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Friday, April 29, 2011
Trout Opener update

Notes from the opener
Three big browns pace opening weekend

It was a great opener, with the three big browns, topped by an 11-4 from Crowley. Check out my report in the Eastern Sierra Update blog for Crowley for details on the biggest brown taken at Crooked Creek. A photo is below on this blog.  Fun story.

Here's a few notes from the  week, and the opener...

Adopt-A-Creek’s founder Ron Scira, owner of Creekside RV Park on Bishop Creek, is bowing out as the lead dog in the fundraising efforts that for 15 years has raised funds to purchase and plant big Alpers fish in Bishop Creek and lakes Intake II and North Lake. The organization will go on but Scira and his wife Donna want to spend more time with grandchildren. The concept has been, “plant big fish and more people will come” They have. Trouble is, Upper Deck Trading Co. has hit hard times and can’t afford to donate $20,000 a year as it has for 15 years, and now it’s up to merchants and private individuals to donate. Show producer Bart Hall gave the group space in his recent show in Long Beach and 300 members were signed up. You can donate too at www.adoptacreek.org and as Ron says, “We aren’t going anywhere.” Nearly every dime is put back into fish. Last year $27,500 bought Alpers fish for the lakes and creek. The planting schedule for 2011 is: South Fork of Bishop Creek and Intake II—April 30, May 13 and 2, June 14, July 15, Aug. 1 and 20, Oct. 7 and 21. For Middle Fork and North Lake—May 6, June 2 and 17, July 8 and 22, Aug. 5 and 19, Sept. 2, 16 and 30, Oct. 14 and 28.



THERE WERE 19 WARDENS on the beat opening weekend. I can live with that. For the most part they were friendly and nice to have around as long as you were adhering to the law. The DFG is always looked at nervously in regards to its hatchery commitment, but kudos to the biologists who worked to open lakes last year to hatchery fish while studies on the endangered bird the willow gnatcatcher were undertaken for each Sierra water. This year, all is good, and trout plants by the state are up 12 percent. See more in Martin’s column this week.

THE AUTOMATED license purchase was, as expected, confusing to many. Traditional license purchase shops along 395 did not have licenses for sale by machine, and paper is no longer an option, and thus lines before opening day were long with the Friday rush for those shops who did have the machines. Ernie’s had a steady line of up to 19 people waiting. Many people just did not know. Best advice is to buy them before you come up, goingon line on the DFG website (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/) or purchase at a local retailer. It will take a few years to work out the kinks. At least we don’t have to wear them any more.


CORY SHIOZAKI’s 20-minute segment of his soon-to-be completed documentary Barbed Wire to Barbed Hooks in the Manzanar Japanese internment camp during World War II was spectacular, shown at the Bishop Chamber’s press dinner Friday night at Whiskey Creek.Many people saw shorter, rougher versions of the film at the tackle shows in Del Mar and Long Beach with exhibits of tackle used by the internees as they snuck out to fish Owens Valley creeks and even the back country. It is a story that needed to be told, and Cory uncovered it. When completed, it will make the rounds of the film festivals, then shown commercially.

Sierra was ready for prime time


The 60 mph winds of the previous two days died, the skies were blue and the Sierra opener went of Saturday with quality fish at some spots, tougher overall fishing for stringers, and smaller crowds. That’s pretty much it in capsule form from this reporter. But the real headlines have to concern the filled lakes, a great season coming up, and the headliner of all, an 11-pound, 4-ounce brown trout at Crowley Lake at dawn on Saturday that likely is the biggest of opening day and likely the weekend based on all the reports coming in from WON staffers sources.


The 11-4 was caught by Lance Bussean of Sanger, with his buddy and co-worker Bob Jungman handling the net at Crooked Creek. It was caught on a No. 13 broken-back Rapala on 10-pound Vanish line and an old Mitchell 300 reel, and there were three others for the duo in the 4-pound range from that Creek area so it was no fluke. The fish were there, rippin’ on lures.

The two friends got a good tip on were to fish for quality browns, and they followed the advice. It’s too bad we didn’t get a better picture of the brown’s colors, but it was dragged around the lake for nine hours before it was weighed in and photographed. But it was a great catch!

Overall Crowley was kinda tough for quantity, but the quality was there with several fish in the 4- to 5-pound quality. Cold water and winds contributed to the slow overall action, but believe me, I saw some great stringers. Like I said, quality fish.

Convict had steady fishing from shore, with fish to nearly 5 pounds, so no complaints there from the folks I talked to today at Convict Lake Resort. Just nice limits.

In other action, Martin Strelneck of WON who checked in on the northern lakes, reported Twin Lakes at Bridgeport was good for stockers to 3 pounds, with Bridgeport the top spot for stringers and quality fish averaging 2 to 3 pounds and two brown trout were caught at Bridgeport, an 8 pounder by Jerry Rago on a hand-painted trolling lure, and a 9 pounder on Sunday. Three big browns on one opening weekend? Not a bad start.


Bishop Drainage lakes had a bunch of 4 pounders weighed in at the Chamber's Rainbows Days in Bishop. Icefishing was spectacular, I heard, at Sabrina. The creek was jammed with fish. Good times.

Full reports will be in WON this week in the May 6 issue.

Lance Bussean with the 11-4 from Crowley Lake opening day. WON photo by Pat McDonell




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