Wonderful Weather for Winter Trout Plants… but Pray for Rain!

Collins Lake is 19.4ft from full, surface temperature hovering around 50F and the water is still clear!

Justin Hatanaka from Sacramento started off February with a bang, reeling in three large trout including a 8 3/4 pound lunker on a Silver Kastmaster.

We started winter trout planting about two and a half weeks ago. It’s not something we do every winter but the weather has been favorable so planting has begun!

Channing Venegas landed yet another giant rainbow trout – 8 3/4 pounds!

Even so it wasn’t until the last three days that we’ve finally seen the trout bite get a bit stronger. Granted quite a few of the fish folks brought to the scales in January were trophy sized but I’m happy to see that the rate is picking up.

Part of the reason we have this late winter catch is the mostly dry and stable weather. In fact I would just about ignore the clouds in the forecast and focus instead on the wind. Today (Tuesday) winds are supposed to settle down to a 5 MPH breeze and stay there for most of the week.

Traditionally along the dam is good in early spring but I haven’t seen many fish biting down there yet- if the weather holds out it may start soon.

Jeff Wright from Cottonwood (below) caught this 5 pounder on Yellow Corn PowerBait right from the shore on the beach- and that’s about the best advise I could give you right now.

Tom Ives from Browns Valley (Above, right) caught his 5 pound fish trolling Rapalas up near the powerlines.

That the water is so clear is a testament to how gentle the winter rain has been. In 2019 Collins Lake was full right around this time in February, but normally (if you can say “normally” about weather in the California foothills) it’s not until we’ve gotten a decent deluge in March or April that we see the lake spill.

Deanne & Shawn Hansen loaded up fishing with Kastmasters & PowerBait from Shore

With that in mind, while I enjoy the absolutely gorgeous late winter sunshine and the terrific trout traffic, I am still praying for more rain to fill this lake for Springtime.

The Collins Lake Family Trout Derby is scheduled for April 4th (Official Rules, Sign Up) and the CIFFI Family Derby is scheduled for May 9th.

This weekend looks like it’s going to be busy but the weekdays around here are generally peaceful- it’s a great time to disconnect and come enjoy the great weather!

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