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It’s Kilarc Time Again

ast week a fellow diner at the Klassique Kafe in Redding overheard me talking to a friend about trout fishing. The diner, who is new to the area, asked point blank where he should go to catch a couple of trout for dinner.

“Lake or stream?” I asked.

“Either,” he said, “but I can’t walk much because of a bum hip and wading is out of the question. I really don’t like to swim all that much.”

“I see,” I said, pondering his dilemma and pretending to care (actually I did). “If I was you I’d go to Kilarc Reservoir. It’s been planted recently, it’s in a very picturesque location near Whitmore, the gravel road to the place isn’t bad and it’s a flat walk from the parking area to the water. Take a spinning rod, some nightcrawlers and Power Bait, and you’ll be in business.”

“I really don’t care if I catch any fish,” the guy said. “I just like to be out there trying.”

“Sure,” I said. “That’s what I say when I get skunked. That shouldn’t be a problem at Kilarc right now. Let me know how you do.”

Most of the Feamster family enjoying the mass confusion of fishing together. The best part is no one stepped on the rod lying on the dirt. Photo by John Higley
Most of the Feamster family enjoying the mass confusion of fishing together. The best part is no one stepped on the rod lying on the dirt.

Secretly, I knew how he’d do if, indeed, he actually went to Kilarc. I visited the place after it was stocked with trout in April and had a blast.

John Higley holding up the trout he cuaht, Kilarc REservoir in background
Yep, it’s me getting in on the action and catching a few trout of my own.

I was with my daughter Meredith, her husband Robert and their four kids including daughters 10 year old Rae Lynn and eight year old Kasey and their twin brothers Johnny and Jordy, age six. It was a Saturday morning and there were a few other folks around the small impoundment, but we had plenty of room to fish and the kids were well behaved. By that I mean they weren’t totally out of control.

Johnny Feamster landed this trout and almost let it go, but not quite.
Johnny Feamster landed this trout and almost let it go, but not quite.

Their delight at landing their own trout was infectious. Everyone, including me, caught fish, and, I must say, the trout tasted pretty good when they were the main course at dinner that evening.

Rae Lynn holding the trout she caught, photo by John Higley
Author’s granddaughter, 10 year old Rae Lynn and one of the Kilarc trout she caught.

To me it just makes sense to start kids fishing as soon as they can hold a fishing rod and turn the reel handle in the right direction. Kilarc, and some other small waters in our area, provide some really good places to introduce kids to a pastime they can enjoy, in one form or another, all through their lives. It ain’t exactly flyfishing for salmon in Alaska, but the kids won’t care. To them catching any fish is the idea, and Kilarc is a good place to do it. Meredith will tell you about the day when she out fished her dad and caught all her own trout at Kilarc at the tender age of five years old. Conveniently, she still leaves out the part about dear old dad baiting her hook, casting for her and helping her reel ‘em in.

What goes around comes around. I won’t tell you how old my daughter is now, but I will tell you that all her kids caught their first fish at Kilarc, and that’s where they’ve gotten hooked, literally, on fishing.

Six year old Jordy Feamster with one of the fish he reeled in all by himself. Photo by John Higley
Six year old Jordy Feamster with one of the fish he reeled in all by himself.

Kilarc has been planted with catchable rainbow trout twice this year.

The first time was during the week of April 12, the second time was just a day or two ago during the week of May 10. My wife Sharon and I visited the place on Friday, May 15 and had no trouble catching a half dozen 13 inchers (all we wanted) in about an hour’s time. As usual, air injected night crawlers and Berkley Power Bait were what we relied on to entice the trout. Both of them worked quite well.

The fishing at Kilarc is always good, but the catching is obviously best for one or two weeks after the place is stocked. To find out when that may be, you can call (530) 225-2146 and listen to the recorded message about the scheduled plants in Region One, or go online to and click on the planting schedule.

Author and writer John Higley is a resident of Palo Cedro. His articles have appeared in outdoor magazines hundreds of times and his columns appear regularly at Higley has written four books the latest of which “Successful Turkey Hunting” was published in May, 2014 by Skyhorse Publishing in New York. This hard cover, full color book is being sold at Barnes and Noble Book Stores and on Amazon. Autographed copies are available direct from John Higley, P.O. Box 120, Palo Cedro, CA 96073. Cost is $28.95 postage paid.


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