Lake Almanor / Davis /Bucks Lake Fishing June 5, 2012

Time to update you on what has been going on here in Northeastern California. I finished up my 2012 Lake Almanor season at the beginning of May with some outstanding action. Most of our time was spent working the west shore for extremely hot Bows with a few Browns in the mix with most of the fish running in the 2 to 3 pound range with a few fish over the 4 pound mark. The fish were violently hitting the spoons, and in a lot of cases, immediately going airborne. It was some outstanding action and a great way to wrap up my Almanor season for this year.

I ran some trips up at Lake Davis in early May as well, and found outstanding action on the Rainbows up there. Many of my regular clients were impressed with the fight and the quality of the fish. All Rainbows in the 16 to 18 inch class that were thick and hard charging. The action was hot with well over 20 fish to the boat each day and in most cases just a few hours. The meat inside these fish is the best looking I have seen in a number of years. With the food that lake Davis can produce look for this fishery to only get better in the years to come.

We were able to get into Bucks Lake at the end of April this year which is at least 2 weeks earlier than normal. We found the lake with little snow around it and it's ice long gone. The Mack bite has been a little slower this year than in years past, with the fish being scattered and on some days harder to find. That said, we have landed a bunch of nice fish this year and continue to do so. I have also started fishing them on even lighter tackle in some cases which is resulting in some unbelievable battles lasting 15 to 20 minuets per fish. In addition to the Mackinaw trips I also have been running trout trips for Browns and a few Bows with good results. It is just hard to beat Bucks Lake for the variety of quality fish in beautiful and relaxed setting. I will be fishing exclusively Bucks Lake throughout the summer, if you are looking to get away and get in on some great fishing with friend or family contact me to set up your trip. I will leave you with a few pictures of some happy people. Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

I look forward to seeing you on the water.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report April 20, 2012

Well it looks like Spring has Sprung, I know we were thinking that was the case back in February but this time I think it is really here and conditions on the lake reflect that. The water is warming in most cases into the high 40's and even 50 degrees in select locations. I have been working the lake in my usual spring manner trolling the shallows for the lake's trophy Browns, and while I will stop short of calling it wide open, I will say it is pretty darn good. I have been concentrating my efforts at various points along the east shore and even the peninsula. The fish have been somewhat scattered so covering lots of water has been the key to our success. The Browns have been running 2 to 7.5 pounds with a good number falling in the 3 to 4 pound range, and are aggressively grabbing out Trophy Sticks as well as a few other types of plugs. We are also seeing a few Smallies in the 2 to 3 pound range. I have a few days left for anyone interested in getting in on this exciting type of fishing, contact me for more information.

Kate Irwin of Upper Lake CA took time out of her Bass fishing schedule to come up to Lake Almanor with her dad for a little birthday Brown fishing. While she is a proven Bass Master (Just ask some of the sore lipped Smallies in Almanor) turns out she is pretty handy at catching Browns as well. See the pictures below, and click on them for a larger version. These are two of the 16 fish the pair hooked into, not a bad way to spend a birthday.

Spring Days

It was a good Birthday at 4.5 pounds

It was even a better Birthday at 7.5 pounds


Thank you to all of you that came out, and stopped by to see us at the North State Sportsman Expo in Chico last weekend, we had beautiful weather and a great show. It was a pleasure to meet many new fishing enthusiasts as well as see some old friends. I look forward to seeing you on the water.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 31, 2012

Storms be dammed there are fish to be caught! Over the recent week we have fished in just about every kind of weather condition possible, sun, snow, sleet, rain and probably a few others, but with willing clients and fish it was time to be on the water. Boat traffic certainly hasn't been an issue, in fact many days we haven't seen another boat. (Kind of enjoyable, having the lake all to ourselves.) Most of the days have been pretty solid fishing with the exception of one, where things got kinda tough out there. I have been covering alot of different water around Almanor and a variety of depths to stay on the fish. We have put fish on the boat along the east shore in both shallow and deep water, Almanor West produced fish, as well as areas along the peninsula. Some days found us fishing off of the Cannon Downriggers running in the top 10 feet of the water column with a combination of spoons and Arctic Fox trolling flies and on several of the trips I opted to fish shallow, running plugs on the top lines. With the water temps running in the low 40's some shallow areas have been holding Pond Smelt and you can bet the fish know it. Our catch has been made up of a mix of Browns and Bows to 4 pounds with the majority being Browns including one big fish that broke us off shortly after being hooked, probably on the rocks. This week also marked the first Smallies I have seen on the lines including a 4 pound female that put up quite a battle (see picture below). We currently have another brief storm over us that is set to clear pretty quickly leaving us in a better, more spring like weather pattern, and if history is any indicator, the fishing should get even better. Click the pictures for a larger version.


