The annual visit to Lake Almanor is always memorable when you are finally out on the water after a long hot day waiting for the sun to set and believing the fish is there and you are fully ready to rock and roll when you get that Grab.
Grab’s were few and far in between hours of nothing or that stray Bump or tail slap of the line or the nymph. I noticed not only fewer trout but fewer bass and other species like brown bullhead and pike minnow. I saw fish landed at Geritol cove and at least 20 tubes were vying for the hot spot back in the inside pocket of the cove. Other guides were bringing clients out deep in 50′ of water looking for the trophy size brown.
I got my only trout within the first half hour on my first evening and the largest one I ever landed there (no camera) at Almanor it filled up my stripping basket around 23″, when released flipped enough water in my face and down my wader to get me well splashed. (German Brown colors). I remember the lost fish and the last night a super fish bent open the hook on a rush towards the tube and diving under me, tight line was too tight and may have started the bend earlier on a hook up with a log I recalled later. Sometimes we get lazy or forget to check the hook, esp for sharpness on the fingernail test.
I was fortunate to find the last space in the only campground on the lake at North Shore Camping where we got rash and bug bites from the brackish water and goose bacteria. We did not wear our waders one hot day and got bit up pretty good. The camping was decent but the lake was too shallow to wade or fish and they pack the campers in tightly there. Others from the club either stayed at Quail Lodge near the dam or camped off a back road somewhere. We did a little trip to the fly shop in Hamilton Branch where we met the young worm mongers counting night crawlers and putting them into individual tubs to sell. Brought me back to my youth of catching them at night with a flashlight and a big coffee can to fill.
The days got hotter, 92 at Chester is hot and the fishing was ice cold, I had fun in the shallows looking for smallmouth bass and landed a good one but the monster got away again. Camping with Don and Dan this time was our first one together and we did okay, it was my turn to buy a bear claw ice cream and I forgot..sorry boys, next trip. I hope Rocky Point campground is open next year and the world comes to its senses by then. Peace.
Posted on July 29th, 2020