CHESTER — Rainbow trout, brown trout, king salmon and bass were all on tap this past week, although the lake has not stratified and they were found most all over the place at all depths. The weather made its "change" over the weekend and fish will begin congregating this week, making already good fishing even better.
This reporter fished the lake with guide Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures on Thursday and Friday. Thursday was hampered by extreme winds, so we couldn't access Neal's favorite spots, but friend John Myrick of Galt and I still managed the lake's "trifecta" of a big German brown around 2 pounds, a king salmon around the same size, and two big rainbows around 1¾ pounds.
Friday the wind laid down, temperatures went up into the high 70s, and we hit Neal's spot in the west basin and had 5 nice fish in 2 hours of trolling Speedy Shiners, and then switching to a Sep's dodgers with a trailing ’crawler. We ended up with a big king about 2 pounds, 3 rainbows from 1½ to 2 pounds, and a smaller king.
"It will only take about 3 days of weather in the high 70s and 80s for the lake to warm up enough to move the fish to the springs and the deeper areas in the east side, and they'll be a lot easier to find then," he said. And that weather was forecast for this past week.
On Sunday, Neal reported in and said "the moon is going away and the bite is better. We got 7 today in the same area before 10 a.m. Surface temperatures passed 61 degrees so it's going to fade soon, and then the springs will be the place to fish. I'm going to try a few springs tomorrow."
Bass boats were running all over the full lake, fishing the flooded timber and willows and working the shoreline for smallmouth and a few largemouth as they get ready to spawn. Tournaments are slated up here most weekends.
Put Lake Almanor on your calendar for this summer, the fish are big, pink-meated and prevalent. Look for the entire On-the-Spot in next weeks issue of Western Outdoor News.
GUIDE DOUG NEAL of Almanor Fishing Adventures and John Myrick of Galt with one of the big rainbows caught at Lake Almanor of Friday, May 11, during an On-the-Spot that found good fishing for king salmon, browns and rainbows to 2½ pounds. WON PHOTO BY BILL KARR