Peirce: Reeling in a better mood
North State Fishing
The trout fishing on the north state lakes is excellent at this time. Access is the main factor.
Reports, prior to today’s storm, mentioned very good shore angling at Jackson Meadows. The lake level is low which makes launching a boat difficult unless you can carry a car top down.
Spaulding closed for the winter on Nov. 1.
Almanor is fishing well with temps in the mid 50s. The west side weed beds are producing good sized rainbows.
Eagle Lake is fishing very well. This storm will produce very cold conditions as the sky clears. The south basin has the only practical boat launch possibility.
Berryessa in the coast range has had a surface bite early in the day prior to the storm. I expect cooler water should extend that bite through the day soon.
Collins Lake produced a 13 pound rainbow on the last day of October.
The back end of Englebright is another spot worth your time.
On Tuesday, I found myself struggling with election fatigue. My preferred candidate for the school board seat was going down to defeat, and I was going into a funk.
What’s a fellow to do in these circumstances? Why, go fishing, of course! A day on the water is the cure for many maladies, including post-election depression.
An evening call to Wilfried secured a daybreak partner for a morning on Scott’s Flat Lake. Truly dedicated anglers will rearrange their schedule with just a few hours notice for a friend’s mental health.
We met at a downtown parking lot in the dark at 6 a.m. and headed up the hill. November in the Sierra is primetime for lake fishing if the weather permits access.
Scott’s Flat is a low elevation option close to home with a very good fish population. We launched as the sun rose over the eastern horizon.
The main body of the lake was a moderate 60 degrees; 57 degrees is perfect for rainbows, but after a long hot summer, 60 is a great omen for a good trout bite.
Early on, the lake was glassy with water fowl dotting the surface. We turned left coming out of the marina cove.
The game plan was to pull trolling flies at a variety of depths following the 15- to 20-foot depth contour. Within 15 minutes, we had our first trout on the line.
It took a bright orange fly with full sun on the water. The adage “bright day, bright fly” was holding true. We had our second fish in the boat by the time we came to the cove near the inflow of Deer Creek.
There was a cold breeze falling down the Deer Creek drainage from the high country.
The cold air pouring over the relatively warm water produced a thin fog layer drifting over the surface.
As we headed along the south shore, we hit fish early on. By the time we hit some of the shallow flats, we ceased getting trout interested in our offering.
I cut across the lake wanting to see if there were fish suspended over the deep water. They did not show up on my electronics, so we headed back to the mouth of Deer Creek.
The mouth of Deer Creek has a steep hill on the south side that keeps the sun off the water in November. We stopped the outboard in favor of a quiet electric motor in the confines of the flooded creek channel.
There were small midges hatching and an occasional rainbow broke the surface.
We worked our way as close to the creek mouth as we dared and turned around.
It was on the return down the channel that we had the fastest action of the morning.
We had three more rainbows and lost that many as well. Every fish Wednesday came on the color orange and relatively high in the water column.
By far the best bite was in the shadows as opposed to full
The size of the trout that graced our boat with their presence were not large by the standards of some other lakes.
But I had Wilfried back to town on time for a noon appointment and my post-election depression was lifted.
Denis Peirce writes a fishing column for The Union’s Outdoors section and is host of “The KNCO Fishing & Outdoor Report,” which airs 6-7 p.m. Fridays and 5-6 a.m. Saturdays on 830-AM radio. Contact him via his website at http://www.fineflies.com.
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