|I stayed in California this spring/early summer and had a great time fishing for shad, stripers, smallmouth and trout. |
I started out April 23rd and camped foor 3 weeks in Nicolas a few miles north of Sacramento near the Feather River. I fished Verona for shad and stripers-the shad were pretty cooperative but the stripers were pretty scarce. I did get a 9 pound striper on a shad fly but the water was so low in the Feather that I didn't even bother trying for them up river. The shad slowed down at Verona by the end of the first week so I tried the Feather above Boyds pump and did pretty good. The water was still pretty low and I did try for stripers a few times but not much action. From what I was told-the stripers started up but they cut back on the flows so much that the stripers turned around and went back down stream-never came back. In the 3 weeks that I fished shad, I had a few real good days, most were fair and a couple tough days. Best day was 67 and slowest was 12. My 1 son, grandson, friend of his and a friend of my son's came up for a few days and everybody caught fish those days. The more I fish the Feather the more I like it. Verona is OK but it can get pretty busy-even during the week.
I moved up to Princeton on the Sacramento River May 12th for a month. The shad were there but never really found any big schools. The stripers I did find were few and on the small side. I had the best shad fishing around Butte City-averaged about 12-15 fish in the am and the same in pm fishing around 2-3 hours each outing. I'd fish with a couple friends a few times and we'd have a BBQ on the gravel bars-that was fun. My sons came up and we fished with Orland Outfitters on a trip that Ray Hutcherson set up. That is always a fun trip. I got to fish with a few guys I hadn't seen in a while. Dan Carver, Leonard Lacoss(sp), Gill Santos, Atwin King and his grandson, Ray and Kieth with Sea Level and a few others I had never met. Always good to see Wayne, Mike, Billy and Tom again with Orland Out fitters. They did an excellent job setting things up and the food was excellent at fridays BBQ. Ran into Ed Marcillac at Verona 1 day and Tony Buzolich on the Feather another day so it's nice to chat and compare notes with people that know the areas real well. The shad fishing was kinda slow this year compared to a couple years ago when I fished the same areas around the same time of year. The stripers were a lot slower this year too compared to a couple years ago.
The weather man was predicting some pretty warm temps by the 8th of June so I hitched up the trailer and left for Mt Lassen-6000 foot elevation.
I spent 10 days fishing Manzanita Lake in the Lassen National Park. It had been quite a few years since I had fished it. Hasn't changed much. Beautiful lake/scenery and lots of browns and rainbows hitting leeches. Sorry but I just cant fish drys in still waters nor nymphs under a bobber. The bite was pretty good the first few days but kinda slowed each day after. There was a bit of a breeze a few days but still fishable.
I had never fished Lake Almanor so I spent the next week camped at Northshore Campground. I figured the wind probably prevails from the north so that end of the lake would be protected-wrong. There, the wind comes from the south. Not a big deal, I launched on the west side or down by the dam when it was windy. Dave Sellers lives there so he was kind enough to take me out a couple times-really cut the learning curve. I had a great time fishing with Dave and caught some nice smallmouth. I landed a nice brown around 26" one day-my best fish of the trip. I fished Butte lake 1 day-kinda slow. Got 1 rainbow. There was a hex hatch going on at Almanor-I think everybody got the memo except the fish. Not a lot happening. I know a lot of guys get pretty excited about it but I just can't seem to get too pumped up about a hot bite lasting 20 minutes at dark.
Hitched up and headed for Davis Lake 6/23. Stayed at Grizzly Store Campground for a week. The last I had fished it was in the late 80's and really didn't know what to expect after the pike eradication. I was really surprised with the quality of rainbows-lots in the 18-20 inch range. The weather didn't cooperate the first 2 days-pretty windy and some rain showers. I fished the west side with crystal buggers and did pretty good. The bite seemed to diminish as the weather warmed up. I tried stripping back a few nymphs without much luck. Switched to a muddler minnow and had pretty good success. Ran into Doc Cedar, Lou Barber and their significant others as well as Ed Marcillac and Gill Santos. Had nice visits with them and compared notes. I was going to head home on 6/30 but the heat wave they were predicting changed my mind so I made reservations for 10 days at a campground near Yuba Gap off I80 about 25 miles west of Truckee.
It was even pretty warm at 6000 feet. I only fished a few days. I had planned on fishing Martis Creek Res, Milton Res, Fuller Lake and the private lake at the Campground. I ended up just fishing the lake at the campground and Fuller. I stopped to fish Martis but there was a guy there removing large mats and cleaning them. I guess there is some kind of invasive weed that got into the lake and pretty much ruined the quality of fishing that we had there 20 years ago. I don't remember hearing anything about it. Fuller was fishing pretty good. Got a few browns on crystal buggers. The lake at the campground was kinda slow-got 3 rainbows 1 afternoon.
It was a real nice trip-good weather, didn't get run out of any place due to fires, caught fish every time out, fished with some old acquaintances, saw lots of wild life-mostly deer, osprey, geese, ducks and eagles. I'll tell you-those eagles really aren't welcome with open wings in the feathered community. I don't know how many times I saw them getting clawed at, pecked at and dive bombed by the other birds. They must be a bitch to live next to. Saw some great fireworks over lake Tahoe on the 4yh of July. I did have 1 bad incident. On my way from Davis Lake to Yuba Gap, I was coming down a grade towing the trailer, rounded a curve and there was a doe and 2 fawns crossing the road-I hit the breaks and steered away from them but one of the little guys got excited when he saw a big red truck heading for him, slipped and fell. I think I ran over his foot cause when I got stopped and checked to see if they were OK he was limping off with his mother. Coulda been a lot worse.