I’m stuck in San Diego on the opening day of the California Sierra trout season, unable to engage in the one recreational past time I thoroughly enjoy, whipping water with ultra-light fishing gear, as I slowly bake at altitude under the unadulterated high Sierra sun.
The humanity of getting older, Is balanced in my life today by the reality of my health—which has not been all that good for the preceding 12 months. Last week I had non-native human parts added to my body to correct a coronary condition that’s been building for the last decade.
To be precise, I had a cardioverter (combination pacemaker and defibrillator) stuck in my chest. So it’s no lifting and definitely no casting of fishing lines for me until mid-June.
I’m above ground, unable to fish, and I find myself napping throughout the day.
But I really really wish I were fishing Fuller Lake right now. Now other fishery in California has been as routinely productive for me over the years as this little known man-made lake On California’s Highway 20 east of Grass Valley www.kiene.com/reports/lakes/fuller.shtm.
Fuller is so good I recommend it to jaded fishermen who think they’ve seen it all. It gets regular plants and has a substantial populations of both hold-over and native trout. It’s one of the few lakes where I routinely bring home at least one German Brown in my five fish limit. But better yet, when I’ve resorted to bait (such an ugly word) I’ve also consistently managed double hookups when fishing on the east side of the dam above its outfall.
You don’t need a $500 Orvis outfit to successfully fish Fuller. The one gadget I do recommend for Fuller, however, is a float tube. If you paddle out in a float tube, it helps to understand that the creek bed (think trout freeway here) meanders just off the shore opposite the road to the head of this Lake). This section of Fuller has been especially productive to me over gthe years I’ve fished the lake.
I have another semi-secret trout fishing spot in the Sierras east of Visalia, CA. It’s an under fished body of water near North Fork, CA called Manzanita Lake http://www.tripadvisor.com/AllReviews-g32789-North_Fork_California.html.
This little known jewel may be the perfect destination for Southern California trout fishermenn who want a great experience without a 10-hour drive. Manzanita has always been a little known but more productive fishing destination than the much more commonly known Millerton reservoir or nearby bass Lake. Manzanita is stocked regularly, has overnight camping and excellen fishing from the shore opposite a large boulder in the middle of the lake.
I have had excellent results using light weight (white pattern)Mepps lures and Colorado spinners here. The trick is if you cast towards the dam, your lure is headed for deep cold water—which is where old fat rainbows live. Do let your lure sink before beginning your retrieve. Manzanita may not offer instantaneous hook ups, but it’s a relaxing weekday or weekend fishing destination that’s never over crowded despite being loaded with feisty10-15 inch rainbows.
If I can’t participate in the 2010 California trout opener, I can at least note places where experience has taught me to fish. Me miss the opener? Oh the humanity. Or more appropriately, oh the fishanity.—Jim Forbes on 5/31/2010.