Cave Lake Fishing Guide: Unlocking the Secrets of Modoc County’s Hidden Gem

Cave Lake, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Modoc County, California, beckons anglers far and wide to experience its serene beauty and abundant fishing opportunities. As you embark on your angling adventure at Cave Lake, this comprehensive fishing guide serves as your trusted companion, offering insights into the diverse fish species inhabiting its depths, a glimpse into its rich historical significance, and invaluable tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to elevate your fishing experience to new heights.

Latest Fish Plants

Fish here often?

  • Bookmark this page to check recent fish plant data before you head out on your trip.
  • Subscribe and get weekly California Fish Plant Data right in your inbox for the week ahead. We send out fish plant data for ALL fishing locations in California every Saturday at 7am PT🎣
  • Get additional subscriber-only data including 📈 historical fish plant data and 🗺️ interactive maps with 📍 pins on our best spots at that location:

How To Read Fish Plant Graphs

To interpret fish plant graphs effectively, consider the following key elements:

  1. Blue Vertical Bars and Numbers:
    • Representation: The blue vertical bars on the graph represent individual fish plants.
    • Weight Measurement: The associated numbers indicate the total weight of the plants in pounds (lbs.) that occurred during a specific week.
    • Significance: Monitoring these bars helps identify weeks with higher planting activity, aiding anglers in selecting optimal times for fishing near recent plantings.
  2. Orange Trend Line:
    • Purpose: The orange trend line represents the moving average of all fish plant activities at the specified location.
    • Indicator of Activity: A rising trend line suggests a consistent increase in planting activity over the designated period. This indicates the potential for more catch opportunities and signifies a growing fish population over the weeks.
  3. Interpreting the Moving Average:
    • Upward Trend: A rising moving average implies an upward trajectory in planting activity, indicating an increasing number of fish being introduced into the area. This suggests a positive outlook for anglers, as it implies a larger and potentially more accessible fish population.
    • Downward Trend (Not Specified): The description does not provide information on the interpretation of a decreasing trend in the moving average. It might be beneficial to include information on what a decreasing trend could signify in terms of fishing prospects.
  4. No Data Present:
    • Possible Explanations: If no data is visible on the graph, it may indicate that the location had no fish plants in the last three months. Alternatively, the absence of data could be due to non-disclosure of fish plants for that location.
    • Natural Population: Some fishing areas in California rely on the natural growth of fish populations, and graphs may not show plants if this is the case.
  5. Graph Disclaimer:
    • Data Source: The graphs reflect a combination of publicly disclosed data and estimates. Some locations may disclose fish plants without specifying exact amounts.
    • Not Universal: Not all fishing areas have fish plants, and the natural growth of fish populations plays a significant role in many California fishing locations.

Understanding these elements will empower anglers to make informed decisions about when and where to fish based on historical fish plant data.

Note: If no data is present in the graph above, this location may not have had any plants the last 3 months, or may not have publicly disclosed plants. Graphs reflect both publicly disclosed data and estimates, as some locations disclose plants, but not exact amount.

Map & Fishing Location

Delve into the rich tapestry of fish species that call Cave Lake home, each offering its own unique allure and excitement for anglers of all skill levels. From the vibrant rainbow trout to the elusive brown trout, and from the charming brook trout to the delectable kokanee salmon, Cave Lake promises a diverse and rewarding fishing experience that will leave you craving more.

Steeped in history and surrounded by the tranquil beauty of Modoc National Forest, Cave Lake holds a special place in the hearts of anglers seeking a secluded haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its two tranquil lakes, Cave Lake and Lily Lake, this hidden gem offers a peaceful retreat where you can cast your worries aside and immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the great outdoors.

For first-time anglers venturing to Cave Lake, this guide provides invaluable tips and tactics to ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. Whether you’re employing the fly-and-bubble technique, seeking local wisdom on optimal fishing conditions, or making the most of the lake’s seasonal advantages, you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your time on the water.

As you prepare to embark on your angling journey at Cave Lake, armed with newfound knowledge and insights, we invite you to savor every moment of your adventure. Whether you’re casting your line from the tranquil shores or gliding across the crystal-clear waters in a non-motorized boat, may your time at Cave Lake be filled with excitement, camaraderie, and unforgettable memories. So pack your gear, gather your friends and family, and get ready to experience the thrill of fishing in one of California’s most pristine and picturesque destinations.

Types of Fish at Cave Lake

Dive into the rich aquatic world of Cave Lake, teeming with an array of captivating fish species:

  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their vigorous fights and delectable taste, rainbow trout dominate the waters of Cave Lake.
  • Brook Trout: Although smaller in size, brook trout boast stunning coloration, offering a thrilling catch for anglers.
  • Brown Trout: The largest of the trout species in Cave Lake, brown trout exhibit strength and cunning, providing a formidable challenge.
  • Kokanee Salmon: A landlocked variety found in select California lakes, kokanee salmon attract anglers with their delicious flavor.

