Well that is a wrap on the Fall 2021 Eagle Lake season. Thank you to everyone that came on board and did battle with world famous Eagle Lake Rainbows. This years fall season featured mostly mild weather with only a couple of stormy days, lots of flat glass water, foggy mornings along with some beautiful afternoons. For us, all of the action took place in the south basin of the lake with many days spent on the south end of the lake in areas like Pikes, McDonalds, Christie and Wildcat. At various times there we also good bites around Shrimp, Youth Camp and the last fish of the season were landed in and around Eagles Nest. The shore based fly fishing was really up and down this year, some of the trips were fantastic, while others had us working for grabs as the fish would push offshore just out of reach of our casts. This year it was my pleasure to assist a number of people in checking the Eagle Lake Rainbow off their list for both the California Heritage Trout Challenge as well as the Western States Native Trout Challenge, both very cool programs. The lower lake level didn't pose a problem for launching and retrieving the boat, while most boats, mine included, did have to drop off the concrete ramp, Scott did a great job of placing ballast rock at the edge to ease the transition from ramp to lakebed. The fish were looking good and healthy, which is no surprise, considering the amount of available food in the lake. Most of the catches were gorging heavily on shrimp, daphnia, and snails. I did see some leaches but probably slightly less than in years past. It is always tough to shut down the Eagle Lake Fish Camp while the bite is still happening but it was nice to get the boat and trailer back over the hill on road conditions that were still pretty good. Going forward there was a change in the fishing regulations this year the extends the Eagle Lake fishing season until the last day of February instead of its usual December 31 closure date. Not sure how or why the change was made, but if you are willing to brave the conditions in January and February you could now fish it. My understanding is the dock will be pulled around its regular time of early December and that A-1 road will close as usual. That said, I will be focusing my efforts back over on Lake Almanor taking advantage of the good weather and the fantastic winter bite. So to Eagle Lake, is bye for now see you next Fall. Did you miss out on the fall action at Eagle Lake this year? It is never to early to start planning your trip for October and November of 2022. Contact us today and reserve your dates.
Well here we are, what a wild ride the last few months have been. Just thinking back, we couldn't wait to get out of 2020, then 2021 said "here hold my beer". A lot has changed here in Plumas County near Lake Almanor in the last few months, I will spare you the gory details as most of you know of, and have heard about the devastation brought on by the Dixie Fire. One thing that hasn't changed is that Lake Almanor is one of, if not the finest, trout fishing and trophy trout destinations in the Sierras. Following my 8 week "vacation" courtesy of fire evacuations and road closures, I was finally able to resume operations on Almanor. A huge thanks goes out to the good people at Plumas Pines Resort, Todd, Jacob, Stephanie and Dave for working to get me a place for the "Mobile Command" and boat and helping me get settled. They also were fantastic in shuffling things to ensure customers of mine could get accommodations at the resort. So upon returning to the water what did I find? Well simply put, the trout of Lake Almanor really didn't seem to be affected by all the goings on. The fish were pretty much in their typical patterns transitioning from the aquatic insects to pond smelt as their primary food source moving into the fall season. The Fall bite has been un-phased by all the unusual circumstances the lake has endured such as low, warm water, and a certain amount of ash and other fire fallout in the lake. Currently the area, as well as most of northern California, is experiencing some much needed record precipitation which will boost water levels and continue to cool the water temps which have been falling over the last several weeks. Recent trips have been producing pretty solid results for a catch made up of mostly Rainbows with a few Browns in the mix and an occasional King Salmon. The fish have been running 2- 8 pounds in size and are spread throughout the water column hammering our gear from the surface all the way down to just over 30 feet in some cases while they chase the schools of pond smelt and feed up for winter. Locations all over the lake are producing fish, top spots include the east shore, both sides of the peninsula, and even up north. The fish are moving around working the bait so it can take a minute to find them. A wide array of gear is currently working, crawlers to spoons to trolling flies and soft plastics are all hooking up. I will continue running trips here the rest of this week before moving the boat to Eagle Lake full time for the month of November. Following Thanksgiving I would resume trips on Almanor, conditions and weather depending, so stay tuned.
Finally to answer a couple questions on conditions at the lake and the status of certain facilities. Canyon Dam boat launch as well as the Forest Service west shore boat ramp are closed. There was a large amount of timber work happening at Canyon Dam this week as there are many hazard trees that need to be removed. As it stands now Canyon Dam would be closed through November 30th on current forest orders following the fire. That could be modified or extended but at this point it is anybody's guess. Launching is available at Plumas Pines for a $10 fee, envelopes and pay box are at the top of the ramp. Please park across the street from the marina with the other trailers. The water is low so if you are out use caution as there are some new hazards showing due to the water level.
As always for the most up to date info follow the social media Facebook and Instagram
Tight Lines and I hope to see you on the water.
