Mammoth Lakes

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Click for Mammoth Lakes, California Forecast
Mammoth Lakes

Suggested Flies for the Mammoth Lakes:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Streamer Flies:
Crystal Bugger #8-10
Twin Lake Specials #8-10
Muddler Minnow
Mohair Leech #8-10
Marabou Leech #8-10
Sheep Creek Special #8-10
Matuka #6-10

Hare's Ear Nymph #12-18
Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-18
Brassie #16-18
Zug Bug #16-18
Prince Nymph #14-16
San Juan Worms #16-18
Lightning Bug #16-18
Copper John #14-16

Callibaetis Cripple
Elk Hair Caddis #12-18
Royal Stimulator #8-14
Griffith Gnats #12-16
Yellow Humpy #12-16
Parachute Adams #16-22
Sierra Bright Dot #12-18
Mosquito #16-20

Directions:These lakes are at 8700' in the Inyo National Forest. Turn off US 395, head west on Highway 203 (Minaret Summit Road); go four miles, then turn left onto Lake Mary Road; it's another three miles to the water's edge.

Mammoth LakesMammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes consist of a chain of lakes within close proximity. It can be heavily fished but enough stocking is maintained to keep the trout population healthy. The lakes carry Brook, Brown, and Rainbow, although McLeod Lake is also known for it's Lahontan Cutthroats.The lakes outlet into Mammoth Creek and then onto the Owens River. Generally, streamers like the Twin Lakes Special, do quite well in all the lakes. During mid-summer, a decent Callibaetis Hatch comes off in the weedier areas of the lakes and this is a good time to fish some dries such as Adams and Callibaetis Cripples when the fish are hitting the surface. The season if the last Saturday of April to November 15th. The lakes are often iced-over until May with access restricted until June.

Twin Lakes is at 8,480' with Rainbows, Browns, and Brookies. Lower Twin is shallow with heavy weed growth. Many fly fishermen use nymphs within this section. A very good Callibaetis hatch occurs from mid-June through July. Use callibaetis dries near shoreline vegetation and aquatic plants during low light periods of the day. Lower Twin is connected to Upper Twin by a narrow connector stream. Upper Twin is deeper and has a good area at the outlet next to the falls. Streamers are very good within this area. The lakes get a lot of fishing pressure and is planted with about 20,000 Rainbow stockers annually.
Lake Mary is 140 acres at 8,930' elevation with Rainbows, Brookies and Browns. It is heavily stocked with about 33,000 rainbow stockers annually and is very popular with family campers having access around the entire lake. Float tubing is the best access for fly fishermen. The lake is shallow so a floating line will suffice for nymphing. The outlet to Lake Mamie is a good area to float tube as well as the areas around both marinas.
Mamie Lake is 19 acres at 8,800' with 12-14 inch Rainbows and Brookies. Mamie is a small, shallow lake with heavy weed growth during the summer. At times, good size browns are found in the inlet from Lake Mary. Also work the southern and western shorelines.
Horseshoe Lake is 53 acres at 8,880' elevation with Rainbows, Brookies, and Lahontan Cutthroats. There has been recent volcanic activity within the area and the campground has been closed due to volcanic gas releases which have killed many of the area trees. The lake has been drained twice during the 1990's and has not been planted since. Some cutthroats do arrive from McLeod Lake.
Lake George is 38 acres at 9,060' elevation. There is a small turnoff about 1/4 mile southeast of the Lake Mamie outlet. George has Rainbows, Brookies, and some Browns. It is a deep lake so your best bet is surface fishing along the banks during the early morning or evening hours. The DFG plants about 24,000 rainbow stockers annually in the 12-14 inch class and holdovers can reach 18 inches. Some larger Alpers Trout are planted on a weekly schedule. The lake record is 11 lbs. 6 oz. Brookies are usually caught in the 10-12 inch class. The best areas are the inlets off the south shore working the drop-off. About 50 yards off the outlet is another area holding large numbers of trout. It is best fished from a float tube, try launching from the campground area.
T.J. Lake (12 acres) at 9,259' contains Rainbows, mostly in the 8-9 inch class. It can be accessed by way of Lake George along TJ Creek on a 1/2 hour hike. On the way, you'll pass Lake Barrett which also has some rainbows.
McLeod LakeCrystal Lake has a trailhead that starts off the southwest side of Lake George. It is about a one hour hike. Crystal is at 9,600' elevation, about 12 acres, and has Goldens.
McLeod Lake (9.5 acres) is at 9,250 feet elevation with Brookies and Lahontan Cutthroats. This lake is Catch & Release only with barbless flies and lures. It was one of the first lakes to be designated as C&R by the State of California. Fish the west-side of the lake for best results. A drop-off is situated about 10 yards from shore and you must get your nymph or streamer to this area to be successfull. The cuts are usually 8-12 inches. Access is from Horseshoe Lake with a one mile hike. Best success is with float tube.


© 2016 Steve Schalla
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Lake Mamie Crystal Lake Lake Mary Lake George McLeod Lake Horseshoe Lake