Lake Almanor, CA
Lake Almanor Fishing Guides
Contact Doug TODAY at 530.258.6732 or E-Mail to book your trip with Almanor Fishing Adventures www.almanorfishingadventures.com
Situated northeast of Chico, Lake Almanor in Plumas County offers some of the best German Brown and Rainbow trout fishing in California.
Almanor Fishing Adventures guide Doug Neal has logged over 7,000 hours fishing this most scenic lake. Doug puts all his energy into just guiding lake Almanor and is willing to share his knowledge with you.
Lake Almanor Fish Pictures
View pictures of fish that have been caught at Lake Almanor in the Lake Almanor section of our Free Online Fishing Forum.
Lake Almanor Fishing Reports
August 6th. 2009 - Lake Almanor
Almanor Fishing Adventures
Fishing Report and Lake Status.
Surface temp. @ 75.4 degrees
Surface temps are holding, and actually dropping a little, as cooler weather has moves into the basin. After noon breezes have stirred up the lake and water clarity has dropped to 16ft. visibility.
The trolling bite has been fair, and most of the big fish have come very early in the morning. After the sun gets up the bite activity slows.
There are giant clouds of bait fish all over the lake and fish are active early, especially with all this moon light. The bigger browns feed early, and we have been picking up big ones from 3.8 lbs. and up to 6.8 lbs. trolling 38 to 43 ft. from Rec. Area#1 to the A-frame, in 52 ft. of water.
Thick cloud cover this morning has blocked out the moonlight and the fish could not feed as well last night, the bite should go longer this morning. I expect his out going moon phase will begin to prolong feeding times as we go through the week.
Rec. Area #2 is full of bait, and fish are in there thick. As the bait runs for it lives many fish lose contact with them, and linger here all morning, and looking to eat. Try a cricket and mealworm combo.
The Big Springs Salmon bite has slowed also. Most of the fish are all under 18 inches, however even a 18 incher puts up a good battle. Anchovy tails with Herring Gel always seems to get the most attention. We have been fishing these baits about 5 ft. off the bottom. I fully expect this Salmon bite to return, and will be checking it out later this morning.
The Lake Cove Area on the east shore has some hungry Rainbows around. Trolling 8 to 10 ft. off the bottom has produced several clean bright fish up to 4 lbs, but most have been around 3 lbs.
Hamilton Branch is the best bank fishing around this lake, and it was proved again yesterday with a couple fellas coming out with nice limits of Rainbows, floating crawlers in the slow current. Now that's good old fashion fishing.
We heard there's a little action beginning over at the Spar Buoy, and its about time,. but we haven't confirmed anything yet.
Pictured is Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures with a 4.9 lb. Rainbow Trout caught trolling, and downrigged to 18 ft. and pulling a Red and Gold Speedy Shiner, covered in Garlic Scent.
July 26th. 2009 - Lake Almanor
Almanor Fishing Adventures
Fishing Report and Lake Status.
Surface temp. @ 74.4 degrees
The East Basin has excellent water clarity, and that has the fish happy and active. Pond Smelt fry are thick along the west side, from Prattville to Almanor West. There are millions of fry moving around and the Trout and Salmon are feeding on the fry as bug activity slows. Trolling top water close to shore is a good bet early, however the fish will be moving down to deeper water was the sun climbs higher. With water clarity so good fish are seeing lures and bait over a greater distance, and more hits are possible throughout the entire morning and into the afternoon.
Good water clarity has allowed many boats to run smaller lures than usual, like gold or silver Kastmasters #2 Silver Prism Needle fish, and Seps Pro Secrets in Gold W/ red space tape. Best trolling scents have been Pro-Cures Carp Spit, blended with Trophy Trout in equal amounts.