Coming up April 14th and 15th will be the second annual North State Sportsman Expo at the Silver Dollar Fair Grounds in Chico. I will presenting several information packed seminars during the show.  Lake Almanor “The Early Season” will focus on tips and techniques that will help you fool monster trout during the Winter and early Spring and Fall Fishing on Eagle Lake will cover trolling as well as fly fishing and lay out strategies that will make you more successful during the prime Fall months. I will also be covering the history of the water level in the lake and fishing under low water conditions. Please stay tuned for seminar times.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, don't forget to wear your green and drink your Guinness. Plenty of water up here in Northeastern California with several days of rain and a little snow as the icing on the cake. The recent line of storms have had plenty of moisture in them but the temps have been relatively warm keeping the snow level up around 6000 feet with some dustings as low as 3000 feet with just enough snow to turn things white. These storms will positively help out our water situation for the upcoming spring and summer.

Prior to the storms the bite at Almanor was holding solid and we were landing some quality fish along the lake's east shore under "Spring like" weather. The catch was made up of a mix of Bows and Browns from 2 to 4 pounds. These fish were actively feeding on Almanor's abundant pond smelt populations. It has pretty much been the Arctic Fox show with the Tube Flies taking the brunt of the abuse from these fish. With the storms forecast to clear I will be back on the water putting clients on fish during the exciting transition time between Winter and Spring, for those of you that have fished this time of year with me before, you know what that means.

At right: Sheryl Ponciano displays a handsome Lake Almanor Rainbow that hammered an Arctic Fox Tube Fly along the East Shore.




Lake Almanor Fishing Report March 10, 2012

Let me start off by saying a big Thank You to all of you that came out to the Nor-Cal Boat, Sport and RV Show last week. I really like the small shows because they offer me a chance to spend some time with people in the booth and at the seminars answering questions and talking shop.

Well our solid bite along Almanor's east shore has continued to hold up with some days being better than others. Water temps have been slowly on the rise starting out in the very high 30's if the overnight temps have been cold and coming up into the low 40's under mostly sunny, dare I say "spring like" conditions. We have been continuing to target fish that are actively feeding on the lake's large Pond Smelt population. This week we have seen mostly Bows with a few Browns in the mix with the larger fish going into the 4 pound class. The top bait in the last few trips has been the orange Arctic Fox Tube Fly, other baits have produced fish but this fly has been the "work horse". The best part is they are fishing great without the use of flashers or dodgers, nothing in the way of you fighting the fish, on the light rods it is a blast! I still haven't had a need to go any deeper than about 10 feet with these rigs to hook the fish.

Our nice weather looks to be coming to an end for a while, with a line of storms forecast to hit the area just about all week and into next weekend. While the weather will impact the fishing, or at least make you break out the rain gear, once the storms clear we will be on track for some more fantastic "spring" trout fishing.

Lake Almanor Fishing Report February 19, 2012

What Storm?? It was all the talk of the local weather forecast but it never came to be. After a run of beautiful spring like days a one day storm was supposed to come in and bring some light snow and rain to Almanor. I can positively tell you we literally never saw a drop of either. The winds did increase to around 10 mph and brought in a thick layer of clouds but that was about it, and by the end of our day yesterday it was broken cloud cover and partly sunny, about par for the course this winter. The over night clouds did serve to hold in a little heat, making for a warmer start in the morning and also bringing up the surface temps about one degree to 40. I have been splitting our time by taking advantage of the good winter bite along the east shore in the open water and working some of Almanor's shallows looking for signs of our spring bite to start. We have been finding good numbers of mostly Bows from 2 to 3 pounds with a few bigger fish showing up fishing the open water along the east shore. The fish, for the most part, are obese footballs loaded with Pond Smelt. My top baits have been Arctic Fox Tube Flies as well as Pond Smelt imitation soft plastics fished in the top 10 feet of the water. Working the shallows at various points around the lake has produced a 50/50 mix of Browns and Bows to 4 pounds. It will be a week or two until this bite really takes off. My weapon of choice for the shallows is the Trophy Stick. The weather forecast is for another week of almost "spring like" weather, now is a great time to beat the crowds and get your shot at some great fish.

