Lake Almanor Fishing Report May 9, 2008

First of all my apologies for not keeping the reports up to date. I have been fishing Almanor just unable to get the extra time to sit at this computer and get anything done. Today I went up the West shore in search of fish. The water temp was running in the mid 50's as we shot North past Prattville. I started dropping gear in the Almanor West area and covering the water column from 10 to 25 feet over 26 to 35 feet of water. My best bites have been coming from the 18 to 20 foot range but today the 11 and 12 foot mark was the best. I ran a variety of gear including flies, spoons and soft plastics that all had been producing fish in recent trips. Today the spoons did the best in fact the cop car colored spoons were hot. We ended up hooking 15 fish ranging from 2 to 4 pounds with half being Rainbows and half being Browns. Most of the fish came from the 11 foot depth with a few off the deeper rods as the sun got higher in the sky. Tomorrow it is off to Bucks Lake for the first run of the season.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Deadline Day to you. Once again my schedule has prevented me from keeping you as updated as often as I would like. But hey, you get what you pay for. Right? The shallow water east shore bite that has been going on for the last month finally gave out on me this last weekend. With only a couple hook-ups to show for a few hours of ripping we decided to move out into deeper water along the east shore. Once we got out over the 50 foot mark I started seeing good numbers of fish holding 35 to 40 feet down. We were a little ways south of Hamilton Branch heading south. I set up rods with a variety of my favorite Almanor baits and started dropping gear on the Cannon Downriggers. The first set included an olive Tube Fly from Artic Fox with a wiggle fin, a small silver grub also with a wiggle fin, and orange and gold Uncle Larry's Spinner with a brown grub pony-tailed up, and a silver and orange spoon. All of this gear produced fish but some better than others today. It wasn't long until our question of weather the fish we were seeing were active and wanted to eat. The first rod got hammered, it was the small grub, the next was the Tube Fly, then the spoon. We were definitely were on a bite. As we continued south the spoon and the fly became the hot baits so I adjusted and sent down a couple more. We ended up with well over 20 hookups and left the lake with 3 nice limits including Browns, Bows and Salmon to 4 pounds. The next day I went right back to where we had left off with the same gear and was able to get right back on them. We had boated 8 fish before the bite seemed to flatten out. My guess is the fish had seen enough with a lot of boats pressuring them both days. I had been looking for an excuse to go up the west shore and check things out. We dropped in by Almanor West and started heading north. I passed a local boat that informed me the bite was off. (Not what I wanted to hear after a 12 mile run.) I decided to give it one run and what do you know there were some nice Bows in there. We worked back and forth in 18 to 20 feet of water 10 to 12 feet down and picked up 5 nice fish all with extremely bad attitudes and one Squaw Fish that went 8 to 9 pounds, all on the silver and orange spoon. The water temps are in the low to mid 50's depending on your location on the lake and the bite should continue strong as we move into a full spring pattern.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 30, 2008

The bite has continued to be strong at Almanor. I have continued working the East shore shallows. The water temps have been as high as 44.5 degrees in the afternoons and the ice is now completely gone from the lake. We have been boating between 12 and 25 fish per trip with most of the catch being comprised of Browns with a few Bows in the mix. New this week, with the warming water, we started picking up 1 to 4 Smallmouth per trip. These girls can really put up a fight. I have switched from Rapalas to Smithwick baits but the color combo of "black silver" has still been the one to beat. In addition to the color the other constant has been a healthy dose of Trophy Trout Sauce by Pro-Cure. It was a pleasure to welcome Justin Wolff of Angler West TV on the boat today. Justin was filming for an upcoming episode of Angler West featuring Almanor Brown fishing. Despite a slow start (never fails when you are trying to get something on film) we got on the fish and had a great day. The side parking lot is now plowed at Canyon Dam which relieved the pressure on the main lot, a good thing now that the lake is getting a little more traffic. I'm looking for the bite to continue strong.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 22, 2008

Conditions remained good at Almanor this week with plenty of nice weather and good fishing. I continued fishing the same pattern of long top lines for plenty of beautiful browns and a few rainbows averaging 12 to 20 hook ups per trip. The "black silver" is still holding as the hot color pattern but the "clown" color also started producing. The warmest water temperature I have seen over the last week is 43 degrees after a few hours of clear skies and bright sun. The northern ice pack has not moved much with ice being found about 3/4 of a mile north of Prattville extending all the way to Chester. Most of the other coves around the lake that had ice have now cleared. We returned to the ramp at Canyon Dam today around noon to find a lot of other people out enjoying the warm weather with about 25 people fishing from the shore and the parking lot choked with trucks and boat trailers. The side parking lot has not yet been plowed making things a little tight in the main lot on a busy day. Look for the fishing to continue strong as we move into spring. Happy Easter!

Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 15, 2008

It took me a couple of days to get around to writing this report. I don't want to name any names but to all you people who are sending me hate mail, KEN, about not letting you know the ramp at Almanor was open; the public launch at Canyon Dam is open!!! A quick check of the Canyon Dam Boat Ramp the night of the 14th revealed that the ice pack that I had been waiting for had receded enough to again launch a boat.  We hit the water at 7am and headed for the east shore, dodging chunks of floating ice as we went. The water was flat calm and 40 degrees on the surface with a light snow falling, but the forecast was for clearing skies and it looked like a good day for chasing Browns. We dropped in along the rocky east shore of the lake and began letting out the gear which simply consisted of size 13 Rapalas in “black silver” and “orange” slathered in Pro-Cure’s Trophy Trout. The rigs were run 200 feet behind the boat on top lines and ripped as we trolled the shallows. The “black silver” was the first to draw blood on a feisty Rainbow that was released. Almost immediately that rod lit up again with another ‘Bow that was again released. I opted to change out the “orange” for another “black silver” and despite being on a bite we decided to move further up the east shore looking for fish with some gold and yellow in their coloring. I pulled us up short of a small rocky point and we got the rods in the water and ready. It didn’t take long before Daren’s rod lit up with a nice 3 pound class brown and then it was Chucks turn. We continued working rocky points under constantly changing weather conditions for several hours boating gorgeous Almanor Browns including a 6 pound class fish for Chuck. After calling it a day we took a short tour up to the ice cap to see how far north we could go. The North end of the lake is still frozen from Chester to about a half mile north of Prattville, and while it is about 4 inches thick, it is pretty soft and rapidly clearing. You will also find some of the coves as well as the area right in front of the dam still covered in rotten ice. We ended up boating 14 fish and losing several others with only a couple of Rainbows and 12 Browns to 6 pounds. It took a while for the ice to clear again this year but if today is any indication it might be worth the wait.

"Captain Sushi"

Lake Almanor Fishing (ice) Report March 9, 2008

Still waiting on the ice on the lake in front of the Canyon Dam Launch to clear so we can begin fishing. We are now down to about 100 yards of ice with about half of it being very rotten and showing a lot of color. A survey of the ice surrounding the dock has it at about 2 to 3 inches with another inch of slush on top. The lake is still frozen from Prattville to the Peninsula to Chester but the main body is wide open with the exception of a few coves. There have been a few boats launching from a private ramp and ones who know what they are doing are getting some fish including some nice Browns. The weather has been beautiful, and unfortunately the lake has looked like a sheet of glass more often than not which is not helping the ice melt. A good north wind would go a long way to helping open things up. My guess is that we should be good to go in about a week. On another note Lake Davis still has a nice layer of ice and snow on it and people have been out ice fishing. I observed several people this weekend from the dam and it looked like they were having some success. There is a good amount of snow around the lake and in the watershed which should contribute to a healthy flow of run off into the lake this year. When the ice clears and I hit the water at Almanor you will know about it.

Lake Almanor Fishing (ice) Report March 2, 2008

The lake is starting to open up with a good bit of open water between the tip of the peninsula and the east shore. Of course up north is still locked up with ice but probably the biggest problem is the ice from the dam north about half way to Rocky Point that has the boat ramp at Canyon Dam shut down. Half of this ice is rotten and should dissipate rather quickly, especially with the north wind we are getting today. The forecast is for another week of nice weather with the next front scheduled to be in for the end of this up coming weekend. They have done a good job opening up the access road and parking lot at the boat ramp so we are just waiting on the ice. Stay tuned, as soon as the water is clear and public access is open you will know about it.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report February 20, 2008

The weather hasn't been all that bad but still we are waiting for Almanor to open up. I have received reports that the North winds have broken up a lot of the ice on the East shore but that the North end and the West shore are still iced in. The lake and surrounding area got a light snow overnight into this morning to add to the pack and more is expected in the next few days. I know this report is about Almanor but for those of you who are interested I have several reports that put the total snowfall at Eagle Lake between 4 and 5 feet. Not a bad start, but that basin needs all it can get both for the health of the fish, and in some cases the health of boat propellers. Fingers firmly crossed for more snow up there and a nice rise in the lake's level.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report February 8, 2008

The snow has stopped for the time being and the afternoons have been beautiful. Sounds great, but here is the deal; the lake currently has about 5 feet of snow around it and access to the boat ramp at Canyon Dam is still blocked by the white stuff but that isn't the biggest problem. Lake Almanor is currently about 98% covered in ice with snow on top of that! Visual inspection of the lake found a small amount of open water right out in the middle but most shore lines are iced in. I know what you are thinking, "ice fishing" right? Well I am in no way advocating that with this report, as I mentioned above my "recon" of the lake was only visual and I have no information as to the exact thickness or stability of the ice. It might be a while before the water opens back up as overnight temps have been ranging from the teens to 0 degrees. Stay tuned here for more information and as soon as I can get back on the water you will know about it.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report January 28, 2008

Not much to report here except snow, snow and more snow, which is a good thing. The North end of the lake is pretty well frozen up, and launching that was difficult at Canyon Dam due to low water levels was cut off by a large sheet of ice. As soon as the weather straightens out a little bit and access is restored I will be on the water. I would like to thank all of you that stopped by my booth at the Sacramento ISE and said hello it was great to see everyone and I look forward to seeing you on the water in '08.

Happy New Year! January 10, 2008

2008 is off and running and I am looking forward to another great year of fishing. The water situation here in Northern California was beginning to look grim but recent storms have pushed us to well over 100% of normal precipitation with a solid snow pack that, with any luck, will turn into much needed water for our streams, rivers and lakes. We are not out of the woods yet but every little bit helps. This year as in the past I will be attending the Sacramento ISE show (January 17-20 at Cal Expo booth # 3436) so be sure to stop by and say hello. I will begin fishing Lake Almanor after the ISE show for some excellent Winter action on Browns and 'Bows (Those of you who have experienced it know what I'm talking about) so stay tuned for current reports and updates from the water. Happy New Year and good fishing to you in 2008.


bryan@bigdaddyfishing.com


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