Fishing Hot Creek


With access to an abundance of high alpine lakes, reservoirs, streams and creeks, many of which are stocked regularly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mammoth Lakes offers some of the best trout fishing in the world. Monster rainbows, wise old browns, feisty brookies and elusive native golden trout—whether you prefer bait-setting from a folding chair on a sunny beach with a view, trolling from a flatboat on Crowley Lake, nymphing from a float-tube in the middle of a quiet pond, or casting barbless midges from a grassy bank on a quiet oxbow, you’ll find plenty of places to try your hand at outsmarting a fish—or several!

The general trout season in Mono County runs from the last Saturday in April through November 15, and most local fisheries allow you to keep five trout per day, with a total of 10 in possession. A valid California fishing license is required for residents and non-residents 16 years of age or older on all public and private land outside and within national park boundaries. Single, multi-day and annual licenses can be purchased online or through most local outfitters. Kids may fish without a license.

Popular, easy to access locations include the various stocked lakes in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, from Twin Lakes up to Lake George; and Mammoth Creek, with easy fishing access right off Old Mammoth Road at Mammoth Creek Park. East of town lie long stretches of blue-ribbon fly fishing along Hot Creek—the Eastern Sierra’s most-acclaimed fishery—and the Upper Owens River. If you’re seeking a more rugged wilderness fishing experience, try the San Joaquin River from Devils Postpile upriver beyond Agnew Meadow. A float tube or boat attached to your vehicle allows summertime drive-in access to the restricted Reds Meadow Road.

Special regulations apply in certain locations: Hot Creek and McLeod Lake, for example, are catch-and-release only, requiring the use of artificial flies with barbless hooks.

After the summer season closes and the boats come out of the water, starting November 16, some public fisheries along the Owens River, West Walker River, East Walker River and Hot Creek remain open throughout the winter for catch-and-release fishing with barbless artificial flies and lures. For the latest conditions and regulations—or for other fishing spots further afield—consult with staff at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center, a local ranger or one of the many outfitters and guide services around town.

Upcoming Fishing Events



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