Lake Almanor Hex report

Travis Bille

Active Member
My trip could be described as anything from shit, to fucking shit.

Lake Almanor, in Northern California in the shadow of Mt Lassen, is renown for it's Hex Hatch. It's also a total zoo during 4th of July weekend. This year all of the campgrounds were closed due to the 'Rona, so I figured if I did some dispersed camping, this might be a good opportunity to fish the hatch and not have to deal with 10 million people.

I got there the morning of July 3rd. I found a nice little spur road on National Forest land and set up camp, cooked lunch, etc. I was trying to take a nap so I could stay up late and fish. I woke up to someone yelling at me. It was a woman on horseback who read me the riot act and screamed at me for being on land that she had an easement on. She had a horseback riding company and evidently she has a permit to ride through that stretch of NF. I told her that it was still public land and I was allowed to be there. She ended up calling the Plumas County sheriff's dept. Three deputies showed up after she left and they told me I was fine to be there.

The hatch was dead that night. Nobody hooked up, and only a few bugs on the water.

That night, when I was asleep, I woke up to a loud honk, and then a very loud motor speeding away. I was still a little groggy and thought I had a dream an went back to sleep. When I woke up, I discovered that someone (presumably the crazy horse lady) had come in to my camp in a truck and burned out, spraying my car and all of my camping stuff with a ton of dirt. Most disturbingly, the tire marks were less that 3 feet from my tent, which means that the bumper was even closer. I was a few feet away from being run over!

I called the cops the next day to report it and they said they couldn't do much if I didn't see the truck. As I was cooking lunch, the crazy horse lady came back and started screaming at me again. More of the same crazy stuff, saying the deputies were wrong and that I couldn't be there. She was basically just harassing me. I told her off and she left and I called the Sheriff's office again, and the deputy from the day before came by. He talked to me for a while and was pretty cool about the whole thing. He said I was fine to stay there, but recommended somewhere else to camp. I packed up and moved, mostly because of the stunt she pulled with the truck. That was pretty dangerous and crazy.

I got kicked out of the place he recommended by the forest service. I fished a different part of the lake that night. The hatch was once again dead.

I slept in my car in the parking lot of a day use area, and then got threatened with a citation in the morning. Despite having another 2 days to fish, I just packed up and went home. Sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Watch your backs out there folks. This COVID stuff has normal people acting crazy, and crazy people acting even crazier.
 

Young Engh

Active Member
Man that sounds stressful as hell. Being out in the woods and seeing people always puts me on edge, because you never know what you’re gonna get. Kudos to you to sticking through it, fuck that lady. Sorry about the bum fishing.
 

para_adams

Active Member
Coincidentally Weird Timing. We fished that same beach the same evening, July 3rd. It was our first ever trip to the area and we had heard about the epic hex hatch and large fish so we hired a guide to take us and a friend out for the hex hatch. The guide had done so well the night before that he talked his wife into going out in another float tube with us. But fishing is fishing, and that evening was very slow. Maybe it was the big party boats charging up and down the lake at high speed until dark, or maybe the hatch was off. I saw a few scattered hex's for about 10 minutes starting a dusk, followed by a decent hatch lasting maybe another 10 minutes. I counted maybe 14-15 fly fishers in the bay and only one did well, he hooked maybe 4 large fish. We got skunked and I didn't see anyone else with a bent rod all evening. I missed one gigantic swirl on my dry, but that was all. My son's friend briefly hooked a fish but it came unbuttoned. Sorry to hear about your camping issues, lots of hard partying folks around that lake over the 4th. We were safely staying about 20 minutes away at my son's fiancee's old cabin. I hope to catch the hex on Almanor again some time maybe we will have better timing and luck.
 

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