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Tuesday is the opener for the 2009 dove hunting season

By: George deVilbiss
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I didn’t believe the cool down and weather break we had a couple weeks ago would be the only weather break the area would experience prior to the dove hunting season opener. The latest weather was more true to form with some areas even finding a raindrop or two falling. That weather break from the warm weather more to the dove’s liking, many birds will certainly have headed south to warmer climes. It certainly doesn’t mean, however, that there won’t be birds in the area to unload the shotgun towards. The warm season isn’t over by any means and it will again warm up. Even if some of the local birds migrated further south, the redeeming factor is that birds further north can very easily have migrated into our local regions. The first half season officially opens one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 1 and will continue until the sun sets on Sept. 15 with a limit of 10 birds daily, 20 in possession. Labor Day weekend For many, the Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah, the final camping and real recreational time of year. Some schools have already begun but that won’t limit the throngs from hitting campgrounds and waterways near and far. It will be busy and fishing opportunities can be somewhat limited. Especially if the airs warm, it’s a good time to just get away from home and enjoy the great out-of-doors. Even if you don’t fish, it’s good to just plain kick back and relax. Unlike Memorial Day Weekend and the Fourth of July, you should be able to drive to most campgrounds and find an opening without a reservation. Highways will be bumper to bumper at times. Just be safe. Have fun. Current fishing Lake Almanor: The fishing, for some, has been terrific. There’s a decent rainbow bite and, unlike past years, some hefty brown trout are being nailed. Nearly all of the rod-bending action is being found along the east shore of the lake --- for trollers, that means the region from about the mouth of Hamilton Branch south to just below the Big Meadows. Some limited action is being found by those anchoring just outside of Big Springs, along the rock wall along the north side of the cove, and up at the springs at the very head of the cove. We drifted meal worms in Big Meadows one day, keeping the mealy a crank or two just off bottom. We didn’t get bit that day but I had a big brown trout follow my bait all the way to the surface, German brown that would have easily hit the six-pound mark. Trolling, we’ve picked up numerous rainbows over three pounds, still a number of king salmon. One day, I picked up a five-pound brown. On the very next pass with a solid seven colors of lead core in the water, I got a big take-down. I don’t stop the boat when we pick up a fish. Keeping at a slow trolling speed keeps the fish at the back of the boat. I finally got up to my 50-feet of leader line and it took a good mile to get that much line in. I was within 20 feet of the boat when big brown finally spit the hook. It’s such a sickening feeling, losing a fish that would have easily tipped the scales at seven pounds. For the most part, we haul a threaded crawler on a No. 4 hook with a No. 4 Dodger about 18 inches above the hook. Linda likes using lures and keeps switching lures every 30-minutes. Finally, with a Rainbow Runner tipped with a meal worm, she began hammering smaller rainbows and king salmon. The fishing is great at Lake Almanor and the boating pressure is seriously decreasing. Want good rod-bending action? Come on up. Union Valley Reservoir: A visit by the Department Fish and Game truck has enhanced the trout fishery with a planting. From shore, eggs, Power Bait or a crawler should entice a bite. The best news, however, is for the troller looking for kokanee. The bite is good with some of the better little landlocked salmon hitting 16 inches. If you want to ensure you pick up fish, just be sure to tip the hook of whatever lure you choose with a couple kernels of white, shoe peg corn. It does make a big difference. Camp Far West: The main body of the lake isn’t producing a whole lot, but the lake’s upper arms are kicking out bass with some impressive ones hitting four pounds. Worm around the trees. If you want to keep the kids busy, let them fish from shore or tie the boat up to a tree and let them toss out a worm or mealy under a bobber. There is a lot of bluegill to be found and it can really be a fun outing for the youngsters. Any questions, comments or concerns, contact George at GeorgesColumn@aol.com.