Best fished from a float tube, this nine-acre, low elevation lake has good weather and great fishing almost every day of the year!
This terrific fishing property lies at 3,200 ft in the foothills below the western slope of Mt Lassen National Park. It is a comfortable 50 minute drive from either Red Bluff or Redding, and is easily accessible by paved roads except for the last 200 hundred yards or so. This gravel portion leading to the front gate, and the mile long driveway leading to the lake, is passable to any 2 wheel drive vehicle. There is a cabin nestled in the woods just off the lake for our clients to use. This is the perfect get-a-way for any kind of group; providing fishing for the anglers, comfortable cabin and loads of hiking opportunities for the non-angler, plus site seeing at the nearby National and State Parks.
The Lake is completely surrounded by a mixed forest of pines, cedars and oaks which gives one a real sense of isolation, and at the same time, a feeling of intimacy. Rock Creek itself runs right through the middle of the lake and provides a short spawning section for the lakes many browns and rainbows. The lake was built in the 30's as a water source for a historic lumber mill, but now it is used only for the pleasure of our clients. It is quite deep where the creek channel runs, but a good part of it is around 12 ft deep and has wonderful weed beds, which are incredible insect factories. Over half the lake's shore is covered in willows that harbor all sorts of insects, including terrestrials, plus any number of trout fry. You will always find many Rock Creek Lake rainbows and browns nosing in and around the willows looking for an easy meal. Each year we get reports of trout
brought to net that measure in the 30 inch range. We also hear about those anglers that were towed around the lake for a while and then turned loose by a monster they never even got to see.
Hatches of one kind or another seem to occur every day of the season on Rock Creek Lake, and as a result one can use dry flies much of the time on this lake. See the section on seasons to get a detailed description of fishing Rock Creek Lake. Shore line fishing is only possible along one side of the lake, so you will need a float tube or pontoon craft to really fish the lake properly. Prams or any kind of boat is prohibited at Rock Creek Lake. Rental tubes are available at the lake.
The Lake Cabin:
Guests at Rock Creek Lake have the option of coming in for the day, or overnighting on the property. Most guests choose to stay at the comfortable, two-bedroom, one bath cottage which will easily accommodate up to four anglers. The kitchen is equipped with stove, refrigerator, micro-wave, coffee maker, toaster, pots, pans, and all the standard utensils. The front room has lounging furniture, dining table and chairs, fly tying desk and TV with a video/dvd unit. There's a propane barbeque and outdoor furniture on the large cabin deck. Dish washing soaps, dish towels and paper towels are provided. You will only need to bring your food, sleeping bag or blankets and pillow, personal items (towel, soap, etc), and fishing gear.
Reservations & Rates
It is always a joy to talk to our guests about Rock Creek Lake and to make reservations for them there.
It is such a special place and we know those that have not yet experienced it are going to quickly become enamored, while those who have been there already know its value as a private recreation area. This is one of the easiest of our private ranches to access and utilize. The 3000 foot plus elevation provides an ideal temperature for excellent water conditions and hatches. It takes the sting out of hot weather with cool evenings and mornings, and it rarely gets uncomfortably cold. It is a great spot for groups, couples, or as a family getaway.
We take reservations for Rock Creek Lake anytime during the year. Most of our regulars simply tell us they want the lake over the same time period every year. If you want to fish this lake in the Spring or early Summer
you will need to try for a spot before the beginning of the year, or get on a wait list for possible last minute cancelations. After June each year you can usually find room at Rock Creek Lake. Many people think the Summer months are too hot in Northern California for productive fishing, but that is simply not the case at Rock Creek Lake, which fishes well throughout the summer months, especially in the mornings and evenings. Although the fishing can be best the first 4-6 hours of daylight and the last part of day, you can usually find fish working someplace almost any hour of the day. There are midge hatches most of the time and this is a super time for those terrestrials. Streamers and leeches, too, will pull some real lunkers out of the depths any time of year.
Prices: The cost of the daily fishing (costs shown are per person) and cabin rates (costs shown for group) for the Rock Creek Lake package are:
• Full Day: $135 per day/per person (2 or more anglers)
• Single Angler Package: $350 per night (includes cabin and fishing)
• Cabin Rental: $250 per night (plus $25.00 County Bed Tax)
• Float Tube & Fin Rental: $12 per day
Occupancy: The occupancy for Rock Creek Lake is up to 4 anglers.
Inclusions: Included in your fishing package at Rock Creek Lake is a full day of fishing at beautiful Rock Creek Lake and the lakeside cabin (if booked as part of your trip).
