Who are We?
For those of you who have known me for many years, yes, I have renewed my California Guide License. My guide license #1209 is probably the oldest license on the lake anymore. I no longer offer guiding services. However, I can be found either launching my boat or cleaning fish at the Eagle Lake Marina a couple days a week. I am also found there every Saturday afternoon at 4pm for fishing seminars. Basically, we talk fishing & how to and where to fish so you have a head start at catching your limit with your own gear. I also can assist you in setting up lines for just the right depth, lures, baits for how you like to fish as well as how we are catching fish. I can mostly be found between Christie and Wildcat Pt float tubing/kayaking and fly fishing early and late in the season if I’m up to it. I can be just about anywhere in my boat “Dream Catcher”, but I’m not always in a pod of fish, I spend a few hours looking for new places and trout scouting. I try to get out as my body permits. I generally have some flies when all the stores are closed and never mind company or friendly conversation. If you are looking for a guide, the Eagle Lake Marina has business cards of those to call. I do recommend Robert Muller of North State Guide Service. He does it all. Fish and Game. He’ll work hard and I don’t know of anyone who’s been disappointed. He’s made me proud to refer business to him and I have known him since we was a teenager. Good man.
My specialty is teaching you how to get the most from your own equipment and suggestions for and/or setting up your rods. I talk, not physically guide. I do go with friends and family, that’s about it. The guide license rules are that if a person buys me lunch or a soda for information, that’s guiding so I just cover the bases. I did guide for nearly 20 years with Jay Fair and then in my own business Golden Bear Guide Service. Having stopped the physical work after multiple back surgeries made it so I couldn’t guarantee that I was fit and able weeks or months in advance. I don’t go out when the winds are howling and beat myself up. No other guides or their associates speak for us. Don’t believe what you are told come directly to us. Because of what we do (yeah, saving the lake has a price) many people up here want to cause some disruption in our lives and make you think you shouldn’t contact us. We let our reputation and website speak for us. All I ask is that you use your own brain. We don’t really care who is standing in the way of saving the lake. We either have to run over them or move around them. If they don’t want to help save the lake, but expect to make a living off the lake, that’s their problem. My choice is clear….I choose the lake. Thus, we formed the NonProfit Eagle Lake Guardians. We have formed an alliance with Trout Unlimited to assist in restoring a native spawn. There are issues affecting how fast that moves along. Eagle Lake Guardians are also assisting the State Water Board for our Region (Lahontan) in collection water samples of the lake in four different locations. We are working on many issues that have long affected the lake. Eagle Lake is a complex lake but has many resources in years of good water and snow fall. While drought conditions exist, it’s the best time to restore with lesser impact. Please see www.eaglelakeguardians.org for more.
I conduct free fishing seminars weekly during the fishing season. I can be found at Eagle Lake Marina store front patio Saturday afternoons at 4pm. We talk fishing. These are interactive and we simple discuss how we’re catching fish. People can ask questions about where to fish, how to set up the rods they have with them to have the best options of catching. I’m there for you. No question is ever stupid. Get to the right depth, right place and have the right arsenal & you’ll get that fish. Be sure to see my detailed “Tips and Tricks” page that will answer most all of the “frequently asked questions”. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 530-249-1430. I have unlimited texting on my iphone. I have held many quick conversations with folks out on the water. So if you are not catching fish, shoot me a text & I will get back to you shortly if not right away. I have even fixed fishing problems from other locations. Texting generally gets a faster response from me than emailing me or messaging through Facebook, but I’m there too. Quite often our cell signal is weak so if you call, please leave me a message and I will get right back to you when I am back in signal. Texts seem to always work! I am on Facebook under Valerie Aubrey AND Eagle Lake Fishing Information and Network as well as Eagle Lake Guardians. I try to respond to messages but depending on what account I am logged in on, I might not get it until I am home checking. Default is Valerie Aubrey.
You see some side bar ads on our site. We can accommodate anyone wanting an ad, however we don’t go out and actively sell anyone anything. We do reserve the right to filter advertisers. Many are friends and family. I have never been in this game for money, this is my hobby. When I’m gone, this is gone. But trust that the domain will be locked up for decades. LoL.
