Crowley Lake Fish Report

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by Tom Loe

I must preface the Crowley report with the fact that ALL fish reports are based on prior conditions and past history. Like the weather, forecasting how the fish will be biting is not a perfect science in most instances. I have been a professional fisherman for thirty two seasons, logged three thousand guide days in eleven years, and must confess that the more I know- the less I know with regards to consistently, and accurately predicting what will be on a particular day of fishing. Ouch! That year thing kinda hurt to admit. You should take this simple fact into consideration as you cipher through the multitudes of information and marketing available these days from many sources. Conditions are constantly evolving. Fish reports are painted with a rather broad stroke of the brush and by the time you read them-the paint has dried.

Conditions are improving here especially out in deeper water and Little Hilton (11-13 feet) but the bite remains inconsistent and slow most days with well below average fish counts for fly fishers this time of year. We have had some decent fishing at times in the channels, and deeper water along the outer weed lines early in the am, then after the west wind picks up in the afternoon however, I regrettably must tell it like it is. Crowley has been poor recently compared to prior years.

The perch fry are amassing so have some smaller punk perch #14-16 to suspend under an indicator, or to use as the trail fly behind a Loeberg or damsel fly nymph. McGee and Little Hilton are the best. Look for the North Arm to improve once the flows increase on the Upper Owens. There is more open water here and a well defined channel once you get past the extensive weed beds. We have been doing split full day guided sessions fishing local moving water fisheries in the am, and late afternoon sessions here encountering better results overall on Crowley for sure. Witnessing the sunset over the Sierra's Crest while fishing an uncrowded Crowley is a great way to end your day. Crystal tigers, Gillies, broke back midges, copper pupas, and flashback PT's #16-20 are good still water patterns. Punk Perch, damsel nymphs, killa baetis, and Loebergs #10-16 are solid choices for streamer fisherman using a moderate to slow sinking tip line.

My good friend Gordon Stolla (a past winner of the extinct D-Haul, major contributor to the Classic, and is currently with his pretty bride Sue a major Crowley addict) is putting on record that Crowley will rise from the ashes soon and be great. We will keep you posted.

Who shall be crowned the "lord of the fly" for 2009 at Crowley Lake? Some of the finest fly rods the Eastern Sierra has to offer will be having some friendly competition to raise money for the fisheries enhancement of Crowley Lake. The 3rd Annual Stillwater Classic is slated for Saturday, August 8, 2009. Click on to print out an entry form and the rules.

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