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Manzanita Lake

Manzanita Lake in Lassen Peak
Manzanita Lake in Lassen Peak

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 Рbut 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.

Hat Creek CA and Baum Lake

Hat Creek CA
Hat Creek CA

Hat Creek CA

Few recreational anglers realize that Hat Creek CA is recognized as one of the premier native trout streams in the continental United States! As a matter fact, the lower stretch of water, 3 1/2 miles up from Lake Britton was the pilot site for California’s Wild Trout Program initiated in the early 1970’s. This area is heavily regulated, requiring only artificial baits with single barbless hooks. Check current regulations before setting out. It is estimated that rainbows outnumber browns in an 80/20 spread on the lower stream, with most fish ranging between 10 to 16 inches. But there are some tanker browns. Park where Hwy. 299 crosses the creek. In contrast, upper Hat Creek CA upstream of Baum Lake is populated primarily by planted rainbows with an cccasional native strain fish mixed in. Access is good from 5 campgrounds along Hwy. 89.

Fly fishing is the name of the game along the lower run. Bigger dry flies – especially the #6 and #10 Salmon fly – can be outstanding at times. Other assorted favorites include Cahill, Olive, Tan or Yellow Paraduns, Humpies, Blue Dun, Black Fuzzy, Renegade, Adams, Sulphur Dun, Deer Hair, Spider and Joe’s Hopper. This is a broad, meadow stream. Wading or using the bank works. In fishing a “wet” presentation, try the Pheasant Tail Nymph, Tricots, Hare’s Ear and the Rusty Spinnerfall. Muddler Minnows and Marabous will be well chosen streamer patterns.

Hardware slingers will find the upper Hat Creek CA water much to their liking. Spinners such as the Mepps, Rooster Tail and Panther Martin series are proven winners. Spoons, including the Wob-L-Rite and Super Duper will catch fish along with smaller Rebel and Rapala plugs fished in the deeper water. Fishing baits on the upstream drift will also be very effective. Nightcrawiers, red worms, mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers and salmon eggs will account for many planted rainbows.

Baum Lake

Baum Lake can really be a “sleeper.” The lake is populated by over 40 percent brown trout with fish recorded at over 20 pounds! It is open all year long, but no power boats are permitted. Float-tubing has been a favorite technique for tying into some of Baum’s trophy-class fish. The fly and bubble combe with standard fly fishing tackle is preferred by the float tubers. The same basic fly patterns outlined for Hat Creek will work on Baum Lake.

More information on these trout waters is available from the Burney Basin Chamber of Commerce at (916)335-2111 or Vaughn’s Sporting Goods in Burney, (916)335-2381.

Fall River MA: Fishing Information

Fall River MA
Fall River MA

Top Ten Trout Streams

Fly fishing aficionados recognize Fall River MA as one of the Top Ten trout streams in the United States! This river is loaded with rainbows and browns, but is heavily protected by stringent angling regulations. Artificial baits with single barbless hooks are the law, from the Tule intersection all the way upstream to its source at Thousand Springs.

Fishing Opportunities

You will find minimal bank fishing opportunities along the Fall. Many trouters pack in boats(no motors), or float tubes. Two lodges (Lava Ireek Lodge and Rick’s Hunting and Fishing Lodge) provide access, if you stay with them.

Spin fisherman can compete with fly fishing purists; but again, all lures must be replaced by a single barbless hook. Gold Kastmasters, Krocadiles in gold with fluorescent fire stripe, and the Li’l Cleo spoons in gold with bronze are time proven winners on the fall. Fly fishermen have a wide variety of patterns from which to chose. Flies recommended by veterans who fish this river are the Zug Bug, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Black Aps, Olive and Gray Caddis, Spinner Falls, May Fly, Green Drake and Pale Morning duns.

