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Trout Opener on Saturday

Gary Heffley, author photo, myoutdoorbuddy.com

By Gary Heffley
04/27/16 -- Anglers are checking gear, spooling fresh line, and polishing up spinners in anticipation of the general trout opener this Saturday, April 30, on most North State rivers and streams. Campgrounds along popular waters Hat Creek and Deer Creek as well the upper reaches of the McCloud River will be filling up fast.

Fly anglers will be looking towards the Pit, McCloud, Fall and Upper Sacramento Rivers, as well as the wild trout section of Hat Creek, as the most popular destinations. With the warm weather we have been enjoying there are reports of insect hatch activity on these waters that will be having fly enthusiasts looking to match the hatch, and hoping for some dry fly action.

Many smaller local favorite streams have benefited from the ample winter and spring rains and should produce good results for those who like a bit of solitude and want to get off the beaten path.

Check the CDFW website for hatchery stocking information to see if your favorite waters are on the list to receive trout.

But remember that trout are not the only game in town for this coming weekend. While many will flock to their favorite stream sites, the lakes are full and bass along with trout, crappie, kokanee, and land locked salmon, all hitting well.

Shasta Lake is 11.62 feet from full pool and Lake Oroville is 10.6 feet down, a far cry from the gloom and doom over lake levels less than 5 months ago. Both lakes will easily be full by Memorial Day, if not sooner. Even Trinity Lake is improving greatly and could be near full by late June or July as snow runoff continues in the Alps.

Shasta Lake is reporting great results for the majority of anglers targeting bass, with some of the larger bass being taken around submerged trees using swimbaits, senkos and other plastics. Crappie are also being targeted around submerged willows using small plastics, jigs and live minnows. Landlocked king salmon are beginning to show in good numbers in the Dry Creek arm near the dam for trollers. For trout trollers key on concentrations of shad for success.

Whiskeytown Lake Kokanee are also making a strong early season showing especially in the Whiskey Creek arm. Expect kokes to 10 inches for the most part, but reports are the fish are in great shape.

Lake Oroville is experiencing great numbers fishing for bass this time of year. As with most bass waters, fish to your confidence. If you prefer wacky style, go for it. If you prefer drop shotting, success will find you. Crank baits....you get the picture.

The biggest factor is to just get after it. And, by the way, don't forget that striper fishing in the lower valley is going well, and the shad run is just beginning to show in the Sacramento and Feather Rivers.

Gary Heffley has been a valued contributor to MyOutdoorBuddy for over seven years serving as manager, sales representative and reporter for much of Northern California. He is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish and write about his adventures. He has long history in the Sporting Goods field and is presently managing the Gift Bar and Camping Department at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Redding.


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