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Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra: Waters are prime for summer trout

BY ERNIE COWAN/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 17, 2019

BISHOP —Eastern Sierra trout hunters are often lamenting the dog days of summer about now when warm temperatures normally slow the bite.

This year, trout fishing is just reaching prime, and nowhere else more than the Bishop Basin where one of the season’s largest trout showed up at Lake Sabrina.

JIG IS UP — Actually is was a Minijig tossed by Ryan Lynch from La Crescenta that enticed this 4-pound rainbow at South Lake last week.

Patti Apted at Sabrina Landing reports that an 8-pound, 12-ounce rainbow was caught by David Wylie from Victorville with a Rapala.

“I wish I could tell you about his battle, but we were slammed at the time and lucky to get a picture. I ran out of the kitchen yelling, ‘no one’s lunch is burning, but I gotta see that fish,’ ” Apted said.

This is one of the biggest fish caught in the Eastern Sierra this year and is proof of great conditions. Water temperatures have remained perfect as cold runoff balances the summer heat, lake levels are at or near capacity, and lots of natural food has trout feeding aggressively.

Apted said the three inlets at Lake Sabrina continue to be hot spots, but anglers are also doing quite well drifting around the rock piles.

“Go upwind and turn off the motor, throw out your line and let the wind blow you pas the spot you want to fish,” Apted said.

Lake Sabrina should reach capacity soon, and in addiction to the 8-pound trophy there were several 4-pound rainbows landed last week.

behindeverymanBEHIND EVERY MAN — In this case there are two helpful daughters helping Ramses Banuelos show off a 4-pound rainbow that he caught at Lake Sabrina in the Bishop Basin using a jig.

The story at South Lake is also a tale of great conditions. Tom Bellon from Lakeside and a group of buddies returned with a load of fish, topped by a 4-pound, 7-ounce rainbow. His stringer alone weighed in at 12 pounds, 9 ounces.

Jared Smith at South Lake Landing said anglers are coming back with good numbers of 3- and 4-pound trout. Some anglers have reported up to 30 fish per boat.

Shore fishing has been best near the boat docks, the dam and in Boiler Cover at South Lake. Boaters and kayakers fared better than shore anglers and did the most damage along the dam, at the rock slide or back at the inlets behind the island, Smith said.

The forks of Bishop Creek have also been well stocked, and despite continuing high flows, the slower and deeper pools can be great spots to get that bigger trout.

North Lake is prime for both shore fishing and float tubes with the best action early and late. Intake II has been very busy but continues to be well stocked and an easy mark for limits of pan-sized trout.

Moving north, Rock Creek Lake and the surrounding high-country lakes are in full summer prime condition right now.

Rock Creek Lake and the creek below have been well stocked. Creek flows are high, but salmon eggs have been working for anglers fishing the slower runs. Ant pattern flies have been getting steady action in the ponds just below Rock Creek Lake.

Back country lakes in Long Valley are good for wild brook, rainbows and browns. Fish are feeding aggressively due to the amply supply of natural food.

southlakestringersSOUTH LAKE STRINGERS — Tom Bellon from Lakeside (far right) and his buddies scored big at South Lake with the biggest fish A 4-pound, 7-ounce rainbow caught on a Sierra Slammer. His stringer alone weighed 12 pounds, 9 ounces.

Convict Lake has moved into prime summer mode.

Trout sisters Roxanne, 8, and Cheyenne Pflueger worked together at Convict Lake to bring in a 3-pound, 8-ounce rainbow measuring nearly 20 inches. They were working a Panther Martin.

The folks at Convict Lake Resort say trolling at seven or 8 colors with Tasmanian Devils is still working and bait fishing has been good on the North Shore and jetty.

The water flow from the snow run-off has slowed down a bit allowing the creek to be more easily fished using salmon eggs.

The guides at The Trout Fitter in Mammoth Lakes are reporting conditions at Crowley Lake are god, with fishing “about as good as it gets.”

“Deep water midging will be most productive around Sandy Point and look for fish in 20 feet of water of more,” Kent Rianda from The Trout Fitter said.

Fred Johnson with KJ Flashers said trolling at Crowley Lake said trolling has really picked up.

“I fished with Ryan (Kitts) today we had 30-plus fish to the boat in less than five hours,” Johnson said.

comesupdoublesCOMES UP DOUBLES — Andy Reichle from Blythe landed these two beautiful rainbows weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces, and 5 pounds from the shore of Silver Lake using a Jig.

Small Thomas Buoyants in a brown trout along with Black Dot Frog patterns worked best, but trolling has to be slow at about 2 miles per hour.

