Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fishing the Mammoth Lakes Area

A few notes on fishing in the Eastern Sierra region this week:

I dropped by the Carson River below Hope Valley (in the high gradient section below Sorenson's Resort) last Friday. I found good numbers of small rainbows and browns.

My next stop was Heenan Lake. I had given up on it a couple of years ago after my son Thomas and I walked completely around it and only found one small hole in the weeds to cast form shore. This year the weeds died off and the lake level has dropped, so the weeds are mostly gone, and the few remants that remain are dead and rotten and pull right up (don't catch or break your line).

I fished from shore and hooked one 21-22" Lahontan, but if I recall the recent result charts correctly, most anglers catch several, and the fishing picked up in early October as the weather cooled.

That evening I continued on to the Mammoth Lakes Area. I've fished the Upper Owens River in the short open section immediately above the lake, and although I'm finding good numbers of rainbows and browns (mostly 8-11" with an occasional one to 14"), for the most part the 5-10 pound spawning browns don't seem to have entered the river yet. People say that they move in when the weather turns bad.

I scouted out Convict Creek below Hwy 395 from the green church towards Owens Lake and found that it's very small and has a lot of small (mostly 8") browns, but it has diversion dams that prevent larger fish from moving upstream. I must have walked nearly 2 miles and didn't quite reach its confluence with McGee Creek. I'll probably try walking down McGee Creek instead next time.

I drove by Hot Creek a couple of times, and even on weekdays it's overrun with fishermen. There was a nice hatch going between the hatchery and the Hot Creek Ranch property, and the dozen people fishing in that 1/4 mile stretch of creek seemed to be doing well.

I'm going to try the San Juaquin in Devil's Postpile National Monument next, perhaps hiking a couple of miles to try below Rainbow Falls. Then I'll probably hit the East Walker River on my way back to Heenan Lake this weekend, possibly hitting Lake Davis on my way towards the Pit, Upper Sacramento, McCloud and Trinity rivers later this month.