View Full Version : Eagle Lake, CA true fish story

09-08-2011, 01:06 AM
I used to go to Eagle Lake, back when I flew light aircraft. We'd camp between the ramp and the runway in out 10x10x7 dome tent and rent a boat to head out to the deep part of the lake.

One of the last times we were up there, over Labor Day 2003, I finally caught my first limit ever (at age 49). Eagle Lake is a high-desert lake in Northeastern California, near Susanville, altitude 5110 feet on the ramp. East of Mount Lassen. The California DFG has developed a strain of rainbow trout that can survive in the alkaline water of Eagle Lake and they grow quite big. 2.5-3 lbs is about an average fish at Eagle.

The boat we rented was a 14-foot Alumacraft with a 20-horse Yamaha on the back. We drove out the the deep part of the lake and unlike the guys with downriggers, fish finders and the like, we just drifted, and used night-crawlers on the end of a hook. No weight except the weight of the bait itself. The technique was taught us by the owner of the General Store. You just leave your bail open and let the night crawler sink. If the line starts zinging off your reel you know you have a fish on. The wriggling night crawler imitates the native food supply.

We were there about an hour when the line started zinging off my reel (an ultralight Daiwa with 4-lb mono). I eased the bail over and the line tightened right up and the fight was on. Even with the bail closed, the fish was pulling line off the reel at a rapid pace. I was worried about getting spooled so I had Judy pull the anchor up. I figured if he was that tough, he could pull the boat and we'd see how long he lasted. After five minutes of trying to pull the boat the fish surfaced and charged the boat, forcing me to reel like crazy to try to keep the line tight. As he got close, he turned and tried to yank away, but he was tuckered out and I brought him aside the boat, Judy netted him and I got him in the stringer. Six pounder.

Then it was Judy's turn. She had never hooked into a fish this large before, esp on ultralight tackle. She did really well and I only had to coach her to keep the rod tip up a couple times. The fish was polite and didn't charge the boat, and she got the fish (a three-pounder) up to the boat all by herself and then there were two on the stringer.

My turn again and another three-pounder was fighting back. Took a lot less time than the six pounder to get to the boat.

By this time, we had something of a circle of boats, all about 100-150 yards away, trolling back and forth, trying to catch OUR fish. When they saw us land the third one, I heard someone say "what the HELL are they doing to nail them like that?"

I hooked another three pounder, and just like that, we were done. The limit at Eagle is two per day, four in possession, per person. We both had our limits! In all my years of fishing, I had never had a morning like that, and had never caught my limit of anything. We froze the fish in water in the General Store's freezer. When we got them home, we slow-smoked them on my Weber smoker and they were dee-licious.

If you are an avid trout fisherman, you owe it to yourself to experience Eagle Lake one time. Damned fine trout fishing, and a great place to get away from the asphalt jungle.

If you fly, the identifier is 1Q2.

09-09-2011, 04:57 PM
Very good lake to fish at

09-20-2011, 04:01 PM
Great story .. great catch.. i have used that technique on lakes here in Vermont and yes trout love that natural presentation of the bait like that.
Captain Joe

01-25-2012, 11:25 AM
yeah i also heard about thisa story when we first came to CA

03-31-2013, 12:35 AM
A key to successfully fishing Eagle Lake is to find the schools of chub bait fish.

03-06-2018, 12:44 AM
good story,you find your fun

03-09-2018, 02:17 AM
If you are an avid trout fisherman, you owe it to yourself to experience Eagle Lake one time. Damned fine trout fishing, and a great place for ****** games free online play (https://playclub-uk.com/******s) from the asphalt jungle.

If you fly, the identifier is 1Q2.

Great story! Thanks for the tip.