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Frenchman’s Lake Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi Reports on 11.10.2016

I’ve been doing select trips at Frenchman’s Reservoir for the last few months for those that are willing to hike, and do walk and wade trips since launching my boat is out of the question with the very low water levels. You can still launch boats at the main ramp in the southern portion of the lake that are small, or something like a Zodiac. The lake has been fishing well for rainbows 12 to 18". You’ll catch 3 times more fish at Frenchman’s than Lake Davis, but they will be much smaller, and with less girth. Water temperatures are ranging from 46 to 49 degrees. Because of such the fish are in the shallows and skinny water from mid-morning to early afternoon. Fishing pressure is moderate with mostly bank fishers using bait. There are lots of areas to find your own water for the day.

Stripping flies with a slow to medium speed with plenty of pauses, and using a floating line has been producing the best. The same flies you use at Lake Davis work at Frenchman’s, but the staple flies here are Sheep Creek specials, olive wiggle tails, and cinnamon buggers. Fish are scattered in good numbers around the lake, and some areas do produce a little better than others; if you’re catching fish, stay put. If not; move. The grabs are on the light side, so strip set, and if you feel nothing connecting, keep stripping, they’ll come back for another grab or two. There has been no sign of shore ice yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Fall colors are all but gone, but Frenchman’s Reservoir has a unique scenery to it, it’s just different there. I’m available for walk and wade trips here until the lake ices up, give me a call and reserve a date with me - 530.228.0487. Or email me at I’ll be combing the banks of the little desert lake for the next month, see you out there.

Jon Baiocchi

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