“Why read a book if you already know the ending? Fishing is like that. You can be the greatest fisherman in the world, but you still don’t know the ending.”
This past week I learned that June 18 each year is National Go Fishing Day. At first I thought that was pretty cool — a day devoted to going fishing. But then I realized that all these many years I had it wrong. I thought every day was “go fishing day.”
I will make a point of going fishing June 18. But I think I will hang onto my belief that every day is “go fishing day.”
I enjoy fishing for many reasons. Learning lessons in humility may not be the primary reason I go fishing; it has its place on the list of the many attributes fishing offers.
I got one such lesson in humility this past week. I am not talking about the run of the mill humility lesson that comes from getting skunked. This was a humility lesson with bonus points.
I picked a very windy afternoon to visit the Middle Fork Feather River. I mean a seriously windy afternoon.
The area I wanted to fish offers two options: either a solid wall of rock or a solid wall of willows right behind the only reasonable places to cast from.
There were no insects visible so I tied on a heavily weighted stonefly nymph.
I have been fly-fishing for more than 40 years so I am relatively confident in my casting ability even in challenging conditions. The combination of a heavy fly, strong wind and tight casting quarters certainly add up to a challenging conditions.
All I caught that afternoon were willows — lots of willows. And the only thing that kept me from catching even more willows was the fact that I spent a significant amount of time untangling wind knots of every variety.
There was nobody else fishing that stretch of river that afternoon. If there had been they certainly would have concluded I was an absolute beginner.
I even think my four-legged fishing partner Sierra was laughing at me. That hurts!
Patient anglers are still finding some very large Mackinaw at Bucks. Fish large jigs in front of the dam as the big Macs move into deeper water.
For the most current information on Bucks Lake, check with Allan Bruzza at the Sportsmen’s Den on Highway 70 in East Quincy.
Butt Lake continues to produce some nice smallmouth. Crappie jigs and rubber worms are working well.
A few rainbows are being caught. Try fly-fishing with midge patterns in the evening.
So far the powerhouse has not been running. Look for it to fire up soon and then look for some big trout in the inlet in front of the powerhouse.
Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company (258-3944) says the fly-fishing at Almanor is improving.
The brown trout are chasing streamers and the rainbows are cruising and taking flying ants, wasp and blood midges. Big Spring, Hamilton Branch, Bailey Springs and mouth of the Feather are all producing fish.
Smallmouth bass are in post-spawn mode and lots of 2- to 3-pounders are being caught just off the rocky shores.
The fishing is hot right now. Fly anglers are scoring with blood midges and damselfly imitations.
Trollers are finding good action between and to the west of the islands. Needlefish and Sockeye Slammers are the hot lures.
Check with folks at J&J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort (832-0270) for current conditions.
Boaters and bank anglers have all been doing well lately.
The boat ramp has been a popular spot lately for rainbows up to 16 inches.
Lunker Point has also been a productive spot. Anglers are catching limits early in the day using baby crawlers and PowerBait.
Catfish are also starting to bite as the water warms up.
Call Wiggins Trading Post (993-4683) for the most up-to-date information.
The North Fork Feather and Warner Creek are both in good shape. The water is still a bit on the cold side. Nymphs are working best although there are a few small mayflies hatching in the afternoon.
Golden stoneflies should show up soon. Stonefly nymphs crawl along the stream bottom to the shore where they transform into adult insects on streamside vegetation. The nymphs are in the water now migrating toward the shoreline so fishing stonefly nymphs is a good bet.
Deer Creek is open and in good shape. The upper end has been best with nymphs early in the day and an evening hatch of mayflies. Prince nymphs and Para Adams are working well.
Hamilton Branch at the mouth is fishing well. Be prepared for a crowd. Farther upstream, the branch has been planted. Even though there are residents and a highway nearby, there is a feeling of peaceful solitude.
The Middle Fork Feather River should be fishing well right now (despite my recent fishless afternoon).
While I saw little if any bug activity, on a warm afternoon I would expect a good mix of caddis flies and mayflies. Little green and golden stoneflies should be migrating toward the banks so stonefly nymphs should be productive.