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses. Click HERE for Travel Guard's Policies and more information
Seasons at Rock Creek Lake
Even though Rock Creek Lake is relatively small it is surprising how selective its trout can be at times and how their feeding habits can change with the seasons.
March to early May:
Cold and sometimes discolored water is the norm for the early part of the season. You can be fishing in rain and occasionally snow, or in beautiful sunny weather. It will be cold to cool at night and you may need to dress warmly during the day, although sometimes all you will need is a light shirt, and this can be especially true as you get into late April and May. Usually hatches, especially in the first month or two, will be few and far from prolific. None of this means that the fishing will be poor; on the contrary, some of the best days of the season come in these early months. The fish are coming off of a long, cold winter and are ready to take on some calories. They are hungry, and this hunger can make them gullible at times, enough to make even novice anglers feel like a pro. They can be tough to fool at times as well, and knowing a few techniques for lake fishing will really pay off then.
March will mean off colored, cold water and you usually won't seem as many rising fish. However, they will slam those streamer type flies so you will want to have a good supply of various buggers and leech patterns. The larger sizes (#6-#8) can work at this time, but be sure to have some of the smaller patterns as well. Midges seem to be a factor every month of the season so having midge nymphs, emergers and some dries will be necessary. Something to remember is that when you are faced with cold water situations a slow to slower retrieve can be the ticket. That can be true when using these streamers and also with some nymphs. You can get away with heavier tippets in off colored water, but keep that slow retrieve on the back of your mind.
By late April and May the Callibaetis mayflies will begin to hatch, so you will want dries, nymphs and emergers of that fly. Crippled patterns seem to out fish dries by quite a good margin. There can also be other mayfly species hatching and usually these will be small (#16-#18) and light yellow, tan or sulfur in color. There is one terrestrial insect event you could see in May and that is an ant or termite flight. You will know it is going on because every fish in the lake will working the surface and you will catch more trout during the ant flight than at any other time on the lake. Carry winged ant patterns in May!
June through August:
Summer is always associated with warm to hot weather which means light weight clothing while on the water and maybe a warm jacket or shirt for the evenings, which are usually cool due to the 3200 ft elevation the lake sits at. This warmer weather also means that every kind of insect in the lake and around the lake is becoming active. June is considered Callibaetis month in this country, but you will also see other mayflies,
caddisflies, midges, dragonflies, damselflies and the terrestrials (beetles and ants) throughout the summer season.
June and a good part of July can bring an amazing cast of insects doing their thing at Rock Creek Lake. We left off with a tip on the early season about always carrying winged ant patterns and that continues for the month of June as well. We have found that cripple patterns are the best dry fly pattern for the imitating the callibaetis hatch. Midges are active every day of this season and here is another tip- watch carefully during this hatch and you will see that the trout are most likely taking the midge before it comes to the top of the water. They will almost always eat the midge when it is stuck in the bottom of the surface film (meniscus) and will ignore anything sitting on top of it. Fishing mayflies and caddisflies in the surface film (using cripples or emergers) can sometimes mean the difference between successful takes and refusals. Streamer type flies will work, especially those that mimic damsel nymphs, but the smaller patterns seem to work best. This season is terrestrial time and you will want to have beetle and ant patterns in your fly box. Beetles in size 14 and ants in size 16-18 seem to be the most productive. These patterns will take fish anywhere on the lake, but all terrestrial fishermen know that these insects seem to like to fall off of trees and bushes that hang out over the water- enough said! One last thing you might keep in mind is to use a loop knot to your flies when lake fishing, since it will help keep the fly looking natural and you can use a size larger tippet.
September through November:
All the information above about summer time fishing will hold true for a good part of the fall season. As the nights get colder and colder the hatches will get fewer and fewer, with the exception of the midges. They seem to hatch out everyday, sometimes for just a bit and sometimes off and on all day. Callibaetis will provide some action much of this season, but the flies themselves will be a size or two smaller than the June variety. Terrestrails will work most of the fall, especially in an around the lake side willows. During the first part of this season you can almost always get action early and late in the day. However, as the colder weather comes you will find that midday fishing is great.
A great tip from our shop manager, Tim Fox, is to always use fluorocarbon for your tippet and just as your fly and leader settles on the water given the whole thing a tug strong enough to pull the fly under (if you are using top water flies), then pause and the fly will pop up to the surface (if it's been properly treated) but the fluorocarbon will stay under and will be almost invisible. Your refusal rate will go way down as a result.
