As is true in many Northern California lakes, late fall, winter and early spring are the easiest times to take trout. The temperature of the surface water is cooler so the trout aren’t down deep. Ruth Lake trout move to the shallower, south end of the lake during this period. It is at this time that bank anglers, on both the east and west shores of the extreme south end, do very well.
Murky water makes bait a good choice. But one advantage of Ruth is that its water usually returns to a fishable condition within a day of heavy winter rains. Trolling near the surface also produces deep, fat Ruth Lake trout in the cooler months. After April, most trout are found farther and farther north, toward the deeper end of the lake. As the surface water warms up, trollers move farther north to fish deeper waters. The Mad River, below the Ruth Lake dam, provides some fine summertime stream trout action.
Bass spawn in Ruth in the March and April period, producing top action. Most are little guys, but there is an occasional lunker bucketmouth. The shallow end of the lake near the Mad River inflow seems to produce most consistently. Anglers concentrate on rocky points and outcroppings on the west side. Spinnerbaits are local springtime favorites.