Crowley Lake Fish Report

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by Tom Loe

The weather has been spanking us during the early parts of the season. The conditions on the lake are currently very good and I fully expect some great fishing as soon as we get a more stable period of weather.

Historically the "Mothers Day Hatch" of chironomids has been one of the more memorable periods in the seasonal cycle of Crowley and the weather forecast is looking to align with this event. Look for an earlier than normal "turnover" this season as the ice has been off for a substantial amount of time and although we have had some stormy weather, it has been warmer than usual this spring. I am seeing the "algae buds" already and water temps are climbing daily.

You will find concentrations of trout in 11-14 feet in the North Arm, Hilton bays, Sandy Pt, and some excellent snaps at times near Sometimes Bay. There are also some fish in Whiskey Bay and Crooked Creek if you need to get out of the wind.

Still water nymphing has been best overall, with the streamer tuggers having a tougher time getting grabs. I suggest you use a full or heavy sinking tip line with a "blood sucking Vanderleech", or Agent Orange #12-14 trolled and fished slowly near the bottom if you enjoy streamer fishing.

Don't be surprised if you get into a jag of Sacramento Perch while suspending those new "Broke Back" midge patterns, they are in full spawning mode and are holding in the 8-14 foot range. With a little practice and some observation it is not difficult to differentiate the difference between a light perch sip, and the T-bone hit of a Kamloops rainbow. I always say, find reasons to set the hook- not excuses for missing one!

As the water temps warm and the chironomids begin to become more prevalent in the trout's diet you should look to have a good selection of pupa or emerger patterns. Select them as your upper fly. If the hatch is coming off; lift your rig off the bottom a foot or so higher than usual and attach twin emergers. Use larva patterns for the lower fly like tigers and zebras #18-16. Gillies, crystal pupas, and emergers #18-20 are excellent choices for calmer, flat days. If the surface becomes "nervous" or a chop develops try the new Broke Back articulated midge patterns we are offering at the shops that carry our goods, or at our online store. They are truly deadly and work better when they are wiggling.

Check out the pics of some early Crowley trips by visiting our website at:

If you would like to go fly fishing with Sierra Drifters give them a call at (760) 935 4250 and for more information visit their website