Lake Almanor Report - Courtesy Doug Neal
Docks at Canyon Dam, Rec. 1 and 2 are now back in place after the big wind last week.
Clarity, about 5 ft. perhaps better in some areas. Surface temps spiking to 47 degrees by mid day.
New Moon, time to fish.
Almanor is warming faster this season than usual, We should have surface temps around 36 degrees this time of year.
Lake levels have come up a few feet but the lake is still 10 short of full, and there's not much hope for any rain in the forecast.
Lots of sticks, bark, and some big logs floating in both basins. The lake has been flat as glass the past week, no wind, so these hazards are easy to see, but if your heading out and its still dark? Better watch where your going.
I made a 40 mile loop around Almanor the last 3 days, checking out some of the usual places in both basin.
We saw a few boats in the Canyon Dam and east shore areas, but for the most part fishing pressure is light.
Jigging aggressively seemed to be the best method near Canyon Dam. I saw 2 guys getting doing well with white jigs.
Trolling Rapalas worked well early, but by mid morning that bite dropped off.
After seeing the entire lake, I set up near Baily Springs. Clarity at Bailey Springs is excellent, and clear of any floating post storm debris.
Fish rings everywhere! Flat as glass water reveals rings 200 yard off the actual springs, which are flowing strong.
With all this nice weather a few early hatches have popped and the fish are right on them.
Pictured is: Doug Neal with a few quality Rainbows caught right at Bailey Springs in the west Basin of Lake Almanor, Powerbait off the bottom.
Slow trolling night crawlers would probably do well, however We sat on anchor floating powerbait off the bottom relaxing in warm sunshine.
Rainbows from 1.5 to 2.8 active in this area. No Browns, Browns seldom hit power baits anyway. Action was fair, the bite were spaced about 25 minutes apart, but we didn't care.
The upside? It was nice just to be out in sunshine catching late winter fish without wind and weather.
The downside, we need weather. No doubt about it..the drought continues.
I would expect aquatic hatches to start earlier if the winter weather continues to stay away.
The Hamilton Branch Power house is pouring in brown muddy water from Walker Lake, actually the whole north end of the east basin is funky.
I would avoid this end of the lake in till that water clears, and it won't be anytime soon.
Lake Almanor Report - Courtesy Doug Neal
Clear and cold every morning.
Just barely freezing over night, and them warming to the mid 50,s by 1:00 pm...that's warm.
Clarity is poor, about 6 ft. near Rec 1. and it gets worst as you go north. 3.5 ft. clarity near Big Springs, and the Branch.
The Hamilton Branch power house is running brown water down from Walker Lake again.
East shore and south to Canyon Dam has the best clarity.
Surface temps averaging 39 to 40 degrees at mid day.
Rec. 2, and the USFS ramps are locked up with thin ice, about 1/4 inch, which melts away every afternoon.
Rec. 1 looks good. I launched there yesterday. The lake has come up enough to back in larger trailers. However take a look before backing down.
Best Bet, Canyon Dam ramp, it still has a dock and is free of ice. In fact the whole east basin is ice free.
The west side has some thin ice that disappears by mid morning.
Condition are excellent for trolling and bait fishing. Fishing Pressure is light. With this high pressure system lingering over the north state, the water is warmer that it should be for mid January.
Its been so warm that Cedar trees are already releasing pollen.
We just returned from the big ISE show and are just getting back on the water.
Thinking about coming up? Here's a few good places to start.
Canyon Dam,: All that big water around the dam has the most bait fish holding.
Speedy Shiners, Needlefish, trolled fast at 3.0 to 3.5 mph.
Or slow it down and run soft plastic smelt patterns. Dodger crawler rigs is a good presentation.
Always add a brush of Pro-Cure Trophy Trout scent to your lure or suspended baits.
Lake Cove, to the Dorado: This is a excellent trolling area during winter, or jig in front of the big house.
Geritol Cove at Canyon Dam: Chartreuse Power bait off the bottom, Or Suspend Roe 3 cranks up off the bottom.
We got a chance of rain up here the next few days. As always check the weather before making the trek up here.