Mammoth Backcountry

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Mammoth Backcountry

Suggested Flies for Mammoth Backcountry area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
Griffith's Gnat #16-18
Henrys Fork Hopper
Chernobyl Ant

Nymph Flies:
Hare's Ear #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18

Directions: Enter the town of Mammoth Lakes from Hwy 395, take Lake Mary Road to the Duck Pass Trailhead, Lake George to Crystal Lake and Deer Lake Trailhead.

From the Duck Pass Trailhead at 9,200', the trail takes you to Duck Lake on about a 2.5 hour (3.5 mile) hike going up to 10,450'. Duck Lake consists of Rainbows and Brookies. The 'bows can get up to 2-5 lbs. in this lake. Nearby Pika Lake also contains Rainbows and Brookies.
The first part of the trail is a moderate hike going to Arrowhead, Skelton, and Barney Lake. Arrowhead Lake (12 Acres) is about one mile from the trailhead at 9,800'. It is shaped like an arrowhead with a large rock outcropping on the southern end. The preferred areas to fish are the inlet and outlets of this lake. A side-trail will take you to the lake. Arrowhead Lake holds Brookies and Kamloop Rainbows of a smaller size, 10-13". Skelton Lake (9,900' ele) is about 1/2 mile further or another 15 minute walk. Skelton is a 12 acre lake with Brookies. Fish the inlet side among the reed beds. Barney Lake and Red Lake is another 3/4 mile or 30 minute hike further at 10,100'. At Barney, a 9 acre lake, fish the shoreline opposite the trail. Both lakes contain Brookies. Barney Lake was named after Bridgeport resident, Barney Peeler.There are two Woods Lakes, a lower and upper. The lower lake has brookies while the upper lake contain Rainbows.Barney Lake

From the Duck Pass Trailhead you can take a different trail going to Emerald Lake and also back to Lake George. Emerald Lake contains Brookies. Hammil Lake and Way Lake can be reached by going off-trail from Emerald to the West. Hammil Lake contains Brookies while Way Lake is fishless.

At the Duck Lake Trailhead is another trail that veers to the east to Heart Lake. Heart Lake is at 9600 feet and is less than a mile from the trailhead. Heart Lake contains Brookies.

Crystal Lake (13 acres) can be accessed by the trailhead at Lake George, elevation 9160 feet. It's a 45 minute hike going a little over one mile and a 600' elevation gain to 9550 feet. Crystal has been identified with Brooks, Rainbows, and Browns in the 9-12" size. However, a survey by DFG in 2003 indicates that only a self-sustaining population of Goldens exist. About 4.5 miles from the Lake George Trailhead are the Deer Lakes. There are three lakes of about 10 acres each at 10,600 feet elevation and a 2200 foot gain. Each lake contains Rainbows. The waters of Deer Creek below the lakes to the PCT also have Rainbows.

© 2018 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.
Duck Lake Barney Lake Skelton lake