Man fishing early morning from small watercraft on lake almanor

Top Fishing Destination in Northern California

photo by Tandy Bozeman

Fishing in Northern California

Plumas County offers some of the best fishing in Northern California. With over 1,000 miles of streams and a 100 lakes, there’s a lot of water to fish. Plumas County is located in the Feather River Watershed, the largest watershed in the Sierra Nevada.

Several lakes in the county are known for trophy fishing. Some lakes are easy to get to and have many amenities, while others require hiking and have no amenities other than peace, solitude, and amazing scenery. The most common fish in the area are rainbow trout, but you can also find German browns and brook trout in many of the lakes.

Whether you are an avid fly fisherman or a family wanting to catch your supper, you can find the perfect lake or stream for your style of fishing. There are also numerous experienced local guides for both lake and stream fishing in the region. Time to plan your next fishing trip!

Game Fish

Native rainbow trout are the predominant game fish throughout the lakes in Plumas County. German Browns and Brook Trout are both well-established in many of the waterways.

Once only found in Eagle Lake in Lassen County, a special strain of Eagle Lake Trout is now found in many of the major lakes.  Eagle Lake trout make for great fishing and are extremely tasty. Other common game fish include Mackinaw, Kokanee, and King Salmon, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and in a few lakes pumpkin seed.

Lakes are open to fishing year-round, while stream fishing usually opens the last weekend in April and closes in the middle of November.

Certain tributaries to Lake Almanor and Bucks Lake are not open until the end of May and close at the end of September. Some waters have special barbless catch and release provisions.

During the winter months, you can try your hand at ice fishing without having to travel out of California.

Check the current Department of Fish & Game regulations for specific dates and limits.

Best Fishing Lakes

  • Lake Almanor -the largest lake in Plumas County, hex hatch in June
  • Bucks Lake – noted for trophy size Mackinaw.  The current lake record is over 30 pounds
  • Antelope Lake – popular for trout, catfish, and Bass Fishing
  • Butt Valley Reservoir– noted for huge rainbow and brown trout
  • Lake Davis & Frenchman Lake – Excellent trophy rainbow trout
  • Little Grass Valley Reservoir – great for rainbow & brown trout
  • Round Valley Lake – a small lake with big bass, a great lake for children to fish

Best Stream Fishing

  • Deer Creek – natural flowing stream – special fishing regulations for parts of the stream.
  • Feather River North Fork – near Belden, great stream fishing option, heavily stocked early summer
  • Feather River Middle Fork – Fly fishermen consider this area one of the best trout streams in California.  Federally designated Wild Scenic River
  • Jamison Creek – easy access from Plumas Eureka State Park – regularly planted by Department of Fish and Game
  • Little Chance Creek- flows out of Frenchman Lake
  • Nelson Creek– near East Quincy
  • Spanish Creek– small but exceptional brown trout – uncrowded trout fishing
  • Wolf Creek – near Greenville
  • Yellow Creek– easy access, close to Yellow Creek campground, special fishing regulations

Fishing Guides in Plumas County

(707) 362-1899
Visit website

Guiding on Lake Almanor for the past seven years, specializing in light tackle trolling comfortably from a 24′ Rogue Coastal, fully equipped.

(530) 414-1655
Visit website

Professional fly fishing guide service for Eastern Plumas County. 18 years experience guiding trout anglers on the Middle Feather River.

Visit website

Mike Pease is an Orvis endorsed fly-fishing guide, owner of Mike Pease Adventures and founder of the Feather River Fly Fishing School.

(530) 570-9925
Visit website

We are a professional fishing and vessel for hire service equipped with a private bathroom. We offer year round service on Lake Almanor.

(530) 616-5376
Visit website

Guided Fly Fishing and Rafting Trips on the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Feather River, North Yuba River, Spanish Creek, and Tributaries. USFS Permited

(530) 517-2204
Visit website

Guiding fly fishers on Lake Almanor and the surrounding area for over 25 years.

(530) 370-1001
Visit website

Northern California’s Premier Trophy Trout Guide • 25 years of experience • Year-round trips on Lake Almanor • Seasonal trips on Bucks and Eagle Lake

(916) 705-1207
Visit website

Flyfishing Guide in the Grater Lake Almanor Chester area. Contact for more information.

(408) 968-8275
Visit website

Professional smallmouth bass fishing guide. Tournament rigged Nitro Z21 250 hp Mercury.

(408) 838-6047
Visit website

Guided fly fishing trips in Plumas County on the Feather River, Lake Almanor, and Lake Davis. All skill levels are welcome.

Know Before You Go

  • Make sure you have a current California fishing license.  One and three-day permits may be purchased online.
  • If visiting one of the remote lakes make sure you know your route.  Please do not rely on GPS directions solely.
  • Check weather conditions, best to bring a friend and supplies.
  • Do not expect your cell phone to work everywhere.
  • Unless you know you are catching and releasing make sure to have ice and ice chests to hold your catch.



See information that needs to be updated? Please let us know!

Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay in Plumas County

Ada’s Garden Cottages are a gorgeous oasis hideaway in the center of historic downtown Quincy with full kitchens and cozy-custom-artful-architecture.

Butt Valley Reservoir

Enjoy the outstanding views and tranquil atmosphere at Butt Valley Reservoir when you set up camp at Cool Springs Campground in Northern California.

Lake Almanor

Wonderful Lake Almanor Cabin on a deep water parcel with gently sloped lawn to sandy beach, waters edge, and dock.