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Lake Boca, Prosser and Stampede

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Lake Boca, Prosser and Stampede
Lake Boca, Prosser and Stampede

Lake Boca, Prosser and Stampede. These three “gems” are only one half hour from Lake Tahoe, but are often overlooked by all but the local trouter. Each lake has its own “personality“, so to speak, with different ecologies and trout populations.

Lake Boca

Boca, at just under 1,000 acres, is best known for its German browns and rainbow trout. Best areas to fish are from the Boca Rest Camp to the dam and from the point across the lake from the Rest Camp. Fast troll Rebels and broken back Rapalas in these locations. Augment this with trolling blades pulled ahead of small spoons for planter quality trout. The action is usually concentrated in 10 to 20 foot depths for browns and rainbows. Gold Kastmasters and Hopkins spoons in larger sizes with single hooks can be thrown and retrieved through deeper strike zones at Boca for bigger fish. The top baits are an inflated ‘crawler, peeled crawdad tail, or “Shasta Fly” fished on a sliding sinker rig. Boca also has decent Kokanee action on lead core line. Ford Fenders ahead of Kokanee King, Triple Teazer or Knobby Wobbler lures is the hot set-up. Add a kernel of white corn for extra insurance. All types of boating is permitted and there is a developed campground.

Lake Prosser

Prosser is primarily a trolling lake for rainbows and browns. It has 750 surface acres of water and there is a lOmph boat speed limit. The same offerings used at Lake Boca pretty much produce at Prosser. Troll plugs on the Highway 89 arm of this lake. Trade off, and use blades fished deep in the warmer months. A Wooly Worm or a mylar streamer can also be effective at times on the slow troll. The area near the mouth of Prosser Creek is a consistent producer. Late summer deep trolling is good near the dam. There is a good launch ramp, campsites and a picnic area. Prosser Creek, above the lake, is a very good trout stream. The main stream is accessible off Hwy. 89. The north and south forks (near this junction is good fishing) are reached via a Forest Service Road. Prosser Creek flows cold and clear, even in late summer. Small lures and nymph patterns on a light leader are excellent choices.

Lake Stampede

Stampede, at 3,500 acres, is recognized for its larger browns. Troll deep with plugs in the summer using lead core or a downrigger. The steep banks across the lake from the ramp are prime territory. Baits identical to those outlined for Boca can also be productive at Stampede. There is also some decent action on kokes at Stampede. Lake regulars prefer lead core line and the Wedding Ring spinners as one of their top lures. There are excellent camping and lunching facilities at the south side of the lake. Prime spots include the Little Truckee inflow area and near the dam. Stream trout anglers often find the Little Truckee River to be a good producer. Access is via Rte. 89 and Jackson Meadows Road, which both parallel the stream. Small spinners are effective. The Little Truckee runs above and below Stampede Reservoir.

All three of these lakes should be considered strong candidates for some cold fishing’ action, since ice fishing often can be very good here. For information on the area north of Lake Tahoe, contact the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, Box 361, Truckee, CA. 95734, (916)587-2757, and the Truckee Ranger District, Box 399, Truckee, CA. 95734, (916)587-3558.

Related:

Lake Almanor CA

Bucks Lake CA

Bucks Lake CA, Davis and Frenchman

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Bucks Lake CA, Davis and Frenchman
Bucks Lake CA, Davis and Frenchman

These three decent-sized lakes offer outstanding trouting just out of the Portala-Quincy area. Frenchman and Davis are to the east on the way to Reno, while Bucks Lake CA is to the west, heading towards Oroville.

Bucks Lake CA

Bucks has a good stock of rainbows, some big browns, and an occasional brookie. Lead core on downriggers are the preferred methods for consistent action. Work blades’n crawlers or jointed Rebels on these deep-water rigs. The areas around Haskin’s Cove and the mouth of Mill Creek should hold some fish. Lead core trolling using a Needlefish is the ticket for kokanee in the summer.

Lake Frenchman

Frenchman has an incredible volume of 10 to 12 inch planter-sized rainbows. Blades matched with a few redworms for a trailer produce limits on a regular basis. Consider fan-casting small gold spoons such as the Phoebe or Kastmaster along with gold-bladed Panther Martin or Mepp’s spinners. Bait chuckers at Frenchman will rack up their share of fish on Zeke’s floating baits, presented with a sliding egg sinker and light 2 pound test leaders. Ice fishing off the dam in the winter is another bait-dunking possibility here. Cheese, salmon eggs and redworms also get them!