Coming up will be  Nor-Cal Boat, Sport, and RV show, March 2nd to 4th at the Shasta District Fairgrounds in Anderson. Stop by the booth located in the Shasta Hall to see pictures and videos as well as get more information. This year, as in years past, I will be presenting several information packed seminars in the Trinity Hall during the show. Friday March 2nd at 3pm and Saturday March 3rd at 1pm Lake Almanor “The Early Season” will focus on tips and techniques that will help you fool monster trout during the Winter and early Spring. Sunday March 4th at 1pm Fall Fishing on Eagle Lake will cover trolling as well as fly fishing and lay out strategies that will make you more successful during the prime Fall months.

I will see you on the water,



Lake Almanor Fishing Report February 12, 2012

Game On At Almanor!!! The consistently nice weather and abundance of feeding trout have combined to make one of the best winter bites in years at Lake Almanor. The open water east shore bite has been going off each morning with now mostly Bows from 2 to 4 pounds actively hunting the lake's clouds of Pond Smelt. There are a few browns in the mix as well but the last few days its been all Bows to the net on my boat. (Continue reading for comments on the browns) As far as the baits go, there really hasn't been a consistent pattern that has stood out. The Arctic Fox flies in orange, white, and brown have all been fish catchers as well as black and silver soft plastics. I have been loading up my baits with Trophy Trout Gel from Pro-Cure. I have also been running a few trips into the shallows top-lining for Browns with some moderate success. I have been finding some quality fish at various points along the east shore but they are pretty scattered at the moment. The water temp is on the rise with it ranging from 38 to almost 41 in some spots so it is just about time for the Brown bite to really move into full swing. Looks like we have a little bump in the weather headed this way in the next 24 hours then it is supposed to be back to spring like conditions and more Trophy Trout Fishing. (Pictures to follow.)

I will see you on the water,


Lake Almanor Fishing Report February 8, 2012

The Winter trout bite just keeps on rollin' under beautiful weather conditions. Recent trips have been producing a mix of Bows and Browns that are fat and feisty running 2.5 pounds up to 3, 4 and even a few 5 pounders in the mix. Most of the days we are seeing 12 to 20 fish to the boat and of course there is always "The One That Got Away" All of the fish have been caught on the troll at various points along the east shore of the lake. The weather forecast is for more of the same and the bite should continue to be solid.

Heads up Captain's Club Members! There will be some hot deals headed your way on fishing trips as well as some unbelievable deals on lodging.

I will see you on the water,

Lake Almanor Fishing Report January 29, 2012

Can Winter Time "Troutin" Get Any Better? We have been fishing under almost "spring like" weather conditions with cool mornings, pleasant afternoons and Hot action on Lake Almanor's trophy trout. I have been concentrating my efforts along the east shore from the dam to Lake Cove working fish that are eager to feed on the lake's Pond Smelt. This time of year it is common to find balls of these bait fish "corralled" up along the east shore, usually pushed there by hungry fish and feeding birds. The water temps have been running from the mid to upper 30 degree range, and at these temps the Pond Smelt are one of the few food sources available to the fish, luckily there are plenty of them. Judging by the distended bellies and the incredibly intense battles these "footballs" are offering, I would say they are getting plenty to eat. The fish we have been landing are mostly Bows with a few Browns and have been running 2 to 2.5 lbs with several kickers in the 3 to 4 pound range each day. We have found the best action during the first few hours of the morning with the bite tapering off a little as the day goes on. Some mornings double and even triple hook-ups have been quite a common occurrence. These fish are strictly focused on the Pond Smelt so in most cases it is best to try and "Match the Hatch" with lures featuring silver and white as well as some black and silver; that said, the Pond Smelt pattern Tube Fly from Arctic Fox is always a solid choice. I fish these trolling flies a lot this time of year, and in addition to the Pond Smelt pattern the Orange has also been hooking its fair amount of fish. The other rig that has been producing consistent action is a drop-shot soft plastic minnow. I was introduced to these by a friend nearly 20 years ago while fishing Butt Lake. They did a great job of imitating the Pond Smelt and continue to do so to this day. With the addition of the action discs to the trolling arsenal, these soft plastics have gotten even better. All of the above mentioned lures offer little or no action on their own when trolled off the downriggers or outriggers so the action disc is mandatory to get these rigs to dance. The disc also provides a great place to apply Pro-Cure's Trophy Trout Scent. I have been covering the water column from the surface to 12 feet down with the best bite starting shallow and progressing deeper as the day moves along. With the long range forecast predicting more mild weather the Hot Winter Bite should continue.

Reno Reeves shows off a Brown and Bow caught back to back.



A big thank you to all of you that stopped by the booth at the Sacramento ISE Show last week. It was good to see all my old friends and make some new ones, I look forward to seeing you on the water.

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