Hello Fellow Anglers,
Three weeks until summer officially arrives and the longest day of the year! The local weather looks like it will cool off a little this week with an outside chance of some afternoon clouds over the crest of the Sierras and possibly a slight chance of a stray showers. Temperatures are forecast this week to be near normal with highs in the upper 60s-70s for Crowley and Mammoth, with lows in the mid-30s to low 40s. Bishop will be in the upper 70s to mid-80s for highs and 40s and 50s for lows. Spring runoff is in full swing for area streams. Most streams are at bank full capacity, some approaching breaching their banks or already have. Area reservoirs still continue to control large releases of water to make room for the runoff and some are rising rapidly. Many parts of California have set precipitation records including Inyo and Mono Counties. Snowpack in most places is still at well above historic averages for this time of year. Mammoth Pass is closing in on over a 100” of water since October. LADWP snow sensors currently on Mammoth Pass are still reporting 60-70” of water in the snow pack. Mammoth Mountain has received 616 inches of snow. Reservoirs like Crowley Lake and Bridgeport continue releasing large volumes of water. Road openings like Hwy 120 Tioga Pass, SR 108 Sonora Pass, Reds Meadow and Devils Postpile will be delayed this year, possibly opening late June or early July. The abundance of water will jump start fisheries that have been plagued by 5 years of drought. It sounds like some help is on its way after speaking with Roger Bloom from Ca Department of Fish and Wildlife Heritage and Wild Trout Program. Conditions should improve on many of the area lakes and streams; it may not happen overnight but the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife will be putting more resources forward in an effort to improve conditions and general fishing in a region that may have been neglected during the drought and faced state cutbacks during the economic down turn. The 395 corridor is greener than ever from all the precipitation this season. For current Californian Highway information call 1-800 GAS- ROAD. .
Looking at local conditions, most area streams are approaching near peak runoff conditions due to well above normal temps over the last 8 days and the abundant snowpack above 9500 ft,. The Memorial holiday weekend weather was near perfect with only light afternoon breezes. With the warm weather and the larger area streams like the West and East forks of the Walker River and Lower Owens River at peak flows a slip or fall could have life threating consequence. Use extreme caution as these streams are deep and currents are swift with very cold water temps which means hypothermia can set in in a matter of minutes. These streams should be avoided until flows subside. The Crowley Tributaries change daily depending on overnight temps and day time highs, All have seen the spring migration of Cutthroat and Rainbows and a few stray brown trout moving up looking for a free loose egg falling of the redds. Many of these fish have returned back to the lake and those that remain are much tougher to catch due the high water conditions. Area lakes below 8500 feet are completely thawed open and ice free including Convict, June Lake loop, Twin Lakes Bridgeport. The Mammoth Lakes are still under considerable snow and ice, although Twins Lakes Mammoth is thawing and has a majority of open water, but still plenty of snow surrounds the shoreline. The road to the lakes basin remains closed. Fishing in the area overall is fair to good with the lakes being your best opportunity. Crowley is producing as the water warms up and the windy conditions have subsided for the time being. This will definitely be a season to target and improve your lake skills as the streams are in their runoff mode and much more difficult to fish.
Note***** With the abundance of water the mosquitoes have become a factor so don’t leave home without good proven repellent as the first major hatch has occurred on both the upper/lower Owens River and adjacent areas. Best to wear long pants or waders and long sleeves shirts with tightly woven material or they will bite right through your clothing.
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OPEN YEAR ROUND
June 1, 2017 –
The creek is running high but still fairly clear. This winter had several healthy flushing flows and runoff has been pulsing flows scourging the bottom and cleansing the gravel and removing the sediment and vegetation built up over the last 5 years of drought. Hatch wise not much. Fish wise numbers are still on the lean side but very healthy mostly 15-17” brown trout. The fish planted last season are nowhere to be seen at this time let’s hope they moved up Mammoth Creek and will return when runoff is over. Plenty of scuds! I would suggest using 3/4X tippet and some lead to get your flies close to the bottom. Target the areas that are deeper and have some relief from the current. Short drag free drifts.
