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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lake Davis Fishing Report 10/8/14 - What's Up?

Odd trout behavior and less than stellar fishing is the current state at Lake Davis. When other guides and long time fly anglers of the lake ask me "What's up with the lake and where are all the fish?", you know something just ain't quite right, especially in October. One day is decent, the next fair. Fish are still scattered, some roaming in large pods at different depths like 7 to 12 feet down, and even deeper, at 16 to 23 feet. I have a feeling that these super pods are dining on daphnia, and why we are not seeing them in shallower water, or other parts of the lake where they should be.There have been a few glimpses of fish working the skinny flats, sporadic at best, and it’s lucky when you find such conditions.

Nights have been cooler with near freezing temps, and the days have been incredibly warm. Water temps have bumped up a bit from 57 to 65 degrees. The fall grab is on idle for now, but at some point it has to happen. As of today, mornings are slow, and the afternoon grab has produced better results; full moon phase is in effect changing the feeding times of those large rainbows. Be prepared to adjust to changing conditions, know your different rigs, and relocate if necessary. 

Depending on the day, slow to fast strips, and plenty of pauses has been good with a floating line targeting the top water column, 1 to 3 feet down in open water and next to the bank. For deeper pods, a type three sinking line with a Jay Fair striping fly in fiery brown is working well. The indicator rig is the old reliable for getting a bent rod, it just produces. Three water columns you should target while making vertical presentations with the bobber are 3-5 ft., 7-12 ft., and the 16-22 ft. zone. The bug scene has been light overall, the small midges are always out in good numbers, but the callibaetis hatch has been very sparse, nothing like the first two weeks of September. Blood midges are a rarity right now on the surface, but it’s a must to carry and fish the pupa stage of this aquatic insect. Backswimmers have been seen crashing the surface of the shallows creating a little commotion, and getting the attention of a few interested trout. Presenting small dark beetle patterns with long leaders makes this game a fun one.

Business meetings are always much more productive when you add a fly rod and some toads in the mix. Lance Gray of Lance Gray & Co. was a guest of mine yesterday and although we had to work really hard to find fish, Lance still landed the biggest rainbows I've seen in the past three weeks. Lance is a really good down to earth kind of guy, we both were raised in the Chico, Ca area and bleed the Powell family legacy. Lance was using a first generation Walton Powell graphite rod that is such slow action most new fly anglers would not even have a clue on how to cast it. I'm looking forward to another successful year working with Lance, our next gigs will be the very popular Lower Yuba River Tours in 2015. For more information, and to sign up go here;

The flies that are working well are about the same as last week’s report with a few exceptions. Wiggle tails in black and dark olive are receiving aggressive takes. Large heavy midge pupa patterns are key to productive indicator rigs; red, black, and brown are best. Bigger flies to #8 3XL like buggers, leeches, and stripping flies are starting to get action, look for these flies to be more productive as we head into November. We’ll see what this upcoming week will bring; you just never know where the fish will be, or when it can turn on. You just want to be there when it does… 


  1. Hi Jon,

    I was out there last week and I can completely confirm your report. I was hooking about 10 per day with maybe 6 landed and 16 grabs from my pontoon boat. Although the fish were difficult to find, all were big, tough fish averaging about 19" with a few in the 22" range. You have the fish, flies and techniques nailed down accurately for your readers which is much appreciated.

    One thing I would add is that people should NOT fish a light rod or light tippet out there. I had a 6wt with 3x tippet and it was hard to bring in the large, hard fighting fish. The water is still relatively warm as you point out, and the kill rate is going to be high if you don't get them in fast. Leave the 4wt at home!

    Again thanks for the reports which are really helpful.


  2. Thanks for the props and kind words Multitasker. A 6wt with 3x is standard out there with those large rainbows. There would be so many more fish in that lake if the limit was 2 with 4 in possession - Yeah, I'm dreaming but it's the thought that counts. Things can only get better - I hope!


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