Our motto is All Eagle Lake All the Time. You can see Eagle Lake all year long in our picture and video gallery. If you don’t want a detailed fishing report which teaches you how to fish the lake and why it constantly changes then don’t bother reading our fishing report. We aim to teach you to fish Eagle Lake, any time of the year. If you have questions, just email me and ask. I will give you a detailed answer. Since I own this site I have no problem stating my opinions on how DFW, LNF, BLM and other agencies mismanage this lake. If they do something good, I’ll be the first to commend them. Until then, I’ll say what I think. I see more than they know and by experience I don’t always believe what they say when I know the opposite to be true. I don’t care if the agencies like it. What they do affects more than just those who visit, it directly affects those who live here.
Lake conditions are critical to the fishing and are updated regularly on Lake Conditions page. Launching is critical to fishing in summer and most of the time until fall and are covered on our Ramp Conditions page as well as having a yearly album where current photos are uploaded regularly too. Due to the lake still being well below her prime elevation, we are still using the low water ramp at Gallatin. We may see some launching at 1 ramp in Spalding for 2019 but that will depend on the lake elevation after spring thaw. Put them altogether and it will lead you to catching your limit!
My Fishing Seminars are not for hustling guide business. I don’t offer guiding services. I want you to catch a fish using your own toys. You don’t make the trip all the way up here for nothing. You probably would like to catch a fish and a limit or possession before you head home. I want you to catch that fish and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do, where to go & how to set up your lines. These Saturday afternoon fishing seminars are my only public appearances. I don’t drink by choice, so you won’t generally find me in bars. I don’t believe in hustling you to take you fishing for “work” as “hustling” is unethical behavior and my standards are higher than that. I guided in the 1980’s and 1990’s with and for J Fair and started Golden Bear Guide Service named after my two golden retrievers Bear and Goldie.
We lost Jay Fair on Dec 29th 2016. He was Mr Eagle Lake and will remain that for eternity. He will be missed by many. Glenn, Jays son, passed away in spring 2018. Arctic Fox will continue the Jay Fair trolling flies series and I’m the one tying up all the Jay Fair fly trolling toplines. We’ve made a few changes to insuring 100yrds of 20lb braid backing and the lines fit on a level-wind reel with 245-260 yard capacity for 14lb test. Some include Diawa Millionaire 300 series or Abu Garcia 6500 series reels. We are bringing back some of the vintage Jay Fair patterns we developed in the 80’s and 90’s so some of your old favorites will eventually and once again be available at trollingflies.com. I was very fortunate that Jay took me under his wing in the late 1980’s and I began guiding trolling flies for him. Not too many people can make that claim of having fished with and for the best. He also taught me to fly fish. Although I do a lot of things his way, I do a lot of my own way too. I began fishing this lake in the very early 1960’s so I have well over 50 years on this lake. I fish just about every method needed at the time, but my love is flies, trolling or casting. But, I’ll troll what ever I need to to catch fish. I don’t use down-riggers because I have never had to. I do have them, get em wet once a year and if I have a bunch of family out, I can get more lines in the water. Eagle Lake fishing methods can be seasonal and have a lot to do with the conditions of the lake at the time. Fall is by far our best part of the fishing season. I don’t catch and release once surface temperatures exceed 68F. Our trout just don’t do well.
We do not nor have we ever tried to sell ourselves as scientists nor do we pretend we know “everything” scientifically about Eagle Lake. Our website contains the scientific information from the government. We don’t compete with other guides, stores or anyone else. We simply fish and know what’s going on…and for the most part, many others are left in the dark. Due to this being a blog I can certainly interject my opinions, thoughts and insights. We’ve found that the government only tells you what they want you to know. Not what is really happening.
We have many seasons under our belts when it comes to fishing Eagle Lake. We have countless thousands of hours on the lake, caught many thousands of Eagle Lake trout every season and have seen this lake through many different phases and circumstances in which the variables constantly change. Adapting to those changes and anticipating the trout behavior to them is my specialty. Teaching others is my honor…when the dad comes up to me and thanks me for helping him catch his kid a big trout, my job has been done!
