12-pound, 12-ounce Cutthroat caught at Pramid Lake
LAKE ALMANOR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: Bait fishing with mealworms, crickets and other baits in the popular areas of the lake like Rec. 1, Hamilton Branch and the A-Frame from 30 to 60 feet produced nice trout. Trolling was off and on.
BLUE LAKES AREA, CALIF: Dave Kirby of the Woodfords Station (530-694-2930): It is 9 degrees (Monday morning) and I’ve got a warm fire going. Over the weekend, I had people in who were wearing down jackets and shorts. That’s crazy! The Blue Lakes Road is now closed to vehicles. Be sure to tell your readers that I have California Sno-Park permits, if they need them.
CAPLES LAKE, CALIF: It has a thin layer of ice that is too dangerous to venture out onto.
CARSON RIVERS, CALIF: East Carson River Trophy Section: The Trophy Section of the East Carson River, from Hangman’s Bridge downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions.
Todd Sodaro and Chad Machado of the Carson River Resort (877-694-2229): It is 6 degrees (Monday morning) and I’ve got a massive wood-burning stove going. The trophy section is clear, cold and slow.
DAVIS LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: While not directly from official DFG sources, there is word that one stubborn tributary to the lake has been holding up progress toward getting the lake restocked. Re-opening of the lake, and subsequent restocking of hatchery rainbows is dependent on water in the lake and all tributaries to test completely free of any chemical residue from the pike-eradication project. The one tributary in question still shows some trace of chemicals. Once this clears up, further progress in restoring the lake should be good to go.
EAGLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: Trout have moved back down south. With the ramp at Spalding “iffy” for ice, launching from Gallatin may be a better bet. Orange or watermelon colored 2-inch grubs has been very effective. Bobber action has been fair with the increased shoreline bait activity. Float a worm under a bobber and you’re set. Remember this lake closes at the end of this month, but the fishing has been hot!
FEATHER RIVER, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: Steelhead continued to show in the stretch of river below the Outlet, as well as in the Low Flow Section. Nymphs, Glo Bugs, eggs, Hot Shots and crawlers all worked on fish to 6 pounds.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin’s Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): Fishing has improved this past week. Most anglers are having good luck floating nightcrawlers off the bottom. Some Power Baits have been working pretty well too. Try rainbow or orange glitter. On Nov. 29, a 5-pound rainbow from shore with nightcrawlers.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that road is open and some fishermen did OK over the weekend. Saturday, some fly fishermen caught fish up to 2.5 pounds, they were using red-colored Midges.
OROVILLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: The lake is really low now and Bidwell Canyon launch ramp is the only facility open to the public. The bass were hitting jigs and drop-shotted or dartheaded plastic worms at 40-50 feet. Deep diving crankbaits work for slot size bass when the wind is up. Juvenile coho salmon, 6 to 7 inches long continue to pester bass anglers, biting anything that hits the water! A few decent sized silvers from 2 to 3 pounds were taken off the main body points and up in the river arms, mooching anchovy fillets or live shiners.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Valerie, Linda and Patsy at Crosby’s Lodge at (775) 476-0400: It has been a pretty good week. We had a 12-pound, 12-ounce Cutt (31 inches) caught on a frog-colored Flatfish lure at the Blockhouse. It was caught by Nick Eastwood but I don’t know where he is from. We also had a 10, a 9, two 7’s and two 5-pounders turned in. They are catching fish just about everywhere: Pelican, Blockhouse, Popcorn, in front of the Marina, Spider Point, the Willows, etc.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: George and Carla Molino of the Pyramid Lake Store at (775) 476-0555: The weather is cold but the fishing has been good. Most people are happy but there have been few fishermen. Frog-colored lures have been working the best. George (Cutthroat Charters) got out Saturday. They caught and released about a dozen fish, up to 24 inches.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Tim Wilson of the Pyramid Lake Marina and RV Park at (775) 476-1156: Fishing is getting better with the colder weather. The fish are scattered and the fishermen are catching them all over the lake. The south end is still hot.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): Saturday was “Yucky.” It was cold and windy and we did not go out.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Jim Hartfiel of Just Rite Fishing at Pyramid Lake at (775) 575-7850 (home) or (775) 813-3411 (Cell): Saturday, it was so cold, you could not believe it. We trolled 12 feet down in 20 feet of water. In our 4-hour trip, we caught and released 12 fish on Apex lures. Sunday was slower. We got 5 fish in 3 hours but nothing big.
