Well, 2022 is off to a rip-roaring start. Winter was looking promising as we closed out last year, giving hopes to an above average snowpack and lots of water for the lake, but January and February saw virtually no precipitation in the Almanor basin. A "Miracle March" never really happened with only limited amounts of moisture, so you can imagine my excitement when the recent "winter like" storms started lining up in the pacific and headed our way, these fronts possessed a solid amount of moisture but also high winds and unstable air, not the best for fishing in. Armed with that intel I made the choice to postpone a couple of days of fishing and let the fronts blow out of here.
Overall, the fishing so far this season has been what I would classify as pretty darn good especially when it comes to the quality of the fish, both Browns and Bows, and now some larger than average salmon have been starting to make an appearance. Even good fishing is not without its challenges here at Almanor and there have been a few slower days, some weather related, with wind not allowing us to fish the intended areas, and a couple of plain old "Almanor" days where mother nature and the lake conspire to let you know who is really in charge. That said, most of the trips have been fantastic.
February gave us a nice mix of fish with Bows topping 30 inches and Browns close to double digit weights. As usual it was all about the pond smelt and working areas that were holding bait was the key. Pond smelt numbers in the lake seem to be doing just fine, they are a vital part of the food chain, especially in winter, that keep the fish fed.
The "Miracle March" that didn't provide us with an abundance of rain and snow did manage to come through with a healthy supply of Browns. The numbers were impressive, but even more so was the average size with many 7 and 8 pound class fish in the mix as well as multiple fish over the double digit mark in weight. I believe we are seeing an upward trend in quality of these fish and myself as well as many others believe it is a direct result of catch and release efforts by the bulk of the anglers at the lake. Efforts by groups such as AFA as well as locals getting the word out about protecting our valuable resource have, and continue to make a difference. So remember #KeepAlmanorBrown and #BrownTroutLivesMatter, catch and release does work when done correctly, the proof is in the fact that we absolutely catch the same fish multiple times.
We are now deep into the month of April and finally getting that afore mentioned much needed rain and snow. The big Brown action continued into the fourth month of the year with a few more double digit weight fish and the Rainbow action started to pick back up following their spawn. The Smallmouth Bass started moving into the shallows and fish began to disperse throughout the lake as other food sources, mainly aquatic bugs, became available. Recently some of the lake's King Salmon have started to make a pretty good showing with "forked tails" as large as 7 pounds hitting the net. These fish are always fun on the light gear and I hope we see many more as the year progresses.
What will the months of May and June hold for us? Stay tuned, but things are looking good for more outstanding fishing here at Lake Almanor. For the most up to date in formation about what is going on remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
I look forward to seeing you on the water,
Capt. Bryan Roccucci
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