SPALDING TRACT — With Eagle Lake opening the Saturday proceeding Memorial Day, on May 26, it’s time to get those reservations made and check out the water conditions.
Bill Bayles (outdoor radio report in Susanville) said that Eagle Lake is low, but launching a boat at the north end shouldn’t be a problem. “At the south end, where the Aspen ramp has been high and dry for years, the Gallatin ramp is now too shallow due to the low water conditions as well,” Bayles said. “But the USFS put in a shallow water ramp at the south end, just to the west of the Gallatin Store so we should be able to launch boats at both the north and south ends of Eagle Lake all year.”
Ron Beck of Flying Eagle Guide Service said "the creek began running again and so between the springs, Bly Tunnel being closed finally, and the rain and snow we have received; we look forward to a good season.
“The water level is not as exciting as we would like, but the quality of the fish we have rescued and that DFG has spawned has been outstanding,” Beck said. “We are taking reservations all the way through mid-November; Flying Eagle Guide Service is partnering with Eagle Lake RV Park and offering a 10 percent discount to all of our clients that stay there camping. We're looking forward to our guests and anglers catching limits (2) of trout again this year. We caught more fish in the 3- to 3½-pound range last year than we had caught for the previous two years and are looking forward to more 4-plus pounders this year.”
“If the launch in Spalding becomes too difficult, there is always the new low water launch ramp that the Forest Service put in just next to the Gallatin Marina Jetty,” Beck said. “It drops off quickly into deep water and it is only a 20 minute drive from Spalding.”
Look for California Inland Fisheries Foundation’s (CIFFI) special to Western Outdoor News report on this year’s spawning efforts and photos in next week’s issue of WON.
Good ol’ fashion fishing at Almanor
CHESTER — There’s just a plain old fashioned good bite happening right now at Lake Almanor. The clarity is good down to 12 feet and will only improve, along with the fishing.
“Trolling or bait fishing are both doing great, whatever you do best, just do it,” Dough Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures said. “I have been working the trolling lanes of Almanor West this past week and been getting limits of hard fighting browns and rainbows up 3.6 pounds and even a few 2-pound king salmon are still in the area.”
Neal said the salmon will be around, as long as surface temperatures remain close to where they are now, which is 52.5 degrees. “Some strong afternoon north winds have been blowing off the surface heat as fast as it builds,” he said.
“The east basin is also fishing well, with fish stacked right out in front of the Lake Haven Resort, just south of the Hamilton Branch,” Neal said. “The larger smelt populations are all in the east basin and around Prattville. “And the aquatic food chain is producing lots of small meals. But these fish are still looking for something more satisfying, size wise and have been crashing smaller, fast action lures in smelt patterns.”
“I found a massive group of springs that are not on any map, well, more like I stumbled onto them,” Neal said. “I have been slamming limits of consistent action and clients are loving it; no whoppers, but some 3-plus pounders.”
It’s ‘that time of year’ at Berryessa
NAPA — The kokanee, trout and salmon bite have all been on fire; it’s ‘that time of year’, when lots of reports start rolling in.
Troy Barr of T-Roy’s Guide Service was up here a few days this past week and reported a better bite earlier in the week than towards the end thanks to the wind. “We caught a lot of bigger kokanee on Monday as the weather was perfect,” he said. “We started out in the south end of the lake but the best bite was up around the Big Island from 23 to 35 feet deep, with the kokanee going 15 to 18 inches long. The fish are starting to drive a little deeper and we found that RMT hyper plaid and bahama mama dodgers, paired with Dick Nite spoons, RMT and Uncle Larry's spinners worked the best.”
“Then I fished Friday with good results but in high winds,” Barr said. “It was fishable when we started out and then it started blowing,” Barr said. “The trip was for kokanee but when they saw how big the trout were, it turned into a combo trip. We wound up getting a 50/50 mixed bag of kokanee and big rainbows and called it a day.”
“I saw Sep Hendrickson at the Markley Cove Store, he was a big help because I never fished the Markley Cove area,” WON reader Andre Fontenot said. “He told me about the Baseball Field and said anglers were getting the kings at 125 feet. Since I started early and it was overcast, I stayed a little higher in the water column (65’ - 75’) and never had the need to go lower. I got good action at that depth all morning.”
“I began trolling the Baseball Field area, rolling shad and anchovies,” Fontenot said. “I had my first fish in the box 20 minutes into fishing and the last at 11:30. My limit was 3 kings (largest 22 inches and 4.11 pounds) and 2 rainbows (largest 18 inches and 2.5 pounds). I lost about five fish to LDRs and one nice king right at the boat. I never left the Baseball Field and dam area because I was having such good action. My “thanks” to Sep; this is my new favorite place to go.”
Sep and Marilyn Hendrickson fished with Bill Dunn of Bill Dunn Fishing Charters that day and reported that in three hours they had at least 15 kings to 4.3 pounds. “It was the best landlocked king action ever for any of us,” Hendrickson said. “After dropping us off, Dunn and his buddy Brian went back out and hooked another 15 kings including fish over 4 pounds, in about an hour.”