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We Couldn’t stop at just flies. now carrying everything but the fish!

Trout Fishing

Crowley Still Hot as Season ends


I was going head off to Phoenix last week for a family reunion.  The sudden rain

storms and flooding made us hold off for a few days so family could get their

houses in order.  Since we had a few days before we would leave I proposed to

my wife we head up to Mammoth on our way to Phoenix.  I said  “It’s on the

way”,  well it really isn’t but it sounded good.  I got the nod of approval and we

were off, two days of fishing Crowley.  A storm ripped through Mammoth and left

cold temps and snow.  We arrived Monday to cold weather but Tuesday and

Wednesday quickly warmed up.   The plan was to do midging and pass on the

streamer fishing.  To midge fish all you need is a 9’ 5wt rod, 12’-14’ of straight 5x,

and tie on two midges 10 inches apart with a split shot crimped between them

with an indicator to suspend them.  Once you find the depth of water you want to

fish, clamp some hemostats to the bottom fly and lower it down into the water till

it hits the bottom, place your finger on the fly line where it touches the surface of

the water and place your indicator 6 inches to a foot below that mark.  

The fishing was off a bit on Green Banks Tuesday and Wednesday so you really

had to work hard to find the fish, but your indicator would go under plenty of

times to keep the stripe off your back.  Thursday was going to be a half day of

fishing then start the drive to Phoenix.  The plan for Thursday was to fish 6 Bays in

the North Arm.  The morning started off cold and clear but once the sun crested

over the Nevada mountains, it warmed up quick.   The warm still weather was

perfect for the midges to start hatching.  With a few casts to different depths the

magic number was 13 feet.  Hang your midges in 13 feet of water, 6 inches to a

foot off the bottom and you were in the zone.  Every 3-5 minutes your indicator

would disappear under the smooth glassy surface.  This went on for……..  Well I

don’t get to say this much, but we left them biting.  All the fish caught were fat

chunky rainbow, even the smaller bows were thick footballs with big bellies.  My

best fish was a fat 21” rainbow that went 4 pounds.

This has been one of the best seasons in 10 years.  The fishing season will be

ending in a few weeks, so you still have a little time to get in on the great fishing.  

If you have been in the shop you know I talk a ton about Crowley and that’s

because it’s one of my favorite places to fish in the Eastern Sierra’s.  When I bring

up Crowley in the shop I get the same response:  “Crowley is a mud hole in the

desert”.  Well I’m ok with that, more big fat trout me!

About the Author:     

Chuck Loudat works at “The Bird Rock Fly Shop” in La Jolla CA.  He is the assistant

manager for the shop.  When he’s not fishing the Eastern Sierra’s or tying flies you

will find him casting a fly rod in the San Diego Surf or fly fishing out of his kayak on

San Diego Bay.

Lake Crowley Eastern Sierras Fishing

lake crowley trout

There are many lakes, rivers, and streams to fish in the Eastern Sierra's, but because of the low water conditions, Lake Crowley is probably one of your best bets right now. Located 25 miles north of Bishop, Lake Crowley is a man reservoir used to supply water and power to the Los Angles area. Crowley may not have the beauty of the high mountain lakes in the area, but what it does have is fat hard fighting trout. With a huge population of chironimids (midges), the trout done freely on these aquatic insects and grow to healthy proportions. Even 12 inch fish look like over inflated footballs. If that's not enough to dine on, the lake is also home to the Sacramento perch. The perch spawn in late spring/summer and their fry hatch in late summer thru September. This is a good time to strip a perch fry imitation or a leech pattern for some arm straightening action. The fish at Crowley hit the streamer so hard that if your not holding on, they will take your fly rod right out of your hands. There have been a few anglers that have experienced this bitter sweet event. While stripping streamers is my favorite way to fish Crowley, midge fishing is certainly the most popular and productive method. Using a floating line, indicator, two midges, and a leader anywhere from 12 to 25 feet depending on the water depth. This method will keep you in the fish for some exciting battles. If you happen to hook a Crowley rainbow these fish love to jump and get some air. Nothing like a fat 20 plus inch bow catching some air, they sound like 2x4's slapping the water. Popular midges include red blood midge, zebra midge, tiger midge, and when the hatch starts switch to white or grey. If your looking for a change of pace and want a few fish for the table, hook a few perch. The perch will hit midges and streamers so no need to change your set-up. They get big in Crowley and a couple of deep fried perch fillets with some cold IPA's from Mammoth Brewing Company is a great way to end the day. Now that your armed with info head up to this jewel of the Eastern Sierra.

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