We have been running Seps Gold 04 Dodgers with a piece of a crawler 18 to 24" back and have been picking up some terrific Browns to 26 " and well over 6 lbs. about 10 ft. off the bottom. The trolling bite has been holding strong from Rec. area # 1 to the A-frame, Browns, Rainbows, and those great King Salmon are in that slot ,and we have been getting a few big fish here every day this week. Hamilton Branch to Big Springs has been another top producing trolling slot, with a few nice Rainbows going in nets, but its been Salmon that are the most abundant, but hey have all been on the small side averaging about 17" And its the same along the east shore to the Dam. Best lures reported were, Rainbow Runners in Orange,W/ silver tape, gold dodgers with a half crawler, Frog w/red dot, #3 Needlefish, and the 1/4 oz, RGSS. Trolling flies, crawlers and spoons have been effective also, but bait fishing is the top producing application. The Salmon bite continues at Big Springs, some days it red hot and the next Luke warm. Anchovy tail on a # 8 hook,and Pro-Cures Herring Super Gel, or Krill Super Gel scents are the top producers. The east shore has been active as well, try trolling from Lake Cove and down to the Dorado Inn, Several boats reported bright clean Rainbows over 3 lbs. The bottom line is....Fishing is very good right now, and if your coming up here to fish in the next couple of weeks , bring a camera, and get a better net. Big fish are being caught all over the east half of Almanor this past week. If you need to use a public boat ramp, check out the USFS ramp on the west shore. Its now has a 2nd. ramp, with dock, and improved parking.
All ramps operational.
May 7, 2009
Surface temp. @ 52 degrees
Clarity: 8 ft.
Rain soaked the basin this past week, plenty of wind too, that's all passed through,and sunshine is forecasted throughout the week. May is the best month to fish Lake Almanor. The bite is good, and getting better. Heres the latest. Bug Hatches along the east shore and Almanor West are happening. Most of the fish we cleaned were packed with bugs. I have fished the East Shore 5 of the last 6 days from the Branch to Lake Cove and Back. Mixed limits of Bows, Browns, and Salmon have been the norm. Rainbows to 3.4 lbs. and Browns to 3.2 , but the Salmon all have been small nothing over 17 inches. Dodgers with a Wooly Bugger, off shore in Deeper water is a good rig right now as the fish have really taken notice off all the bugs. Closer to shore, a Threaded crawler and a good swivel is hard to beat. A couple of friends were dragging crawlers along the east shore, and I saw the net go out a couple of times so they were picking up some fish. Yesterday we shot over toward Almanor West and put in at the USFS ramp (still Closed, under repair). We only went 200 yards and hooked up our first Rainbow, 1/8 RGSS, and gold Pro Secrets were all we needed to run. Trophy Trout and Carp spit mixed did the job..man that carp spit is some gooy stuff! Most hits came off the shallow rods that we had stacked at 6 and 8 ft. However we did get a couple fish off the deeper rods that were running at 12 and 16 ft., in 32 to 36 ft. of water well off shore, about 300 yd. out. What made yesterday so special, besides being the first day in a week with sunshine, was all the energy these Rainbows displayed. its all that bug protein. As we get these strong fish close to the boat its a good idea to back off on the drag a little. We had fish 180 ft. behind the boat jumping, and tail walking across the surface. Classic stuff. That's how it went all the way to the net. All of our Rainbow ranged from 2.8 to 3.4 lbs. and were clean, bright,and full of fight. Bug hatches beginning in the mid morning and into the afternoon, have the best bite coming on later, and going on longer. We got more hits after 9:00 am that before 9:00am Canyon Dam public ramp: both sides open. Plumas Pines ramp, closed. crews are working to open soon. Knotty Pine, open Big Cove,Open USFS ramp, closed, during improvements. Improvements include, A new wider ramp, and a big increase in parking. Wilson's Camp Prattville, still closed as of today, but crews are busy preparing to open soon. Hamilton Branch,open.LACC, Rec. Area # 1, open LACC, Rec. Area # 2, open Almanor West, open, with dock.
April 19, 2009
Surface temp. @ morning 46 degrees, and rising to 54 afternoons
Clarity: about 9.5 ft. and improving.
Currently: Warm, 69 degrees @ 3:00 P.M.
