Crowley Lake Fish Report

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)


by Tom Loe
7-10-2009
Website

There have been some very good and steady snap periods when the extensive algae bloom clears out of McGee Bay after a sustained westerly wind; but all in all Crowley is very slow on average for fly fishers with a very limited amount of quality water open most days. It is essential that you fish in the weed/algae free creek channels. The huge weed beds extend well out into 16 feet of water depth in McGee and the North Arm. Combined with the severe algae bloom it limits the fishable water to only the defined creek channels in both areas. A Mammoth local who was tubing told me the other day he had never seen it this bad. He said his kick out from the launch area to McGee was a nightmare due to heavy weeds. It has been worse, but this year is noteworthy.

On a positive note, you can expect the conditions to improve here in about two-three weeks. The water level needs to recede and expose the weed beds. The algae will begin to die off within this period and a larger less confined area will emerge.

The callibaetis hatch is great this year and I suggest using our flashback PT's or Killa Baetis patterns while stillwater nymphing in the creek inlets. Pheasant tail patterns are solid representations of the swimming still water mayfly nymph and work well while stillwater nymphing or streamer fishing. A textured or nervous surface is best for this pattern. The chironomids are coming off and still on the trout's dinner plate daily, but not in large hatches due to the elevated water levels.

There are also a good number of tiny chubs, dink perch fry, damsel fly and dragon fly nymphs moving about so casting a small punk perch or damsel nymph pattern will do well along the weed lines if you can find some clear water without a boat parked on it.

It has become such a small area of fishable water that a couple of Crowley only guides have been going out early before the main gate opens at 6am and tossing marker buoys on a couple of the best spots in the McGee Creek channel to secure positions for themselves. They leave their markers unattended in the water and go pick up clients at the Fish Camp dock expecting to return to these locations. Leaving a marker buoy is not illegal according to the Mono County Sheriffs who also operate the patrol boat for the Department of Boating and Water Ways. They have informed me they have NO exclusive rights to this water just because they have marked a spot. The spots are open for all on a first come basis. You may anchor right on top or in close proximity to the unattended buoy(s) according to the law. The Sherriff will be speaking to these individuals about this matter so we won't have disputes the on the lake pertaining to who has rights to the water.



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 www.sierradriters.com.