Fishing in Mammoth Lakes
Aug 29, 2023
Mammoth Lakes is known as one of the most challenging and rewarding fishing destinations in the West. The beautiful, clear lakes and streams of the Eastern Sierra will hold you spellbound.
Fishing can be done in many ways—from shore or a boat, from a dock, in lakes and rivers and streams. There are a variety of fishing techniques in addition to gear, baits and lures. Mammoth Lakes has sporting goods stores and guides that can help you with your fishing needs. With all the different possibilities, there’s something for everyone. What are you waiting for?
Mono County fishing season starts the last Saturday in April and ends on November 15 of every year; however, the catch-and-release fisheries of the Upper Owens River above the Benton Bridge to Big Springs, the East Walker River below Bridgeport Reservoir and Hot Creek remain open year-round.
Anglers 16 and older must have a fishing license. You can purchase an annual or one- or two-day fishing license (valid for two consecutive calendar days). Information concerning license requirements, where to purchase and fees may be obtained from the Department of Fish & Wildlife or by calling 760-934-2664. Fishing licenses may be purchased in several locations around Mammoth Lakes.
Find out the best times to fish and where the fish are biting with fishing reports and forecasts for lakes and streams in the area.
If you don’t know how to fish, you can learn by hiring a guide or taking a class. Local shops offer a First-Time Beginner’s Package.
Fishing is a relaxing sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. You never get too old to fish! And getting kids started young helps them appreciate nature and the ways the environment works. The Department of Fish and Wildlife offers two Free Fishing Days each year, one on a Saturday in July and another on a Saturday in September. These dates are the only days you may fish without a license. What a great way to give fishing a try.
If you are looking for a place to go fishing, Mammoth Lakes boasts a variety of areas for the fishing enthusiast. The following section guides you to some of the many places with excellent fishing you can explore.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin (Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake George and Lake Mamie), located above Mammoth Lakes, offers wonderful angling opportunities for Rainbow, Brook and Brown Trout. All four lakes are stocked regularly throughout the season. As a bonus, the Mammoth Lakes Basin also receives heavy summer plants of trophy-sized trout, some weighing in at 10 to 12 pounds. These prize fish are fun to catch and delicious to eat. All lakes offer boat rentals, with canoes, pontoon boats and tackle shops available at some locations.
For those anglers interested in catching a limit of pan-sized rainbows or wild brown trout, Mammoth Creek is full of them. Running east from the Old Mammoth meadow area to below U.S. Highway 395, the small stream offers close to 10 miles of fabulous fishing.
Convict Lake, with its crystal-clear water, is full of beautiful rainbow trout and brown trout. Convict Lake is located approximately 7 miles south of Mammoth Lakes and is stocked weekly during the season. Convict Lake offers boat rentals, campgrounds, public showers, a general store and one of the area’s finest restaurants.
If you have never experienced an opening day on Crowley Lake, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Opening day at Crowley Lake is full of anglers battling the elements and the big trout. Crowley Lake is located just 12 miles south of Mammoth Lakes and offers camping at South Landing, a general store and boat rentals. Crowley Lake is stocked by the Department of Fish and Wildlife on their regular schedule. Crowley Lake features some unique regulations; inquire at the Crowley Lake Fish Camp before you head out to catch the big one.
Rock Creek Lake, Long Lake and countless small tarns all have an abundance of trout swimming in their pristine waters. Golden, Brook, Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat can be found in these alpine lakes. Rock Creek offers some of the most exciting creek fishing in the region, as trout up to 5 pounds or more have been pulled out of the creek’s rushing waters. The creek is stocked once a week from opening to closing day. Rock Creek has a general store where you’ll find fishing tackle necessities, pole rentals, licenses and food.
Some of the best fly fishing is along the San Joaquin River in the Reds Meadow area. At Hot Creek, try your luck at catch-and-release fishing with barbless hooks.
Discover the June Lake Loop with its four glistening lakes: June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake and Grant Lake. All the lakes are stocked with trophy-sized trout. There are five marinas, tackle shops, boat and float tube rentals. Rush Creek is the perfect spot to test your fly fishing skills.
Join in the fun of one of the numerous fishing derbies held throughout the season.