Big Daddy’s Guide Service

Special to AFA by: Bryan Roccucci / Big Daddy’s Guide Service

 Lake Almanor is starting to fill at a good pace due to the un-seasonably warm temperatures. The winter of 2003-2004 started to look very promising with good amounts of snow-fall, and with any luck we will get another dose of winter before spring and summer get here. I mention the snow-fall because and its importance because a good snow pack provides Lake Almanor and other lakes in the area their yearly water supply, and a good source of cold mountain water keeps lake levels up, water temperatures cool, and trout and salmon fisheries healthy.

After moving to Quincy in 1990 I quickly realized how lucky I was to live in an area that holds so many opportunities to fish for trophy trout surrounded by such beauty. Shadowed by Mt. Lassen, Lake Almanor is one of the tops in Northern California. I also regularly guide on Bucks Lake, Lake Davis and Eagle Lake. My schedule allows me to fish these lakes during what I consider to be prime time. Most of my fishing on Lake Almanor takes place January through April. While many people think of skiing and snowmobile this time of year my focus is big trout.  While it is true that the weather may be cold my clients fish in comfort aboard my 23 foot fully rigged boat and during periods of fowl weather I run a fully enclosed heated cabin complete with a porta-poty. That being said, you would be surprised at the number absolutely beautiful sunny days that time of year. Another advantage to fishing that time of year is there is rarely a line at the boat ramp, in fact I have fished many days and never seen another boat.

With little else to eat and bugs not hatching due to cold water temperatures the fish in Lake Almanor target mainly the Japanese Pond Smelt in the lake. Much of my time, early in the season, is spent trolling areas that tend to hold these bait fish with offerings that do a good job of imitating them. Where you find the bait the big fish won’t be far behind. In spring, as the water temperatures raise due to longer warmer days we sometimes get the added bonus of landing some nice Small Mouth Bass as we troll the shallows. If you have never landed a hot “smallie” on ultra light trout tackle you are in for a treat. The Small Mouth move into the shallows during spring in preparation to spawn, because of this I try to practice catch and release as much as possible to ensure good stocks of these fish for the future.

Speaking of catch and release I am often asked by clients “what is the limit?” Like many lakes in Northern California the limit of trout and salmon on Lake Almanor is five fish per person. While the law allows you to keep a limit each day, I encourage you to be responsible in this practice and keep enough fish for your table. Fresh trout from cold water is hard to beat on the grill but trout with freezer burn is much less appealing. I tell people Lake Almanor is a place you come to fish for quality not quantity.  

If you are planning a trip to Lake Almanor give me a call. I can assist you with just about everything you will need for an enjoyable outing. I work with several Lodges in the area and can line you up with what ever kind of accommodations you might desire. Other things you might want to consider include a valid fishing license, proper clothing, a hat, a camera, sun screen, sun glasses, lunch or snacks, and an ice chest to transport your catch home.  Beginners, women, and children are always welcome.

            My goal is to provide you with the best light-tackle fishing experience possible. To insure this you will be provided with only top quality tackle and equipment from companies that lead the way in the fishing industry. Should you decide to take some fish home for dinner, your catch will be cleaned and packed ready for your ice chest.

For more information give me a call (530) 283-4103 or visit my web site at  Another web site you might want to keep handy is The home page has good up to date information about fishing as well as other outdoor activities.


Tight Lines, Bryan Roccucci