By Doug Neal
Almanor Fishing Adventures

March 30, 2020

Greetings from Lake Almanor.

I am going to decline booking any April fishing trips intill things turn to the corner, and its determined to be all clear. I am 68 years old and fall into the group of people at higher risk. I cant speak for a couple other guides up here, but I bet they have their own concerns as well.
For myself, you can still book dates starting in early May, but everything is subject to change. Currently there has been no Covid- 19 reported in Plumas or Lassen County, zero.

Most stores are closed, even the Kopper Kettle Café. Holiday Market and hardware stores are open, gas stations too. I will be fishing, but by myself, and will try to keep you informed on the bite. Most of us will support the no travel ban, and stay home for awhile. But knowing fishermen.
Some of you might still want to come up with your boats. Which is probably just fine. However, be mindful and wash your hands. We wanna keep Plumas County Virus free..

NOW....If looking for a safe place to stay, I suggest Quail Lodge at Canyon Dam. Super clean, great people and safe. As of now there has been no announced closure of the access ramps. However I heard many State parks and parking lots are closed to discourage further virus transmission. Currently its raining here. that should clear out tomorrow, and besides a few more Spring Showers due.  I expect better weather going forward.
Air temp this morning is 36 degrees, warming today to the mid 40,s with more sunshine in the forecast. Surface temps have dropped back down to 40 degrees. and clarity is very good, @ 8ft. Lake levels are low, watch for submerged hazards.

Almanor Fishing Association Up date:
Due to school closures in Chester, We The AFA, have emptied the ARI project at the high school. We removed all the remaining 6" Brown trout, about 5700, and dumped them into Almanor at the Almanor West boat ramp last week. All the fish survived and are now happy to be in their new home.
This morning our people will be moving the remaining one inch long Rainbows to the tanks at Feather River College. There Hatchery Director Adam Fuller will raise them for lake Almanor later this year.  So today we close down the ARI project intill this health issue is resolved. Currently we have approx. 45,000 Rainbows and 13,500 Browns at the Hamilton Branch cage program. These fish are going to be released in late April. And they look fantastic. About 10 inches and thick. And last, Almanor is scheduled for a large Salmon plant in the next week or so. I'm hearing over 100,000... oh yeaaa.

So when this episode passes there will be some great fishing ahead. Stay safe, there's some killer *hit out there. You can, Call or text me at 530-258-6732 for info and updates any time.

Doug Neal.




March 8, 2020

Surface temps approx. 42 degrees. Clarity varies around both basins, about 7.5 ft. water quality looks good.
Lake levels are low and I don't expect levels to rise much this season. February was the driest ever, zero rain or snow... Driest in 107 years.

Fishing pressure has been light, some days I don't see another boat, or even a boat wake. We have a little weather system passing thru now but it won't effect the bottom line. The roads will be bone dry before you read this.
The weather, or lack of it, has made for some unusually easy March access and some great fishing. No snow or Ice anywhere.

Here's what I been hearing.  Big fish reported often, in both basins, north and south. Not a lot of action, but the fish reported are running big, and not just from boats. The Causeway, Geritol Cove, Rec.1, the tip of the peninsula.
Even right off the docks in Big Cove.  All these areas are making shore fishermen excited. Power bait, white Jigs and Silver Kastmasters taking most of the credit.

Trollers working the shallows from Canyon Dam to Rocky Point reporting some big fish, from 3.5 to 5.5 lbs., mostly Rainbows running threaded crawlers dead slow. East shore from Lake Cove to the Big Willow landing, again running threaded crawlers down 6 to 12 ft. Lots of small Salmon reported from Big Cove to the log Cabin by the A Frame.

Here's what/where I been catching... Red Banks, along the west side of the peninsula toward Bailey Springs. 200 to 300 yards off shore. Silver Shiners, 12 to 16 ft. deep and fast, about 2.8 to 3.2 mph. Big Rainbows, good cold water colors, and full of fight. A couple of them and I'm satisfied.
I've been doing so well there I haven't ventured out much. I don't leave fish to go look for fish. However even that will change. More warm weather is coming next week, and its going to be Spring soon. Right now, It appears the real action may start a little earlier the season, we will see, but either way I am ready to go.

With lake levels lower this spring that water will warm up a little faster this spring, especially in the shallows of Almanor West, so I expect some bug hatches to slowly begin to show.

Oh yea, FYI, we had several Brown Trout plants this winter, and we have another big Salmon plant promised from DFW, probably before mid April, I heard over 100,000. Also the AFA has 45,000, 7 to 8 inch Rainbows in the Hamilton Branch cage project, along with 13,000 Browns, 7 inches, in our 2 new cages that we just added last week. We will release them all late April... there's going to be a lot of fish out there this season, and in all sizes.

But wait there's more! We, the AFA, still have about 7000 Browns at ARI, in tanks that we started last year and they are about 7 inches AND we just egg hatched 45,000 Rainbows 2 weeks ago, they are about 1 inch long. Those will be for later, next season. Check out AFA and ARI @ Almanor Fishing Association on Facebook. See for yourself...Post a comment.

Good luck,
D. Neal

Right now the only open public ramp with dock is at Canyon Dam.
The USFS ramp is open, no dock.
Rec. 1 and 2 are open with docks.