Thursday, September 24, 2009
I Woke up this morning with a need to prowl the banks of Lake Davis from Jenkins to Fugawi north in search of large rainbows in the shallows. Water temps were at 62 degrees, and not a puff of wind to be had, it was hot today and will be through the weekend. This only stalls things on the lake as far as the fall gorge is concerned. Around 9am fish began to enter the shallow water, by shallow I mean 1-2 feet of water. The tiny lime green midge was out in full force, and the fish were coming up for them. I fished a floating line with a 12 foot leader to 4X using my searching fly, the brown wiggle tail. Large trout are loners and tend to be in the shallows while the "dinks", trout from 12-14 inches are podded up and rising in deeper water. I caught and released 9 fish in 3 hours, but the game I chose was quality over quantity. I sight fished every rainbow I hooked, so many were in ankle deep water that is was just amazing! You could see the large trout as clear as day just cruising for food. They did not spook when casted to, and often it took several casts to hook into one. The trout then switched to blood midges around 10:30am and the wind came slightly up from the south east at 5 mph, I adjusted and hooked more. Overall , fishing is good to very good. Once we get some freezing temps at night, followed by cool temps during the day the fishing will turn to "red hot". It is such a pleasure to be able to cast to fish that are not freaked out by some 30" pike, but instead feed like cattle in the fertile shallows of Lake Davis. If your a still water fan, this lake has it all!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I took my Dad up to the lake yesterday and trolled flies using the Jay Fair system, which is the most effective way to bring in big numbers of fish. It's a great game for Dad in his old age as he is not able to cast a fly rod at 70 feet to rising trout anymore. Fly anglers in general put down trolling as they think it's all about bait and flashers, when in reality, a fly angler in a float tube or pontoon boat is trolling between casts by pulling the fly through the water by means of fins or oars.
When we arrived at the lake we were surprised to see the fog. You could only see about 50 feet so we opted to troll right out of Honker Cove. Once the fog lifted we buzzed over to Jenkins Point. There are a ton of fish in this area right now. Water temps were at 63 degrees, and the rainbows were rising to the tiny lime green midge (#18). The most exciting news is that the trout are hitting bigger flies! We used a #6 3xl Jay Fair Trolling fly in dark fiery Cinnamon and hooked 23 fish in 3.5 hours of fishing. 6 of those fish were 18-22". The parasites on the fish are going away as well with the cooler water temps. Stomach samples were filled with small midges, blood midges, and crayfish. One fish had 4 crayfish in his belly! The lake turned over a few weeks ago and the water clarity is getting better, and the floating weeds are less of a problem as well.
Get your chores and honey do's done and head up to Lake Davis, the fall gorge has started!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Deer Creek holds a special place for me as it is one of the many places I learned the art of flyfishing in the early 70's. Back then I fished with my Dad, Dick Nelson, and many members of the Chico fly fishing club. We fished the meadows back in it's hey day, but with so many fences now I turn to the canyon for a good time. It has been at least 15 years since I last laid down a good presentation on this gem of a creek. Coming home from a hiking trip in the Lassen Volcanic National Park, I opted to fish for a few hours while Christine painted the starting of the fall colors. Water temps were at 61 degrees and there were no bugs in sight. I chose my searching dry, the foam hopper and within the first cast I had my first rainbow. I C&R 23 fish in a rather short time, fish ranged from 5-11". I flipped rocks and found a ton of Hydropsyche, some were huge. It was late in the day and the light fell upon the elephant ears and cast the most beautiful green glow, one that only mother nature could paint - it was breathtaking! Today on Deer Creek brings back some good memories fishing with Dad long ago, when we could go to Potato Patch campground and be the only ones there. Times may have changed, but those warm fuzzy childhood dreams are only a cast away.
The west side road / chip seal project is completed and they did an outstanding job! Deep culverts, and drainage piping was also added to the new road which will help when we get the spring thaw. Even better the “new” Camp 5 puts Honker Cove to shame. There are now benches, picnic tables, more bathrooms, more parking, and a better boat ramp. They also put in a solar powered light/beacon for boats that launch early, or come in after dark. It is also ADA compliant for the handicap. They really took it to the next level! I would like to thank Bob Baiocchi of the California Salmon and Steelhead Association for his relentless work to give the public what they deserve with the improvements on Lake Davis, and I quote him “I’m not done yet!” It will be so sweet once the lake fills up a bit and the docks are put in at Camp 5, once that happens I will only use Camp 5.