Decoding the Depths: A Definitive Guide to Fee Reservoir’s Hidden Fishing Treasures

Fee Reservoir, situated amidst the rugged terrain of Lassen and Modoc Counties, California, may not immediately strike one as an angler’s paradise. However, beneath its unassuming surface lies a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. This guide serves as your compass through the vibrant world of Fee Reservoir’s fish species, its historical backdrop, and indispensable tips to ensure a fulfilling angling adventure.

At Fee Reservoir, anglers are treated to a diverse array of fish species, each presenting its own unique challenge and allure. From the prized rainbow trout to the elusive kokanee salmon and the spirited black crappie, there’s something here to captivate every fishing aficionado. Whether you’re an experienced angler seeking a new conquest or a novice eager to cast your first line, Fee Reservoir promises an exciting and rewarding fishing experience.

Nestled within the Modoc Plateau at an elevation exceeding 5,000 feet, Fee Reservoir boasts a landscape that evolves with the seasons. During spring and fall, the surrounding high desert bursts to life with vibrant wildflowers, offering a breathtaking backdrop for anglers. Despite its arid appearance, Fee Reservoir receives regular stocking from the California Department of Fish and Game, ensuring ample opportunities for memorable catches.

For first-time anglers venturing to Fee Reservoir, patience proves to be a valuable ally. Skilled anglers adept at deciphering subtle bites often find success with nightcrawlers, while those proficient in fly fishing techniques can unleash the full potential of this reservoir’s bounty. By understanding the optimal seasons, mastering trolling techniques, and exploring the northern shore, anglers can unlock the full potential of Fee Reservoir’s fishing paradise.

To maximize your fishing experience at Fee Reservoir, it’s essential to employ effective strategies and equip yourself with the right gear. Whether you’re trolling for kokanee salmon or casting for rainbow trout, adapting your approach to the season and conditions is key. With medium to heavy-action rods, quality reels, and a diverse selection of lures at your disposal, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges and savor the triumphs that Fee Reservoir has to offer.

In conclusion, Fee Reservoir stands as a testament to the hidden treasures awaiting discovery amidst California’s diverse landscapes. As you embark on your angling adventure at Fee Reservoir, armed with newfound knowledge and equipped with the right gear, may you find not only a bounty of fish but also moments of tranquility and connection with nature. So, pack your gear, chart your course, and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Fee Reservoir’s fishing haven.

Fish Species at Fee Reservoir

Fee Reservoir is teeming with various fish species, offering anglers an exciting mix of challenges and rewards. The key species to target include:

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Pygmy Whitefish
  • Redband Trout
  • Black Crappie
  • White Crappie

Each species presents a unique fishing experience, making Fee Reservoir a versatile destination for anglers of all preferences.

A Glimpse into Fee Reservoir’s History

Situated at an elevation of 5,329 feet on the Modoc Plateau, Fee Reservoir boasts a distinctive setting typical of Modoc County’s high desert region. During early summer, the stark landscape transforms with vibrant wildflowers, creating a picturesque backdrop for anglers. Despite its initial appearance, Fee Reservoir conceals a secret: the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) regularly stocks the lake with cutthroat trout, catchable rainbow trout, and Eagle Lake trout, with some reaching impressive weights of 2.5–3 pounds or more.

Top 5 Tips for First-Time Anglers at Fee Reservoir

  1. Patience Pays Off: Fee Reservoir’s elusive, larger fish require persistence. Skilled anglers armed with nightcrawlers often find success, especially when employing a light touch to discern subtle bites.
  2. Master the Art of Fly Fishing: For those with fly fishing expertise, Fee Reservoir is a treasure trove. The skillful use of fly fishing techniques can yield impressive catches.
  3. Optimal Seasons for Angling: Plan your visit during spring and fall when cooler water temperatures make the fish more active, enhancing your chances of a successful catch.
  4. Timing is Everything: Be strategic about the time of day you choose to fish. Certain species may be more active during dawn or dusk, so plan your fishing trips accordingly.
  5. Explore the North Shore: The northern end of the lake is often more productive. Shore fishing from various public access points along the north shore can yield excellent results.

