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Let’s go fishing! Modoc County offers diverse opportunity for anglers

By Lorissa “Reece” Soriano

The fishing has been a little slow in Modoc so far this year, primarily due to the diverse weather conditions we’ve been subjected to for the last seven months. In fact, it still feels like winter here. To “Modocer’s” this is normal; typically we go right from winter to summer, rarely experiencing any spring. With Memorial weekend just around the corner we are hopeful that the weather conditions will change and warm up. Then the fishing should start to pick up.

Fishing in unpredictable weather is customary for the locals, you just have to dress for the occasion. For most comfort when fishing in Modoc, the following dress code should be adhered to, “layered clothing”, starting with a tee shirt and shorts, covered with a long sleeve shirt and pants and last, coveralls, a down jacket, gloves and a wool hat. Meeting any and all possible weather conditions encountered in one day is the goal. Now that you’re dressed for the occasion, let’s go fishing!

Last week, my fishing partner and I traveled around Modoc checking out the various lakes and reservoirs in the area. We were trying to decide where the best place to fish and camp during Memorial weekend would be. We found many possibilities. Most of the lakes around the county are now thawed out and accessible.

Water levels in most of the lakes on the Devils Garden plateau are full up, with the exception of C and F Reservoirs. C and F are two of the more popular areas to fish and camp at during Memorial weekend. Unfortunately the drought we experienced last summer dropped the water levels in these reservoirs to an extreme low and this past winter didn’t provide much water to bring levels up. These two reservoirs hold eagle lake trout, browns and largemouth bass.

Last weekend, we fished both of these reservoirs, the water temperatures were cold, ranging between 40° to the mid 50’s. The water was murky and unclear. These conditions aren’t exactly conducive when fishing for bass, which was what we were fishing for, however we did manage to catch a few. Depending on the temperature, clarity of the water and type of fish you are after, just like the Modoc dress code you have to prepare your tackle for whatever conditions you may encounter. Trolling spinners, casting swim or top water baits and bank fishing with worms have been used with success here. If you do plan to fish either C or F, take caution when launching your boat, the low water situation could cause damage to your boat and/or motor.

Located in the beautiful South Warner Mountain wilderness area, Blue Lake offers fishermen a chance to catch trophy size rainbow and brown trout. Because this lake is so deep trolling is your best option. Some fishermen have had success trolling flashers with trailing lures, while others have had success trolling flies such as Bailey Bugs or woolly buggers. This time of year fishing from the bank with night crawlers can also produce nice trout as well, but as soon as the weather warms up, the water becomes weedy and more difficult to bank fish.

BlueLakeis a very popular place to camp now and throughout the summer. There are 48 camp units available here all of which fill up rather quickly on Memorial Day weekend. Unlike other campgrounds in Modoc, this campground provides more facilities; there is a boat launch, picnic tables, piped water, vault toilets and fire pits. In addition to fishing, Blue Lake offers an array of recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.

If you don’t plan to join the masses for the annual Memorial Day trek and you just want to go fishing for the day, Lily and Cave Lakes located in the north Warner Mountain area and Rainbow and Brown ponds located in the Cal Pines area, are wonderful places to take your kids for a day outing. There are plenty of catch-able trout in these lakes and they are easily accessible to everyone.

Dorris Reservoir just outside of Alturas has had a great success rate for fish. Dorris Reservoir produces decent sized trout, 12-14 inch crappie, largemouth bass, channel and bullhead catfish. There is a “No Wake” zone observed on this lake so watch your speed. The gates at Dorris Reservoir are open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily.

Although the fishing has been slow recently, some folks have been fortunate to limit out on decent size trout and largemouth bass.

So deck yourself out until you look like the Pillsbury dough boy, grab your pole, bait and tackle and head out. Let’s go fishing!

Just remember, when you’re out enjoying the outdoors always, respect the land, wildlife our lakes, reservoirs and streams.

Don’t leave trash lying around, you pack it in, you pack it out. Keep campsites and fishing areas clean and campfires out when you leave. See you on the lake.


Fishing Reports

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Sacramento River salmon fishing stalls out
Greg proudly holds his 20+ inch steelhead, photo by Jeff Goodwin
By Jeff Goodwin
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​ Upper Klamath size restrictions to begin
Jim Hartman landed this 41-inch, 34-pound ling cod near Cape Mendocino, photo by Joe Bollmann
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
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​Hat Creek still a solid option By Gary Heffley
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​Kokanee in Shasta?
Kokanee salmon, by goodwin guide service
By Gary Heffley
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Salmon is Spotty above Happy Camp
By Scott Caldwell
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Chetco Ocean Bubble Season Opens
lingcod, by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
09/24/16 -- The second to the last ocean salmon season, what ODFW calls the “2016 Chetco River Fall Chinook State Waters Terminal Area Season” will open exactly one week from today on Saturday, October 1. This year’s season will...Full Story
CDFW Reintroduces Rare Trout to McCloud
McCloud River Red-band trout, courtesy of CDFE
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​Hike For Fall Trout
fish with hook in mouth, by John Higley
Article and photos by John Higley
09/21/16 -- Last Sunday morning I hiked into the Thousand Lakes Wilderness, which is located off Highway 89 in the Lassen National Forest roughly between Old Station and Burney. Along for the adventure was my buddy...Full Story
GGSA Red Bluff Salmon Derby Winner
Dan Hofbauer with his 16.88lb winning salmon, by GGSA
09/20/16 -- Fisherman Dan Hofbauer won the $1000 first prize for the biggest salmon in last Saturday’s annual Golden Gate Salmon Association Red Bluff Salmon Derby held at the Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff. Hofbauer’s king weighed...Full Story
All-depth groundfish fishery reopens Oct. 1
Rockfish, CDFW
09/15/16 -- The increased use of descending devices by halibut anglers was a key factor in contributing to the decision by fish managers to reopen the all-depth groundfish fishery on Oct. 1. The recreational groundfish season on the Oregon...Full Story
​Getting out of the North Valley heat By Gary Heffley 
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Poachers fined for illegal abalone
CDFW patrol boat Thresher, courtesy of CDFW
09/13/16 -- Two Southern California men have been convicted and fined for abalone poaching and other resource crimes, stemming from a September 2015 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) enforcement case...Full Story
Run4Salmon traces salmon's journey
Photo of Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe (Dan Bacher
09/07/16 -- The Run4Salmon event is a 300-mile trek that will follow the historical journey of the salmon from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Winnemem (McCloud River) to raise awareness about the policies threatening...Full Story
CDFW Makes Buying a License Easier
Location map, by CDFW
09/03/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is making life easier for anglers when it comes to purchasing a license and checking your local fishing regulations. CDFW has made the online license...Full Story
Military Vets Fish Salmon Out the Gate
Pictured above are 12 military vets that fished with Captain Roger Thomas and crew of the Salty Lady and GGSA officials on Monday, August 29. From left to right: Terry Kid, Richard Porter, David Porter, Alfred Carrasco, Ben Santos, Dave Emory, Christian Valenti, Levi Andrews, Dustin Bergen, Shawn James, Dennis James, and Buck Anderson
09/01/16 -- Twelve military veterans experienced a day of salmon fishing aboard the charter boat Salty Lady Monday, September 26 on a trip out of Sausalito. Nine salmon decided to go for the ultimate boat ride and made...Full Story
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Sea Otter Shootings in Santa Cruz County
caltip logo
08/29/16 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are looking for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting deaths of...Full Story
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
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Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
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Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
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Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
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Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
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Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
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German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
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Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
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Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
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Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
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Fishing with Phideaux
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