Fishing Report for the week of 7/4/2014
|Two anglers admire a beautiful fly-caught Lake Davis rainbow trout. Lake Davis rainbows are fat and healthy this year. Twenty inch fish are common but not always easy to catch.
Photo courtesy of Jon Baiocchi
“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.” –Roderick Haig-Brown
Lake Davis continues to be the hot spot in Plumas County. Davis delivers with some beautiful rainbows and a double whammy of damsel flies and an evening hatch of Hexagenia. It is a fly fisher’s dream and right now it’s game on.
The damsel flies continue to hatch mid-morning thru early afternoon. On windy days the activity slows down a bunch. In the evening the hex hatch is picking up momentum. Think about that. You can sleep in and still have a full day of some of the best fly fishing to be had anywhere.
The weather lately has brought us some windless days and some very windy days. The key to a good day at Davis is to be there when the wind isn’t blowing.
The best damsel action from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Look for trout cruising the shallow water in search of hatching damsels. Forget those nice looking adult damselfly imitations. These attract more anglers than the fish. Instead, fish nymph imitations a few feet under the surface.
I have talked to some anglers who have done very well, and others who have not done so well.
Local guide Jon Biaocchi, of Baiocchi’s Troutfitters, has a good explanation for this.
According to Jon, the damsel hatch varies in both intensity and duration from one day to the next. The wind further complicates things.
The key is to fish when the wind is calm and to keep moving around until you find some good action.
The fish are being selective so bring your A-game. But the pay-off is worth it. Fat 20-inch rainbows are not uncommon.
There is still some of the usual trolling action at Almanor but the Hexagenia hatch is main attraction.
The hatch starts around 8:30 in the evening when the sun dips below the horizon. The hatch can last for up to an hour.
I like to start off an
hour or two before the hatch by fishing nymphs deep. As the evening progresses, I fish closer to the surface.
Once I see some adults, I switch to an emerger or cripple patterns. I have come to prefer the cripples and emergers to adults but whether fishing a cripple or an adult, I like to give it a little twitch to get the fishes’ attention. That little bit of motion makes a difference.
The other interesting thing about the hex hatch this year is that there seems to be more smallmouth bass than trout taking the big bugs. I can’t say for sure if that is a real pattern or just what I happen to be seeing. But it doesn’t really matter to me. They are all hard-fighting big fish. It’s all good.
I have not heard much from Eagle Lake this week except that the water continues to warm and drop and that the fish are moving deeper. I think it might be a short season at Eagle Lake this year.
This time of year at Eagle Lake I would work the east shore with Jay Fair Trolling flies. Cinnamon usually works, but if that won’t get the fishes’ attention try Artic Fox in Fire Tiger or leach patterns in cinnamon or olive green.
The water level at Bucks started out low this year and continues to drop. But that hasn’t stopped the fishing.
The Mackinaw are down deep now and a little hard to come by. But the trout and kokanee salmon are abundant and hungry.
The kokanee are still a little on the small side. I like to wait until August to target them. But the trout are on the prowl. Try the Mill Creek inlet for hungry browns, rainbows, and brookies.
Most streams are fishing reasonable well right now. But it is hard to say how long that will last.
The water level in many local streams looks more like late August than early July. That is not a good sign for things to come.
But in the mean time….
Deer Creek is fishing well. The best fishing is in the evening when the sun is off the water and trout are rising to caddis, yellow sallies, and golden stones. In the middle of the day look for deeper pools and runs to find trout seeking cool water.
Some of the easiest to reach fishing on Deer Creek is just below Elam Campground where there are good fishing trails and a good number of planted fish.
The water is low on the Middle Fork Feather and the fish are moving downstream. Look for the best fishing from Camp Layman to Nelson Creek.
The pale morning duns are hatching early in the day. In the evenings, look for caddis and stoneflies on the Middle Fork.
On the North Fork of the Feather River in the Highway 70 canyon, there is still some decent cool water above Grizzly Creek and Beldon. Caddis, yellow sallies, golden stones and Pale Morning Duns are hatching in good numbers.
The North Fork above Caribou has a decent number of hatchery fish.
Above Lake Almanor the NorthFork of the Feather is very low but there is a decent golden stone fly hatch in the evenings.
If you love to fish streams, get out there now. As the summer progresses our local streams are likely to see lower flows and warm water that is not conducive to good fishing and healthy fish.