Here in Northern California most of our favorite trout streams close on November 15th. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to be had in our neck of the woods and Baum Lake is an absolute must.
The closest town to Baum Lake is Burney. Although it’s been given the title of a lake, Baum Lake really acts more like a giant spring creek and has an active current running through it. Hat Creek and Crystal Creek feed Baum Lake, and for an added bonus, the Crystal Creek Fish Hatchery is on site and they plant approximately 32.7 billion fish a few times a year (totally made up fact but you get my point, there are a ton of fish in there). The fish sizes range from your average 10-inch stocker to 20+ inch slobs. Browns are most commonly caught, but there are rainbows and a few brookies in the lake as well.
Baum Lake can be a great streamer fishery as well. Many of the hatchery fish will willingly take leach patterns.
(Vanessa with a nice brown!)
(Vanessa with a leach eating brown)
However, the holdovers from previous plantings can be extremely aggressive and will gladly chase down flies of a more substantial meal.
(Meat eating brown fooled by our brown Pig Sticker)
(Kelsey with a slob brown who took a pig sticker)
(This thing was a TANK!)
While we are into throwing meat whenever we can, we also nymph and throw dry flies when the conditions call for it, and on occasion all methods of fly-fishing can be effective at Baum Lake, but we especially can’t turn down rising trout.
(Matt and Vanessa throwing San Juans)
(I Just couldn’t resist some dry fly action)
While Baum Lake doesn’t necessarily have those wild fish we all like to chase, the fish and scenery are still beautiful and these guys have a healthy appetite. Not making a trip to this lake in the winter would be a huge mistake and is a great way to keep your skills sharp through the winter months.
Hopefully I’ll see you guys out there.