Guided Fishing Trips for Beginners

Sep 02, 2022

Learning to fish in Mammoth Lakes can be daunting if you’re a first-timer or relatively new to the sport. From gear and technique to when and where to go, there’s a lot that you don’t want to leave up to chance if you hope to have a successful fishing adventure.

The Best Way to Learn How to Fish in Mammoth Lakes

Going out with a local fishing guide is the way to get your feet wet with the sport and familiarize yourself with the waters in the region. I always recommend beginners start their Mammoth Lakes fishing trips off with a half-day guided trip. Fishing is fun, but it can also be frustrating at times, so a full day on the water as a beginner fisherman can be a lot. After going out with a local fishing guide, you can strike out on your own and spend the rest of your fishing trip practicing the techniques you learned from the expert.

Mammoth Lakes is home to a number of fishing guide services that offer packages for beginners (read: anyone new to Eastern Sierra fishing, families or anyone new to fishing in general). Some even offer a discount!

Beginner packages include an expert fishing guide and the gear you’ll need for the trip. As cliché as it may sound, all you need is yourself and a smile to enjoy a guided fishing trip for beginners in the Eastern Sierra. Your guide will be there to help you build on basic techniques, teach you which flies to use and show you the best spots to catch those legendary Eastern Sierra trout.

NOTE: All fishermen 16 years or older will need a California fishing license prior to embarking on a guided fishing trip.

Fishing Guides Offering Beginner Packages in Mammoth Lakes

Fish Mammoth

Local fishing guide Jim Elias developed an interest early on while fishing for striped bass and bluefish on his father’s boat off the coast of New Jersey. He picked up his first fly rod in 2008 and found his way to the waters of the Eastern Sierra a year later. He worked at The Trout Fly & Troutfitter, first as a sales clerk and eventually as a guide before starting his own guide service, Fish Mammoth, in 2018. 
Jim offers two guided fishing packages that are perfect for beginners—both half-day options that cover the basics of fly fishing before you head out on the water. Choose from the Walk & Wade or a boat trip on Crowley Lake. Beginner trips start at $280 for one to two anglers, with the option to add up to two more people (a total of four guests) for $75 per person.

The Troutfitter & Trout Fly

Part of the local fishing community since 1992, the Troutfitter & Trout Fly operates a full-service fly shop in Mammoth Lakes and offers guided fishing trips in the lakes and creeks in the region. Whether you’re interested in boat trips, float tube fishing or wading in streams, the Troutfitter & Trout Fly can put together a trip to suit your needs and interests.

Beginners can take advantage of the first-timer and family rates, a $50 savings, for a 5-hour comprehensive fly fishing lesson. All of the gear is included in the price of the trip.  Your guide can even provide transportation if you are visiting Mammoth Lakes without a car.

Sierra Drifters Guide Service

Offering guided fishing trips in the Eastern Sierra since 1997, Sierra Drifters Guide Service offers guided drift boat, still water and wading services. In addition to fishing the public waters of Mono and Inyo counties, Sierra Drifters clients have access to a private pond with only wild trout (many growing well into trophy size), which provide a unique fishing experience.

Any guided fishing trip can be customized to meet beginners’ needs. Half-day trips run about 4.5 hours. Or opt for a full-day trip, which includes 8 hours of instruction. All of the gear you’ll need, plus transportation to and from your fishing destination is included. You’ll learn about casting, rigging your rod, trout behavior and diets, landing a fish and how to practice sustainable fishing with CPR or catch, photo, release.

Kevin Peterson’s Fly Fishing Adventure

Owner Kevin Peterson of Kevin Peterson’s Fly Fishing Adventures has lived and fished in Mammoth Lakes since 1982, and his roster of local fishing guides all boast a similar tenure. Many of the guides also specialize in teaching beginners and families how to fish.

First-timers can save $50 on 5-hour fly fishing trip for one or two anglers. Everything you need is included in the package. Throughout the day, your guide will teach you the basics of using a fly rod, how to read the water, what flies you’ll find on the water and catch and release practices.

Kittredge Sports

Kittredge Sports has a long history of offering guided fishing trips in the Eastern Sierra. Expert guides, including Bob, Susie, Dave and Fred, are serious about fishing and providing a great experience to first-timers.

The special spin or trolling package is great for families who want to learn to fish together. Gear, a guide and a boat are included in this $375 package. The guided family trip has space for one adult and two children or two adults and one child.

Stop the shop and see Terry and the staff to learn more and book your guided fishing trip.

Sign up for the Fishing eNewsletter

Get fishing tips from local experts and updates every Tuesday throughout fishing season.


Meghan Miranda

Meghan has been living and playing in Mammoth Lakes since 2016. She enjoys any outdoor activities that her dogs can tag along for. See more of Meghan's adventures on her blog Meg Moves Mountains.

More Blog Posts By Meghan Miranda

More Posts

Like this