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 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. Don't know why they call these Twin Lakes as there are three of them, an upper, middle, and lower. Yet, you could consider all three of them as one as the lakes have just a narrowing span of water between them with a footbridge or a roadway bridge separating the waters. 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. There is a footbridge that spans the water between Lower and Middle Twin. Watching your head, you can float between the two in a canoe or float tube. The Middle Twin is deeper and streamers work well within this section. A campground roadway bridge spans bewteen the Middle and Upper Twin. More headroom so you can easily float between the two. Upper Twin has shallow areas around it's shorelines but has a deeper 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. A couple of theories exist as to where the name, "Mamie", came from. One, is that it is a nickname of "Queen Mary" whom the upstream lake is named for. Two, is that the lake is named after a dancehall gal that resided within the area during Mammoth's mining days. 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.
Crystal 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. A fisherman's trail encircles the lake providing good access. The inlet and outlet of the lake can be productive. The lake has Brookies, Rainbows, and Golden-Hybrids.
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. Named after a USFS District Ranger by the name of Malcom McLeod. 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.