Memorial Day this year was indeed memorable with some of the best May trout fishing I’ve ever had. Large 20-25 inch trout selectively feeding on damsels and calibaetis made it challenging and fun. This years annual Memorial Day Syn Family Fishout got redirected from Antelope Creek Lodge to Baily Springs Lodge. Our hosts – Peter and Cindy- owners of the lodge and skilled chefs were our hosts. Im not sure where to start when it comes to praising this destination. The facility is beautiful. Set in the Lassen National Forest, their are two ponds and a beautiful freestone trout stream. One three acre pond is fed by Rock Creek and is teaming with trophy native and triploid rainbows. Its one of the best maintained ponds I have ever fished and I have fished Antelope Creek, Henderson Springs, Sugar Creek, Five Dot, Bidwell Ponds and Eagle Canyon. The other pond is teaming with LMB up to 10 lbs as well as large trout. It was interesting to observe LMBs and large trout both chasing crankbaits and large spinnerbaits at the same time! I caught a 21 inch rainbow on a size 2 spinnerbait. you must use single hook barbless lures and crank baits in the upper pond. Most my crank baits had trebles since I didn’t know about the regulation. That’s a first. The stream looks like something out of a post card. Bailey Creek lodge located in Shasta Valley within sight of Mount Lassen has relatively low elevation with lots of Alders, Oak and Bay trees. From the second story of the lodge, you can sit on a comfortable chair and look out onto rising trout in the small creek. There are many opportunities to catch fish on flies and lures at Bailey Spings plus the fishing can be very easy to very challenging which give the kids a chance to catch lots of easy fish. I like the game so when the fish get selective, I get excited and there were many times fish were rising and feeding all around Wayne and I and it took time to figure it out–very technical. . We pumped a few trout and they were eating a lot of bugs- Damsels adults and nymphs, Calibaetis, Chironomids, water boatmen, flying ants, termites, and bees.
This year, Gina decided to come with me since Mark couldn’t get away from University of Oregon to meet me. The lodge has so many comforts that she was right at home, Four of the bedrooms have there own private bathrooms. The lodge has a great 40 by 20 foot heated swimming pool and hot tub nestled in the trees next to the creek and lodge. At night, after fishing, the trees along the creek are lit up and music is piped in through the trees . Sitting in the hot tub, sipping a glass of wine while listening to music after a long day of fishing is the best. There is an expansive perfect lawn that spreads out into the woods surrounding the lodge. Its large enough to have a family football or baseball game. So large is the lawn , I don’t think I could throw a Frisbee all the way across it. The lodge sleeps 14 but you can book it exclusively with 5 people. The food is great and the hosts use the Sous Vide method of cooking to ensure near perfect meals. There was always more than enough food and the deserts were great. Also available is “cook your own food packages”. The kitchen is great and everything you need to cook yourself is there as well. I for one, really enjoyed Cindy and Peter’s cooking. It was one of the high points of the trip. They use the same Sous Vide Sansear that we use except they have three of them.
The lodge has a 70 inch Flatscreen TV with Direct TV and we made good use of it Tivoing the Warriors playoff game and the Giants Baseball game so we could finish the evening hatch without missing anything. There is internet access and Cellphone service. Although spotty, its enough to stay connected to the outside world. I had no problem streaming Spotify on the the boat all day–AT&T, 4G, 1 to 2 bars. The lodge also has a nice pool table which the kids enjoyed. The décor is Flyfishing Centric and there are even some Lance Boen leather art thought the lodge. Lance did a Rainbow Trout replica in leather for my office that’s a masterpiece.
Check in and Check out is at 3:00PM and both half days in and out were great fishing days. I can’t say enough about this lodge and I am really glad to have made friends with Peter and Cindy who are two of the nices and hospitable people we’ve met. They even have day fishing rates that make me wish i was closer. I would go every month. The trout fishing can’t be beat in Northern California.