Fishing
 
 

The Mammoth area provides just about any kind of fishing experience you could want. Looking for BIG fish? Try some of the lakes, particularly Lake Mary. World-famous giant-size Alpers trout are planted on a regular basis in some of the more popular lakes. Those are big fish. The local rivers include the San Joaquin, Hot Creek, and the Owens river, all world-class fish producers. Then there are many, many backcountry lakes and streams, producing good fish. At many backcountry spots you may catch native trout — good eating and a good fight.

Owens River (Benton Crossing Road area)
Classic Mammoth river fishing. Lot's of fly fishing. Slow meandering water to test your technical fishing skills without a lot of trees around to steal your flies. Certain times of the year you will need mosquito repellant, but it is often windy down there, which keeps the little buggers at bay. This is reputed to be a world-renowned fishery, with some amazing number of fish per mile. Locals report mixed luck at times. Good place to fish, great scenery, ignore the hype and enjoy the place. South on HWY 395 to Benton Crossing Road (at the green church), then about three miles to the bridge. Turn left on the dirt road and drive as far as you want, look for dirt roads leading to the river every so often. Just pick one. It tends to be less crowded the further you drive (crowding is relative — here in the Eastern Sierra that usually means one fisherperson every 500 yards. Usually).

Crowley Lake
Everyone knows Crowley. Opening day is usually a sight to see. 6000 - 8000 people show up. This lake arguably provides some of the best trout fishing in California. This is a big lake, and a boat is useful. They are available for rent. Float tubes are common. Try crawling all the way across the lake in a float tube. That would make a good story. Crowley Lake is just a few miles south of Mammoth on HWY 395. There is a marina, general store, 70 rental boats, most with motors, campgrounds, RV sites, some with full hook-ups. Crowley gets planted a lot. In August 1995, they released 900,000. There are two fishing seasons on Crowley — from opening day until August 1 there is a five-fish per day, no-size limit, and 10 in possession rule. After August 1 thru October 31, it's two fish per day, 18-inches total length, and only artificial lures with barbless hooks can be used.

Convict Lake and Convict Creek
Spectacular scenery. Boat rentals available. Launch ramp. This is a deep lake, and you can try for big fish. South on HWY 395 a few miles from Mammoth to the Convict Lake turnoff. Easily accessible from the parking lot — this is a good place to go if you don't want to walk more than 50 feet or so (you can also hike the lake trail around the lake if you want to reach 'less populated' areas). The best fishing on the creek is just below the outlet. There are campgrounds here and a general store for fishing supplies, food, and beer. There's a good restaurant too.

McGee Creek
Mostly small trout, but a beautiful area. Also lots of bushes and trees — so patience and a lot of extra lures are important here. Just a few miles south of Mammoth, turn right (west) at the McGee Creek sign and go up the canyon a few miles until the end of the road. Walk up the creek looking for 'YOUR SPOT'.

June Lake Loop
Lots of lakes — June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Lake. The June Lake loop area is usually one of the first 'high' country areas to clear of ice and snow. When the Lakes Basin in Mammoth and Convict Lake are still frozen, the June Lake loop is probably clear. By fishing opener in late April, it's almost always clear and a good bet on actually catching something. There are several fishable streams (Rush Creek, Alger Creek), marinas, campgrounds, restaurants, and supply outlets within walking distance. Definitely not a wilderness experience — but some of the best fishing around. Rush Creek is regularly planted. From Grant Lake Dam to Mono Lake it's an artificial lure, barbless hook, don't keep'em area. Reverse Creek is between Silver Lake and Gull Lake. Regularly planted, and easily accessible from local bars, restaurants, and other June Lake necessities.

Mammoth Lakes Basin
Twin Lakes, Lake Mamie, Lake Mary, Lake George. Planted often, popular, scenic, accessible by car, with campgrounds, and lots of big fish. Food, accessories, and groceries are available in the area. There are several classic mountain lodge facilities offering nightly lodging and eating facilities. Up Lake Mary Road three or four miles. There are no fishing restrictions in these lakes, and fishing is good all season once they actually open. If you're up to it, try early season ice fishing. Hike 3 miles carrying all your stuff, including a big ice screw, drill a hole, and maybe catch something really big. Just be careful of dangerous ice conditions. More than a few snowmobiles or people have ended up IN the water. Lake Mary seems to be the best BIG fish producer — during the summer, the famous Alpers trout is planted quite often.

Mammoth Creek
You can step out of your Snowcreek condo, walk 10 feet, and catch fish. Actually, from some of the units you could fish from your balcony. Mammoth Creek runs down from the Lakes Basin, through the edge of town, through Sherwin Meadows, and down to HWY 395 and on to Hot Creek and the Owens. Below town, there are some good spots (watch out for the trees and bushes though), and along the Sherwin Meadows area, it's easy to access the creek. You won't catch any monsters here, but the creek is planted regularly and you'll probably always catch SOMETHING.

Upper Lakes Basin and surrounding backcountry
From the lakes basin you have easy access to a number of nearby backcountry lakes. Take a mile hike and you leave the people behind. Easy walking distance to Crystal Lake, T.J. Lake, Barrett Lake, and McLeod Lake. Skelton Lake is just a couple miles from the Duck Pass trailhead. Catch and release McLeod Lake has cutthroat trout. If you want a wilderness experience without having to camp out, try this area.

