Crowley Lake Fish Report

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)


by Tom Loe
8-24-2009
Website

The algae has re-bloomed once again and this has the fish migrating back into deeper water outside the weed lines that remain 14-16 feet. It is inconsistent here for sure. One day you get into some fish, the next the big banana. There are still decent still water nymphing opportunities on the days that the wind blows from the west off the shoreline of McGee and Sometimes Bay, but if the goo drifts in from the east, it can be tumble weeds and cactus in this area.

There is a small but potent area of a few hundred fish holding in the immediate mouth of McGee Creek. They are well educated and may not be for everybody. We have had better luck fishing callibaetis and Trico adults on the surface, or dry droppers with PT or gillie nymph patterns on the slick windless mornings. Go small-#20-22 on the nymphs. Early in the am one can do some damage in this area tugging streamers with a slime line and dragging it across the narrow channel. As the sun gets higher, these fish get extremely selective and will give you the fin most of the time. These holdover fish have seen it all and have been caught a few times but are really fun to hang in the short water if you can fool them. I netted seven fish here one day and four of them had a hook or line attached! The lake level is beginning to drop and this area will not last much longer as the channel is getting very shallow.

There is also an increasing number of mixed fish holding in the Owens Channel. I had one very good day with a bunch of "AWOL" river stockers combined with a couple handfuls of twenty inches. The weed line is extensive and there is thick algae out to 15 feet. If you can locate the channel you will find some big holes in the 14-11 foot range that are showing some promise as Crowley drops. Crooked Creek and Little Hilton have some fish, but success it is dependent on the algae issue. Lots of Perch fry this year and the fish are targeting on the   inch long eyeballs with a tail!

The chuck and duck gang are for the most part spanking the bobber lobbers if they can get some open water to themselves especially in the mornings. An "astute" group of fly fishers from the Santa Clarita Club did remarkably well in the early morning while casting streamers in a location I shall refrain from mentioning. Well done guys! The fish are holding in very small areas this year due to the extensive weed beds and limited open water around the inlets. Fish chironomid larva patterns very close to the bottom and keep your fly clean. Tigers and zebras are good representations, some call them blood midges because of their red-worm like appearance. This is due to a high concentration of hemoglobin in them from the lack of oxygen at the lakes muddy bottom. Look for better conditions as we roll into September and the water level continues to drop and cool.



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.