RED LAKE, CALIF: It has a thin layer of ice that is too dangerous to venture out onto.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs (Professional Guide Service) (800-355-3113):
Salmon: Good reports of late Fall salmon fishing have come in this past week with best fishing through mid week and reports of slower fishing depending on where you fished this past weekend. River conditions have changed with a quick rise and fall of river levels from recent rains. Best fishing has been from the Barge hole near Anderson, downstream past Chico,. A few late Fall salmon have been landed in the 30-40 pound class this past week with reports of salmon being caught on sardine wrapped K-15 & K-16 Kwikfish lures in various color combos. Up until mid week many hatchery salmon have been caught in the 12-19 pound class. After recent rains many these salmon have moved upstream in and around the Barge Hole. Backbouncing has been best bet with good fishing most of the day. A few salmon have been caught on backbounced roe. All salmon being caught are new chrome bright king salmon averaging 12-20 pounds. Salmon in the 40 to 50 plus pound class are a real possibility this time of year on this river. Salmon season will continue through mid January. River flows have dropped to 4,500 CFS.
SILVER LAKE, CALIF: It has a thin layer of ice that is too dangerous to venture out onto.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 4: Increasing trolling speeds to 3 mph, using brightly colored toplined Flee Bittys and Hum Dingers from the surface down to 40 feet, all helped net a few more trout this week. Salmon are biting in the deeper waters from 75 to 125 feet deep. A few examples of hot baits for them were Paddle-tails in Shad patterns with Sling Blades or Koke-A-Nuts. Adding Pro Cure’s Shad Gel to everything is a must.
SMITH RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs of Professional Guide Services (800) 355-3113: With a few salmon still around in the Smith River system, many anglers are switching over to Steelhead fishing from the mouth upstream above the forks of the Smith. A few adult Steelhead have been caught above the forks of the Smith this past week side drifting roe and a Quickie puff ball. Steelhead have averaged 8-12 pounds with Steelhead in the high teens and low twenty pound class a real possibility on this river. Steelhead fishing will only improve with the arrival of more rain. Currently flows at Jed Smith river gauge is 8.91 and dropping. River is getting low and clear and could use some more rain. Anglers should call ahead for current river conditions as conditions can change quickly on the Smith River.
LAKE TAHOE – North Shore: Gene St. Denis of Blue Ribbon Charters and Tahoe Trophy Trout at South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (530-544-6552): Fishing has been good to excellent. We have been trolling 100-200 feet deep. We locate the fish on the fish finder and then troll Dodgers and a live minnow in a “Figure Eight” pattern, bouncing the bottom. I’ve been fishing at Cal-Nevada and Dollar Points. Most fish are running 2-7 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – South Shore: Gene St. Denis: When I fish there, I’ve been 50-200 feet deep at Ski Run Shelf and Camp Richardson. Trolling with silver Herring Dodger flasher blades and minnows, and bouncing off the bottom in a serpentine pattern. Macks are small, 2-7 pounds.
LAKE TAHOE – East Shore: Gene St. Denis: They are trolling for Mackinaw with flashers and worms or minnows at the Cave Rock Shelf. Some shore fishermen are catching small rainbows from the Cave Rock Landing. Topliners are trolling with flashers and either a Rapala lure or a live minnow.
WALKER LAKE, NEV: Norm Budden, Marty Martinez and Bob McCulloch of Carson City fished mid-week, last week, in their chest waders at the far south end of the lake. McCulloch caught and released 12 cutthroat (his largest was 3-pounds, 4-ounces) (26 inches), Budden caught and released 11, and Martinez got skunked, again. They were using various colored TOR-P-DO lures.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Dennis Dunn, Jerry, Fred, Ron and Debbie at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: It was cloudy and 19 degrees all night (Sunday night) and it never varied one degree. The reservoir is about 2/3 frozen over, but they are catching some big rainbows from shore in the open area by the boat dock. The rainbows look like footballs, they are 18 inches long and weigh 3-3.5 pounds each.