By Doug Neal
Almanor Fishing Adventures
May 7, 2018
Surface temps rising to 57 degrees at mid day. expect that number to rise as the nice weather is here. Clarity is very good in both basins, About 11 ft. and improving. Lake levels are high and water quality excellent. Moon phase is waning. Last weeks full moon had the bite good, but very early. Then a slowdown, before returning late morning. Expect the bite to improve as the moon phase darkens and fish cannot feed as freely without that moonlight.
Aquatic insect hatches are erupting all across Lake Almanor. Some areas like Big Springs and the east shore were amazing yesterday as billions of bugs took to the air. Fish are gorging on the larva still working their way from the bottom to the surface. This major food event has been happening at Almanor West for 2 weeks, but has now taken over the entire lake.
I have been all over the lake the last 3 weeks and been getting more action in the Almanor West area than anywhere else I've been.
We have caught Salmon, Browns, and Rainbows trolling fast action lures and spoons. Red and Gold speedy Shiners, #2 Needlefish, and blue and silver Moose Look wobblers were working for most guys. A Moose Looks Wobbler looks exactly like a Speedy Shiner, but has a better texture and overall finish, and it cost more, but who cares about cost when your catching fish. Fishing pressure has been light with a spike on Friday thru Sunday. The other boats trolling in the Almanor West area were all trolling fast action. We did switch out a few times to Dodger crawlers and naked crawlers but the fish did not respond, yet. Switched back to fast action and did better.
While Almanor West has been fair to good fishing. I expect the entire lake to improve as bugs fatten up the fish and the moon phase darkens. The Abundance of springtime makes all creatures happy. Happy fish will become active and aggressive as insect protein converts to energy quickly. So much energy that even a 2 pounder can be a tussle. We have seen fish going airborne, jumping time and time again. Pulling off line, and the drags screaming. That is the energy of insect protein.
We have caught a variety of fish in all sizes. Rainbows from 16 inches to 4 lbs. Browns from 2 lbs. to 4 lbs., and all the Salmon are all running about the same 17 inch size. The few we checked were packed with bugs... No smelt were seen yet.
The bite has not been hot. We worked hard during that full moon, some days only getting 7 grabs, and only getting 5 of them in. Some boats reported getting skunked, or just one Salmon. Yea it can happen. Especially if your in the wrong place running the wrong stuff.
This report is not gospel but I do rather well. I should, I been fishing here 19 years, fishing every month of every year.
If your here, and having a rough day call me and I will tell you what I doing. I want your time spent on Lake Almanor to be productive.
Reports from other boats and guides were mostly positive.
Hardcore fishermen like, Dave on 'The Comet' and Mike 'The Blade Runner' Reported 40 fish over 4 days. A 10 fish day is a good day.
Mikes Lake Almanor Guide Service reporting Salmon along the Red Banks north of Rec.2. Actually there were several boats working Red Banks last week. I was there too for a couple hours and managed a couple decent fish.
Bob on the 'Why Knot' reported action from Rec.1 to the A frame. I too spent a hour and a half at the A-Frame trolling fast action yesterday morning and hooked 3 fish before moving to Big Springs.
Big Spring was a bust yesterday as a Billion bugs were flying around in the morning sunshine. There were so many bugs that fish didn't give our stuff a second look. They were focused on the rising larva. Yes there is a lot of food available these days and some trollers may have trouble getting hooked up.
However that moon phase darkens and fish are more active.
So pack a sandwich and work it. The best fish, and the most hookups come to the guys that work it.
Good luck to all.
USFS ramp open with dock.
Canyon Dam open with dock.. Note Canyon Dam. The bridge over the Dam spillway is to be torn down today, due to structural issues and old age.
HWY 89 will be closed at the Dam for one moth, maybe longer. The ramp will be accesable coming from west.
Rec.1 and 2 open with docks.
Almanor West open with dock.
Hamilton Branch open with dock.
All resorts should be open this week.
The Almanor Fishing Association released approx. 34,000 Rainbow Trout from the Hamilton Branch fish cages last month. Theses little guys are now scattered all over the lake getting big eating bugs.
Check out the Almanor Fishing Association on Facebook or check out our Website. I'm a member.