Well this will be about the least fishy report you may ever see on this page. Due to the ongoing Dixie Fire burning in Plumas County , all charters have been postponed through Monday August 9th.. I always hate to have to cancel or postpone trips, and this decision was not made lightly, but given the rapidly changing conditions i feel it would be completely irresponsible to bring out of town people into the area at this time for a multitude of reasons. Most, if not all vacation rentals have been canceled, local lodging is currently shut down or filled with fire fighters and support staff. Dealing with smokey skies is one thing, but the current situation is a completely different animal all together. Large areas and communities are under evacuation orders which have been very fluid. .Road and highway closures have blocked many of the routes in and out of our area and are filled with emergency vehicle traffic. The health and safety of my friends and clients is paramount, that combined with the previous mentioned conditions, have obligated me to temporarily shut down fishing operations. I have reached out to all the parties affected by this decision and anyone with a postponed trip will receive priority on future open dates once fishing resumes. I assure you, I am monitoring the situation closely and will be back at it once it is safe to do so. In the mean time I will continue to post fire, road and evacuation updates on my social media feeds so check those out for the most current info. Facebook and Instagram @bigdaddysguideservice and Twitter @bigtroutguide A huge shout out and thank you to all of the personnel from all over the world here to help our area. Be safe out there.
Not typically how I would start out a fishing report but until further notice all fishing charters have been postponed due to the Dixie Fire burning west of Lake Almanor. I have been reaching out to customers who have trips booked about a week in advance to let them know the circumstances. Things are currently in a holding pattern here as the entire west shore of the lake is under mandatory evacuation, with Chester, the peninsula and east shore being under and evacuation warning. I ran my last charter on Monday July 19th and had a fantastic day that included some great fish and only moderately smoky skies. What followed, that afternoon, once I was off the water was a pretty good indicator it was time to pull the plug. The fire intensity really picked up sending waves of ash falling down on us on the west shore. About 3 pm a combination of dense smoke with thunder clouds above it blacked out the sun to the point that outdoor activities required flashlights to see. Then the rain started, while nice to dampen things down, it turned the ash to mud and also had a massive amount of lightning with it. Nothing I hate more than having to cancel trips, but faced with all these conditions the responsible thing to do for the health and safety of my customers was to begin to notify them and shut down for a while. Hopefully this fire will be stopped and put to bed sooner than later and we can get back to fishing. Stay tuned for updated information. For regular updates check out the social media outlets Facebook and Instagram @bigdaddysguideservice and Twitter @BigTroutGuide I have been posting regular fire info and updates to keep customers, fishermen and lake lovers informed.
Now for the fishing portion of this report. Prior to shutting down the fish at Lake Almanor were getting into a pretty solid summer time pattern. Typical for this time of year, many of the fish that had been focusing on bugs as their main food supply start to turn their attention to pond smelt. The aquatic bug hatches, while still happening, tend to slow down this time of year, the famed Hex Fly hatch is all but over and the idea of fresh meat in the form of pond smelt is am easy transition for the trout. On recent trips my customers have been battling mostly Bows from 2 to 8 pounds, some big Browns to just short of the double digit mark and a few Kings, most in the 2-3 pound range with some topping the 5 pound mark. The bite was a little up and down, some of the days were spectacular numbers, and for those that were keeping fish, quick limits. Other days the bite would start good but die off quickly leaving us to scratch up what we could for the rest of the morning. Fortunately Lake Almanor has a way of providing some pretty awesome results and on most of the slower days I was able to get some folks on some pretty epic Browns. Im looking forward to getting back on the water and back on the fish. Stay tuned.
Hard to believe it is already May this year is flying by. Despite a mild winter and lower lake levels Almanor this spring has not disappointed, fishing overall has been great. That said there have been a few tough days on the water and some where we have had to grind them out but for those that endure the rewards have been sweet. Quality, quality, quality is what Lake Almanor is all about and this year has been no exception, i have been lucky enough to slide the net under several double digit weight fish for customers, a good number of 7, 8 and 9 pounders and more 5 and 6 pound fish than I can count. We had to do a little pivot due to lower than usual water levels to stay on the fish in February and March where most of the catch is made up of Browns feeding on pond smelt. The train kept rolling through "Brown Town" in early April with only a few bows and even fewer salmon showing. As we moved into mid April the Bows re-emerged from their spawning mode and began to show up on the lines with regularity and feasting on the aquatic bug hatches going on all over the lake. Right now it is bug hatches from one end of the lake to the other all of them potentially attracting fish, this could explain the fact that we have been fishing a wide variety of areas around the lake. Last few days out the bite has not been easy with strong winds also playing into the equation. Look for more spring time action as we move through May and into June. Been a while since I had time to update the web site report but as usual check us out on the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram @bigdaddysguideservice for the latest updates and see what is going on.