Best trolling was on the U.S. 395 side of McGee Bay, Sandy and Alligator points, in front of the harbor and Chalk Bluffs.

You know the fishing is good in Mammoth Lakes when the bears show up. They know it’s good, too.

Lakes Mary and George continue to be fishing very well, but the upper section of Twin Lakes by the incoming waterfall has also produced some bigger fish.

Leo Aguabo at Rick’s Sports Center said shore anglers at Lake George have been doing very well with red and gold lures, primarily Thomas Buoyants.

One unidentified angler checked in with a 6-pound, 8-ounce rainbow from Lake George taken with a red/gold Thomas Buoyant.

Lake Mary has been better for boat anglers, with good numbers of 3- to 4-pound rainbows showing up.

doublethefunDOUBLE THE FUN — Robert Vasquez from La Verne had a great outing at Little Virginia Lake, using orange PowerBait to bring in these two rainbows weighing in at 5 pounds and 3 pounds, 8 ounces.

The road into Red’s Meadow is now open, but Aguabo said anglers are reporting intense flows in the San Joaquin River and not much action.

Rush Creek and four lakes continue to provide lots of action for anglers in the June Lake Loop.

June Lake continues to produce some huge cutthroat, along with a 4-pound, 8-ounce rainbow landed by Chris Kent from Simi Valley and nine additional fish by 9 a.m. while offering original scent PowerBait by the reeds.

Gull Lake had no reports last week of big fish, but the bite for 2- to 3-pound rainbows has been good for trollers.

Silver Lake has been well stocked, and the fish are biting.

“If you aren’t catching fish in Silver Lake over this past weekend, you might want to look yourself in the mirror and admit you are doing something wrong when it comes to fishing,” said Andrew Jones at Silver Lake Resort.

Water temperatures are now at an idea 53 degrees and that has helped the bite just about everywhere.

Nightcrawlers from the top and on the bottom have been the best offering, Jones said.

Andy Reichle from Blythe landed 5-pound, 2-ounce, and a 5-pound rainbow from the shore of Silver Lake using a Jig.

Grant Lake is full and continues to fish well in the evenings. Guide Dan Lengning put June Lake local Dan Vetter and his Grandson Jasper onto a 5-pound, 4-ounce rainbow that inhaled a Rapala at the Rush Creek Inlet to Grant Lake.

IT’S A KEEPER — Martin Hilliard from Central Valley had a good day at Lower Twin Lake in Bridgeport, landing this 4-pound, 1-ounce keeper while offering orange Gulp! Worms.

Lee Vining in the eastern gateway to Yosemite and also to high country lakes in the area.

It was a long winter, but all roads are now open, including the road to Saddlebag Lake. There are not services available at Saddlebag, but the lake is open to fishing. Lee Vining Creek is well stocked with DFW and trophy rainbows.

Lundy Lake is at capacity, the water has cleared, and fishing has been good for both shore anglers and boaters. Trout to 4 pounds are being caught on baits and lures.

Virginia Lakes might not have much room left for fish, having received over several hundred pounds of Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation rainbows, Desert Springs trophy trout, and DFW rainbows.

Carolyn Webb at Virginia Lakes said Little Virginia Lake has been hot, with Robert Vasquez from La Verne using orange Power Bait to bring in 5-pound and 3-pound, 8-ounce rainbows. Not a bad day!

Webb said she logged 32 fish over 3 pounds last week.

Things in Bridgeport area waters continue to be good for trout anglers.

Jim Reid ay Ken’s Sporting Goods said Twin Lakes are producing some very nice fish on most days, but other days are a little tougher.

“We’ve seen some good rainbows up to almost 6 pounds come out this week. The successful bait anglers are using PowerBait, crawlers and Mice Tails while the trolling has produced some fish with Kastmasters, Thomas Buoyants and Rapalas,” Reid said.

Fly anglers are using Twin Lakes Specials, Matukas, Seal Buggers, soft hackles and Zug Bugs.

Bridgeport Reservoir continues to kick out 3- to 5-pound trout in good numbers, although some anglers have been struggling to fill limits.

Reid said trolling with Needlefish, nightcrawlers and Thomas Buoyants has been hot on the good days. Shore fishing has been slow.

LAKE SABRINA MONSTER — This is the biggest fish of the season so far in the Eastern Sierra, a monster 8-pound, 12-ounce rainbow caught at Lake Sabrina by David Wylie from Victorville who was tossing a Rapala.

troutfishingsistersTROUT FISHING SISTERS — Roxanne, 8, and Cheyenne Pflueger, 5, are pretty excited about this big rainbow they worked together to land at Convict Lake using a Panther Martin. The trout weighed in at 3 pounds, 8 ounces and measured nearly 20 inches.

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