Manzanita Lake is a little 50 acre lake resting within Mount Lassen National Park. It is open all year, but can ice over during a severe winter. Manzanita is at 5,800 feet and is most accessible by boat or by wading. Floating tubes, rowboats, canoes, inflatable rafts, and prams are permitted – but no motors. There can be an awesome hatch of midges and mayflies on this tiny lake. Look for mid-June to be the prime time, with quality 12 to 20 inch rainbows and browns a strong possibility.
Fly Fishing in Manzanita Lake
Fly fishers prefer to work a variety of nymphs and dry flies, many replicating the mayfly nymph at Manzanita. The Hare’s Ear and Pheasant Tail nymph would be solid choices. Wooly Worms and Wooly Boogers also produce, and can be fly-trolled or drifted from the small craft. Barbless hooks are required on this protected water. Spinning lures are alright as long as they toe have single, barbless hooks. The Phoebe, Kastmaster and Mepps Syclops spoon, as well as the Panther Martin, Mepps and Rooster Tail spinners in 1/16 to 1/4 ounce models are viable selections. Or use a bubble and fly combination.
At Manzanita, there is a 2-fish, 10 inch maximum (that’s maximum, not minimum) size limit, restricted to artificial lures and single barbless hooks. Most anglers never land a trout exceeding five pounds, but at this lake ten pounders are attainable! Of course, there’s camping in the park, with one campground right near the lake.
Manzanita Ranger Station, (916)335-4266 or Powell’s Fly Shop, (916)345-3396.