Real men don't poach
The approach of fall signals some excellent fishing in Plumas County. Unfortunately, it is also a time of year when the unscrupulous, unethical, no class (I could go on with the descriptors...) poachers will hit the water.
I have heard reports of some people catching their limits at Bucks Lake, taking the fish to their vehicles and returning for more fish.
These are not sportsmen; they are jerks.
Fish and game laws are designed to protect our resources. If you observe someone violating the rules, call (888) 334-2258) If possible, include a description of the vehicle and a license number.
Now for the more pleasant information:
Middle Fork Feather
According to local guide Jon Baiocchi of Baiocchi's Troutfitters, 228-0487, this is prime time for fly action from Two Rivers to Sloat. There is a massive blue winged olive (BWO) mayfly spinner fall in the morning with some emergers mixed in.
Fish are selective, but long leaders and a size 16 dark olive pattern can get you into some fish.
In the afternoon, try a hopper pattern with a bead head nymph on a dropper.
In the evening, #16 Pale Evening Duns are doing very well - look for risers.
Baiocchi's Troutfitters is a full service fly fishing guide company based in Graeagle. Fly fishing is in Jon's genes as his father, Bob, is not only an excellent fisherman, but also a lifelong and award-winning advocate for the protection of our fishery resources. Check out Jon's beautiful website at baiocchistroutfitters.com. His blog is especially interesting.
North Fork Feather River
In last week's column I mentioned the North Fork Feather is an often-overlooked fishery that holds some good fish. Local angler Terry Sanchez understands that. Last week he caught a 26-inch, 7-pound brown trout at the Caribou powerhouse using a small gitzit.
According to the folks at Mountain Hardware and Sports in Blairsden (836-2589), the mackinaw action is starting to heat up at Gold Lake. Fish up to 15 pounds have been caught. Try trolling 50 - 80 feet through the trench. Rapalas or Jack O Diamonds flashers with crawlers are good baits.
At Sardine Lake trolling crawlers behind a flasher has been producing limits. Fishing off Big Rock is most productive at Packer Lake. Try fluorescent red PowerBait.
At Salmon Lake fish the back cove by the outlet or straight off the dock. Gold and Silver/Blue Kastmasters or Green PowerBait are the best baits.
If you don't mind a short hike, Lower Salmon Lake can be excellent. I caught my largest ever (about 3 pounds) brook trout there fly fishing from a float tube.
I managed to fish Bucks Lake this week. Even though it was late morning by the time I hit the water, I did manage to catch a couple fish.
The fish are still milling around in front of Mill Creek and Bucks Creek coves. Most are about 35 feet deep, although they can be found clear up to the surface. I caught mine in less than 10 feet of water just because I enjoy fishing shallow.
Plumas County is loaded with small streams, far too many to mention by name here. Most receive very light pressure and should be fishing very well now.
Fly anglers should try Yellow and red humpys in size 16. Size 10 and 12 hopper patterns will work well and if the water is deep enough try a bead head pheasant tail dropper. Midday is best.
Almanor is good and will only get better as the water temperature continues to drop according to Roger Keeling of Roger's Guide Service (284-6429).
Roger says the best action is from Rec 2 to Bailey Springs and along the East Shore near Hamilton Branch.
He has been hooking into dozens of fish 8 - 10 feet deep. One day last week, he estimated 15 double hook-ups while fishing with fellow guide Mark Jimenez of Big Meadows Guide Service (596-3072).
Most fish hooked have been Eagle Lake rainbows in the 13- 16 inch range. Roger believes these are recently planted fish. He strongly recommends (and I certainly agree) releasing these fish. Let them over winter and get bigger.
There are some larger fish mixed in. Fish deeper to target the larger fish. As the water temperatures continue to drop the larger fish will move closer to the surface.
The folks at Wiggin's Trading Post (993-4683) report fishing has been excellent around the lake. Limits have been caught near Lunker Point and by the dam. Nightcrawlers are producing for bait fishers and olive of black flies are bringing success to fly fishers.