Best fishing at Manzanita Lake happens for those who are on the water early in the day.

Manzanita Lake - CA (Madera County)

by The Fly Shop

Current Lake Conditions: Fishing has been good! Expect to share the lake with boaters in the afternoon hours. There are Callibaetis and Damsel flies coming off through the day and that keeps the fish feeding. That means "chasing your fly!" Once the sun is high, the fish hide in the weeds for the afternoon. Good time to go enjoy some of the parks attractions. Always spend some time fishing an emerger, cripple mayfly or caddis through sunset. Seems like the best reports come mid week. Expect the lake to be busy on weekends with boaters, anglers, swimmers.

The best fishing happens in the morning hours, before 10:00 AM. Expect the best results if the lake doesn't get too crowded with boats. Fish either a nymph or a dry version of the midge. The rainbows and browns love the weedy edges and shade. Retrieving #16-20 Pheasant Tail Nymphs is a great plan! Use a floating line and a tapered leader. Expect to throw 6X tippet as we get into the weeks of June and early July.

Pay attention to the special regulations here, especially where you can and can't fish. Barbless hooks, artificial lures, catch and release. Make sure you inquire at the park entrance.

The Fly Shop's Tips: Try a #14 non-beaded Pheasant Tail Nymph slowly retrieved on a floating line, or RIO's Aqualux Intermediate Sink Line. August evenings can produce the famous motorboat caddis hatch on Manzanita. Either way, an evening fishing the lake at sunset is time well spent.

Taper your leaders to 5x or 6x. Using a float tube or a pontoon boat, paddle out into the lake and look along the edges for cruising rainbows and browns. RIOs Aqualux Intermediate Sink Tip is a perfect line for retrieving and stripping Pheasant tail nymphs and Callibeeotis. Use a floating line and leader tapered to 6x with a bead head PT with a very, very, very slow retrieve. Fish will find your nymph and take it, but don't set the hook! Just lift and let line out until you can bend the rod without first breaking the fish off. Use a thermometer to find that 55-65.

Suggested Fly Patterns:

Dry Flies:

• Harrop's CDC Emerging Midge
• Hackle Winged May - Callibaetis
• Adams #14-18
• Last Chance Cripple Callibaetis, Baetis
• Mercer's Missing Link #14-16
• Mercer's Profile Dun Callibaetis

Nymphs/Wet Flies:
• Zack's Attack Damsel
• Sierra Damsel
• Pheasant Tail Nymph - #16-18
• Black A.P. - #14-16
• CB Frostbite - #18
• Hogan's S&M - Olive #16-18
• Zebra Midge - Black #18-20
• Mercer's Gidgets

• Beaded Micro Bugger - Black
• Zonkers - #4
• Zack's Zugger - Yellow/Brown

Fly Fishing Gear:
• Outcast Super Fat Cat-LCS Float Tube
• Scientific Anglers™ Wet Tip Clear Fly Line
• Whizz Lube
• Simms WaderWick™
• TFS H2O & L2a Rod/Reel/Line

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