Northern CA Freshwater

Lake Almanor trout anglers scoring well on flies

By BILL RICE/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 15, 2018

CANYON DAM — Fishermen continue to take advantage of the mild weather at Lake Almanor, where Geritol Cove appears to be the best bet, especially for fly anglers.

John Crotty, owner/guide at Quail Lodge reported that the browns and rainbows that were planted in 2017 continue to hang out in and around Geritol Cove.

speedyshinerbowSPEEDY SHINER ‘BOW — Bob Michaels from Chester hefts a 4-pound rainbow caught on Feb. 3 while fast trolling a red/gold speedy shiner off Rec 22 at Lake Almanor. Guide John Crotty of Quail Lodge sent in the photo.

“I spoke with a couple of fly fishermen who said they caught and released more than 60 fish each last Monday. They were back for more on Saturday. These fish are fat, healthy, hungry and eager. They are not good table faire and more importantly, they are the future of our fishery, so please enjoy catching them and release them unharmed if possible,” said Crotty.

Water levels at Almanor have dropped a bit and clarity is 9 to 10 feet, while temperatures continue to hover around the 41.5-degree mark. Temperatures most likely will drop this week, as the lake will be seeing overnight lows dipping into the teens and daytime highs not rising above 40 a few days. There is a slight chance of snow early in the week and the weather should be nice next weekend.

“We found fish scattered throughout the lake and caught a few fish on Friday and Saturday fast trolling hardware, Speedy Shiners in red/gold and red-dot-frog being our top producer. We did pick up a few fish working Artic Fox trolling flies in the pond smelt pattern,” said Crotty.

“I run my Artic Fox products on leadcore, and typically have 2 or 3 colors of leadcore out, followed by 50 to 75 feet of mono, a small P-Line swivel and 6 feet of 8-pound leader. Pond smelt is my go-to pattern. We have had success on the cop car, rainbow and brown patterns. I don’t use the wiggle disc on Almanor, as I have found keeping the rod moving is more effective,” said Crotty.

He has been targeting fish in water less than 25 feet deep, and caught fish along the East shore, off the Peninsula and from Rec #2 north. He said he didn’t find any major concentrations of fish.

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