McCloud Trout on the Downrigger

McCloud Reservoir - McCloud, CA (Siskiyou County)

Water is flowing into McCloud reservoir and the Trout love it
Photo Credit: Scott Caldwell

by Scott Caldwell

The crazy weather in the Mt Shasta/Yreka area has made for difficult fishing conditions mostly due to high water flows, wind and snow. Rivers in the area have been flowing so high that they have been nearly unfishable most of 2017. This has left local lakes as one of the few fishing options. 

One jewel of the North is McCloud reservoir. Despite all the crazy weather McCloud has been producing a good to very good Trout bite. Easter Sunday was no exception, the weather was cool rainy and a bit blustery but with the help of my Cannon Mag 20 down rigger and Humminbird Helix finding the Trout was not overly difficult.

Water levels at McCloud reservoir have been extremely high causing a lot of wood debris and  sometimes off color water. The constant inflow of water has caused the Trout to move around more than normal. Surface temperatures have been under 50 degrees even in the main body channel which is pretty cold for this time of year. McCloud Trout over the years have always congregated near drainages and natural fresh water flows coming into the reservoir. Right now their is fresh water flowing in from everywhere.

This has the Trout spread out more than normal. McCloud has so many Trout once you find a few you will probably find a lot more. This past Sunday Conner and I found a big pocket of Trout just off the main body channel near a fresh water inflow. The Trout were hanging in a bow like depression where the bottom depth was near 50 feet.

We had great success at 22 to 28 feet in this bowl using a Sep's Gold Strike Master dodger and Sep's pro secret lure in gold with gold prism. The Pro Secret lure was  lathered  up with Pro-Cure Carpspit and trolled at speeds between 1.5 to 2.3 mph. Brown and Rainbow Trout in the 1 pound class were plentiful and hard fighting.

Once we found the Trout the bite was steady all afternoon. Conner and I did try a couple other methods such as vertical jigging which did produce one fish. We also casted various lures and threw a few flies at rising Trout but the steady action came from the Sep's trolling set up.

If you like to eat Trout this an excellent time to take a few home the meati is cold and firm. Conner and I have found the McCloud Brown and Brook Trout to be some of the best eating fresh water Trout anywhere. Sunday we caught close to 20 Trout in that one area described above.

The Trout are still there with exception of one that decided to swim along the surface. He became lunch for one of the healthy population of Osprey that patrol McCloud nearly year round. You don't realize how big those talons are until you see them swoop down within 20 feet of the boat. They are like a steel trap the Trout have no chance once caught.

Fishing at McCloud reservoir will only get better as we head into Summer. Spring and Summer provide many spectacular fishing options and is one of most beautiful times of year. I can be contacted  via email by clinking on my booking link or calling 530 905 0758. 

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