Friday, August 23, 2013

Milton Lake - The Ultimate Stillwater Challenge

Milton Lake (Reservoir) is a small impoundment along the Middle Fork of the Yuba River 2 miles below Jackson Meadows Reservoir.  Its renown as one of the premier still water fisheries in the West. The lake has a rocky past, plagued by mismanagement and the introduction of AIS (namely bullhead catfish), however, California DFG finally figure out the secret sauce, fight fire with fire.  They currently manage this as a barbless C&R fishery and are successful in maintaining a self-sustaining population of mature brown trout (and rainbows) which keep the AIS in check. 
Known for trophy trout, this fishery requires both patience and skill, bring your "A" game and long, light leaders.  Match the hatch and wait, wait, wait.  These discerning fish don't care how far you came to hook them, they're finicky and fickle, emerging from the deeper channels from time to time to feed, then retreating once the hatch wanes.  In 1993 the lake was drained and restructured, from a perch high above the lake you can see the 10ft deep channels created by excavators designed to give the fish access to the shallower reaches of the lake's eastern boundaries at the confluence of the Middle Fork of the Yuba River.  Yeah, that's right, a steady stream of 45 degree water feeds this impoundment year round, its like the Little Truckee...with a lake to keep the fish there year round.  From what I've read, large fish migrate into the river in the spring (rainbows) and fall (browns), but CA shuts this fishery down between Nov and April, so check the regs.  Check out the Middle Fork of the Yuba confluence (below).
Also check my killer shrimp scampi...
And my most awesome campsite in the entire Jackson Meadows Res. area as proven by scientific neighbors to be seen!
So nice, the boat is right next to the camp site...picture perfect
Behold, "Trout Truck" keeps a close vigil over the lake... 2013 Power Wagon!
Majestic vista perched above Milton Lake
My eldest son catches a fish before me, spinning rod with fly gear rigged to it, he's the man!
Busted a couple of busters off, but this is indicative of what I actually got to the net, small feisty browns.  I'll say this, I believe the folklore of 2+ foot rainbows and browns upward of 30" in this alpine impoundment, the former I can definitively attest to via a sightings along the northern shoreline with the sun directly overhead, i saw a couple 25" bows amongst another 100 in the 14-16" range.
Man, it don't get better than this, my three son, me and a cold one!  Can't wait for my daughter to join us in a couple years!
Thanks for looking!  
PS: don't take a trailer down past the inlet of the Yuba unless you first walk it, its rough and there are almost no turn around areas, use EXTEME caution, took me a half hour to get out, nearly had to use the winch to pull the trailer out.


g_rob said...

Milton is a wonderful place.

Unknown said...

I love that place. Sweet camping rig too.

Post a Comment