Lake Davis

Davis has been slowly garnering a reputation as a “sleeper” trophy fishery. There are substantial numbers of 2 to 4 pound rainbows in this lake augmented by a smaller amount of browns in double digit weights. Davis excels in the early spring. By mid-summer, extensive weed growth makes trouting tough, though not impossible. During the height of the season, top-line trolling is unquestionably the key method. Pull lake trolls – especially those with prismlite finishes such as the Les Davis Bolo series around Camp #5, Lightning Tree and the island. Half a nightcrawler is the best all around trailer. The Needlefish fished “clean” or with a chunk of crawler laced on, will produce with lead core line behind a set of blades. Rapalas and Rebels in both the floating and sinking models will take Davis trout on the troll. Fly fishers prefer to drift or slow-troll with Wooly Worms or Wooly Buggers. Brown, black and olive-bodied versions have traditionally been very effective.

Information:

Plumas County Chamber of Commerce, Box 1018, Quincy, CA. 95971, (916)283-2045.

Lake Almanor CA, Butt Valley and Upper Feather

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Lake Almanor CA, Butt Valley Reservoir and Upper Feather North Fork
Lake Almanor CA, Butt Valley Reservoir and Upper Feather North Fork

Lake Almanor CA

Trophy-sized German browns, rainbows and king salmon await the eager trouter at Lake Almanor CA. There is a full range of popular areas to fish for trout on this lake. These include the shoreline near the A-frame, the east side of the dam, Recreation Area #1, Recreation Area #2, Old Crawford’s, the Hamilton Branch, Big Springs Cove, Bailey Springs and the Powerhouse area.

Still fishing with crawlers, salmon eggs or marshmallows is popular with both bank and boat fishermen. A slide-float with native minnows fished 20 to 30 feet deep is also effective. Drifting or “mooching” a live nightcrawler, particularly around the deeper, cooler underwater springs can result in some stellar catches.

But day in and day out the major take will be on artificials. Trolling accounts for a lot of fish. Try either a jointed or CD-7 Rapala on a fast top-line troll. A flourescent orange Flatfish can equally potent when trolled by itself, or try the locals’ favorite – a silver or gold Speedy Shiner.

With increases in water temperature, shift gears and use either lead core or downriggers. Flasher blades teamed with lead core is a really hot combo. Drag these with a Needlefish, Super Duper or a nightcrawler trailer.

Occasionally there will be some highly visible surface-feeding action evident. A popular tactic is to work the strangely designed Z-Ray spoon through these trout boils.

Finally, take a shot fishing a small white crappie jig under a bobber or on the drift. Often, large sub-surface cruising rainbows bushwack these tiny lures mistaking them for pond smelt or shad. There is also the chance of nailing one of Almanor’s legendary smallmouth bass on this same crappie lure while fishing for trout!

Upper Feather North Fork

The North Fork of the Feather drains into Almanor at Chester. Starting right in town, the North Fork and its streams(Rice Creek, Warner Creek, Hot Springs Creek, Willow Creek, Brenner Creek, Last Chance Creek) have good access, relatively low fishing pressure and native trout. The North Fork itself, is a fairly large stream, even in autumn. Most of the streams are spring fed, and run clear and cold throughout the summer. Several types of fishing are offered. Willow Creek is very brushy and is best for bait angling. Some others, like Rice Creek are good fly casting waters. There are a number of campgrounds along the creeks providing access and overnighting.

On the northeast shore of Lake Almanor CA, the Hamilton Branch flows into the lake. It offers good fishing in a series of big pools, separated by white water riffles flowing through a scenic canyon. The Feather River flows out of Lake Almanor at its south end. Senaca Road parallels the rive: for about 10 miles and leads to Senaca Resort. Lake Almanor CA dam provides a regulated flow of very cold water to this stretch of water. The best access is where Seneca Road crosses the North Fork. Fish away from this access, either upstream or downstream, for best results.