Water surface temps are on the rise, so is the fishing pressure as weekend warriors launch from Canyon Dam and head to their preferred spots. Water clarity is really improving. and its just going to continue to improve. Heres some reports from around the lake. Rec. area #1 on the east side of the peninsula has tons of bait fish and lot of inciting sonar marks, but just a few reports fish actually being caught. The best reports over here have been trolling from Rec.# 1, all the way to the A-frame. This is best trolled early, and then the bite shuts down around 9:00 am. However there's a minor bite returning after 11:00 am.. Prattville is now kicking out some fish, as these surface temps continue to rise fish will be moving in and in larger numbers, and become more active.We worked from the jetties to Almanor West and picked up some quality fish to 3.2 lbs. All Rainbows. and lost a few after a brief struggle. Lake Cove to the Dorado Inn on the east shore is , and has been, the hot ticket for trolling this week..lots of marks as the Green Midge hatch is beginning to bloom..Its more like a Bloom, with a boom! as the bite has exploded in this area.Anybody who knows Almanor, and owns a boat is over there. Chunky Browns, filled with smelt are now focusing on the bug action, Also Salmon are picking up on the bug attraction action, with kings to 3.2 lbs. but most have been smaller, about 1.8 to 2.2. The bite was soft this morning but its just gonna build..sharpen your hooks Leroy, and pass the scent! Best scent is Pro-Cure Garlic, Get some if your coming to Almanor. Garlic is a great scent,, and add a little Trophy Trout as the day moves along. My best fish here was a Rainbow, came in at 4.9lbs, and 3.3 lbs, with several 2.0 to 2.6lb., thick fat Browns mixed in.
Shore bound bank fishermen are also in on the action as fish are still, and as always close to structure. the Smelt spawn appears to winding down but there's still some quality fish being landed at Geritol Cove ,The Fox Farm, and the rocky point near Skinny Dip Beach, and of course Hamilton Branch. Fish are going to turn their attention entirely to bugs, starting now..as you read this, bugs are hatching. Canyon Dam public ramp: both sides open. Plumas Pines ramp, closed. Knotty Pine, open
Big Cove,Open USFS ramp, closed, during improvements..that appear to have stalled..forget it, till further notice.
Wilson's Camp Prattville, still closed as of today, but crews are busy preparing to open soon.
Hamilton Branch,open.LACC, Rec. Area # 1, open
LACC, Rec. Area # 2, open
Almanor West, open, with dock.
March 26th, 2009
Provided by Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures
Surface temp. @ 42.5 degrees
Clarity: about 5.5 ft.
Currently: Lake wind Advisory.
Lake Almanor is like a keg of Dynamite and the fuse is lit! With a warming trend forecasted for the Almanor Basin, surface temps will continue to rise. Lake Levels are on the rise also, however the lake is still low, watch for hazards. The trolling bite has been slow in all the usual areas. Most boats reported very few hits, and just a few fish caught over the past couple of days. When I say usual areas, I mean most boat we observed were working out off shore, 50 to 100 yards or more, trolling top water, and some were rigged down deep. The best bite has been working right along the shoreline. Lots of 15 to 18 inch Browns, and some bigger Rainbows, over 4 lbs, have been feeding in close to shore. Most fish that we have caught have been in tight, holding in close to shore, and packed with smelt. This is the time of year, and temperature, that pond smelt begin spawn activity. They will spawn close to shore in the shallows, their eggs look very similar to frog eggs, a gooy mass that sticks to structure in shallow areas. So look for actively feeding fish in closer to shore, because that's where the food is. This rising lake also helps the smelt successfully reproduce, where falling lake levels, would wipe out the smelt eggs. This spawn activity is typical, and will continue as the temperature range rises from 42 to 49 degrees. Crawlers, Rapalas or any pond smelt pattern, on a side planer, is a good way to get in close without alerting the fish. Seps Pro Fishing makes a good, affordable planer board, and that's what I use here. Jigging close to shore with white tube jigs, or slinging silver spinner lures have been simple, and fun ways to catch fish close to shore. The bug activity wanted to start last week, but 8 inches of snow and cold northern air but the brakes on the that, but its going to be warming a little every day now, and all that activity is just a week away from busting loose, and then you can start moving out away from shore and return to all the usual places. This is going to be a great year here at Lake Almanor, the smelt are looking good, the lake has lots of water coming in, and a fairly good snow pack means good fishing this season. Fishing pressure is light, but on the upswing. Hamilton Branch is running cleaner. The North Fork of the Feather is flowing strong and clean. Bailey Creek ,Benner, Last Chance, and Stover Creeks are flowing.