A Glimpse into Cave Lake’s History

Cave Lake, characterized by two tranquil lakes, Cave Lake itself and Lily Lake, offers a serene and less-traveled haven for anglers seeking foot-long-class trout. Despite its diminutive size, Cave Lake delivers a rewarding fishing experience, especially when employing a fly-and-bubble or even a makeshift bobber. Nestled at 6,600 feet in elevation, the lake’s sparse vegetation adds to the allure, with local insight suggesting optimal trout biting during light breezes in late spring and early summer.

Facilities at Cave Lake include a campground with vault toilets, a ramp for small boats (non-motorized only), and the necessity to pack out garbage. Supplies are accessible in New Pine Creek, Oregon, and Davis Creek. Fishing access remains free.

For directions, travel 146 miles east on Highway 299 from Redding to Alturas, then head north on U.S. 395 for 40 miles to Forest Service Road 2. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 2, a steep dirt road leading six miles to the campground entrance.

Top 5 Tips for First-Time Anglers at Cave Lake

  • Ripple Effect: Fish during light breezes, creating a slight ripple on the water, for optimal trout biting—especially in late spring and early summer.
  • Fly-and-Bubble Technique: Utilize a fly-and-bubble combination for successful angling in Cave Lake’s clear waters.
  • Local Wisdom: Embrace local knowledge, suggesting that trout are more active during breezy conditions, enhancing your chances of a successful catch.
  • Seasonal Advantage: Plan visits during the cooler spring and fall seasons when fish are more active, increasing your chances of a rewarding angling experience.
  • DIY Bobber: In the absence of a bobber, a piece of bark can serve the purpose effectively—be resourceful and adapt to the lake’s unique conditions.

Top 5 Strategies and Tactics for Optimal Fishing at Cave Lake

  • Seasonal Timing: Capitalize on the cooler spring and fall seasons when water temperatures stimulate fish activity.
  • Strategic Shore Selection: Focus on the north and east shores for more productive fishing, particularly for rainbow trout and brook trout.
  • Master Trolling Techniques: Employ trolling as a primary fishing method, enhancing your chances of encountering a variety of fish species.
  • Adapt with Baitcasting and Fly Fishing: Diversify your techniques with both baitcasting and fly fishing, catering to the preferences of different fish in the lake.
  • Bait Variety: Experiment with a range of baits, including minnows, nightcrawlers, and artificial lures, to entice the diverse fish species residing in Cave Lake.

Top 5 Recommendations for Fishing Gear at Cave Lake

  • Fly Fishing Gear: Opt for a 4 to 6-weight fly rod to maximize your fly-fishing experience in Cave Lake’s pristine waters.
  • Non-Motorized Boat: Choose a small, non-motorized boat for tranquil angling, adhering to the lake’s regulations prohibiting motorized vessels.
  • Trolling Setup: Equip yourself with trolling setups featuring minnow imitations or small spoons for strategic trolling, increasing your chances of a successful catch.
  • Baitcasting and Fly Gear: Carry both baitcasting and fly fishing gear to adapt to different conditions and structures in Cave Lake.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Visit our Gearlist account for precise gear recommendations tailored to Cave Lake, ensuring an optimized angling experience with the exact equipment we endorse.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Cave Lake, with its tranquil waters and abundant fish species, holds a special place in the hearts of anglers seeking solace in nature’s embrace. As we reflect on the experiences shared and the memories made amidst the serene beauty of this hidden gem, it’s evident that Cave Lake offers so much more than just a fishing destination—it’s a sanctuary for the soul.

Throughout our angling journey at Cave Lake, we’ve been privileged to witness the vibrant diversity of fish species that thrive within its depths. From the spirited rainbow trout to the majestic brown trout, each encounter has been a testament to the resilience and beauty of nature’s creations. As we cast our lines into the crystal-clear waters of Cave Lake, we’ve not only sought the thrill of the catch but also found a deeper connection to the natural world that surrounds us.

Beyond the bountiful fishing opportunities that Cave Lake provides, there lies a rich tapestry of history and heritage waiting to be explored. From the legends passed down by local anglers to the timeless beauty of Modoc National Forest that envelops the lake, every aspect of Cave Lake tells a story—one that speaks of perseverance, adventure, and the enduring bond between humanity and the great outdoors.

As we conclude our angling adventure at Cave Lake, let us carry with us the lessons learned and the memories cherished. Whether we return to its shores or venture forth to new horizons, may the spirit of Cave Lake stay with us always—a reminder of the simple joys found in casting a line, sharing stories with friends, and reveling in the beauty of nature’s wonders.

So as we pack up our gear and bid farewell to the tranquil shores of Cave Lake, let us do so with hearts full of gratitude and spirits renewed. For in the moments spent amidst its serene waters and towering pines, we’ve found not just a fishing destination, but a place to rejuvenate our souls and reconnect with the essence of what it means to be alive.

Until we meet again, Cave Lake, may your waters run clear and your shores remain a haven for anglers and adventurers alike. Thank you for the memories, the laughter, and the countless moments of tranquility that have enriched our lives in ways we’ll never forget.