My Fall fishing season (October - November) at Eagle Lake wrapped up the day before Thanksgiving and what a ride it was. A big Thank You to all of my fantastic clients that came on board at Eagle Lake this year. Overall, this season featured some premium Fall trout action for the famed Eagle Lake Rainbows, with both the quantity and quality bringing smiles to faces. Conditions this Fall up at Eagle were generally mild, however, there were a few little bumps in the weather that brought some rain, snow and wind to the lake, sometimes making conditions tough to fish. That said, any precipitation is welcomed at this high desert beauty. This year, as in years past, I ran both fly trolling as well as fly casting trips, with both methods yielding fantastic results on some amazing fish. Eagle Lake has long held the title as a Fall destination for trout enthusiasts and it continues to this day. Deep bodied, hard charging, no quit, big tails, thick and powerful are just a few of the traits that all come together in these fish, then add cold water and an inherent desire to feed up aggressively going intro winter and you have a magical combination that is sure to please any trout angler. This year I also had the opportunity to assist a number of anglers in their quest for the California Heritage Trout Challenge and the Western Native Trout Challenge as the Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout caught in its native waters of Eagle Lake qualifies for both. These programs are extremely cool and if you have not heard about them I encourage you to follow the links above and learn more. Of course, per the usual, the fishing was red hot as I was leaving and continues to be great right now for both boat and shore based anglers. A word of caution, if you are planning a late season trip to Eagle Lake, watch the road conditions as many area roads can be slick and icy this time of year and for the boaters, the dock at the low water ramp is due to be pulled anytime. (generally around December 1) If you would like to get in on this action at Eagle Lake please visit the Reservations Page. Fall 2021 will be here before you know it and I am already filling dates. For me it is back to Lake Almanor to finish up this 2020 fishing season. Tight Lines
Once we got to mid June, big numbers of Hex larva started showing in the stomachs of fish i was cleaning, you got the idea the lake was primed for a big Hex hatch, and so it was. The hatch got going in late June and just kept pumping out yellow bugs, basically through the first two weeks of July then started tapering off through the end of the month, with a few bugs still visible into August. Needless to say, as usual the fish got frothed up and poured into areas that hold the hex beds, which provided us with a captive audience to present out baits to. Morning trips found fish left over from the previous night's hatch in those areas and the afternoon charters got fish moving into those same areas in anticipation of that evening's hatch that had yet to begin.
That brings us up to current days on the lake. There are still a few bug hatches that continue out on the lake but not nearly the bug load that is seen in spring and early summer. The bulk of the trout have transitioned back to their other favorite food source, the pond smelt. Pond smelt prefer the deeper cooler waters of the lake and therefore tend to pack up in areas along the east shore and peninsula. These have been the productive areas the last couple of weeks as cruising Browns and Bows hunt down the schools of smelt and gorge themselves. Considering the time of year and the warmer water and air temps, we have been having some spectacular results on mostly Rainbows up to 6+ pounds as well as Browns running anywhere from 3 to 8 pounds. There have been a few small salmon in the mix, these are the two year old
fish which will mature for next year, although our first fish of the morning several days ago was a 23 inch class salmon which put up a fantastic fight. It looks like this late summer bite will continue with the fish hanging deeper until things start to cool down next month.
There are only a few days left available this month and a hand full of open days in September to get in on this Almanor action. Starting in late September/ early October I will be firing up the popular fall Eagle Lake trips and will be splitting my time in October between Almanor and Eagle. Don't miss your chance to get in on some of this exciting Trophy Trout fishing. Contact us today to reserve your dates.
The lake level continues to rise along with the water temperatures as we move deeper into spring. Large bug hatches continue at a variety of locations around the lake drawing fish into those areas to feast. We continue to be shut down due to Plumas County orders, but hope to be up and running charters soon. In an effort to be ready to go when things open back up we have been keeping close tabs on the fish and the bite. Check out the video below to see some action from a recent outing.
Well things continue to be pretty well shut down but the lakes are open to fishing. During the shut down I have continued to monitor the conditions and the fish so that when things do open back up we will be right back on it. Check out the video below to get an idea of how things went.
Following my last posting on 4/17/20 (about an hour after I left the office) the closing of the Canyon Dam Boat Ramp at Lake Almanor was reversed with stunning speed. A quick recap; The US Forest Service put out a press release on 4/15/20 stating the facility would be completely closed with access being blocked off. On the afternoon of 4/16/20 the dock was pulled out of the water and concrete barricades with signage were placed across the access roadway entrance. Friday morning 4/17/20 at approximately 11:30 am it was announced that the boat launch facility on Almanor's south west corner would be re-opened. The dock was placed back in the water and the concrete barricades were moved off to the side of the road.
How did things progress so quickly? Well from my understanding several key people and groups were involved and need to be thanked for their attention to this matter. The Plumas County Sheriffs Dept. and Sheriff Todd Johns, Plumas County Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce, Shane Starr of Congressman Doug LaMalfa's office and the US Forest Service. On the afternoon of 4/17/20 the barricades were removed and the dock re-set in the water but there will be some noticeable changes.
The bathroom facilities will remain locked and off limits as they have been for several weeks and from this point forward there will be a Plumas County Sheriff deputy stationed in the parking lot to ensure activities go smoothly. Having the deputy on duty will hopefully prevent the problems that prompted the closure such as the heavy out of town traffic, overnight camping and trash and litter being left behind. Again thank you to Sheriff Todd Johns for recognizing the importance of this resource and providing the means to keep it open. That said, if problems arise, the facility could again face a total closure. Remember for the quickest updates please like and follow our social media outlets @bigdaddysguideservice on Facebook and Instagram.
Capt. Bryan Roccucci
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