Lake Fishing Tips in the Eastern Sierra

Chris Leonard, a professional fishing guide for Kittredge Sports, shares tips for fishing on Eastern Sierra lakes.

Choose the right location. Take the time to go into a local fishing shop and ask the staff about the fishing conditions and which lakes are fishing well. They might also point out some techniques that work well for the current conditions.

Look for the bugs. Once you’re on the lake, look for the bugs. Fish eat bugs, so if you have a good bug hatch going on and there are fish underneath.

Look for structure. If you have a fish finder, look for structure under the lake. Fish like structure. It provides a good place for them to hide and to eat.

Give your bugs a bit of life. When you’re out on the water, you want to give your bugs some movement so they look alive. If you’re streamer fishing, give that streamer a little bit of action to make it look like it’s swimming around like a bait fish. If it’s midges, give some jigging to your fly rod hand to give that fly underneath some life so it looks real to the fish.

Choose the right fly. You want to know the basic correct fly for the lake. (You can check out the fishing report board outside of Kittredge or Ricks Sporting Goods or you can sign up for the VisitMammoth weekly fishing report newsletter.) Make sure your flies are clean. Anything wrapped with good wire is also good, and if you can use a fly with a color contrast, Chris believes it will attract the fish more. You might also consider a flash on the tail. Whatever you decide, you want to make sure your fly sticks out.

Don’t forget your rigging. Your rigging has to be precise. Like humans, trout are eclectic eaters who enjoy a variety of food. While some trout anglers will argue that the fly needs to be precise, Chris believes that trout will be interested and eat a variety of flies, so it comes down to the rigging. For example, if you’re fishing multiple channels on the lake, you might want to have your bottom fly and your top fly 24 inches apart and your indicator has to be adjusted accordingly. Consider using fresh gear, including a new leader and tippet so that 20″ cutthroat trophy doesn’t get away by breaking your line.

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