Butt Valley Reservoir

Butt Valley Reservoir, a fine trout and smallmouth fishery, is also just south of Lake Almanor CA. This 1,000 acre gem offers big browns trout, rainbow trout and king salmon. Facilities are limited to a single lane launch ramp, two PG&E campgrounds and a picnic area, but don’t let this keep you from trying Butt Valley Lake when you’re in the Almanor area.

Information:

Almanor Ranger District, Box 767, Chester, CA. 96020, (916)258-2141.

Upper Yellow Creek, accessible from Humbug Road, off Rte. 89 along the west shore of Lake Almanor, is a fine mountain-meadow stream. There is a PG&E campground in the east end of Humbug Valley. The canyon below the valley is also good fishing with flies or bait. A section in the valley has a 16 inch minimum size, 2-fish daily, artificials only, regulation. Browns here in this restored native fishery are said to be the most beautiful of fish.

Thousand Lakes and Caribou Wilderness

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Thousand Lakes and Caribou Wilderness
Thousand Lakes and Caribou Wilderness

There are two Wilderness areas, both in the Lassen National Forest, that offer good back country trouting. One nice feature of these two areas is that, for the most part, the trails are relatively short and gentle. Beginning backpackers, or families with smaller children, do well here.

Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Thousand Lakes Wilderness is small (about 16,000 acres) as wilderness areas go, and doesn’t have 1,000 lakes. It’s terrain is varied, including rugged rocky areas, pine forests and alpine peaks. Elevations range from 5,000 to 9,000 feet. Although there are many lakes, only about 8 offer good fishing. Eiler Lake is the largest lake, and is noted for the largest fish in the area. It is also the most accessible. At about 7,200 feet Magee Lake and Everett Lake are the most difficult to reach, but are rewarding to the determined angler. Other fishing lakes include Barett, Durbin and Hutford. Bait, lures and flies all work at Thousand Lakes. Forest Service Road off Hwy. 89, between Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park provide access.

Caribou Wilderness

Caribou Wilderness is on the east side of the National Park, off Hwy. 44. Trail heads are at Silver Lake. Caribou is much like Thousand Lakes in terrain and size, but fishing is not rated as good. Caribou has 20 major lakes. Fish are caught in both areas throughout the access season (late May thru fall).

Lake Siskiyou and Shastina

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Lake Siskiyou and Shastina
Lake Siskiyou and Shastina

Lake Siskiyou and Lake Shastina are both within view of magnificent, snow capped, 14,162 foot Mount Shasta. And they’re both magnificent in their own right. They have fine fishing, boat launching, a marina, a fully developed campground and a beautiful setting with crisp mountain air and sparkling blue water.

Lake Siskiyou

Lake Siskiyou, the smaller of the two lakes, is located about 2 miles from Mt. Shasta City, off I-5. It is at 3,200 feet elevation, has 440 surface acres of water and its shoreline is just over 5 miles long. There is a swimming beach and boat speed limit of 10 mph. Trout fishing is very good at Siskiyou. Trout action is usually best in the Sacramento River Arm. Sliding sinker rigs with bait work good at inlets, early and late in the day. Slinding sinker rigs with bait work good at inlets, early and late in the day. Trolling is also good in the Sacramento Arm. Most rainbows and browns range from 10 inches to 3 pounds, but brood stock from the nearby Mt. Shasta are sometimes “put out to pasture” in Siskiyou, so be prepared.

Information

Lake Siskiyou at P.O. Box 276, Mt. Shasta, CA, 96067, (916)926-2618

Lake Shastina

Lake Shastina, about 5 times larger than Siskiyou, is located about 7 miles northeast of Weed, off I-5. It has 2,700 surface acres of water and even boasts a water slide for the kids and some rental homes for lake visitors. Lake Shastina is well known for its outstanding trout fishery. In fact, big rainbows from 8-10 pounds have come out of the lake. Trout fishing is good at the inlets and at the dam. Troll over the old river channel in summer. Shastina Creek between I-5 and Lake Shastina produces many brown trout in the 7-11 range, but also has some up to 3 pounds. Use small spinners, dark patterned wet flies or red worms. Access is in Edgewood.

Information:

Lake Shastina at 6006 Lake Shastina Dr., Weed, CA. 96064, (916)938-4385.