Early Summer 2008 Fish'n Conditions

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by Tom Loe

Howdy friends and Sierra Drifters. Best fishes to all for the early summer "Fish'N Conditions" here in the Eastern High Sierra.

The long days this time of year provide the extended daylight to sample several diverse fisheries in one day if you are willing to make the effort. For example, you could fish Crowley Lake in the morning watching the sun rise over the White Mountains, head over to the Upper Owens River or Hot Creek for the mid-day snap, and then take a short drive up to one of the beautiful alpine lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, Rock Creek Lake or Convict Lake to do some tubing. Cap the day off with a great meal in one of the unique restaurants these areas offer and watch the sunset over the Sierra's crest! The diverse fisheries the Eastern Sierra provide this time of year offer a variety of angling opportunities for fly fishers.

The typical weather patterns this time of year begins with morning lows in the forties and the afternoon highs reaching near eighty. Lots of sunshine! Afternoon T-storms are not frequent but may occur and one should be prepared for this type of weather as the summer rolls on in the high country. You should anticipate late morning and afternoon south to southwest winds daily for another couple months.

Run-off from snowmelt has been low to moderate this year. The snow level is high, so it has not caused any significant flooding or horrible conditions in many of the freestone creeks that are influenced directly by this run-off. Although we had a below average amount of snow this year the region looks to be in good shape due to some cooler weather in the spring. Fall water levels in the creeks should not be poor; however you will see some very low levels in Crowley and Bridgeport for sure. The word on the high passes to the backcountry is "not yet" in the Central Sierra. By the middle of July conditions will change greatly according to the packers. Some areas will open sooner than others for sure, so you need to get information on your specific region or pass before you go.

The 2008 Still Water Classic at Crowley Lake will take place on August 9th and is shaping up to be another great event for a worthy cause. I am impressed by the chunky browns (put in by last seasons donations) we are seeing on a daily basis here and I hope you will participate to raise money for additional fish this year. The owner of the Troutfitter, Kent Rianda has teamed up with Crowley Lake management to be this year's tournament director. Kent will be a great asset in the administrative level and brings his energy and love for Crowley to the Classic. Rumor has it the prizes are off the charts this year! Please click on www.sierradrifters.com/fish.htm for link to print out the rules and entry form. If you are interested in participating as a donor please contact the Fish Camp or Kent as soon as possible so they can get you on the sponsor sheet.

The Western Outdoor News sponsored Double Haul in the fall has been cancelled this year. Lots of great memories for many and no doubt a tradition that will be missed. My hopes are that the Still Water Classic will become a tradition with you all for many years to come and with any luck maybe we can do another event in the fall and combine float tubes???

The fish survey results have been published by the DFG on Hot Creek and the East Walker River performed last fall. The guides at Sierra Drifters assisted the DFG biologists with some surveys. You will be happy to hear the numbers! Hot Creek had an incredible average of 12,000 (twelve thousand) fish per mile - predominately browns. The excellent DFG biologists that conducted the survey documented Hot Creek as being one of the most densely populated wild trout fisheries in the state. Another survey will be conducted this fall on Hot Creek to evaluate the impacts of year around fishing.

The East Walker River shocked out at just under 5,000 (five thousand) trout per mile and also had a dominant population of browns, most of them wild. There are some huge trout in this river, and way more than you might think! The EW is truly a world class tailwater.

I would like to ask all of you who love the East Walker and the Bridgeport areas fisheries to wish one of the nicest guys I know some good luck. Skip Baker owner of the Big Meadows Lodge in Bridgeport has recently become ill and we need to cast some positive vibes to this special guy. Skip has been instrumental in several successful fisheries enhancement programs throughout Mono County. Get well soon Skippy, we miss ya!

The guide team at Sierra Drifters wishes Mickey "the Turtle" Baron and Brad "Mothra" McClain the best of luck with the beginnings of their own guide service. We appreciate your efforts and the years of service to our clients. May your books be forever full. They call their outfit the Crowley Lake Guide Service and can be reached by contacting the Crowley Lake Fish Camp or their prior personal contact numbers.

More Reports

Fly and Field Outfitters LLC Reports
for Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Owens River: Upper Owens Fish Report 06-26-2008
Owens River: Owen River Gorge Fish Report 06-26-2008
Owens River: Lower Owens River Fish Report 06-26-2008

Fly and Field Outfitters LLC Reports
for Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fish Report 05-29-2008
Owens River: Upper Owens Fish Report 05-29-2008
Owens River: Owens River Gorge Fish Report 05-29-2008
Owens River: Lower Owens River Fish Report 05-29-2008