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.
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