Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Many people have said we needed the snow in the mountains. But as a result it has made the spring and early summer river fishing difficult. I have found that historically that late June is a fantastic time to "head to the hills" and through a line into the alpine waters.

I set out to lake fish for brook trout with my two kids at the end of June, as they both had never caught a brookie. I knew we were in for a difficult outing when we first saw the Yuba river driving on Highway 49, it is a beautiful drive along the golden highway near Bullards Bar all the way to Sierra City.

We set up camp at Wild Plum Campground which is near Sierra City, on the banks of Haypress Creek. (Click here for a Brook trout story). Wild Plum does accept reservations online and in the summer it is a good idea to book early. It is a great location to set up base camp for day trips into the lakes basin.

The water was very high and fast so we had to improvise and fish the lakes. We fished from shore at upper and lower Sardine Lake without much success. The water temp of the lower was 62 degrees and upper was 55 so the conditions should have been farley good. We did not have any luck after three hours and the boat fisherman who came off the lake after fishing for 13 accumulative hours had caught 3 fish total and no keepers.

High water and poor lake fishing sent me back to camp to try and figure out how to fish under the current (haha) conditions.

I resorted to spoon fishing. I tied on a gold Cleo and fished the white water, just like I do for steelhead in the dead of winter. I fishing the seam of fast and slow water in a deep pool. The fish will look to get as deep as possible because there they can sit and wait for food.

My son's gold Thomas Buoyant received the most action getting nine hits and landed six, while my daughter's gold and red Bouyant did get three hit and she landed one of them. I did not hook a single fish, but I enjoyed seeing my kids graduate to fishing all by themselves and catch fish as well.

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