Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lake Almanor

My original plans were to take a week and head into the north eastern part of Nevada. There I would explore and fish new water. On short notice I decided on something closer too home. I changed my mind about the destination after reading a trip report. It wasnt that they caught a ton of fish that changed my mind..Even though they did quit well. It was the location and the fact that I hadn't ever seriously fish this place or vacinity of the Shasta region of the Cascade Mtns. That report really fired me up to get up there.

Lake Almanor sits at 4300' in Plumas County. About 4.5-5 hrs pulling a boat from home. Well, a 12 hour drive or a 5 hour drive? It was an easy decision since I only had a week to play with. Perfect, I locked down a cabin, which wasn't hard to do this time of year and rolled out monday morning.

The first day I just looked around and graphed a lot areas and was really on the hunt for Smallmouth. I stuck a couple of nice ones right off the bat on topwater plugs but it was very appearent it was a tough bite. It was one here one there type of bite and I covered a lot of water. Water clarity was 8-15' deponding on where you were. They were spread out from the bank to 40ft. I kept at it and I had 7 nice Smallmouth for the day. No real giants but all very respectable. Through out the day I picked up the fly rod and the quality of the rainbows that were busting baitfish in open water was unreal..I soon shifted in that direction and wore those things out. That only lasted for a day and a half and they moved on or felt the pressure.

Looking for a new areas, I was marking deep fish pounding the bait. Periodicly they would push bait up onto a 9-15' break/flat. Turns out the area was holding good quality browns AND Bows AND Smallies. Friggin Heaven! I hit that general area with flies for the next three days and caught, what I consider, some very nice fish. I also blew some great shots and broke off two personal best Browns this week. I was using a clear I-line with small baitfish patterns no more than an inch and a half striped fast. I fished those flies from the surface to 10'. 8lb tippet didn't bother the Rainbows. Browns however were a little more wary and I had to drop to 6 to get solid looks. I used flouro, mainly for the sinking properties.

I stayed at Plumas Pines Resort in Pratville, Ca. Nice little cabin with everything you need for a week of fishing and relativly close to everything. I also took a day and looked at some local streams. There is some beautiful water all over Plumas County but I was focused on Yellow Creek. Tough nut that Yellow Creek is. I ended up with one little 10in Brown on a dry but I was happy to get that fish. I'll definitly be back to tackle that creek again. Very challenging fun spring creek fishing!

Humbug Valley is remote enough to get away from it all for a day. And, ony 15 miles via logging roads from Plumas Pines Resort. Also, the valley has a nice little camp ground on the south end of the valley close to the stream. I had a great time! I explored a couple of other local streams and headed back in time for a couple of hours of evening fishing at the lake.

All in all a great trip! Close to home, beautiful country and great fishing. I'll definitly be back for a rematch with a couple of those fish!

Mt. Lassen

Home for a week

Humbug Valley

Yellow Creek

Freestone section of Yellow


First Light

Deer Creek

Bring lots!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bass Fishing..

The north central part of California arguably has some of, if not the best bass fishing in the world. Clear lake just to the North with increadible numbers of 7-10lb Largemouth. The California Delta an easy drive and world class! The lesser known Mother Load Lakes with some of the finest Largemouth and Spotted Bass fishing you could wish for. If you love Bass Fishing you want to live here.

I spent roughly 25 years seriously chasing bass. No other specie really mattered to me and I had complete tunnel vision when it came to fishing. Years of Tournaments led to guiding and guiding led to some great freindships and an inconsistant income...To look at what bass fishing was like when I was really getting going in the 80s in High School, to what it has become now is soooo different.

Not all bad, just a different scene. While I had some of the best times of my fishing life bass fishing and met so many wonderful souls thru it, the nagativity and ridiculous pressure to keep up pushed me in another direction for a while. The guys today, dont seem as tight as we once were and everyone is so damn secretive about everything. Those anglers suck the fun out of it for me. Maybe its the money, maybe its the intranet? Maybe I was just burnt or could it have been I was intimidated by all the very skilled younger guys coming up that this area produces? Who knows and who cares, I just did not enjoy it anymore and my confidence spun out I guess.

The last few years I have spent a considerable amount of time enjoying other species all over the country and south of the boarder. I still fish for bass ofcourse, but not 200 days a year as I once enjoyed. I also jones for trout and new saltwater specie's with fly rods. I have never really crossed over from bass tackle to fly rods for Bass Fishing. Its not that it isn't effective. No way, flies slay em! I just can't cover water and pattern fish in a timely matter like I can with gear. Not even close and that will never change. I enjoy throwing large plugs too much.

Monday I'm taking off for a week of Smallies with some trout on the fly thrown in as an after thought. I'm pulling my bass boat on this trip and I'm super stoked and really energized for the first time in a long time, to go Bass Fishing!..Heres a few bass pics from another time.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Blue Gill are timeless...Spent the afternoon messing around a farm pond. Nothin to big but fun!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Went looking for Stripers today. Came up with a ton of little guys and a few good quality Largemouth..Nice day and pretty quiet out. Wind machine started building at 2pm and kept working me until I left about 5.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The best..

part about football season and the kids getting back to school is the casual angler is done for the year. The fishing pressure dies about 45% in a one week span and decreases every week there after especially when the bulk of hunting opens. We have year round fishing with confortable weather here so that's a good thing. I love this time of year!

I ran up to Merced Falls on Sunday to take care of some stuff at the house..I didn't plan on fishing, but I never plan to not fish so I happened to have a couple of fly rods with me just incase. Turns out I went fishing. I brought up trash fish in the last report so I figure its a good time for you to meet the ultimate, most hated and misunderstood fish in California. The Squaw Fish. I was told before I could walk to throw em up on the bank.

They really aren't that bad. For one, they are one of the FEW native fishes we have and two, they get pretty good size and eat the hell out of lures and flies. Anyway, I targeted them and caught a bunch. Then I gently released em Ha..

Also went poking around some other not too well known areas and found it, for the most part free of humans on a holiday weekend. While there I stumbled on some Native American grinding stones where i'm sure they harvested and consumed Squaw Fish from time to time. Inmfact I read these fish were a major part of there diet.

Back on Monterey Bay monday for another Sea Bass skunk. Caught other fish but the desired target specie didn't happen again.