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Eagle Lake opener ‘excellent’

There are certain holidays that are associated with the opening of different fisheries. Memorial Day weekend for many is the opener for Eagle Lake near Susanville.

Eagle Lake is the premier trout fishing lake in Northern California. The only other trout lake that sees as many anglers is Crowley Lake near Bishop and I consider it in Central California.

This year’s Eagle Lake opener provided excellent angling. Limits were common for those who got out early. The weather was overcast with showers for the three days which is actually perfect conditions. Saturday afternoon the wind picked up and blew most boats off the water. A week prior, the afternoons reached into the 80s under clear skies.



The fish at the north end were in 5 to 6 feet of water. Good numbers of fish were taken in front of the airport at Spaulding. Most anglers caught their trout trolling but with the fish in shallow, shore based anglers caught fish as well as those fishing from float tubes. Glenn Fair, an Eagle Lake resident, used his boat for transport. He beached his boat to fish while wading from the bank because many fish were tight to the shore.

At the south end of the lake, Doug Wilmes, a Susanville local, trolled just outside the buoy line, near the marina, three consecutive mornings for limits. He fished rust colored tube flies at depths between 15 and 18 feet. When he cleaned his fish they had been feeding on small shrimp that had a brown/pink hue to them.




The typical fish caught this past weekend measured 18 to 22 inches weighing in at 2.5 to 4 pounds. This is the best opening weekend in recent memory. Anglers are looking forward to a good year at Eagle Lake. The shallow north end of the lake will warm rapidly once the weather returns to warm days. If you want to fish while the trout are shallow get up to Eagle Lake in the near future.

Davis Lake did not fish well over the weekend. The rain and wind kept most boats off the lake for the most part. Those that did venture out did not do well. Sara, at the Grizzly Store, reported the only anglers doing well fished at Catfish Cove near the dam to get out of the wind and waves. They fished fly rods using Copper Johns in red, hung below strike indicators and had good action.

This coming weekend, the Newman Memorial Scholarship Foundation will hold its annual fishing derby at Little Grass Valley Reservoir near La Porte. The fundraiser supports a scholarship in memory of Ryan and Brett Newman who lost their lives in an automobile accident in June 2006.

The derby takes place Saturday, May 31. Registration is 5-7 p.m. Friday and 6-8 a.m. Saturday in the Little Beaver campground at the lake. Little Beaver campground will probably fill for the weekend with participants.

Local angler Jim Bringhurst fished Little Grass Valley last week until the storms blew in. When he arrived the water surface was 63 degrees. Once the wind remixed the lake, it dropped six degrees to 57. Although the surface temps can warm rapidly, just a few feet down the temps remain cool. Jim took two brown trout trolling 15 to 18 feet deep paralleling the shore close to rock structure. The largest brown was 8 pounds with the smaller was just under five. Jim also took a nice smallmouth bass incidental to trolling for browns. Jim mentioned that a group of shore anglers near Little Beaver took some decent rainbow trout. The common thing with the rainbows was that they all had crawdads in their stomachs.

Fuller Lake has been fishing well for the past few weeks. A couple weeks ago the DF&G planted brown trout averaging 12 inches in the lake. Then last week they planted again, with rainbows this time. The water temps are in the low 50s.

Tony Dumont from the Nevada City Angler reports good hatches of caddis and little yellow stones with fish rising to them, on many stretches of the Lower Yuba. Drop in to see Tony for more specifics on flies and specific locations.

The Henness Pass Road to Jackson Meadows Reservoir is open, although I have no reports from the lake.

For those of you who intend to apply for big game hunting tags, the DF&G has set June 2 as the date your application need to be in. Go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov for details.

Red Bluff Diversion Dam salmon count for the last three days:

May 25 = 16

May 24 = 10

May 23 = 37

Year to date ’08 = 237 salmon

Year to date ’07 = 561 salmon

* We are printing the salmon counts at Red Bluff as a indicator of the valley salmon run in general. Salmon fishing on the Sacramento River is closed until November.


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