Northern CA Freshwater

Lake Almanor trout perk up

By BILL RICE/WON Staff WriterPublished: Mar 16, 2017

CHESTER — Nice weather finally descended on Lake Almanor, but the full moon and limited water visibility still kept the wide-open spring bite in the future. Even so, there were some fish available.

COLD WEATHER BROWN trout, along with rainbows, can be enticed during the winter months at Lake Almanor. Tom Daetwiler caught this one on an Arctic Fox Fly last Thursday and released the fish. It was 16 degrees outside, and he was fishing with guide John Crotty of Quail Lodge.

“We are finally getting a break in the weather,” said John Crotty, owner/guide at Quail Lodge on Lake Almanor. “This past week saw two days in the 50s and night time temperatures above freezing. The snow is melting and lake levels are remaining constant. Water temps have increased significantly, ranging between 38.5 and 45.8 degrees this week.

“With the full moon and limited visibility, anglers were still struggling to catch fish over the weekend, but Ron Smith of Willows landed two browns and a rainbow,” Crotty said. “One of the browns was 7 pounds, 14 ounces on a copper Speedy Shiner. White continues to be the best color with two of those fish caught on Arctic Fox Trolling Flies in the Pond Smelt pattern and one fish on the copper Speedy Shiner.”

All of their success came in the top 15 feet, trolling between 1.8 and 2.7 miles per hour. The East shore across from the Canyon Dam boat ramp was the starting point and usually accounted for a fish or two. The pond smelt were lively with the increase in water temps, and anglers witnessed numerous pond smelt surfacing in attempts to elude chasing trout. Pressure is picking up from boaters and bank fishermen.

The Canyon Dam boat launch is still the only public launch site, but the overflow parking area is covered in snow, so parking space is limited.

landlockedkingLANDLOCKED KING — There’s still some landlocked king salmon in Lake Almanor, and Ray Bakker was trolling deep with a silver and blue spoon when he hooked up this beauty.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special weekly supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

The Longfin Tackle Shop