Lake and Stream Fishing
IMPORTANT: No license is needed to practice casting with hookless lures in our ponds but elsewhere you must obey all California fishing regulations. Licenses can be purchased at the Sports Hut Bait Shop in Alturas.
WHEN TO FISH...
The best months to fish near Likely Place are in the Spring – April, May and June – and the Fall – September, October and November. Summer fishing is best early in the morning or late in the evening when it's cooler.
Near Likely Place
Fishing opportunities in Modoc and Lassen Counties are too numerous to list so we will concentrate on a few of the most convenient and easily accessed. All of the lakes and reservoirs mentioned are suitable for wading or shore fishing, or with boats, canoes, kayaks, and float tubes.
On-site, Likely Place
Two of the five ponds on the property are available for wading or shore fishing. The pond closest to the clubhouse west of Space 50 has bass and Mirror Lake on the Nature Trail has bass, perch, and bluegill. Both are easily accessible. If you stick with barbless hooks and artificial lures only, they are suitable for a convenient and enjoyable hour of fly or spin casting with the possibility you might catch and release a fish.
Guests are free to use the ponds at their leisure. We have added “casting rings” for those wishing to sharpen their skills. Be sure to cut the hook off so you don’t catch a ring and remember, release all fish for others to enjoy and be considerate of the golfers. Check at the office for directions.
Blue Lake is considered one of the best all-season trout fisheries in the area and some very large brown trout (10-12 lbs +) have been caught here. Often described as a “jewel”, Blue Lake is a clear, blue, deep 160 acre mountain lake set in a forested valley 17 miles from Likely Place. Boating is allowed and there are launch facilities, a dock, and toilets at the campground. The lake is stocked with Rainbow and Brown trout like this one below, caught by a Likely Place guest in June, 2014:
A 1.5 mile walking path goes around the lake.
To get there, exit Likely Place via the north main gate, turn right (east) on Jess Valley Road and continue about 6 1/2 miles to the intersection with Blue Lake Road. Turn right at the “Y”, stay on the pavement and you will reach Blue Lake. The Blue Lake road is seasonal; it usually opens by June 1 and closes the end of October.
Mill Creek Falls and Clear Lake
Tom Stienstra, the San Francisco Chronicle’s outdoor writer, wrote the definitive book on fishing in California titled “Moon California Fishing: The Complete Guide to Fishing on Lakes, Streams, Rivers and the Coast” and a copy is available in the clubhouse.
Mr. Stienstra describes Clear Lake thus:
“Clear Lake is one of the prettiest spots in Modoc County. This is a small, high mountain lake in remote northeastern California. Unlike so many other small, high mountain lakes, this one has some big fish. That goes especially for the brown trout, and there’s are also a few rainbow trout.”
To get to Clear Lake: Exit Likely Place and go east on Jess Valley Road 6 ½ miles or so, turn left and stay on the pavement to Mill Creek Campground. From here you can hike ½ mile to Clear Lake. Just before you reach the lake signs will point you to Mill Creek Falls. Clear Lake and Mill Creek Falls are regarded as among the most beautiful spots in the Warner Mountains and are worth the hike whether you fish or not.
About Mill Creek: Fishing on Mill Creek is upstream of Clear Lake. Here’s what Tom Stienstra has to say about fishing Mill Creek:
“The best strategy here is to go in from Soup Springs Camp, then hike over the South Wilderness boundary. You will come off a hillside and into a valley floor, at the bottom of which you’ll find Mill Creek.
The size of its trout sets this stream apart from others in Modoc County. The one-to-three pound class trout in Mill Creek are not mirages, and if you tangle with them, you’ll never forget the experience. Access is good, including a trail along much of the stream as well as a parallel road.”
To get to Soup Springs Campground access to Mill Creek Fishing: From Likely Place, turn east on Jess Valley Road to the intersection with Blue Lake Road and West Warner Road. Turn left (northeast) on West Warner Road for 5 miles to Forest Road 40N24 (Cherry Creek) and go 4.5 miles to the campground. Total distance from Likely Place is 18.3 miles not including hike to Mill Creek.
South Fork Pit River
The South Fork of the Pit River is fed by Mill Creek and irrigation water from West Valley Reservoir. The “fishable” part of the river where the water is clear is upstream (east) of its confluence with West Valley Creek. Conveniently, this 4-5 mile stretch of the Pit runs immediately adjacent to Jess Valley Road, and is easily accessible to the nimble angler. There are numerous places to pull off and park and, although the stream is narrow and swift, there are many fish in these waters. This is trout water but wading in the Pit is dangerous and it’s better to fish from shore.
To get there: Exit Likely Place via the north main gate and turn east on Jess Valley Road. It’s only 4.6 miles from the Likely Place clubhouse to the confluence. Continue on Jess Valley Road until you find an attractive place and pull off. You’re in a canyon here for about 5 miles
West Valley Reservoir
This good-sized reservoir, almost 1,000 acres in surface area and 3 miles long with 7 miles of shoreline, is a productive trout fishery which also has Sacramento perch and catfish. You can launch a boat, canoe, or kayak from the ramp or float tube or fish from the bank or wade.
The reservoir is used for irrigation and the water level is lower later in the season. Guests at Likely Place have done well here.
Winds can be stiff on this reservoir, particularly in the afternoon, and the boat angler should be cautious. Most people favor fishing in the morning.
To get there: Leaving Likely Place, turn right (east) on Jess Valley Road then right again (south) on West Valley Road which will take you directly to the reservoir, a distance of about 12 miles.
Other Places To Fish And Information Sources
The nearby Pine Creek Reservoir is small but productive. Fitzhugh, Mill, and Pine Creeks are all good fishing. Parsnip Creek feeds into and exits Blue Lake and fishing on Parsnip downstream of Blue Lake is considered good.
Other fishing close by includes Dorris Reservoir in the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, Snag Lake (in the wilderness area), and Eagle Lake (about 1 hour away).
Besides these, Modoc County has a plethora of lakes, reservoirs, and streams which offer excellent fishing.
Maps and fishing books describing many more places are at the clubhouse.
Recommended: The best of the books in our opinion is Tom Stienstra’s "Moon California Fishing" which has a whole section on Lassen & Modoc Counties. It’s available in print or as an eBook from Google. Ask at the check-in desk if you don’t find it.
The online site Modoc County Fishing gives a current update on fishing in various parts of the county.
For additional fishing spots and guided trips, contact the following:
Sports Hut Bait Shop
231 North Main St, Alturas
Fishing and Hunting Guide