Fishing Report for the week of 12/15/2010

Michael Condon
Staff Writer

Frenchman and Davis Lakes

Winter weather has slowed, but not stopped the fishing. The recent cold weather brought ice to Frenchman and Davis lakes. However, recent warmer weather has melted some of that ice.

Frenchman was reported to be ice free in front of the dam while the north end of the lake had turning from ice to slush. Anglers were doing well with nightcrawlers and PowerBait where they could find open water.

Reports say Davis has some open water with fish being caught at Mallard Cove by shore anglers using PowerBait.

The key point is that the availability of open water can change every few days. It is best to call ahead before making the drive.

For Frenchman Lake information, call the Trading Post at 993-4683.

For Lake Davis, call J&J’s Grizzly Store at 832-0270. They have switched to winter hours and are open Friday – Sunday.

Lake Almanor

The bright spot on the local fishing scene appears to be Lake Almanor.

The lake has not iced over. The Canyon Dam boat ramp that was scheduled to close at the end of November is still open. The lake level is high for this time of year. So high in fact, that scheduled repairs to the ramp have been delayed and may have to be put off for quite some time.

Snow is being removed from the access to the ramp.

Fishing is reported as excellent near the dam, at Big Springs, and from Rec 2 up to Bailey Springs.

In short, access is good, forage is abundant and trout and salmon populations are very high. It all adds up to some great fishing for the angler willing to brave the chilly weather.

Gifts for your favorite angler

If you have an angler on your gift list, consider yourself fortunate. There is no shortage of the toys a serious angler must have to maintain his favorite pastime. (At least, that is what I keep telling my wife.)

Most astute anglers would have dropped a number of less than subtle hints about their wish list by now. Just in case you need some ideas, here are a few great gifts your favorite angler might enjoy:

  • Fishing related books are great, especially for enjoying during the winter when fishing opportunities are fewer.
  • Gear and hardware are always in need, but tough to pick out. Consider a gift certificate.
  • For the fly angler, or want-to-be fly angler, fly tying lessons make an outstanding gift. Tying flies is much like fishing itself. It is quick to get started and can take a lifetime to perfect. It’s a very satisfying pursuit; a gift that lasts a lifetime.  Shop locally. Tom Maumoynier at the The Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company is an expert and offers gifts certificates for his fly tyingclasses. Contact him at his store at 181 Main St. in Chester, or call 258-3994.
  • One of the bests gifts for an angler, whether beginning or experienced, is a guided fishing trip.  A guided trip is not just about a day of fishing. It’s about a day of learning.  There is no better way to learn about improving your technique or learning a particular body of water than to fish with an expert guide. The guided trip itself will be fun and productive, but the lessons learned will last a lifetime.  The following is a partial list of some of our local guides. They all have many years of experience and are excellent guide/teachers:
  • The Almanor Fly Fishing Company, (5300 258-3944
  • Big Meadows Guide Service, (530) 596-3072
  • Almanor Fishing Adventures,  (530) 258-6732
  • Big Daddy’s Guide Service, (530) 283-4103
  • Roger Keeling, (530) 528-0525
  • Baiocchi’s Troutfitters, (530) 836-1115


In winter, my thoughts often drift to steelhead fishing. My first exposure to a steelhead angler came when I was in high school.

There was a very cute girl who caught the eye of my best friend and I enough that we hung out at her house when we got the chance.

She was charming and evasive in a way that suits young men who may not know it, but are clueless when it comes to the opposite sex.

Soon my friend and I, both dedicated anglers (as dedicated as you can be to anything at 17) learned that her dad fished for steelhead.

He didn’t seem to have much use for young men showing an interest in his daughter. He barely took the time to show us the incredibly large and beautiful fish he brought home.

His stories about catching them were as brief as they were fascinating.

My friend and I continued to visit our teenage flame for many months. I think the reason we visited as long as we did was, while we found her intriguing, we found her father’s steelhead escapades even more fascinating.

Maybe it was because at 17, we knew something about fishing and very little about the opposite sex.

Forty years later, that still seems to be the case.

Future fishing reports

The fishing options are more limited in the winter and fishing conditions change less often. Accordingly, the schedule for this column will change from weekly to monthly for the next few months.

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