Top 5 Strategies for Maximizing Your Fishing Experience

  1. Know the Season: Tailor your fishing approach based on the season. Spring and fall are optimal, but understanding the specific behaviors of each fish species during different months can significantly boost your success.
  2. Master Trolling Techniques: Trolling is a favored method at Fee Reservoir. Experiment with different speeds and depths to find what works best for the specific species you’re targeting.
  3. Diversify Your Bait: While minnows, nightcrawlers, and artificial lures are effective, consider experimenting with various bait options to adapt to the preferences of the fish on any given day.
  4. Be Mindful of Modoc Sucker Fish: As an endangered species, the Modoc sucker fish inhabits Fee Reservoir. Anglers must exercise caution to avoid catching them and release them promptly if caught accidentally.
  5. Check Current Conditions: Due to water demand for irrigation, Fee Reservoir experiences significant drawdowns and erratic level fluctuations. Stay informed about current water conditions before planning your fishing excursion.

Top 5 Gear Recommendations for Fee Reservoir

  1. Rods: Opt for medium to heavy-action rods suitable for handling the diverse fish species in the reservoir.
  2. Reels: Invest in quality spinning or baitcasting reels with a smooth drag system to enhance your control during varied fishing conditions.
  3. Lures: Carry a mix of lures, including spinners, jigs, and crankbaits, to cater to the preferences of different fish species.
  4. Check Our Gearlist: Explore our Gearlist account for specific recommendations on rods, reels, and lures that we use to maximize fishing experiences at Fee Reservoir.
  5. Be Well-Equipped: Ensure you have the necessary accessories, such as a reliable tackle box, appropriate fishing lines, and a comfortable fishing chair, to make your angling adventure seamless.

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.


Fee Reservoir, nestled within the rugged expanse of Lassen and Modoc Counties, California, stands as a testament to the untapped wonders hidden within our natural landscapes. Beyond its unassuming facade lies a sanctuary for anglers, where the thrill of the catch and the serenity of nature converge to create unforgettable experiences. As anglers depart from Fee Reservoir, they carry with them not just the memories of their catches but also a deeper appreciation for the beauty and resilience of our natural world.

In traversing the waters of Fee Reservoir, anglers encounter more than just fish; they immerse themselves in a living ecosystem teeming with life and vitality. From the majestic rainbow trout to the elusive kokanee salmon, each species contributes to the intricate tapestry of life that thrives within the reservoir’s depths. As anglers reel in their catches, they become stewards of this delicate ecosystem, cherishing its beauty and safeguarding its future for generations to come.

As the seasons ebb and flow, Fee Reservoir undergoes a transformation, offering a dynamic backdrop for anglers to explore. From the vibrant blooms of spring to the golden hues of autumn, each season brings its own magic to the reservoir’s shores. Despite the passage of time, Fee Reservoir remains a steadfast beacon of natural beauty, inviting anglers to return time and time again to witness its ever-changing splendor.

As anglers bid farewell to Fee Reservoir, they depart not as mere visitors but as custodians of its legacy. With each cast of the line and every catch landed, they forge a connection to this timeless landscape, rooted in respect and reverence. Though their time at Fee Reservoir may be fleeting, the memories forged amidst its waters linger on, serving as a testament to the enduring allure of nature’s wonders.

In closing, Fee Reservoir offers more than just a fishing destination; it provides a sanctuary for the soul, where the hustle and bustle of everyday life fade away, replaced by the tranquility of nature’s embrace. As anglers depart from Fee Reservoir, they carry with them not just their catches but a profound sense of gratitude for the moments shared amidst its pristine waters. So, until we meet again at the water’s edge, may Fee Reservoir continue to inspire awe and wonder in all who venture to its shores.