JUNE LAKE — Despite a week of steady winds that regularly gusted to 40 miles an hour, there were a few hardy fishermen that were rewarded for their efforts.
Jeremy Ross at Ernie’s Tackle in June Lake was typical of the fishing reports. “The report is windy, windy and windy,” Ross said. “But you can still pick up some nice fish if you are can brave the Bering Sea.”
Ross said brown trout are still being caught at Grant Lake, but anglers have to troll down to seven colors. Rush Creek flows have been excellent for fishing and Berkeley Mouse Tails are a good bet.
Mikki Frederickson at June Lake Marina said there are a lot of people in town, “but they are not coming out in this wind.” Those that are fishing are working the reed line and staying close to shore.
Frederickson said one angler caught and released a 4-pound cutthroat from the reeds. “The cutts are up now going after chubs. That’s their favorite food,” she said.
Andrew Jones at Silver Lake called it a week of “crazy wind.” “I have not seen it like this in a long time, with gusts to 35 and 40 miles per hour. We’ve had no boats out for sure,” Jones said. In the few periods when winds died down, Jones said mosquitoes have arrived and anglers using mosquito fly patterns are doing very well at the inlet.
The story was the same at Gull Lake with most anglers fishing the more protected cove at the back end of the lake, according to Steve Skidmore.
Saddlebag Lake, sitting at 10,100 feet, only opened last week, but is already receiving weekly plants of 900 pounds of DFG trout. Trolling and the Greenstone Creek Inlet have been the hot spots, with lots of limits including trout to 3 pounds.
SADDLEBAG WIDE OPEN — Saddlebag Lake west of Lee Vining didn’t open until last week, but the high country lake is fishing extremely well at the Greenstone Creek Inlet and for trolling. Dorothy Howard, 80, had one of those great fishing days at Saddlebag, including this 2-pound, 3-ounce beauty she landed during a three-day visit.
Carolyn Webb at Virginia Lakes Resort is always the optimist, praising the wind for keeping the mosquitoes away. “Anglers are braving it by staying in the sheltered areas of all waters especially Little Virginia,” she said. And that tactic worked for Brian Roberts and Danielle Almendarez from Paso Robles who landed a 5-pound, 7-ounce Alpers rainbow using salmon peach Power Bait.
Lakes in the Virginia Basin were stocked with 800 pounds of DFG trout and a load of Alpers trout weighing 3 to 12 pounds.
THEY’RE HAPPY CAMPERS — Brian Roberts and Danielle Almendarez from Paso Robles didn’t let the wind bother them at Virginia Lake, tossing salmon peach Power Bait to entice this quality 5-pound, 7-ounce Alpers rainbow to chew.
The big water of Bridgeport Reservoir also had whitecaps, but Jeffrey Wenger at the Marina said there were still people in private boats who did brave the winds and were rewarded for their effort. The Paul Benson family from Adelanto caught 37 fish, with the largest just under 4 pounds. “People who could hold anchors did quite well,” Wenger said.
The water in Bridgeport Reservoir is holding with winds keeping the algae bloom down and little weed growth so far. Wenger said trolling with rainbow Rapala has been good in a zone that extends from 3 to 15 feet deep. “That’s a huge zone,” he said. The best locations have been the Lone Tree and Rocky Point.
Winds at the Twin Lakes have also kept anglers off the water, but there has been some excellent shore fishing for limits of half-pound to 2-pound fish with Power Bait, Fire Bait and Thomas Buoyant and Kastmaster lures.
Jim Reid at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport said the East Walker is now flowing at 167 cubic feet per second, but the action remains excellent with nymphs, streamers and dry flies.
“There's been some busy days on the river so in some areas the fish are beginning to get kind of picky. You'll need to be on your game and have your presentations down to have the best success,” Reid said.
Bait, lures and flies are all working very well on the West Walker River, but patterns are changing daily, so Reid suggests checking in at Ken’s before heading out.
Big news in the Mammoth Lakes area is the announcement that the road into Red’s Meadow is scheduled to open June 29, providing anglers access to the river, Sotcher and Starkweather lakes.
Rick Flamson at Rick’s Sportscenter in Mammoth said the winds last week were bad, but knowing how to fish in the wind pays dividends. “If you walk around every lake and get the wind at your back, you will find good fishing,” he said.
Kevin Toole from Pismo Beach followed that advice to haul in 5-pound, 8-ounce and 4-pound, 8-ounce rainbows while tossing Berkeley Fat Worms from shore at Lake Mary.
Flamson said Lake Mamie is the most protected from the wind and Twin Lake at the base of the waterfall has been a productive location with a red/gold Thomas Buoyant the secret to success.
Mammoth Basin Lakes are being stocked weekly with both Alpers rainbows and DFG trout. Guides at the Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes say conditions are still good on the Upper Owens, but the best action is early and late in the day. The water is still fairly dirty, so use brighter and bigger flies. The advice is to go deep and heavy with concentration on deeper pools.
Hot Creek is running low at 26 cubic feet per second, but the water is very clear. Weeds are becoming a major problem, but hoppers fished to the far bank with a slap on the water so it makes some noise is getting results. Tricos are working well in the mornings, followed by a decent Caddis hatch in the afternoon.
Despite on and off winds at Crowley Lake, anglers are still showing up with nice fish. Robin Leathers at Crowley Lake Fish Camp said McGee Bay has been the center of the action, but late afternoon trolling at Pelican Point has been good for browns.
Crowley Lake local Rick Young has been landing browns to 5 pounds at Pelican point trolling Tasmanian Devil or rainbow Needle Fish after 3 p.m. Lots of Alpers rainbows are also biting, with Bryan Shiba from Torrance landing a 5-pound, 3-ounce trout and Brennan Silgero, 11, hauling in 5-10 and 4-14 keepers with inflated nightcrawlers in 5 to 10 feet of water near shore in McGee.
Water temperatures at Convict Lake are an ideal 54 degrees and trout in the 4-pound class seem to like that. Aryan Kamali from La Crescenta caught a 4–pound, 4-ounce rainbow with a Thomas Buoyant.
Action locations at Convict now include Dead Tree, South Shore, Inlet, North Shore, the Marina and Convict Creek.
IT’S A HANDFUL — Convict Lake is producing a steady stream of quality 4-pound rainbows, including this one caught by Aryan Kamali from La Crescenta who was tossing a Thomas Buoyant lure to entice this beauty.
The waters of Bishop Creek Basin continue to produce lots of limits, but bigger fish are getting a bit harder to find. Big fish of the week was a 4-0 rainbow landed by Tim Love at South Lake. Most of the week was blown out by high winds, according to Jared Smith at South Lake Landing
Many anglers who were blown off the lakes headed for Bishop Creek and did well with the ample supply of DFG fish being stocked regularly.
“For the most part, 10 to 12-inch rainbows were easily fooled on jigs, spinners, salmon eggs and ’crawlers in the creek,” Smith said. The slower moving pools and deeper runs are holding the most fish but the folks that enjoy fishing the fast runs picked off a few fish as well.
North Lake was on fire early in the week with Panther Martins, Roostertails and Thomas Buoyant lures a good bet. Lake Sabrina continues to fish well at the inlets and the rock piles when winds are not making life miserable. Anglers who move away from all of the activity at the landing are also having better success.
SOUTH LAKE WALLHANGER — He didn’t share a lot of information, but Tim Love did share this photo of a 4-pound Alpers rainbow he landed at South Lake in the Bishop Creek Basin. Jigs are working very well for 2 to 4-pound fish at South Lake.