June 1, 2017 –
The road is closed and currently under 10-15 feet of snow! Look for the road to open just before 4th of July or later best guess and there has been no official date given. Late 2016 October rains pushed the flows over 2000cfs so the fishery could look a little different current flow are at 1500 cfs. Late July/August into September will be prime time for the Crown Jewel of the Sierras with backcountry drive in access!!!
June 1, 2017 –
Good News Crowley Lake levels have stopped dropping at the rapid decline of the last 8 weeks. The lake is still very low! LADWP will continue to maintain the lake at low capacity until more snow melts and the hydrographer calculations feel they can then retain the rest of the historic snow pack and runoff, currently there is approximately over 500 cfs coming into the lake and 500 cfs going out of the lake. The islands north of Pelican Point only exposed the last few seasons are about 6 inches exposed use cautions if boating on Crowley Lake as conditions are more like October levels and heading to McGee Bay from the marina could be costly due to the shallow shoals that are marked with buoys. The lake level should rise some 16-20 ft rapidly, just shy of the spillway if the water calculations are correct. LADWP will not put water over the spillway unless it is an absolute emergency due to critical Tui Chub habitat below the Long Valley Dam in the Upper Gorge. Lake temps are in the upper 50s to low 60s on the surface depending on weather and wind conditions. Good Midge hatch occurring daily in many areas of the lake on the warm days beginning around 9am. Best actions is on the east and north side of the lake Mid-McGee Bay south to Sandy Point and up toward Leighton Springs and North Landing. Perch are already biting in a pre-spawn mode or full spawning mode. For the trout target the ledges and drop offs or on the long flats in 12-16 ft of water with midges, Gray and Black midge patterns sizes 14-12 seem to work the best. Current bite seems to be from 7-11am the wind has come up out of the south at noon the last few days then laying down around 3pm but this pattern should change.
May 10th, 2017 –
All are open. It is best to read the regulations before wetting a line. The area of Crooked Creek from the Gaging station on the west side of Highway 395 to Crowley Lake is closed year-round. The fishing conditions and water conditions change rapidly due to runoff flood irrigation and weir cleaning. Some migratory fish are present so please handle these fish with care. Look for the heavy runoff to continue for some time unless we have a major cold spell! Have a proven mosquito repellent handy. The first hatch of a long season of the pesky insects has occurred!!!
June 1st, 2017 –
Mammoth Lakes BasinOPEN
Look for a delayed opening of the road and campground due to the current snowpack, more like late June! Open water on the upper lakes may not occur until mid-June. A robust snow covers the Lakes Basin with some areas still exceeding 10-12 feet. On some of the upper lakes the snow and ice was so thick ice fisherman could not make it through with their augers. Upper and Lower Twin Lakes Mammoth have open water with substantial snow covering the shoreline so use caution.
June 1st, 2017 –
Flows are extremely high!!!! Currently flows holding at 730-750 CFS. LADWP is discouraging any activities around the river. Signs are posted throughout the area warning of the dangers of high water. Best to fish elsewhere, like the Gorge if you’re in the area.
June 1st, 2017 –
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
Make sure you read the regulations before you wet a line as special regulations are in place on the area above the Benton crossing bridge to Highway 395. Stream flows above the Hot Creek tributaries is currently at or near 130CFS below the lower Hot Creek tributary 250-280 CFS. Some migratory Cutthroats along with a few Rainbows still present and a smattering of resident fish. The clarity is off color. Tea stained below the Hot Creek tributaries. Flood irrigating is in progress on the east side of the river so access is limited and some areas are very muddy and getting stuck is a possibility if you make a wrong decision. Might want to carry a shovel if you challenge the mud! A tow truck will be a costly mistake. Watch where you wade as fish have spawned this spring and new arrivals could be spawning. Handle fish with care as they are producing the next generations of wild trout. Please let the fish do their business! If you fish here beware the Mosquitoes are out in full force make sure you have a good proven repellent or you will be sorry!!!!! The worst times are mid-morning and early evening so it might be best to fish out there midday when it’s windy, if it’s not they will be out in force and you will kick them up every time you walk through the grass. I suggest long sleeved shirts and pants and waders or they will eat you up!