Getting To Rock Creek Lake
From Red Bluff (45 minutes):
Proceed east on Antelope Blvd. (Hwy 99E) for three miles to Hwy 36. Turn left (north) on Hwy 36 and travel 11 miles to Dales Station. Turn left (north) on Manton Road (A6) and travel 16 miles to the community of Manton. Turn left (north) at the general store onto Wilson Hill Road and travel 1 mile to Rock Creek Road, and proceed 5 miles to the end of the pavement. You will be crossing Rock Creek at this point. Now go 200 yards up a gentle incline on the gravel raod to the ranch entrance (on the right side of the road). The address is 34055 Rock Creek Road (Canyon Creek Ranch).
From Redding (50 minutes):
Proceed east on Hwy 44 for 35 miles to the community of Shingletown. Turn right on Wilson Hill Road and travel seven miles to a stop sign. Turn left at the stop sign onto Rock Creek Road and proceed 5 miles to the end of the pavement. You will be crossing Rock Creek at this point. Now go 200 yards up a gentle incline on the dirt road to the ranch entrance (on the right side of the road). The address is 34055 Rock Creek Road (Canyon Creek Ranch).
Entering the Ranch:
Pull off the road and park in front of the gate. You will have been given the gate combination after we have received your trip deposits, and
you can use this combination to open the gate and let yourself in. Please be sure to close and lock the gate behind you.
Check in time for cabin guests is 3:30 PM or later. You can fish until 2:30 PM on the date of departure, but please vacate the cabin no later than 1:00 pm to allow us to prepare it for incoming guests.
Directions will be provided to you upon receipt of your trip deposits for key locations to enter the cabin. It is a two-bedroom one bath housekeeping cabin that sleeps up to four people. Cooking utensils and dishes are furnished. A gas stove with oven, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, cleaning products, and an outdoor gas barbecue are provided for your convenience. There is a TV with a DVD/VCR player. A few videos are available, however you may want to bring your own. Sleeping arrangements consist of a queen and twin bed in one bedroom and two twins in the other. There are no linens in the cabin, so please bring either blankets or sleeping bags, and don't forget your pillow. The mattress's do have mattress covers and bed spreads, but no sheets (you can bring your own if you wish). Add food and fishing gear and you will be ready to enjoy a very pleasant and comfortable cabin plus a great stillwater fishery.
Itinerary for Rock Creek Lake
Day of Arrival:
Once we have received your trip deposits, a full information packet will be sent to you, and will include a schedule we try to adhere to for Rock Creek Lake. The normal arrival time at the lake is 3:30 PM. We know it is hard to hold yourself back from coming in before that time, especially when you find yourself at the front gate before 3:30. If at all possible we will tell you if you can fudge some on the arrival time, but in the event we don't please don't enter the ranch before your appointed time. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than an incoming group arriving when the outgoing group is making preparations to leave or are still relaxing and enjoying the ranch. Nobody wants a group to do that to them, so please do not infringe upon another groups time at the ranch, either.
When you do enter the ranch there usually will be no one to greet you. At various times the housekeeper may be just finishing up turning over the cabin, but usually they will be gone by then. Feel free to make yourself at home and settle back and begin to drink it all in - the scenery that is. The ranch caretaker may put in an appearance sometime during your stay to take care of anything needed, but we really want your time at Rock Creek to be as isolated and uninterrupted as possible, and that includes right up to the time you drive off the property.
Day of Departure:
On departure day there are a couple of things to keep in mind, depending on whether or not there will be a group coming in on the same day, and whether or not the housekeeper will
be cleaning the cabin that day. If the cabin is to be cleaned on departure day (we will let you know), we ask that you take all your belongings out of the cabin and put them in your vehicle by no later than 1:00 PM. That includes all food items, luggage, fishing paraphernalia, and personal items. The housekeeper will arrive at 1:00 to begin cleaning the cabin for the next group. You are welcome to stay on the property if you wish, and can fish until approximately 3:00 PM. At that time we ask for you to load up and depart. It would be perfect if you did not see the incoming group and they didn't see you as well. If everyone will adhere to their schedule that is how it will happen. A quality departure added to a quality arrival and mixed in with two or more days of great fishing, eating and companionship is a hard combination to beat.
In a perfect world you will have no need of help of any kind. However, power can go out, water pressure can go down, gas supply can be a problem, etc. These events are rare, but can happen. In the event anything goes awry you will find maps and directions in your information packet as to what to do and who to contact. The one thing to keep in mind is that you are in a fairly remote area and quick fixes may just not be possible. We will try to have emergency items around (like battery powered lights) to assist you while the problem is being taken care of. We hope you will stay relaxed and keep enjoying the property knowing we are doing everything possible to fix whatever minor problems may arise. Fortunately, breakdowns rarely happen at Rock Creek Lake.
Making Reservations to Rock Creek Lake
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week, or email us at email@example.com anytime. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.