Plumas County fishing report for the week of 10/12/2011

Michael Condon - Staff Writer

Fish come and go, but it is the memory of afternoons on the stream that endure.

—E. Donnall Thomas

Clearly the seasons are in transition. Beautiful weather is back, even if only for a short time. That is all the more reason to get out and enjoy the season.

Last week I recommended calling in sick if that is what it took to get out and enjoy some fall fishing or whatever your favorite outdoor activity is.

My publisher gave me an earful about that suggestion. I shouldn’t be surprised that a hard-charging businessman thinks differently about such things than a semi-retired part-time employee. (He doesn’t fish. That could be the problem.)

But I stand by my principles. To make the point and set a good example I am taking next week off. Fishing and hiking will be high on my priority list. Almanor, Butt Lake, Deer Creek and the Feather River are all on the menu. I can’t wait.

The downside is that there will not be a fishing column next week.

Gone fishing. Really.


Lake Almanor

Recent storms have reduced surface water temperatures, which should help move Almanor toward a fall fishing pattern. Fall fishing can be awesome at Almanor.

Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures (258-6732) reports that the recent cool-down is bringing fish closer to the surface. Doug has caught fish as shallow as 10 feet deep early in the morning.

That is a big difference from the past couple of weeks when the fish were holding in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Doug reports very good fishing around the A-Frame, a fishing landmark on the east side of the Almanor Peninsula. Browns, rainbows and salmon are all being caught in that area.

There are several springs in the vicinity of the A-Frame. Doug says that draws in the bait fish and the trout and salmon follow in search of a meal.

Try fishing anchovy tails suspended 4 to 6 feet off the bottom for salmon. Night crawlers and mealworms will entice browns and rainbows.

Doug says that if the bait balls at the A-Frame are thick, don’t waste your time mooching, because the fish are not going to find your needle in a haystack full of food.

Start trolling outside the edges of the bait concentrations to find fish lurking in the area trying to find the bait balls. Needlefish and Shiners in nickel, silver or white, fished no deeper than 35 feet with a downrigger, will make for an excellent imitation of an injured pond smelt.

Doug also suggests fishing the Hamilton Branch. Both chutes on the powerhouse are running. The additional flows have attracted lots of fish out in front of the mouth. White jigs and bait have been effective, producing some nice trout in the 3-pound range. Three- and 4-pound salmon are around the area as well.

There are large concentrations of pond smelt near the dam. So naturally there are lots of hungry trout and salmon feeding on them. Trolling pond smelt imitations or jigging with white jigs will produce results for patient anglers.


Lake Davis

Fishing has been great lately. Anglers fishing worms or PowerBait from the shore are doing well. Needlefish Fire Tiger or Red Dot Frog and Dick Nite Copper Red Heads are all producing for trollers. The Jay Fair Wiggle Tail Nymphs have been especially productive.

Fly anglers are using blood midge, snails, scud imitations and woolly buggers.

Last week I reported that local guide Jon Baiocchi did well fly-fishing from shore. He told me he is continuing to have great success with dry flies at Davis.

Call J&J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort at 832-0270 for the latest fishing conditions.


Frenchman Lake

The nights are getting colder. But the fishing remains good at Frenchman Lake. On Saturday, a local fisherman reported catching a 4-pound rainbow. (He didn’t want to say just where.) Others have reported catching their limits at or near the dam, at Lunker Point and around Big Cove.

Shore fishing has been good. Most fishermen are using night crawlers along with marshmallows or salmon eggs. Some of the lures that are catching fish are Dick Nites, Rooster Tails, Kastmasters, Tasmanian Devils and Rocky Mountain Assassins.

Trolling has been good at the north end of the lake, and around Big Cove. Some fishermen have had luck around the dam and to the east of the dam.

Be sure to call ahead for current information: 993-4683.


Stream fishing

According to Tom Maumoynier of Lake Almanor Fly Fishing Company in Chester (258-3994) the Susan River is fishing well. Nymphs are the ticket although there is some dry action in the evening.

Tom also reports the fishing is good on the North Fork Feather River above town with good dry fly action, including the big orange October caddis in the evenings.

Warner Creek is fishing well with good dry fly action in the evening.

Deer Creek and Mill Creek are also fishing well. Try standard nymphs during the day and dry flies in the evening.

Yellow Creek in Humbug Valley is the one local stream that has been slow lately. But then I have never found this to be a particularly easy stream to fish, at least in the meadow section. Try fishing hopper patterns on a warm day. If there is a bit of a breeze, there should be grasshoppers getting blown into the water.


Trout plants

There are no trout plants in Plumas County this week or last week. (What is up with that?)

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