Launch conditions around Lake Almanor
Canyon Dam public ramp: both sides open.
Plumas Pines ramp, closed.
Knotty Pine, closed still under repair/ upgrades.
USFS ramp, closed. should open next week.
Wilson's Camp Prattville closed.
LACC, Rec. Area # 1, open
LACC, Rec. Area # 2, open
Almanor West, open, no dock yet.
September 13th, 2008
Provided by Doug Neal of Almanor Fishing Adventures
Surface @ 66 degrees
Water clarity : improved to 11 ft.
Bait fishing is the way to go this past week. There's always good trolling at Lake Almanor, but the bait bite has been just terrific! Observations and reports from other boats, all are the same, The trolling bite is a grind at best, you can get your fish, but plan on making a day of it. The best fish have been coming early morning from suspended baits 3 to 5 cranks off the bottom, using the big mealworms or crickets alone, or combined.
Its a great way to fish, and a very relaxing break from all the trolling we have done this summer. Fish are active all over the north east side of Lake Almanor, from the East shore the Hamilton Branch and over to Big Springs We have been catching everything this lake has in it! Smallmouth,Browns,Rainbows, Salmon,even Catfish all in the same place during the same morning.. The trolling bite is not totally dead, We got several solid limits the past week trolling red and gold Humdingers, Speedy Shiner's and Needle fish, Especially in bikini and Cop Car patterns. The down side is, heres allot of planted juvenile Salmon in these areas and the can become a nuisance, mostly because the are too small to pop the release and its possible to drag these little guys for miles and not know it.
We cleaned a few Brown Trout hens this week and egg development is rather advanced. we could see a earlier Brown Trout spawn this year. Hens should be released when ever possible and Avoid the using the net. Always take just enough for a dinner and release some too.
A-Frame The good old A-Frame is been a good spot to drown some cricket or crawlers, Several fish over 4 lbs. and under this past week. And several limits
Canyon Dam : Bait lots of bait, Trolling has been the method of choice. Several Rainbows over 3 lbs. from the Dam to the Snag and back. Dodger crawlers, flashers and Berkley power bait 2" Smelt, rolled and rigged deep is great!
Rec. 1 : Browns and Rainbows 60 yards out in front of the Osprey nest in 38ft.of water. Try mealworms/cricket, crawlers,Salmon eggs. find out what they want and make the switch!
Hamilton Branch:Bait Fishing just outside the mouth has been getting Rainbows most are on the small side running 15 to 17 inches, these fish are early season plants, however there are a few over 3 lbs. in the mix too.
Take all the usual stuff, crickets, mealworms, crawlers and even power bait..jig if fish are rolling.
We got several rainbows trolling UV Humdingers and gold Cripple lures 8ft. off the bottom, fast @ 3.3 mph
East Shore:Trolling Lake Cove is still productive, but slow, the fish are on the small side 16 to 19 inches.
Try any of the following lures, 1/4 oz. RGSS, Silver Humdingers or A gold Z-Ray W/red dots..
Add to the lures or bait some Pro-Cure Trophy Trout and Garlic scents blended together.
Spar Buoy: My pick of the week for quality fish. Jigging has been great! Bait fishing has been getting clean Rainbows and perfect Brown trout, most about 2.2 lbs and up.
