Shaver Lake Fishing Report and Catch of the Day

The Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project planted about 1,500 of these beauties this past season. Christian Scott of Monterey, shows off his beautiful 5 pound rainbow he caught in Shaver Lake recently while fishing with guide Dick Nichols. [Photo contributed]

By Dick Nichols | Contributed
Dick Nichols Fishing Charters

Shaver Lake is winding down its 2016 season. It hasn’t been pretty folks, as far as catching fish. As I have said before, April and most of May were outstanding fishing months. Then hard times hit the lake with few trout being caught to date.

The kokanee bite was off too. Of course there were some good days fishing for kokanee, but the majority was half of the normal. Why? I have no idea. I think if you fish Shaver today, you will find some near spawn kokes around the bottoms of the lake. The dam and Point could be your best bet at 75-85 feet deep. There will be some reds in the mix of kokanee you catch. Those are not good eating, but the others still are. The trout have not shown any interest of lures or bait this summer but maybe a bite will produce this fall. And if it does, it will be in the Stevenson Bay area. I have done great there for many years in the fall.

On a positive note, I would like to introduce some of you to the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project (SLTTP). This is a 10-year old group in Shaver Lake that have dedicated their off time to the project to educate youth and people with disabilities by taking them fishing. The SLTTP also sponsors Trout In The Classroom projects at the Pine Ridge and Big Creek schools located near Shaver Lake. SLTTP director David Dungy is in charge of the Trout In The Classroom program for the SLTTP. They have raised a good amount of money each year through their annual dinner on the second Saturday of August. This year the project’s dinner raised about $34,000 that will go toward planting trophy-sized trout in 2017 and to continue their youth programs.

This group is for real and has maintained their annual goals for many years. Thanks to several professionals, businesses, farms and individuals, the project is in good shape for the future.

The SLTTP planted approximately 1,500 trophies this year in two separate plants – both in locations that were unknown to many. The results? Less fish were caught from the shore and more by boat. I would estimate that perhaps 1,000 of the 2016 trophies are still swimming the waters of Shaver. On my boat this year, we caught 16 of these beauties, releasing a good amount. The experience of catching a trophy sized trout (three pounds or more) is one that you will never forget.

The trophy planting is under the direction of SLTTP treasurer Bob Bernier. This year he selected a strain of nearly pure fish from Eastern Oregon. They are beauties, but don’t come cheap. Bernier says it is worth every penny paid to see or hear of the excitement that young and old experience when they hook one. Anyone wanting to become a part of the SLTTP in way of donations, volunteering or becoming a part of the core group that steers the project, can contact Bernier at 559-360-7185. Bob is a wonderful guy and will be most happy to chat with you in regards to the SLTTP.

While I am patting folks on the back, a big thank you and well done goes out to this years SLTTP dinner chairperson, Caroline Thompson, of Auberry. Caroline and her crew did an outstanding job in what I consider to be the best dinner in the SLTTP history.

This is my last fishing report for 2016 as I am preparing to remove my boat from the lake over the next two weeks, clean and store it for the winter. I’m not a writer, just simply a fishing guide and the Roundup provided me with the opportunity to tell my story every two weeks. I have enjoyed it.

If you want to discuss Shaver, the upcoming 2017 season or anything on fishing you can email me at or if you forget that go to my web at The email and text numbers and address are in there. I will be fishing Pyramid Lake in Nevada with my buddy Lee Gates of Shaver several times this winter. I have been fishing it for 34 years. I love the place. If you want more information on fishing Pyramid Lake, contact me.

Until April of 2017, when I return to charter fishing and this report, I wish you and yours a very happy holiday season. Go ‘Dogs!

See you on the lake in April,