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Quick Trip For Trout

n May 13 my pal Russ Herrick and I were at it again. Neither of us has had time to fish this spring and that morning, over breakfast at the Klassique Kafe in Redding, we decided to do something about it. After eating, we tossed our fishing tackle in the bed of my truck and headed east to Kilarc Reservoir. which is near Whitmore.

Kilarc, as I have said many times, is the idea place for old codgers like Russ and me to wet a line without engaging in strenuous work of any kind. Of course, that makes the place ideal for families and their kids as well. I’ve been fishing at Kilarc off and on since 1974 and I always enjoy the experience. The 4.5 acre PG&E impoundment is in a picturesque setting, the water is only a hundred yards from the parking area and the trail to it is level. I once met a guy who was 94 years old there, and he was catching fish.

At Kilarc, the primary difference between fishing, which is always good, and actually catching fish, is the timing of plants by the CDFW. Russ and I knew the place was stocked sometime in April and that was good enough for us. There ought to be at least a few rainbow trout left for us to catch, we thought, and we were right.

Man with fishing rod at Kilac, photo by John Higley
Russ Herrick’s spinning rod bends with the weight of yet another trout

The small lake was full to overflowing and the trout, not over abundant, cooperated just often enough to keep us from catnapping. They were silvery, energetic and firm. We each caught limits, and I can vouch for the fact that three of mine tasted just fine the next evening when Sharon and I ate them. The other two are vacuum sealed and frozen. Stored that way, they’ll still be good if we don’t get to them for a couple of months. Really.

Man pulling up small trout on his line, at Kilarc Reservoir, photo by John Higley
Russ Herrick lands another Kilarc rainbow; this fish was fooled by an inflated nightcrawler.

We were after trout to eat so we bait fished with Power Bait and nightcrawlers. That day the crawlers worked best, for whatever reason, providing they were inflated to float above the weedy bottom. We hung the crawlers on size six bait hooks, which were tied to three foot long 4- pound test leaders. The leaders were tied to swivels with sliding sinkers on the main line above. With smaller hooks, Power Bait can be fished on the same type of set up.

man holds small trout, photo by John Higley
Author Higley is pleased with this rainbow, one of several he caught at Kilarc on May 13

When we left Kilarc, early in the afternoon, Russ remarked that it had been a very good day all around. The weather was perfect, the fish were hungry enough and, because it was Friday, only a couple other anglers were there. Okay, if you count the osprey and water snake there were four other anglers there.

As we bounced down the dirt access road Russ was all smiles. “Tell me again,” he said, “why don’t we do this more often?”

He was reading my mind.

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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