Big Springs: Big Springs The spring fed cove in the back of Big Springs is drawing a lot of fishing pressure because there are so many fish holding in there. But all that pressure has given the fish a big case of lock jaw. You better get there early for the best spots, and be quite going in. Also this area has produced the best trolling action, with RGSS and Humdingers getting wacked often.
Rec.2 Slow but steady action, If you stick it out you will get hits.Try Jigging white or yellow jigs.
.Fish are packed in there right now, but so are the Smelt, so there's lots on food.. Bait fish off the bottom, or Jig.
Our best fish went for a threaded crawler with Pro-Cure Trophy Trout super gel and Balls o Fire Salmon eggs, mealworms and crickets, three cranks off the bottom.
Fresh Water Whopper Report.
Jack Nora of Lake Almanor with a 5.5 lbs Hookjaw Brown Trout that went for the mealwormcricket combo just off the bottom, near Rec.Area#1 along the Almanor penisula.
August 31, 2008
Lake Almanor Fishing Reports Provided by Doug Neal, of " Almanor Fishing Adventures"
Surface temp.@70 degrrees
Water clarity : Good to 12 ft.
The East half of Almanor is the place to be right now, water clarity is good to almost 12 ft.Compared to the west side which is a mess right now with floating grass, murkey water,and a warmer surface temp. The bait fish, pond Smelt, are everywhere from the Dam to Prattville and north to Big Springs and along the pennisula. Giant clouds of smelt are on the move as feeding fish push them all over the place.
Rec. 1 : Nice Rainbows all around 3 lbs. about 400 yards out in front of Rec.#1, about 51 ft. of water. Troll 1/4 oz. RGSS or silver and blue Humdingers. 6 ft. off the bottom @ 2.9 mph. Bait fish in front of the Osprey nest for Browns that are active from fisrt light till 11:00 am. Try mealworms/cricket, crawlers,Salmon eggs. find out what they want and make the switch! Hamilton Branch:Bait Fishing just outside the mouth has been the hot spot. Several reports of Rainbows limits, fast and early. Take all the usual stuff, crickets, mealworms, crawlers and even power bait.. East Shore:Trolling Lake Cove is still productive, but the fish are on the small side 16 to 19 inches. Try any of the following lures, 1/4 oz. RGSS, Silver Humdingers or A gold Z-Ray W/red dots.. Run these 4 to 8 ft. off the bottom 2.8 to 2.9 mph. We fished about 600 yds out in 48 to 55 ft. of water, however there were several boats working in closer. Add to the lures or bait some Pro-Cure Trophy Trout and Garlic scents blended together. Spar Bouy: One day its hot, and the next day it not!, mostly Browns. crickets and mealworms,or double crickets off the bottom. This bite can go off early. I had 18 hits there in 5 hrs. and put 9 in the box, best fish was 4.8 lbs. If theres fish rolling on top, try white or yellow jigs when the sun hits the water and into the afternoon can produce some solid strikes. Theres not as much bait fish moving in and out of there this past couple of days, if its slow, you better go. Big Springs:Big Springs Its still your best bet for the Salmon. Premium Anchovy tails with Pro-Cures Krill Scent, or Smelly Jellys Koknaee Feast 3 to 5 cranks off the bottom. Crawlers are good to have down there too. The trolling bite has been good as well, most all our hits came on Berkley 2" Power minnows in smelt. 14" behind a Seps 04 Silver Prsim Dodger. 30ft. down.
Rec.2 Try Jigging white or yellow jigs, we managed a couple of fish there the past week, Browns to 3.0 lbs, and some smaller. Fish are packed in there right now, but so are the Smelt, so theres lots on food.. Bait fish off the bottom, or Jig. Our best fish went for a threaded crawler with Pro-Cure Trpphy Trout super gel and Balls o Fire Salmon eggs, three cranks off the bottom. T his weeks fishing tip: If You like trolling deep,start looking into lures and dodgers that feature ultra violet thin film. Fish can see light in that spectrum and are attrached to the flash..... Try UV scents by Pro-Cure on your own lures.....Go UV it works!
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