This is a deep, 21 mile long stream with widths ranging from 150 feet to 250 yards. Springs feed it, so run-off has little effect on flow rate. Below the Tule-Fall River intersection there are no tackle restrictions. Boats can be put in off McArthur Road near Glenburn. Look for rainbows up to 7 pounds.

Fall River MA Contact Information

For information contact Intermountain Fly and Tackle in Fall River Mills (916)336-6600. The Fall River Chamber of Commerce is at (916)336-5840.

Ice Fishing in California

Ice Fishing in California
Ice Fishing in California

In the past, ice fishing in California was a fairly well-kept secret among a small group of dedicated “cold footers”. Today, more and more West Coast anglers are partaking of this unusual type of trouting, making the pursuit of this gamefish truly an all year sport, even in the Sierras.

Mid-westerners base enjoyed ice fishing for a variety of species such as northern pike, pickerel, perch, walleye, and trout on large, expansive lakes. In contrast, our lakes are typicaly much smaller, and our winters shorter, with icing being more problematic. Here in California, the seasonal climate is simply too unpredictable. Whether or not a lake freezes over becomes a hit-or-miss proposition from year to year.

The likelihood that a lake will freeze over increases with elevation. The dominant species in these higher lakes are trout, which are thus the fish most sought through the ice in California. Rainbows, brookies, browns, Mackinaw, and Kokonee salmon are all taken by ice fishermen in the Golden State.

Some southland lakes such as Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains will occasionally ice over in the winter. Further north, a number of other lakes become better candidates for this type of wintertime trouting.

Along the popular Highway 395 stretch, Convict and Rock Creek Lakes are strong possibilities. As you hit the June Lake Loop, June, Gull, and Silver often freeze solid during a severe California winter. But opportunities really increase in the Mammoth Lakes Chain and along the gateway to Yosemite Valley with Sabrina and Virginia Lakes. On the northeastern side of the Sierras in the Reno-Tahoe basin, other ice hot spots include Davis, Gold, Frenchman, Boca, Stampede, Prosser, and Donner lakes. To the far north out of Mount Shasta City, Siskiyou, Castle, and Scoct lakes are popular with the “cold foot” crowd.

More Information on Ice Fishing:

Ice Fishing Tips and Tricks and Ice Fishing Tackle, Bait, Lures and Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Best Ice Fishing Tips and Tricks


Setting Up on the Ice

Best ice fishing tips and tricks: Before you set out to cut a hole in the ice, it is absolutely imperative to assess whether the ice is thick enough to be safe for fishing. Too many Westerners are unfamiliar with the icing phenomena, having lived in warm environments most of their lives. Thus, when they walk out on the ice, they have little idea of what constitutes a safe condition and can quickly put themselves into a very hazardous situation.

A good formula to to follow is to have at least 6 inches of ice underneath you at all times. Better yet, look for ice about 1 to 2 feet thick for that extra measure of safety. Ice much thicker than this will be too difficult to cut through. If you plan to fish in such potentially dangerous conditions, do so with a buddy or near other ice fishermen in case help is ever needed.

Veteran “cold footers” will have a game plan of sorts of where to start boring the holes. An area where a known creek exists with water that runs into the lake is an excellent spot to start. These is tsually some kind of trout feeding activity along these cuts. Similarly, as noted, darker muddy bottoms are good, warm trout-holding areas to try.

Recommended Ice Fishing Tips and Tricks

Sometimes you can actually lie down on the ice and look through existing holes to see some trout. A better idea is to pack a portable electronic fish finder. To obtain a good reading, first pour salad oil over the smooth ice and then place the transducer on that spot. You will be able to measure not only the depth, but also the availability of any trout immediately in the area where the hole is to be drilled.

Ice fishermen like to cut out a series of holes, not just one. Do this in a wide circle, a straight line, or in a random pattern of your own design. There is a good reason for drilling so many openings: trout spook easily when the hole is bored as the sound is transmitted loudly through the cold water. By cutting a series of holes, you will give the trout time to return to a particular spot while you drill another.


Ice Fishing Fish Finder