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.
Capt. Bryan Roccucci
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