Welcome Fly Fishing Enthusiasts,
Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July holiday! Summer is now officially in full swing.
The month of June was a warm one, as most of the temperatures in the region pushed well above normal by some 10-15 degrees. Along with the record setting temps we received a couple good bouts of precipitation. Everything is pretty green right now and it looks like the month of July may be cooler and somewhat breezy for an extended period. The forecast is calling for low humidity and windy afternoons with little chance for precipitation the next 6-10 days. The forecast is ideal for camping and hiking or visiting your favorite lake or stream in the Eastern Sierras. Bishop area temperatures will be in the 60s for lows and in the mid to upper 90s for highs. The Long Valley and Crowley area will be in the 50s for lows and upper 70s to mid-80s for highs. The town of Mammoth Lakes and region will be in the 40s for lows and 70s for highs. Expect some wind in the coming days and breezy afternoons. The fire danger will be high so please obey and adhere to the fire restrictions while out and about. If you’re not sure of the current fire restrictions, check the Inyo National Forest Service website.
A brief look at fishing conditions in the Mammoth Lakes and Inyo/Mono counties is as follows. The runoff is done and gone. The West Walker River is still a little elevated and off color but should shape up in the next few weeks. All other area waters are at normal levels, although a few streams and lakes have levels below historical norms, like the Upper Owens and Grant Lake. The fishing has been fairly good and some locations are fishing very well. Crowley Lake has come alive in the last few weeks and plenty of hard fighting trophy size fish have come to the net for those who know the lake. The North Fork of the San Joaquin River by Red’s Meadow and the Devils Postpile National Monument is shaping up and there are plenty of smaller wild Rainbows and Brown trout to present the dry fly to. I haven’t seen any hatchery fish in the campground areas yet! The Backcountry is open and the hidden treasures of the high country are waiting! The Mono County Tourism Commission and town of Mammoth Lakes have funded a private company (Desert Lakes Hatchery out of Oregon) to stock some of the area lakes from Mammoth to Bridgeport with trophy size fish, much like Tim Alpers did in the past, along with the Ca Department of Fish and Wildlife so you could have a fish story to tell if you’re lucky and persistent
All the major highway passes remain open. Always check the road conditions before planning a crossing, as weather can change the pass status. Dial 1-800-gas-road for updates before departing if you believe weather might be an issue or if a fire breaks out, let’s keep our finger crossed we don’t have any major wild fires this season. One less spark=one less wildfire.
Safe & memorable adventures, Harry
OPEN YEAR ROUND
July 7, 2016 –
Flows are near seasonal norm and the water clarity is good. Weed growth is dense yet still very fishable with limited areas due to vast aquatic vegetation; hatches are good with trico spinner fall mid-morning along with good caddis migrations. There is a decent midday hatch of mayflies and the caddis emergence in the midafternoon. Crowds have been light. Fish the areas of deeper water and places void of weeds as many areas are a carpet of green. There are about 12 stations to fish, well placed casts and good short drifts will get it done. The wind will be factor in the afternoons.
July 7, 2016 –
The road is open and there is a mandatory shuttle required from 7am – 7pm! This gem of drive-in back country access is fishing well for small wild fish. No planting of hatchery fish has occurred in the campground areas that I’m aware of. River levels are near normal for this time of year and water levels are dropping daily and should be perfect by the middle of the month. All campgrounds are open. Both dry flies and nymphs taking fish look for the softer seams and pockets and near the trees lining the bank. Adams, Orange stimulators sizes 14-16 getting action along with Bead head mayfly and stonefly nymphs sizes 14-16. Hatch wise there is a good gray drake hatch midafternoon and spinners in the evening. I witnessed some large Golden stone buzzing around also along with caddis so the fish are looking up. The afternoons and evenings seem to be the best!
July 7, 2016 –
The fishing has been pretty darn good in the northwest end of the lake. The weather has become much more stable with a good southwest wind in the afternoon cleaning out the McGee Bay area of the green algae. Lake level is much higher than previous years at this time. Water temps are in the 70s on the surface as of July 4th but it should cool off with the windy conditions. The Lake was stocked recently with a bunch of 11-14” Rainbows, so smaller fish are starting to get in the mix with plenty of large trout holding and feeding in 16 – 23 ft. of water. Water is fairly clear with the first algae bloom in progress more of the pea shape variety. Midge hatch is pretty solid starting in some areas in the morning migrating out to the deeper water in the afternoon. Fish are in great shape and hard fighting! Both Black and Gray flies have been effective midge wise! Midge sizes have been on the smaller side. Good showing of Damsel flies with the nymphs migrating and swimming to hatch. Look on your anchor lines and tubes as they crawl up and hatch and dry their wings.
July 7, 2016 –
Flows remain near historical norms for this fishery. Currently flows are holding at 200cfs. The water is clear and there are opportunities to catch very large fish, but you will need to put your time in and cover some water. Insect wise midges, mayfly, caddis are hatching at different times of the day with some fish working the surface. The deeper runs and pockets are the areas to target with both nymphs and streamers getting action. Best results are occurring in the morning and evening.
July 7, 2016 –
All lakes have been planted in the Mammoth Lakes basin with the exception of Horseshoe as it is not stocked. Some lakes in the Basin have been receiving trophy size fish along with the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife plantings. This is a good place to get away, especially if you want to float tube, try Mamie or upper Twin and lower Twin as these are smaller lakes with good habitat. Try a Type 2/3 sinking line and a leech pattern in the weed free areas. A Doc Twin Lake special is a good pattern to start with or fish first and last light if the lake glasses off in the evening using a floating line and a dry fly. A small Adams or midge patterns like a Sierra bright dot will get action.
July 7, 2016 –
Currently flowing at 225 CFS and the hatches are fairly consistent. Female tricos and spinner fall in the early morning, caddis in the mix along with some PMDs. The swallows will let you know the hatch is happening, or the small song birds. If the swallows are down on the water there’s most likely a hatch or if you see the small song birds flying over the stream and darting back to a branch, the hatch is on. Fish are spread out and in pods in some areas, so you need to cover water. Once you locate the areas, you will be amazed by how many fish are in a small area. You will find fish in both the fast riffles and the seams and slack zones, depending on time of day and location. There is some good dry fly action during the hatch if you find the right area. Weather has been hot in Bishop so wet wading may be the way to go! It a good idea to have a wading staff at the current water levels.
July 7, 2016 –
Section ABOVE Bridge to Private property: OPEN YEAR ROUND Under special regulations
Section below the Bridge to the Monument: Open
From the Monument to Crowley Lake: Open
Flows are low, currently at approximately 60 cfs, and clarity is slightly stained below the Hot Creek tributaries. Mostly smaller fish, some planters, there some opportunities but fishing would be rated a fair. Views are spectacular. Crowds are light. The area from the bridge to the private property is open year round and falls under special regulations. Make sure you read the regulations and know the sections before you cast a line. Check out CDFW’s new app for fishing regulations and avoid an expensive mistake. https://map.dfg.ca.gov/sportfishingregs/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=CApuresend&utm_campaign=CAangerupdate_062016&utm_content=newtoolbutton
Hatch wise Caddis Trico with the spinner fall early to mid-morning and some PMDS. There are no real issues with flood irrigating at this time. The roads are dry with no mud issues. It’s a good idea to carry some bug spray with you, especially if fishing above the Benton crossing bridge, as the mosquitoes can be out in force if the wind is not blowing. Best to fish the morning as it can be a windy area in the afternoon with the forecast calling for windy conditions.