We also take great pride in our victorious battles against governmental pollution because we DARE TO CARE. What we don’t care about is the financial security of the polluters, their social ranking or whether or not they like us. Eagle Lake and protecting her for the future is our main concern. Doing the right thing in Lassen County comes with a price, if we worried about that, nothing would get accomplished. 1)The removal of the creosote barriers from the immediate watershed that were dumped purposely by LNF to leach out creosote for three years before they were to be burned. 2) No longer are people allowed to pour dishwater or wash their hands at the drinking water faucets where the drainage was not into the sewage disposal system…until 2008….it drained into the creek channel and was called “intermittent springs”. As of 2010 the intermittent flows of Merrill Creek were nice and clear….better than in the last two decades…maybe the massive amount of “iron algae” and iron bacteria were not “natural” after all. 3) LNF sewer ponds would be the same for years to come unless we began taking photos of the rotten pond liners with rocks puncturing the liner from below. Had we not been correct in our observations, these things would not have been addressed. Why the good old boys wanted to pollute the main source of their income is beyond me. Currently we are working to help restore a native spawn of trout & stirring the pot to get water back in Pine Creek. Too many years of diversions has assisted in the lower lake elevations. Currently we are working on the nutrient loading from cattle grazing on the lakeshores. We are working with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and Eagle Lake Guardians are assisting in water quality testing and sample collections.
I am a Chico, California native. My family has fished this lake since the mid 1940’s. I was dragged up here by my parents Joe and Jeanne Williams since infancy. We fished many different methods and never had a problem catching our limits of large trout.
I grew up fishing Eagle Lake in particular and have been doing so for the last 55+ years. I’m told that I could reel in a fish before I could walk, but you know how parents talk about their kids. I was disabled as a child and couldn’t walk until I was nearly 2yrs old…and residual problems from that exist although multiple back surgeries, knees and others have taken me out of a working role. I take pride in knowing the lake and like to share my knowledge in hopes of teaching people to respect the area and what effort it takes to maintain the fishery. You wouldn’t believe how some folks treat this area when they come up on a vacation. We literally pick up 3 to 4 garbage bags full of litter including beer cans, off the shoreline on any given year. We hope those folks stay away. Since we can’t haul heavy loads, we take smaller bags and just take more walks as time and energy permits.
My roots go slightly deeper than that though, my uncle, John Williams paved both Eagle and Merrill Campground originally and also repaired banking issues that came up after the first paving of County Rd. A-1 (from Susanville). After that we had nice campgrounds to stay in. (Uncle John also started up the outlaw race cars and built the race track in Chico CA. He was inducted into the Chico Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.)
The lake was open to fishing year round during those years. It didn’t matter that it was winter, we just wore more clothes. We spent nearly every weekend and hunting season at the lake. Both my sister and myself were good students and thought it was great to get out of a few days of school during hunting season. We were very fortunate to have grown up fishing and hunting here at the lake. We feel that we had the best years of Eagle Lake in the days when it wasn’t so well known.
In the late 1980’s my husband Randy Aubrey (a Marysville, Ca. Native and disgusted Founder of Project Eagle Lake (rainbow) Trout) and I began guiding fishing trips while working with my good friend J. Fair (as his employee). We moved to Spalding permanently and started our own guide service called Golden Bear Guide Service, named after our two golden retrievers Bear and Goldie.
Our website, information, articles, photos and blog are registered through the Library of Congress. All of our copyrighted information is free on this site. If you use it, please say where it came from….and that is Valerie Aubrey, Eagle Lake Fishing Information and Network. That’s all we ask. If not, you will be hearing from our attorney as the others have found. Thanks, all it takes is the legal name of where you got the information. Unwilling to do so, then don’t steal it. Unfortunately, we have had plenty of problems with copy and pasting our information by other publications. We had so many problems with one publication in particular that we had to get an attorney in order to stop it. Now, why would a big publication want to steal words from a woman with a blog and not even say thank you? We know who you are and keep a good eye on things. As stated, I’m not in this for the money, never have been. I’m in this for fun, to help you catch fish and to do what ever it takes to get this lake back to her prime for the trout, the tourists, the citizens, the property owners and bring back the Jewel of CA. You’re either with me, or against me. Doesn’t matter to me. Just don’t complain and then not take any actions.