Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lake Davis & MFFR Fishing Report

I checked conditions and fished a little bit on 5/3 and 5/4 during a horrendous wind storm that brought some intermittent snow squalls. It was a cold wind and dropped the water temps from 56 to 52 degrees. Water clarity is murky, and the north end is worse around Grizzly creek and Freeman creek. Not many bugs out during my time there, a few Calibaetis and Blood Midge came off but were quickly carried away to the east shore at light speed by the wind. Needless to say I got skunked.

The spawn is winding down and many of the snow melt feeder creeks are getting low. There are still fish ganged up in certain creeks and they may be left high and dry as the flows drop. The good news is that DFG staff and volunteers are doing fish rescues to get them back in the lake, the pelicans will appreciate that.

Current conditions are such; Fish are scattered through out the lake at all depths. You may be lucky and find a small pod at a productive location while fishing, if you do - Stay put! We need warm temps and sunlight to get the aquatic insects going and the weeds to grow; which in turn will get the fish over to the west and north ends. Most of the runoff for the lake is done but Smith peak still has snow so Dan Blough creek will be pumping in some off colored water. I think we are about 3 weeks away for some really good fishing and hatches at the lake, as long as we do not have cold weather come in. 

The Middle Fork Feather River is high and cold, water temps range from 47- 49 degrees. Feeder creeks such as Gray Eagle creek and Frazier creek are running at 44 degrees. There were some incredible mayfly hatches between 1:30 and 3:30 pm. BWO's, Gray Drakes, and March Browns hatched in big numbers. I took the time to watch a small riffle and you could actually see the March Browns "pop" right before your eyes - Really cool! This always happens in the early season of the MFFR, the hatches are there but the water is too cold for anybody to look up.

Fishing was surprisingly good despite the conditions. I swung a gold cone head black bugger with a clear camo int. line in the soft water that had some depth to it. Had about a dozen grabs landing 6. Fish ranged in size from 12-16", with one brown at 10", most were fresh planters. Many fish are hanging out where the feeder creeks are coming in but you have to fish the seam of water where the cold water meets the main current of the MFFR.

Here is a tip for you. If you can find side channels like this one above you will find many fish, the water temp here is 51 degrees. With warmer water temps and little flow the fish can feed without working hard against the main flow of the river's current. This particular side channel is about 10 feet deep, I used a Rio express sink tip to get down and had something flash my fly in the 20 inch range! Mr Big did not give me any more chances so I get to have him haunt me at night while I try to get some shut eye. Look for June and part of July to be the most productive time to wet a line here, and hope we do not get any more cold storms so the water temp can come up. Oh, by the way; never saw another angler fishing the entire time. I'll take solitude and  hungry trout anytime!


  1. Hey Jon... I gave Davis a shot on Saturday. Started at Mosquito Slough but, as you mentioned, it was very murky. Went over to Eagle Point and landed one nice 17" on a small black wolley bugger. Finished by getting skunked at Coot Bay. Thanks for the report - I feel a bit better now. I gotta check out the MFFR this season.

    1. Hey Ken! Good to hear from you. It's a fickle time of year at Lake Davis when the fish are post spawn and the hatches have yet to get going. Soon fishing will be really good there. Got a trip this weekend, and I'll update if there is a change. The MFFR is a real jewel, evenings in late June and July is dry fly magic!


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