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Manzanita Lake

Wild Rainbows & Browns at the foot of Mt Lassen
  • Fishing below Mt Lassen
    Mt Lassen is your backdrop The 10,457-foot Mt. Lassen dominates the scenery at Manzanita Lake. Many of our guests combine a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park with their fishing trip to Manzanita Lake.
  • Manzanita Lake brown trout
    Wild Brown Trout We catch more browns than rainbows at Manzanita Lake. These browns cruise the banks and weedbeds searching for food.
  • Sight-fishing for wild trout
    Sight-fishing central Sight-fishing is the name of the game at Manzanita Lake. We wade or float near productive areas and watch for cruising fish.
  • Callibaetis mayfly
    Thick callibaetis hatches One of the best hatches at Manzanita Lake is the afternoon callibaetis hatch. Browns and rainbows cruise just under the surface and carefully gulp these mayflies.
  • Mallard ducklings on Manzanita Lake
    Wildlife & Scenery Waterfowl and other wildlife sightings are common at Manzanita Lake. At 5900' elevation, it's much cooler here during the summer than our other destinations.
  • Wading is effective at Manzanita Lake
    Wade & Shore Fishing You don't need a boat to be successful at Manzanita Lake. We frequently search for cruising fish while walking the banks or wading.
Quick Links:
Flies

Manzanita Lake is one of our most scenic and productive stillwater destinations. Located inside Lassen Volcanic National Park, Manzanita Lake has a zero limit and is home to wild rainbow and brown trout. Manzanita Lake can be fished from shore, by wading, from a float tube or pontoon boat, or from a raft or drift boat. No motors of any type are allowed on the lake. Manzanita Lake is known for prolific hatches of callibaetis and damselflies. Terrestrials are also a big part of the trout's diet here. We spend most of our time at Manzanita Lake sight-casting to visible cruising trout. This is one of the best places in northern California to sight fish to quality wild trout.

We guide Manzanita Lake from May through November. High season is mid-summer when the callibaetis hatch is at its peak. Located at 5900 feet, Manzanita Lake stays nice and cool during the warm summer months. We typically use our rafts or drift boats when guiding Manzanita Lake. We frequently get out of the boat and wade the flats, sight-fishing to cruising trout.

Manzanita Lake Guide Availability
For more Manzanita Lake dates, please visit our Online Booking page!
Gear Recommendations for Manzanita Lake
Rods, Reels & Lines: Five and six-weight nine-foot rods are ideal. We use floating lines and clear intermediate sinking lines. Double Taper Lines are best for delicate presentations. We occasionally use fast-sinking full-sink lines.
Leaders, Tippet & Indicators: We frequently use 6X and 7X tippet on Manzanita Lake. Come prepared with 9' 6X leaders for dry fly fishing and 7.5' 5X leaders for nymphing. We prefer "Corkie" indicators in the 1/2inch and 5/8inch size.
Waders & Boots: We frequently fish Manzanita Lake without doing any wading at all. If you would like to wade, we recommend chest-high breathable waders. Spiked wading boots are not necessary.
Hatches & Seasons
While Manzanita Lake is open to fishing year-round, it is not typically accessible during the winter. We do most of our Manzanita Lake guide trips from May through October.
Flies:
Nymphs:
• Callibaetis, size 16-18
• Mercer's Micro Mayfly, all colors, size 16-18
• HBI, 16-18
• Pheasant Tail, 16-20
• Damsel Nymph, 14
Dries:
• Parachute Adams, 14-20
• Traditional Adams, 16-20
• Callibaetis Cripple, 14-16
• Callibaetis spinner, 14-16
• Carpenter Ant, 14-16
Leeches:
• Bouface, brown, 10
• Monroe leech, olive, 10
Sample Itinerary
Meeting Time & Place: We typically meet our clients at the lake at 8:30am.
Vehicle Considerations: If you are meeting us at the lake, you will need to pay for your own entry into Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Wading difficulty: It is not necessary to wade. The wading that we do is typically very easy.
Multiple Fisheries in one Day: Manzanita Lake is close to McCumber Lake and Lost Creek. Occasionally we will split the day between Manzanita Lake and one of these other fisheries.
Length of the Day: Most full days conclude around 5:30pm. Half days end around 1pm.
Lodging & Travel Info
Please visit our Fall River Mills and Redding pages for local hotel and restaurant recommendations.
Public Lands
Confluence Outfitters is permitted by Lassen Volcanic National Park to guide Manzanita Lake.
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