Fishing Spots for Fall Color

Aug 10, 2023

As the summer season in Mammoth Lakes ends, the touch of autumn begins changing the deciduous trees of the Eastern Sierra landscape into a breathtaking sea of brilliant golden color. Amid this fall splendor, anglers will find miles of vacant shoreline and dozens of bodies of water full of ravenous fish. With so many lakes and streams to choose from, the fish are always biting somewhere in Mammoth Lakes!

Once the nights begin to cool, trout naturally begin to actively feed in preparation for the upcoming winter months. The timing of this feeding frenzy is weather dependent. Check the most current fishing report for the area surrounding Mammoth Lakes for up to date conditions.

The Mammoth Lakes Basin

Perched above town in a broad, glacially carved valley, the Mammoth Lakes Basin is an autumn fisherman’s dream. With a background of unforgettable fall foliage, late season anglers commonly land big trout from the lower elevation lakes of Upper and Lower Twin, George, Mary and Mamie. As the deciduous trees begin to change from green to brilliant yellow, larger fish increase their caloric intake and start rising from deeper waters.

Insider’s Tip: When the fish of the easily accessible lower lakes aren’t biting, hike to the high country lakes of Skelton, Barney, Arrowhead and Heart, whose waters almost boil with brook trout. Willow-lined Mammoth Creek, which drains into Lake Mary, often teems with active red-bellied brook trout.

Convict Lake

In mid-to-late October, the quaking aspen and willow trees surrounding Convict Lake change to beautiful golden hues, casting awe-inspiring reflections over the trout-laden waters. At the far end of the lake, a serpent’s tongue of brilliant fall foliage passes through majestic Convict Creek Canyon. With so many natural distractions, it’s easy to forget that the late season is one of the best times to fish Convict. Like the Lakes Basin, massive fish rise from protected depths in order to feed and seven pound rainbow trout are commonly landed throughout the late season.

Insider’s Tip: Convict Lake is about BIG fish in the fall! Many of the huge rainbow trout caught in the late season are landed by shoreline fishermen. Inflated worms, simulated worm lures and spoons are productive near the outlet, especially when fished at depth.

June Lake Loop

During autumn, the broad June Lake Valley explodes in a brilliant array of yellow, orange and red vegetation. June’s serene lakes, glistening and glowing with reflected radiant foliage connect to miles of bubbling mountain streams. All along the June Lake Loop, anglers should expect to find active fish and an absence of competing casters.

Insider’s Tip: Fly fishermen will want to explore Rush Creek between Silver and Grant Lakes. Protected from the wind by steep canyon walls, this easily accessible area contains some of the most beautiful quaking aspen in North America.

Fish with Care: Autumn is spawning time for “trout” of the genus Salvelinus. More commonly known as char, this grouping includes brook and brown trout. When wading and fishing, be aware not to disturb or trample fish eggs or remove fish from nesting locations.