Denis Peirce: Englebright offers best trout report |

Denis Peirce: Englebright offers best trout report

October has arrived and with it a bit of a weather front. Most of the precipitation has been in the higher elevations. Locations from Almanor to Mammoth have had significant rainfall. The good news is that last week’s heat wave is gone.

The best local trout fishing reports have been coming from Englebright Reservoir. I went down Sunday for the evening, and the anglers I spoke to had trout in the boat. The best fishing seems to be at the lower end of the lake by the dam.

Apparently the Department of Fish & Game planted recently and the trout have yet to move far up the lake. The best locations have been right in the marina area and in the cove on the far side of the dam. The most successful anglers beached their boats and fished bait cast from shore. My son and I hooked two, and lost them both trolling flies in the main channel within the marina area. There was a bit of surface activity late in the evening. Earlier in the day a troller caught trout at 20 feet below the surface in the same area.

Ed Everhart fished for bass at Bullard’s Bar last Thursday. The main lake body was 70 degrees. Ed fished far back up the North Yuba arm where the water temp was 66 degrees. He was looking for some of those spotted bass that were tipping scales at more than 5 pounds last winter.

What he was able to find were only juvenile fish running 12 inches at best. He fished crawdad imitating jigs and connected with fish from the surface down to 45 feet. He also fished Morning Dawn worms on shaky heads which also produced bass all under the one foot mark. A number of his fish burped up minnows when landed. This time of the year the smaller fish are aggressive biters but the larger ones are tough to find. We need cooler water to get back into the larger fish

Ed did note that there were a lot of carp rolling at the surface at the back end of Bullard’s Bar.

Lake Oroville continues to fish well for coho anglers. The fish continue to be found deep in the 50 to 75 foot depths, depending on light conditions. My most recent reports say that there is a definite advantage to adding a small piece of anchovy filet to the hook behind hootchies. It does not take much. Cut a filet from the side of the anchovy and cut that into inch pieces, just adding a bit of scent increases the number of hits.

Most of the reports from Eagle Lake for the last couple of weeks have been dismal. The minnows that were thick around the shore line in early September had disappeared. I heard angler speculation that the trout had eaten them all. The trout that were landed recently had insects and snail in their stomachs and few minnows. The fish that had moved to the north basin were concentrated in the few areas where the water was deeper than the typical 4 to 6 feet. Most of the fishermen I spoke to were depressed about the prospects. All of these reports came from boat anglers launching at Spaulding, which is the only practical place to launch.

Doug Wilmes from Susanville is still able to launch his flat bottomed boat at the marina in the south basin. His boat floats in 6 inches of water and he has to drag it out as he walks along the dock. He fished last week and found minnow schools on the east side of the south basin with quite a few pelicans marking the schools. He did well trolling the break at the edge of the shallows with lead core line and a variety of flies.

All of the above is last week’s Eagle Lake news.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday the skies opened up and the rain came down. The thunder and lightning kept most anglers off the water. The streets of Susanville had water running down them. The Susan River rose a reported 4 feet.

This has totally reshuffled the deck and this should rejuvenate the fishing at Eagle Lake.

The best lake fishing reports continue to come from Almanor. The pond smelt are around the edges with the trout, bass and salmon feeding on them. You can troll, spin cast or fly cast for them with pond-smelt imitations. A boat is essential to locate the action.

The valley steelhead action prior to the weather moving through was best at the upper end of the Low Flow on the Feather River. This appears to be the area with the best salmon spawning activity. The recommendation is to bring your own rock if you want to sit down, as there are a number of other anglers to keep you company. There has been little or no spawning activity in the lower reaches of the Low Flow and down below the After Bay Hole.

Craig Bentley reports seeing the first sockeye salmon in the Feather in years. It had a scarlet red body and a green head. He noticed it among Chinooks in the shallows and it was a solitary fish. There was a run of these about three years ago in the Feather.

The DF&G continues with their stocking program. This is later than I remember from past years. This week Donner, Fuller and Gold lakes are scheduled to be planted, weather permitting.

Denis Peirce writes a weekly fishing column for The Union 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 e-mail at

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