LAKE ALMANOR, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 11: 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 to 5 pounds. Trolling was off and on.
BLUE LAKES AREA, CALIF: Dave Kirby of the Woodfords Station (530-694-2930): The Blue Lakes Road is now closed for the winter to vehicles. Be sure to tell your readers that I have California Sno-Park permits. We had snow showers this morning (Monday) and they are expecting lots of snow through Friday. We had 21 "Birders" from the Sacramento Audubon Society on Saturday, who counted 80-90 different species of birds and over 3,000 total birds.
CAPLES LAKE, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that an ice fisherman told him that there is about 10 inches of ice. Looks OK for ice fishing but use caution when venturing out on the ice. That fisherman fished on Saturday and Sunday and caught rainbows, up to 16 inches.
CROWLEY LAKE AREA, CALIF: Steve Osterman of Performance Anglers of Mammoth Lakes (760) 924-2181:
Hot Creek: Water flow is 5 CFS. Fishing here is a little tougher due to recent winter storms. Access is limited due to snow. Fish small Nymphs like Disco Midges, Brassies and Pheasant Tails.
EAGLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 11: Trout have moved back down south as the north end is frozen over now. Launching from Gallatin is the way to go. Orange colored 2 or 3-inch grubs have been very effective for fish to 5 pounds. Remember this lake closes at the end of this month, but the fishing continues to be hot!
FEATHER RIVER, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 11: Fishing pressure was low, and there were no salmon reported. Steelhead reports were sketchy, as well. However, a few anglers were scoring on Steelhead below the Outlet. Steelies were concentrating on the salmon spawning riffles meaning that dead-drifting egg flies was more effective than using nymphs.
FRENCHMAN RESERVOIR, CALIF: Wiggin's Trading Post at Chilcoot, Calif. (530-993-4683): Fishing from the bank continues to be good for those floating nightcrawlers off the bottom at Lunker Point and at the dam. We've seen some nice rainbows in the 2-pound range. The reservoir is not frozen over but there is some ice here and there.
INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR, CALIF: Doug Busey reported that it is iced over but do not venture out, it is too thin.
OROVILLE LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 11: The lake is really low now and Bidwell Canyon launch ramp has been the only ramp open to the public now, but for how long it will remain open with dropping lake levels is the question. The bass were hitting jigs and drop-shotted or dartheaded plastic worms at 40 to 50 feet. Crankbaits were working for slot size bass. Juvenile coho salmon, 8 to 10 inches long 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, mooching anchovy fillets or live shiners.
OWENS RIVER, CALIF: Steven Osterman:
Upper Owens: Water flow 88 CFS. Fly fishing is a bit more challenging with cold water and air temperatures. Expect to make many drifts for few fish. Work hard and you will be rewarded. Same fly's as Hot Creek. Best fishing during mid day hours.
Lower Owens: Water flow is currently 108 CFS. Fly fishing is very good. The fish are not too picky about the fly but still demand a good presentation. For Nymphing, try Pheasant Tails, Cased Caddis, green rock worms, WD-40's, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, Fox's Caddis Poopa and Brassies. On the surface, try Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams and E/C Caddis.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Valerie, Linda and Patsy at Crosby's Lodge at (775) 476-0400: Most fishermen are catching fish, but nothing big. The biggest fish of the week were an 8-pound, 6-ounce at Blockhouse from shore with a TOR-P-DO lure and an 8-pound, 6-ounce at Spider Point from shore with a TOR-P-DO lure.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: George and Carla Molino of the Pyramid Lake Store at (775) 476-0555: It's in the 40's right now (Monday morning) and we've got a few fishermen out already. The fishing is good but scattered all over the lake. Most fishermen are happy whether they are fishing with flies, lures or from boats. Nothing big has been reported.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Tim Wilson of the Pyramid Lake Marina and RV Park at (775) 476-1156: The wind is blowing a little bit but it is nice (Monday morning). The fishing has been spotty but they are getting fish all over the lake. No pattern, but the south end is the best place right now. Quite a few fish being caught up to 6-7-10 pounds. The fly fishermen are using olive Woolly Bugger flies. The spincasters are using dark colors on dark days and bright colors on bright days. The trollers are doing OK, with some at 20 feet deep and some at 40 feet deep.
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Chris and Jeri Grellman of Sparks of Hog Charters (358-5199): Biggest fish were in the 4-5 pound range (19-24 inches).
PYRAMID LAKE, NEV: Jim Hartfiel of Just Rite Fishing at Pyramid Lake at (775) 575-7850 (home) or (775) 813-3411 (Cell): Chris (Hog Charters) and I have the same report: We are doing controlled downrigging at 12 feet deep in 20 feet of water on the west side. We are catching fish but nothing super big.
RED LAKE, CALIF: Dave Kirby reported that an ice fisherman told him that there is about 6 inches of ice. Looks OK for ice fishing but use extreme caution if venturing out on the ice.
SACRAMENTO RIVER, CALIF: Dave Jacobs (Professional Guide Service) (800-355-3113):
Salmon: Reports of good late Fall salmon fishing have come in this week with good fishing all week long. River conditions will change with certain rise of river levels from this week's upcoming rains. River may be unfishable by mid week so anglers should call ahead for current river conditions. Best fishing has been from the Barge hole near Anderson downstream to Ord Bend. 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. Jim Kunis of Manteca, Ca. caught his limit of two king salmon including a huge 41.5 pound king while out with Dave Jacobs this past weekend. Last week's rains have moved quite a few salmon 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.
SHASTA LAKE, CALIF: Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association (530-365-7500): As of Dec. 11: Increasing your trolling speed to 3 mph and using brightly colored toplined Flee Bittys and Hum Dingers from the surface down to 40 feet, all will help net a few more trout this week as they are "reacting" to baits. 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: Adult steelhead are being caught 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 are being caught from both the bank or drift boats. Crowds on the Smith have been light this past week. Steelhead fishing will only improve with the arrival of more rain this week.
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 Point, Dollar Point and Sugar Pine Point.
LAKE TAHOE - South Shore: Gene St. Denis: When I fish there, I've been 80-200 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. Shore fishermen are catching small rainbow (up to 2 pounds) and small Mackinaw trout (up to 3 pounds) from the Cave Rock Landing. Topliners are trolling with flashers and either a Rapala lure or a Dodger with a live minnow at Logan Shoals, Zephyr Cove Buoy and Deadman's Point. At Logan Shoals, we caught and released a 14 pound (35 inches) Mackinaw and keep a 5 pound rainbow for dinner.
WALKER LAKE, NEV: Norm Budden, Marty Martinez and Bob McCulloch of Carson City fished mid-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.
WALKER RIVERS, CALIF: Steve Osterman:
East Walker River (From Bridgeport Dam to the Nevada Stateline): The West Walker River, from the Bridgeport Dam downstream to the Nevada stateline, is now open, year round, with special restrictions. The water flow is 40 CFS. Fishing is tough as ice is forming in the channel. Prince Nymphs, WD-40's, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Stimulators and E/C Caddis.
WILDHORSE RESERVOIR, NEV: Dennis Dunn, Jerry, Fred, Ron and Debbie at the Wild Horse Resort (775) 758-6472: It is iced over with the first four fishermen on the ice at mid-week. We have been below 0 degrees every night for a week. Be cautious on the ice as you venture out, drilling holes in front of you. Wear plenty of warm clothes as daytime highs are in the 20's.