Hot Creek
World famous, productive, and nearby to useful hot springs. This is a world-class fishery. Catch and release with barbless artificial flies only. This is the only place around where the fish are all natural, no plants. Fish to 18 inches are regularly caught. The best luck comes when you practice good technique here.

San Joaquin River
Very productive river fishing. The San Joaquin river begins at Thousand Island Lake, ten miles north of Mammoth, and ends up in the San Francisco Bay. Lose something in the river and you can look for it there. Most fish here are around 12 inches, but a few bigger have been caught. During the summer, there is a shuttle that takes you down into the valley. Up HWY 203 past Mammoth Mountain and down Minaret Road to Agnew or Red's Meadow.

Owens/Bishop Area
Below Pleasant Valley reservoir, you can fish the Owens year round. During the winter, if you pick a good day, you'll have as much fun as during the middle of summer. Yes, there ARE hatches during the winter — you just have to really pick the right day. But no matter what, being outside surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, throwing your line in the water, with snowy mountains in the background — well, it beats working. During the summer, the fishing can be very good here — sometimes it's very hot, but it can be worth the effort. The Wild Trout section of the river comes out of Pleasant Valley Reservoir and flows for 4.4 miles downstream towards Bishop. There's supposed to be 4,000 fish per mile living here, and if you catch one, you are supposed to release it so there continues to be 4,000 fish per mile.

Rock Creek Area
Rock Creek Lake is just a few miles south of Mammoth. There are a bunch of lakes stringing up the canyon, along with campgrounds, lodges, and some basic services. Rock Creek Lake sits at the end of the road, then you can hike up to Serene Lake, Eastern Brook Lakes, Mack Lake, Marsh Lake, Hidden Lake, Ruby Lake, Heart Lake, Summit Lake, Golden Lake, Patricia Lake, and Box Lake. How about that for variety? Rock Creek Lake is the biggest, and has access from the road and campgrounds. There is a five fish daily limit with 10 in possession here. Tom's place is just a couple miles below the lake, offering food, drink and entertainment. Go a couple miles south of Mammoth on HWY 395 and turn west at Tom's place, then drive a few miles up the road.

Other Backcountry Lakes
Some are close by, some are overnighters, but none are THAT far away. Leave the crowd behind. Skelton Lake, Barney Lake, Duck Lake, Thousand Island Lake, and many, many others.

Garnett Lake
One of the best weekend fishing trips is up at Garnett Lake outside of Agnew Meadows. Garnett is about a 5 mile hike from Agnew, along the River Trail, across the San Joaquin, and up a steep 1 mile hillside. There aren't many campsites at the lake, so you may have to be creative if you're going to spend the night. But the fishing is great, as is the scenery. You'll mostly catch native wild trout (REAL fighters) under 12". If you decide to eat what you catch, you'll notice a dramatic flavor difference between native and planted trout. The flesh of native trout is salmon in color (planted trout are white inside), and cooks to a very tasty meal. You can fish Garnett in one day if you're up to at least a 10 mile (mostly moderate) round-trip hike.

Brock's Fly Fishing
Brock's Flyfishing Specialists, Ltd., located in the heart of the spectacular Eastern Sierra, is owner-operated in downtown Bishop, California. Because they are owner-operated, they value their customers and specialize in offering personal service. They are a full service fly shop with a flyfishing school and guide service. All guides and instructors are licensed, bonded and Certified Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructors. Located just minutes away is the renowned Lower Owens River Wild Trout Section, California's newest blue ribbon brown trout fishery.

Kevin Peterson's Fly Fishing Adventures
We are located in Mammoth Lakes California, right in the heart of the Eastern Sierra. We offer 1/2 and full day guided fly fishing adventures, beginner classes and instruction for anglers of all levels. Also available, full service, back country pack trips and saltwater destination packages. Come see what wonderful fly fishing opportunities await you in the beautiful mountains of Eastern California and some of the greatest tropical waters in the world!

June Lake Marina
It's not just the fishing, it's the surroundings. June Lake is a beautiful glacial lake, snuggled high in the Sierra. And did we mention trophy trout? HUNGRY trophy trout.

Ken's Sporting Goods
Carrying a full line of fly fishing gear, spin fishing gear, firearms, and camping gear. Rental equipment available. Located at 258 Main Street, Bridgeport, CA 93517. Phone: 760-932-7707.

David Moss Flyfishing Guide
Join well-known Sierra Flyfishing Guide, David Moss, on a backcountry flyfishing adventure, or for instruction, or just to be shown the best local fishing spots. He's one of the best around.

Reel Mammoth Adventures
Reel Mammoth Adventures offers guided year-round fly fishing tours up and down the eastern Sierra. Great Beginner Package, Half Day & Full Day trips we fish the best local water-including private ranches. All equipment is provided including flies. Please call (760) 924-0438.

Sierra Drifters Guide Service
Offering professionally guided year-round drift boat access to the Lower Owens River, Crowley Lake & the entire Eastern Sierra during the regular season. Sierra Drifters is the pioneering guide service to offer drift boat trips down the Lower Owens River and is by far and away the most experienced guide service to offer these trips. Sierra Drifters is the only guide service in the Eastern Sierra to offer the services of a Licensed Coast Guard Captain and a 30 year veteran of fishing these waters. We will outfit you with all necessary fishing equipment — you need only supply a current fishing license and personal gear. (760) 935-4250.

 
 
 
 
 
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