Fishing remains steady with a predominant catch of brown trout continuing to happen at the Canyon Dam. The water has not been freezing over this last week and lake ice has not been a concern. However, hard freezing weather is still making boat conditions difficult. We connected with a 29 and 1/2 inch brown trout at 21' while pulling smelt imitations near the dam. We were lucky to land this fish as the line froze to the eyelets. We were literally chipping ice from the rod keeping it clear to reel this beauty in. We attempted to weight it but the scale froze at 8.5' pounds. I believe it would have cleared 9, but probably fallen short of the elusive 10lbs club. We wanted that fish back in the water asap, so without further delay or harassment we released it. We encourage catch and release of all brown trout at Lake Almanor and certainly all trophy class fish should be released as quickly as possible. We are fishing here to catch them and sharing in this joy with your fellow fisherman is both appropriate and responsible to the health of our fishery.
Rainbows can be found for those of us who are hungry and persistent. We landed several rainbows in the 4lbs class pulling trolling flies from trollingflies.com. Dragging these flies is almost a must experience to pay tribute to Jay Fair who tied these flies for many years and innovated the technique. Denis Pierce continues it today. You would be hard pressed to find a better man than Denis. We found rainbows attached to his orange, smelt, and rainbow trout patterns. It is a slow but consistent bite throughout the day. I recommend fishing Canyon Dam in the morning. Catch and release a few browns in the morning and then move out to target rainbows as the bite slows at the dam. I continue to target fish at 18' to 25' with speeds of 1.5mph. We landed rainbows on the west side of the peninsula as well as the east side from recreation area #1 to the A Frame. The rainbows are scattered, they are where you find them and can probably be caught almost anywhere on the lake. I can only cover so much water between reports.
Conditions change rapidly at Lake Almanor. This last week we went from clear freezing temperatures to being covered in two inches of snow the next. Be prepared and check conditions prior to leaving. Have a great day on the water.