South Lake Backcountry

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South Lake Backcountry

Suggested Flies for the South Lake Backcountry Area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Elk Hair 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:From Hwy. 395 in Bishop, turn west on line St. (Hwy. 168 west).22 miles west of Bishop. Trailhead starts at South Lake.

Notes:
South Lake (180 acres) is within a huge crater at 9,768 feet elevation. The lake was created by an earthen dam in 1962 across the south fork of Bishop Creek. The lake consists of Rainbows, Brookies, and Goldens. Rainbows are regularly planted in the 10-12 inch class as well as some brooders and Alpers. Brookies tend to be 8-10 inches while the Goldens, caught near the inlets are 6-8 inches. The best float tubing is around the inlet areas and along the shoreline. The season is the last Saturday of April to October 31st. However, the lake is often iced over until mid-June.

Most of the lakes in the South Lake Backcountry contain Brookies and Rainbows. Browns can be found at Long Lake and Margaret Lake. Treasure Lakes (there are seven of them) hold Goldens and a Golden/Rainbow hybrid, mostly in the 6-10 inch class. Starting in 2003, Treasure Lakes #4, 5, 6 will have their fish eliminated by DFG in response to the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog program. Goldens can also be found in the nearby South Fork of Bishop Creek.

From the Green Lake trailhead (9,400 feet), take the trail eastward.
Bluff Lake : About 1 mile from the Green Lake trailhead at 10,523 feet elevation. Consists of Rainbows.
Brown Lake : About 1.5 miles from the Green Lake trailhead at 10,700 feet elevation. Consists of Rainbows.
Green Lake : About 2.2 miles from the Green Lake trailhead at 11,054 feet elevation. Consists of Rainbows. The trail continues onto the headwaters of Baker Creek.

From the South Lake trailhead, take the right fork trail which runs along the eastern shoreline to the Treasure Lakes. Named "Treasure" for the Golden Trout that have been planted there since the early 1900's. All of the lakes, except for #1 and #2, are no longer being maintained as a Golden Trout fishery in order to enhance the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog.
Treasure Lakes #1 and #2: About 2.5 miles from the South Lake trailhead at 10,690 feet elevation. Consists of Goldens and Golden/Rainbow Hybrids. Try the inlets and outlets of each lake. These two lakes remain outside the MYLF program.
Treasure Lake #3 and #4: Go .25 miles to the southeast of Treasure Lake #1 crosscountry. The two lakes are at 10,950 feet elevation. Has consisted of Goldens and Golden/Rainbow Hybrids, however, DFG is managing these lakes as "fishless" for the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog enhancement program and will not restock them.
Treasure Lake #5 : Take the trail past #1 and #2, it will discontinue just past the lakes and you follow the creek up to Treasure Lake #5 which is about .5 miles from #1 at 11,180 feet elevation. Has consisted of Goldens, however, DFG is managing these lakes as "fishless" for the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog enhancement program and will not restock them.
Treasure Lake #6 : Going past the western shore of #5, Treasure Lake #6 is .25 miles further at 11,190 feet. Has consisted of Goldens , however, DFG is managing these lakes as "fishless" for the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog enhancement program and will not restock them.
Treasure Lake #7: Just behind #6 is Treasure Lake #7 at 11,190 feet. Has consisted of Goldens , however, DFG is managing these lakes as "fishless" for the Mountain Yellow-legged Frog enhancement program and will not restock them.

From South Lake trailhead, take the left fork trail going east of South lake. Trail continues on to Bishop Pass.
Hurd Lake: About 1 mile from the South Lake trailhead. Must come off the trail and follow creek up to the lake at 10,300 feet. Consists of Rainbows.
Marie Louise Lakes: Two lakes at 10,600 feet elevation about 1.6 miles from the trailhead. You must get off the trail and follow creek up to the lakes. Contains Brookies.
Bull Lake: Ten acre lake about 1.75 miles from trailhead at 10,780 feet elevation. Consists of Rainbows.
Chocolate Lakes: Three lakes of 1, 4, and 8 acres respectively as you hike up the valley. Sitting at just above 11,000 feet, each lake contains Brookies. About 2.25 miles from trailhead going past Bull Lake.
Ruwau Lake: About 3 miles from trailhead taking either the right for through Long Lake or the left fork past Chocolate Lakes. At 11,050 feet, the lake consists of Rainbows up to 16 inches and good size Brookies.
Long Lake: About 2 miles from the trailhead, taking the right fork west of Bull Lake. At 10,800 feet elevation, Long Lake has small brookies, rainbows up to 12", and some very large browns (a 9 lb. Brown was caught there in 1983).
Spearhead Lake: At 10,900 feet about 3 miles from the trailhead going along the eastern shoreline of Long Lake. Consists of Rainbows.
Margaret Lake: At 10,970 feet, go .3 miles west of Spearhead Lake crosscountry. Consists of Brookies.
Timberline Tarns: Two lakes at 11,100 feet, each consisting of Rainbows and Brookies. About 3.6 miles from the trailhead.
Saddlerock Lake: About 4 miles from the trailhead at 11,170 feet. Consists of Brookies.
Bishop Lake: About 4.2 miles from trailhead at 11,200 feet. Consists of Brookies.

© 2013 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

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Bishop Lake Saddlerock Lake Timberline Tarns Spearhead Lake Ruwau Lake Long lake Chocolate Lake #3 Chocolate Lake #1 Chocolate Lake #2 Long Lake Bull Lake Marie Louise Lake Hurd Lake Treasure Lakes South Lake Brown lake Green Lake