I’ve done a few trips on the fertile waters and the lake is full to the brim at 98 % of capacity, and surface water temps are at 64-66 degrees. It will cool down a little and stabilize from the past few days of big wind and cooler air temperatures. Fishing pressure is moderate, and 10% of the habitat is holding 90% of the fish - Simply put those trout are scattered. There is a good blood midge hatch in the morning with trout feeding on ascending pupa, and adults. You’ll also find in the early morning hours fish eating leftovers (dumpster divers) from the night before in scum lines over very deep water by the Seagull Island. The damsels are out, but I still feel it has yet to peak. There is a big population of back swimmers this year, and throat samples confirm the trout are eating them. I have not seen any hexes or concentrations of birds and bats feasting on them - which means the Hex food supply has not really turned on yet. There is two ways to increase your number of hook ups right now, finding pods of rising fish and working presentations by casting to rise forms, or by sight fishing to individual cruisers. The other method for increased numbers is covering lots of water. This can be done by trolling lanes in your personal water craft with an intermediate line, or drifting with the wind making multiple casts with either a floating, or a sinking line depending on the level of the fish. From dawn to about noon the trout are in the upper water column, after such you can find them 10 to 20 feet down off ledges and in creek channels. If you’re camping at the lake, make sure to stop in to J&J Grizzly store for the latest info, flies, supplies, or for a juicy cheese burger. Jim and Jeanne sure do a lot for our visitors, and I appreciate their support of my guide service, and for letting me store my boat there.
Compared to last June, Frenchman is not the same lake. Numbers are way down, which puzzles me until I think about just how many bait and gear anglers keep excessive amounts of fish. The lake was planted last week as my guests have been catching smaller fisharound the 9" mark, not really what we are looking for though. Water temps are running 64 to 67, but as mentioned above they will cool down a bit with this current low pressure that produced huge winds up to 35 mph, and rain this morning.There has been a decent callibaetis hatch and it comes off either in the morning to mid day. The trout are looking for them whether your throwing dry fly imitations, orstripping the nymph. Once the wind comes up you’re screwed, so make the most of ideal conditions. The bobber rig has been just ok, hanging chironomids and callibaetis nymphs 3 to 6 feet down seems to be the most effective from morning to 1pm, deeper vertical presentations to 15 feet in the afternoon is a must. Don’t forget to strip some bigger streamers and buggers as well - Not all the trout are playing small ball. We have a few more weeks at the little desert lake, once surface temps reach 70 degrees, those trout will move into deeper water during the hot months.
The creeks in Eastern Plumas County that feed the Middle Fork Feather River, and the creeks of the North Fork Yuba River just came into shape in the past few weeks. Water temps and levels are near perfect. You’ll mostly find small wild rainbows, and in some creeks you’ll find little butter browns.
There’s nothing better for the soul than a remote creek that provides complete solitude, unbound beauty, songbirds, wildlife, and gorgeous trout. I really love this time of year exploring creeks, and the best thing is, it’s all dry fly or dry/dropper presentations, add a 2-3 weight rod and it’s a real hoot. Attractor dry flies and when it come to droppers, do not ignore sunken beetles, ants, and hoppers. Many of these creeks are spring fed and remain good all summer long. If you have an ego for big fish only, don’t even bother with these jewels of the Northern Sierra.
For those that love creeks I’m offering the Graeagle Creek Tour on July 19th which encompasses the major creeks of Eastern Plumas Co. Jamison, Frazier, and Gray Eagle are really cool little fisheries. I’ll cover access points, flies, rigging, techniques, tactics, handouts, and a creek side lunch. $150 per angler, 1 spot taken, and 5 spots open at this time. I have hundreds of hours on these creeks and nobody knows then better than me. To sign up just give me a call at 530.228.0487, or email me at email@example.com
It’s prime time, so get out there, the outdoors is free!