By Doug Neal
Almanor Fishing Adventures

Feb. 2, 2018

Unusually warm up here for February. The usual is, snow and ice. Not this year, not yet anyway. We got 18 inches of snow last week, but that's almost melted away. I been here 19 years now and this is the lightest winter I have seen. Your gonna hear the word "drought" a lot in 2018

Here's how its lookin... 31 degrees this morning, warming to 52 degrees today. More of the same forecasted for the week.
Surface temps peaking to 42.5 degrees at mid day, and expected to rise. Warming surface temps could trigger some minor aquatic insect activity. Currently fish are chasing smelt.

Water Clarity: Clarity in the west basin is about 12 ft. which is pretty darn good. The east side is a different story, clarity is poor about 4.5 ft. at best. The Hamilton Branch has been running semi muddy for the last week, and the powerhouse is pouring in very muddy water, so clarity is not as good on the east side as that muddy inflows spreads across the east basin. Lake levels are low. There's a fair snow pack on Mt. Lassen, and we should see lake levels begin to rise as warmer days melt that snow. No official numbers from PGE lately, but lake levels look to be down about  8 to 9 ft.. Fishing pressure has been very light, I've seen only 2 other boats out last week. However I did get a couple reports of some fish hitting orange J5 Rapalas working the Rec. 1 to A-frame trolling lanes, but that's it. Yea you need orange over there cuz the water is murky. If I was going to fish the east side I would also try 1/6 oz. Fire tiger Speedy Shiners.

So, even with 2 full moons in January we still managed to get out and catch a few fish. With the east side having muddy inflow issues, I've been fishing the cleaner water along the Almanor West shoreline, or north of Rec. 2 along the peninsula toward Baily Springs and back. Almanor West from the boat ramp toward airport flats got us our biggest fish this young season. A pair of Rainbows in the 3 pound class were carefully released. These fish hit slow action Strike Master Dodger crawler rigs,(SMD,s) down rigged about 8 ft. and  trolled at 1.1 to 1.2 mph. We also ran some naked crawlers along the top water but they never got a bump. The clarity is good over there, but there's also just enough floating grass and other line flowing stuff to make it difficult. Yesterday morning we worked Bailey Creek inlet, trolling back south toward Rec. 2, and released 3, 15" to 16" King Salmon, running the same rig SMD,s with a 1/2 crawler. Down rigged to 26 ft.. In addition we injected the crawler with some Pro-Cure Super Herring Gel for a little added enhancement.

To summarize the last few outing, its been a weak bite, but its great to able to get out this early in the season. And now that full moon is going away, and the weather will be good for a least a week, possibly more, so if your itching to get out fishing? now's your chance. Yea I am hoping for more weather, but its not up to me. Currently roads are dry and free of snow and ice. Be safe and good luck.

Canyon Dam ramp is open with dock in place. USFS ramp closed, dock pulled for winter. Almanor West private ramp is open, no dock. LACC private ramps at Rec.1 and 2 are open with docks.

Did you know?... 2 weeks ago during the government shut down. Canyon Dam ramp and the USFS ramp were closed to lake access. So there was no way to launch at any public ramps here at Lake Almanor. Thanks Chuck. It is possible that it, a shut down, will close the gates again next week. So the Lake Almanor Country Club  (LACC) officers, voted to open ramp access to Rec.1 and 2, to the public in the event it happens again.. wow. A very generous move, thanks LACC!