Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Insta-Winter In Plumas County

North Fork @ Caribou Road

California got its first taste of El NiƱo on Monday when the first true rainstorm of the fall swept over the valley and Sierras. This storm resulted in a bit of snow at elevations above 5,000ft which was pretty awesome to see. It is typical for the Sierras to start getting really cold in November; last week in October the high was in the low sixties and now in November the current high is in the upper forties.

For the past few days I have been house-sitting for my in-laws in Quincy. By using their house as a base of operations, I had the opportunity to explore and fish around Plumas County. The streams I checked in at were Butt Creek, the North Fork, and the Upper North Fork of the Feather River.

North Fork Feather River
My first stop on Monday was fishing the North Fork along Caribou Road. Several campground sites follow the North Fork along Caribou Road making this a great spot to camp during the season. This section of the North Fork is stocked with rainbows.

From my experience I've found that sections of streams and creeks that are stocked with trout tend to fish very poorly unless there has been a recent planting. The best pools, runs, and riffles are usually overfished and over harvested leaving much to be desired.

When I arrived on the North Fork the weather was overcast but not rainy. For about two to three hours I covered water by high-stick nymphing through pocket water. I managed to hook one small fish but lost it during the fight.
As I fished the North Fork the run-off with the addition of rain began to increase the flows making it difficult to wade and fish. I left as soon as I felt that the higher flows had become too unproductive.
Overall I think this section would be a great spot to fish if it was in season. I will have to try again in the spring or summer.

North Fork @ Caribou Road

During my visit to the Almanor area, I drove down Seneca Road to check out the North Fork below the dam. I had planned on fishing an area where Seneca Road crosses the North Fork via a bridge about two miles down the canyon. Unfortunately this area is surrounded by private property and recreation doesn't look like it's allowed. The river here looked like typical small stream pocket water. Overall nothing too exciting.

North Fork @ Seneca Bridge

On Wednesday I stopped in the Feather River Canyon and fished around Storrie and Tobin again. The fishing was pretty tough. It seems like the fish have moved from their whitewater homes to deep pools. Although I managed to hook three within four hours, I lost all but one. These past few days before the end of trout season haven't been very productive. Tis just the nature of the end of the season I suppose.

Only Fish Of The Trip

The other two streams I fished for the first time were Butt Creek and the Upper North Fork of the Feather River. I covered a lot of water on both streams using several techniques but my time spent there was fruitless. The water was cold, the bugs were done, and the fish were gone; the season was over. I will write a more thorough blog post about these two streams the next time I visit and fish them.

Butt Creek In Late Fall/Early Winter
Upper North Fork Feather River

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