bailey Springs area has been a great spot this season; bobbers and crawlers, inflated crawlers off the bottom, even Salmon eggs have been getting rainbows over 2 pounds and a couple over 4 pounds.

Hamilton Branch offers the best bank fishing at Lake Almanor. Panther Martins, Kastmasters, crawlers under a bobber are all producing. Rainbows have finally started to return into the Branch and it looks like they are there to stay. Expect lots of company at this popular spot.

Tom Maumoyier of the Lake Almanor Flyfishing Company, 258-3994, reports that fly anglers are catching fish off the mouth of the North Fork of the Feather River below Chester and at Big Springs.

There are still some caddis and mayfly hatches going on. Pond smelt patters are also effective.

The North Fork of the Feather River above Chester is also fishing well. In the afternoon and evenings be on the lookout for the October Caddis hatch. It hasn't started yet, but could begin anytime. Size 6-8 orange-bodied Stimulators are the most popular pattern for these big juicy insects.

If you are in the Almanor area, check out the Lake Almanor Flyfishing Company on Main Street in Old Town Chester. Tom has everything the fly fisher needs including the latest fishing information.


Lake Davis

Sierra Super Stop/Dollards (832-5251) reports fishing at Lake Davis is slowly beginning to pick up. The snail patterns have been decent for the fly fishers at Jenkins, Cow Creek and Mosquito.

Bank fishing has been slow but is picking up. The east side of the lake seems to produce a little better using PowerBait and worms.

Trolling has been good using the red dot frog, copper red head Dick Nite and yellow watermelon.


North Fork Feather River

The North Fork Feather River, along Highway 70 is often over-looked despite the highway access.

Water temperature is an issue here, but that doesn't mean there aren't a good number of nice-sized fish.

The best fishing is around Beldon and Rock Creek where water is cool. The trout are feeding on stoneflies, caddis pupa, BWO nymphs and flashy beadhead nymph subsurface.

The best tactic is fishing near tributary mouths and deep between boulders where fish can find relief from the heat of the day.

High stick nymphs with heavy split shot to get the flies down.  Look for dry fly action on caddis and PMDs in the afternoon when the sun is off the water.


Frenchman Lake

According to the folks at Wiggins Trading Post in Chilcoot, Frenchman has been kicking out trout to 2 pounds lately. The cooler weather should make for even hotter action. For current information, call ahead to Wiggins Trading Post at 993-4683.

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