Hitting the Lake Almanor trifecta

ALMANOR HAS KINGS – Frank Maldonado with a 6.9-pound king salmon trolling soft plastics in smelt color in the Hamilton Branch area.


CHESTER – Lakes Almanor and Shasta are two rare bodies of water where anglers have a legitimate opportunity for the trifecta of brown trout, rainbow trout, and inland king salmon, and the team of Mark Aguilar and Frank Maldonado landed quality specimens from all three species at Almanor over the Memorial Day Weekend. Trolling orange flies behind action disks or soft plastics in smelt pattern, Aguilar posted a 4.1-pound rainbow in Bailey Creek before Maldonado picked up a 5.13-pound brown and a 6.9-pound salmon within 20 minutes on the Hamilton Branch. Maldonado said, “It was the best fishing in years.”

A THIRD OF THE ALMANOR TRIFECTA – Frank Maldonado with a 5.13-pound brown trout trolling soft plastics in smelt color in the Hamilton Branch area.

Bryan Roccucci of Big Daddy’s Guide Service said, “The water temperatures are running in the high 50s to lower 60s thanks to the warmer conditions, and the trout have been directing much of their attention towards the aquatic bug hatches. However, they tend to take an easy pond smelt snack when presented with the opportunity. The bite has been wide open at times in various areas along either the east or west shore, but most boats have been focusing upon Almanor West or the Red Bank. Slow-trolled worms and plastics as well as fast-trolled hardware have been hooking a mix of quality browns, rainbows, and a few salmon from the surface to 35 feet. For the fly anglers, nymphs under indicators seem to be preferred as the fish focus their attention on the bug hatches and the larvae rising off the bottom. The tributaries to Almanor, the Feather River, Bailey Creek, and Hamilton Branch all still are seeing elevated spring runoff flows, but the Super Ditch is now just a trickle.” The brown trout action isn’t limited to Almanor with Clint Patton landing a 9-pound brown on a hand-painted plug at nearby Buck’s Lake.

FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR – Trolling on the boat U2, Mark Aguilar landed 4.1-pound rainbow trout around Lake Almanor’s Bailey Creek.

With the lake high at 86% of capacity, the docks at the west side public launch ramps of Canyon Dam and Almanor North are submerged. Prepare to get wet when launching. The Almanor Fishing Association’s 31st Annual Founders Family BBQ and Fundraiser is July 27. Tickets are available at http://almanorfishingassociation.org/