Crowley Lake Fish Report- Update by Kent Rianda 6-5-09

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by The Trout Fitter Staff
(800) 637-6912

Water Conditions: Excellent

The algae bits are starting to show across the lake now but overall still clear.
Weeds showing up on the bottom at Sandy Point 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:

Fish are still in about 15-18 feet of water everywhere.
Sandy has been the most popular place for midging but crowded. Try around the corner and down towards McGee about 100 yards.
The wind and T-storms have gotten much better and fishing up to about 1 pm is the norm.
Big Hilton has some nice Browns but it is long waits between grabs, but worth it if you prize size over body count.
Stripping just outside the weed line has also produced some large Browns.

Recommended Flies:

As the clear water goes so does the realistic. Start with Blood worms early, and then to red/ black patterns through the morning and then straight black dubbed head Optimidge has been the winner midday if no clouds.

The stripping has turned on finally and they will chase a slow-trolled size 10-12 Docs with a little flash. Black and purple working well but you have to get your fly down to them so Type 5 or very very slow in the tube. Try every cadence until 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:

I've had several inquiries as to whether I will repeat the Crowley University Seminar in SoCal this summer but I'd hate to "give a party and have no one come" as they say, so if you would be willing to spring for the 60 bucks to hear me spill my guts, drop me an e-mail at and I will put it together. The target would be like the third Saturday in August. It would cover all the same material as last summer's offering but would also include some new material I forgot last year as well as some new underwater video and more on deep-water midging, which we have gotten to know more and more about with the fish staying in deep water all this season so far.. The biggest difference in the seminar over just buying the DVD set is the expanded discussions on topics that resulted from questions. Everyone can throw in their two-cents based on their own observations and a revelation or two usually results, or at least you can possibly get an answer to questions you have on fishing the lake.

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 of 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 theory 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!

< Previous Report Next Report >

< Previous Report Next Report >