Crowley Lake Fish Report- Update by Kent Rianda 5-28-09

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by The Trout Fitter Staff
(800) 637-6912

Water Conditions: Excellent

Very very clear everywhere.
A few weeds showing up on the bottom here and especially off Pelican Point. If you see more than 6 inches of weeds on your fish finder, the fish should be there sometime in the day on the feed.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

The same few places rotate daily as the best producers but no strong bites any one place yet that stay strong for more than a day. The closest to 57 degress bottom temperature still seems to be the ticket but the bubbles of warm water are constantly on the move. Another week and I thnk the new weeds will begin to hold fish for longer durations as all the water in the lake warms.
Here is my recommended route if you have a boat . . . Big Hilton off the point by the buoys, in front of McGee parking lot, Sandy Point, Leighton Springs from the bathroom to up near the rocks.
Fish remain in about 12 feet over the la ke but if you know how to set up for deep-water nymphing the bigger fish are outside in more like 20-22 feet of water. many places, typical of early season.

Recommended Flies:

Realistic is the key in very very clear water. #16 and #18 Dubbed-head, olive and gary/black Optimidges in the clear water. Maybe the flashback version or #16 Optitiger if the fish are much deeper than 10 ft.

The stripping has tur ned on finally and they will chase a slow-trolled size 10-12 Docs with a little flash. Try every cadence intil you find the soup de jour. The Crowley Cam is now at the Fish Camp and ready for your viewing.

Click here to see live wind conditions on Crowley Cam

Guides Hint:

The deep-water nymphing can be done with the break-a-way indicators we have in the shop but we have perfected two other set-ups that make this technique much easier and you are almost unlimited in the depth you can fish. Book a guide trip on Crowley and we will teach you these new methods and all of a sudden the area on the lake you can midge is doubled! Ever see those big fish stuck to the bottom on your fish finder in deep water as you are idling into an area? Now, I hit the brakes and pitch the anchors. The big fish seem to not be even slightly choosy at 20+ feet . . . they chomp it and swim off . . . no drive-bys, all solid takes . . . life is good!

A six DVD set of last summer's 8-hour Crowley University is now available for those who could not attend. This is a reference library you need to add to your arsenal if you fish the lake. It is a de facto download=2 0of everything I've learned in more than 2000 days fishing and guiding the lake. It is being distributed to various shops around the state and available at Trout Fly. Free shipping if you order by phone (800) 637-6912. This year's Stillwater Classic will be on Saturday, August 8th this year, so circle your calendar and don't miss it or a chance to help the lake! Note: the Double Haul has been pretty much shelved at least for another year.

Maybe I am just getting testier with age, or maybe it is the fact I spent a good portion of my life studying science and engineering but it really galls me when someone takes a few pieces of seemingly related scientific information and combines this with their own observations and comes to a personal conclusion and then voices that conclusion as hard fact. This is what is known as pseudo science ( and the reality is that it is no more than an untested or unproven hypothesis.
In this case I am talking about the latest warning from Tom Loe that deep-water nymphing is harmful to Crowley trout and should be avoided. I won't even bother addressing the holes in the logic presented but rather offer the findings of real experimentation, done in real studies, by real scientist, which you can go dig up on the Internet just as I did - "The data indicated no increased catch-and-release mortality of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) or Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) as a function of capture depth up to a depth of 10 meters . . ."
So, that puts that one to bed. Now here is what else the studies indicated that quantified what does account for high catch-and-release mortality rates . . . Air Exposure Ferguson and Tufts (1992) found that there were direct effects of air exposure duration on mortality of rainbow trout. Rainbow trout that were chased for approximately 10 min had a survival rate of 88%, however this fell to 62% for fish that were subsequently exposed to air for 30 s and survival was only 28% for fish exposed to air for 60 s (Ferguson and Tufts, 1992). So, take less fish pics if you really are worried about our fish!

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