Fall bite continues at local lakes

Michael Condon
Staff Writer


Even if you’ve been fishing for three hours and haven’t gotten anything except poison ivy and sunburn, you’re still better off than the worm.

Author Unknown

The fishing may be winding down for the season, but don’t put your gear away just yet. The fall bite is on and it is not going away anytime soon. Fish seem to sense the turning of the seasons and right now they are on a feeding frenzy trying to load up on nutrition to carry them through the leaner winter months.

The fishing season on local streams and rivers closes Nov. 15, but the lakes should continue in high gear for a while longer. Lake Davis and Lake Almanor are attracting the most attention right now, especially with fly fishers.


Lake Davis

Lake Davis is certainly one of the hot spots right now. The bite is on. And so is the wind. Fishing is tough when the wind is blowing, but on those calm fall afternoons, it can really turn on with plenty of rainbows up to 22 inches. Local guide Jay Clark (414-1655, suggests that fly anglers try stripping wiggle tails, stillwater nymphs, seal buggers, sheep creek specials or snails on an intermediate line. Midging under an indicator is also very productive.

The best reports are from Cow Creek and Jenkins Cove on the west side where rainbows up to 22 inches are being caught. Dress warmly. A “warm afternoon” at Lake Davis is a relative concept.


Lake Almanor

In addition to Lake Davis, Lake Almanor is the other hot spot right now. The fall bite is solid, according to Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide service. The chilly mornings are followed by beautiful warm sunny afternoons. The fish are feeding shallow now. Bryan and his clients are getting their fish in the top 6 feet of water. No need for downriggers or lead line.

Bryan says the fish are on the move cruising for their next meal of pond smelt. The fish are somewhat scattered so covering water has been the key.

Bryan says the fish are hitting a variety of color pattern spoons from dark greens and blacks to bright silvers and gold.

For trollers fast-action lures have been the ticket. Speedy Shiners have been the hot lure for Bryan. The “Moose Looks” wobbler has been another great fast-action lure. It looks a lot like a shiner but has a nice balance of scale texture and paint.

Trolling speeds between 2.7 to 3.3 mph have been most effective.

With the fish feeding shallow, there are plenty of opportunities for bait and fly anglers working from shore or wading in the shallows.

Fly anglers are doing well finding fish in the shallow coves along the west shore. Try stripping streamers to cruising fish early morning. Small (size 18 to 22) midge nymphs fished under indicators along the edges have produced some nice rainbows up to 20 inches.

A few bass are still being caught, but the bass action slows as the water temperatures drop into the low 50 and high 40 degree range.


Frenchman Lake

Beautiful fall weather has been bringing many people out to Frenchman Lake lately. Early morning temperatures are getting down into the 20s, but most afternoons are nice and sunny.

John Kennedy from Truckee recently caught a 6-1/2-pound rainbow while fishing at Lunker Point. It measured 25 inches and was caught using rainbow PowerBait.

Call Wiggins Trading Post for updates (993-4683).


Eagle Lake

The fishing at Eagle has been great with solid numbers and light fishing pressure according to Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service. The fish are cruising in deeper water (15 feet plus) so a boat is a must right now.


Other lakes

There are several local lakes that I have not visited nor heard reports on the past few weeks. But I would expect that the fall bite is providing excellent fall fishing at all of our local lakes.

There are a few that come to mind.

Antelope Lake should be hot right now and may have some remnant fall foliage providing a beautifully stark contrast to the burnt but recovering landscape.

Bucks Lake water level is very low, making launching a boat challenging at best. But there are lots of fish and some big fish and they all are hungry right now.

Butt Lake produces some beautiful fish. The powerhouse is always the big attraction. But if you are willing to search a bit, the cooling water should have big fish cruising the shallow water throughout the lake.

Lakes Basin is without a doubt the most beautiful fishing location in the area. Gold Lake has the biggest and, some would say best fishing in the basin. And I have had my best fishing at Gold Lake this time of year.


Stream fishing

Fishing is about over on our local streams. The season ends Nov. 15.

I did make one last visit to one of my favorite spots on the Middle Fork Feather River a few days ago. I managed to hook a couple chunky rainbows. After admiring their amazing color, I slipped them back into the water.

I am already looking forward to coming back next spring for another encounter with those beautiful fish.

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