Five Dot Lake Fishout, October 12 and 13, 2020
Five Dot Lake is a 400-acre reservoir is located in the upper elevations of the Five Dot Ranch, the largest cattle ranch in California. The lake is set in a very pretty little basin and is ringed by mountains on three sides. It is a very secluded private lake. Private like in the middle of a 30,000-acre ranch with no public access. Natural springs and seasonal runoff feed the lake. There are a couple of very small seasonal creeks that also feed the lake. The lake has been stocked for years with Triploid Rainbow Trout and 2 to 5 pound fish are commonly caught. Five Dot is located 15 miles North East of Susanville. Travel time from Susanville to the lake is 45 to 60 minutes. Check it out on Google earth. It’s called Round Valley Reservoir. Also check out fivedotflyfishing.com
The size of the lake generally requires some type of watercraft to fish it effectively. Small boats, pontoons, and float tubes all work well. Boats should have small motors, gas or electric. This can be a windy place, which sometimes presents challenges to pontoons, and float tubes and I’ve been blown off the water in my boat. Large boats with large motors are not appropriate. There is a very nice put in/launch area. Vehicles can back right up to the water to launch. Having an anchor can be helpful.
We will be fishing for two days, Monday and Tuesday, October 12 and 13. We can arrive at the lake on the afternoon of Sunday October 11 and spend the night. This will allow for fishing all day on Monday and put us on the water for the morning bite. Tuesday we can fish all day and also camp Tuesday night and depart Wednesday morning.
All of the usual still water techniques can be productive. The deepest part of the lake is near the dam at 18 to 20 feet, depending on lake level. There are shallow flats, rocky shorelines and at times considerable aquatic vegetation. Often large schools of fish hold in the center of the lake at about 15 feet. You should be prepared to fish all levels of the water column. Flying ants and hatching callibetiea are a good possibility in late May. Damsels are very likely and there are all kinds of aquatic bugs. Snails and leeches are prime fish food here and there are schools of minnows. Probably most Five Dot Fishers “go-to flies” are streamers and midges fished at all levels. You should plan on bringing all your favorite still water patterns. Stalking fish along the shoreline on calm morning can be fun and a real challenge.
A nice camping area is located near the lake. It is nestled in the trees and commands a view of the lake and the mountains in the background. Small pop up trailers, vans, pickup cab-over campers and tents are appropriate. The lake is not accessible to larger RVs and trailers. Access to the lake is through the Ranch property and is on dirt mountain roads and requires a reasonable high clearance vehicle. The last mile or so has two creek crossing, not really a problem but the second creek is not passable to longer vehicles. If you’re planning on bringing a larger RV or trailer there is a very nice camping area at the bottom of the last steeper grade and before the creek crossings. Camping here is permitted. There is a porta potty at the camping area and one at the lake launch. There is no potable water, bring all you’ll need. Lodging in Susanville is also an option. (Check the 5dot web site for info).
I’ve been fortunate to fish Five Dot many times. In the past my personal set up is a 1966 Valco 12ft aluminum boat with a 6-horse gas outboard. I carry the boat on the top of my pick up camper shell. The boat has some real family history. My wife’s grandfather bought it new in 66 and fished all over N Cal with it. The boat has seen its share of fish. I also use a fish buddy fish finder, which is real nice for finding depth and sometimes seeing fish (maybe). For rods, I have three set ups in the boat, one with a floating line for drys and shallower nymphing and midging and second rod with a floating line that is set up for deep indictor fishing with a break away indictor. The third has a full sink type 6 line for stripping streamers and other flies. This seems to handle most situations.
On Monday I’ll will be hosting a Tri Tip BBQ. At this time we’re not sure what will be the sides for the meal. If you are so inclined bring some thing to share with the group. You should plan on bringing your own chair, utensils, drinks and big fish stories.
Directions: In downtown Susanville turn right off SH395 onto SH 139. In 15.1 mile take slight left onto Marysville Rd. A short distance before this you will pass the entrance to the Five Dot Ranch with sign, Do Not Enter Here. In 0.8 mile turn left at Green Trailers. Continue on main road and turn left in 1.1 mile. Continue 0.6 mile to Lower Large RV Camping Area. Continue approx 1.5 mile up the hill and across two creeks and arrive at lake. To get to camping area continue past lake boat launch area a few hundred yards.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 320 6589.