Fishing Report for the week of 5/16/2013

Unsettled weather has ended; time to hit the water

Michael Condon

Staff Writer


  “Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good (fishing) guide can’t is write prescriptions.”

—John Gierach

  The strong winds and thunderstorms of the past week have kept many anglers off of the water. Those who did manage to get out before the afternoon winds and in between thunderstorms found some good spring fishing. Now that we are moving into a period of more settled weather, that good spring fishing should be the norm.


Bucks Lake

  The lake is open and fishing pretty well according to Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service. Lake levels are down a little bit, especially compared to the last few years. Surface water temperature has been running in the mid-50s.

  Recent thunderstorms have kept boats off the lake in the afternoons, but Bryan has been getting some successful morning trips in.

  The browns, rainbows and kokanee have all been biting but the big focus has been on the trophy mackinaw. The mackinaw have been moving around the lake feeding on everything from kokanee to the midges that have been hatching in big numbers.

  Bryan has been landing limits of trout and three to five trophy fish each day out. The mackinaw are hitting a variety of plugs, spoons and even flies fished from the surface to 50 feet.

Lake Almanor

  The fishing at Almanor has been a little challenging lately. With all of the north winds and lightning storms, just getting on the water has been a bit of a challenge. The lake level is very high and the water temperature has stabilized in the mid-50-degree range.

  Feed is abundant, but the fish are spread out. Trollers are doing best with the usual rigs: nightcrawlers trolled slowly behind a dodger or Needlefish and Speedy Shiners trolled a little faster (2.5 mph). Adding a little scent to your bait always helps.

  Try starting out about 12 feet deep early in the morning. Once the sun is on the water you will need to lower your gear. A fish finder will help you determine how deep to fish. If you don’t have one, I would suggest trying 20 to 25 feet deep. If that doesn’t work, drop it down a little more. Of course downriggers are essential for that kind of depth.

  The key right now is moving around until you find the fish and then keep working that area.

  Good places to start looking are near the Dorado Inn, Big Strings and Rec 1 and 2.

  Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Co. in Old Towne Chester says the most consistent insect hatches, mostly midges and flying ants, have been along the east shore of the lake. Goose Island and Bailey Springs are also reliable spots this time of year.

  The west shore from Prattville to Almanor West will pick up as the water warms and the insect hatches increase.

  If you are keying in on salmon, try mooching baits very deep in front of and just up the east shore from the dam.

  The small-mouth bass continue to move on and off the beds, but those anglers finding them on the beds have had some excellent fishing.

  Lake Almanor has long been known as an excellent trout lake that also happens to have a few bass. That has changed in recent years. Efforts by local anglers to improve the bass habitat have paid off handsomely. Almanor now has a very healthy population of small-mouth bass with lots of 2- to 5-pound fish.

  The Almanor Fishing Association, and Kokanee Power, will hold the second annual Lake Almanor Team Trout and Salmon Derby on Saturday, June 15. Entry forms and details are available at Great location!


Butt Lake

  Butt Lake remains a bit of a sleeper. Sure, there are trout and small-mouth bass to be caught. But in recent years Butt Lake has not been producing the trophy trout it was well-known for 15 or 20 years ago.

  Butt is a shallow and very fertile lake with a slow current that runs from the powerhouse to the dam. It’s a perfect habitat for large trout. I asked our local California Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist about the lack of trophy fish recently. She said the lake is very healthy but didn’t really have any answers beyond that.

  I continue to fish Butt Lake and enjoy knowing that the next fish might just be one of those returning trophy-sized browns or rainbows.

  Maumoynier, of Almanor Fly Fishing Co., says the trout at Butt Lake are in cruise mode and feeding on midges right now. The small-mouth bass are on and off the beds just like at Almanor.

  Remember that the powerhouse area remains closed until the Saturday before Memorial Day.

Lake Davis

  Lightning Tree area, Eagle Point, Coot Bay and Mallard Cove have all been producing nice results. The lake is 82 percent full.

  Allan Bruzza of the Sportsmen’s Den in East Quincy reports the fishing at Davis is picking up. The fish are clean and fatter this year. Callibaetis mayflies have been the key for fly anglers. There have also been some midge hatches.

  Stay tuned for damselflies and blood midges. Try fishing the north end of the islands.

  Remember the streams flowing into the lake are closed until the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Frenchman Lake

  The rapidly changing weather conditions at Frenchman Lake the last few days have tested anglers lately but the fishing both from the shore and from boats remains good.

  Most bank anglers are choosing to use either nightcrawlers or PowerBait. Garlic marshmallows are also working well.

  Jeff and Jimmy Tsuruoka from Sacramento both managed to catch limits by 11 a.m. on a recent outing at Frenchman. Their fish measured between 13 and 15 inches each.

  Spring Creek has been a good spot for many this past week. Go past the cove area to where the creek comes in. Try fishing inflated worms.

  Call Wiggin’s Trading Post for updated weather conditions as well as for the latest fishing information: 993-4683.



  Streams flowing into Lake Davis, Lake Almanor and Butt Lake remain closed until the Saturday before Memorial Day. Other area streams are open with lower and clearer flows than normal for this time of year. Insect hatches are on the light side although there have been a few mayflies, caddis flies and even stoneflies on warm afternoons.

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