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