GENERAL UPDATE: The general trout season opened this past Saturday (April 25) with snow throughout the region. For up-to-date road and campground information by region, call the following U.S. Forest Service offices: For the Big Pine to Lone Pine region, call 760-876-6222; for the Bishop Region, call 760-873-2500; for the Mammoth Lakes region, call 760-924-5500; for the Lee Vining region, call 760-647-3044; and for the Bridgeport region call 760-932-7070. Lodging and guide information: Bishop Chamber of Commerce 760-873-8405 or www.bishopvisitor.com, Mono County Tourism 760-924-1743. Top Eastern Sierra fishing report web sites are: www.KensSport.com (Bridgeport region), www.TheTroutFly.com, and www.SierraDrifters.com.
BRIDGEPORT REGION: Lower Twin Lake was the hotspot for trophy trout since the trout season reopened this past Saturday. The biggest fish of the early season was caught Tuesday when an 11-8 was caught by Jean Kojima, Palos Verdes, on an F13 Rapala with a custom paint job. She was guided by her son Craig Kojima. The biggest fish opening day was an 10-11 landed by Scott Harp Sr., Elk Grove, on a J Plug. Overall, both Twin Lake (upper and lower) were pretty good with a lot of rainbows up to a couple of pounds and a few browns. Bridgeport Reservoir was nearly as good as Lower Twin when it came to producing big trout. Fourteen of the Bridgeport Fish Enhancement Foundation’s tagged trout (all four to six-pound rainbows or bigger) were landed opening weekend, several from Bridgeport Reservoir, but the trout were also planted in both Twins. The East Walker fishing again improved slightly, but the water levels are still low and the bite is still pretty tough. The best fishing is below the highway bridge and on the Nevada side on midge patterns. Still some nice browns to 22 inches, but a three or four fish day has been good. Fair action on the West Walker for anglers focusing on the big, deep pools with jigs or small, slow-rolled spinners. Virginia Lakes are mostly ice-free, but snow opening day, made for trout fishing conditions and added sheet ice. Still fair to good action since weather has warmed up. Kirman Lake was spotty opener, but it has been pretty good since for walk-in anglers fishing streamer patterns for the big brookies and cutthroats. Information: Ken’s Sporting Goods 760-932-7707 or www.kenssport.com.
JUNE LAKE LOOP-LEE VINING REGION: The fishing was very good throughout the June Lake Loop opening weekend, even with snow falling opening morning. Trout to six pounds came from nearly all of the loop waters with Gull probably the hot spot, but June, Silver and Grant, all produced limits of rainbows and a few browns. Isabel Pardee, 8, San Diego, had the best trout from Silver Lake with a 4-9. Rush Creek was also good, especially before the weir and all the way into Grant Lake. It held some bigger class spawning cutthroats. Steve Chiasson, Corona, had cuts at 3-12, 3-6, and 3-4 on Roostertails. Pretty good fishing also reported in Lundy Lake and Parker and Walker lakes, just off the June loop. Information: Silver Lake Resort at 760-648-7726 or at silverlakeresort.net or Ernie’s Tackle at 760-648-7756.
MAMMOTH AREA: Tough fishing because of snow opening day and part of Sunday. While all of the lakes in the Mammoth Lakes basin were mostly ice-free (some sheet ice each morning), it was cold and fishing just fair. Some limits reported from upper Twin, George, Mary, and Mamie, mostly at creek entrances. Convict Lake was good, in spite of snow, and produced a few outside rainbows. Ryan Sumida, Los Angeles, had the best trout opening day at Convict with a 7-14 on a red and yellow Mousetail. There was also a 7-10 rainbow. Crowley Lake was good, in spite of snow and wind and rain opening weekend. Many anglers had limits of rainbows with a few bigger cutthroats or brown trout on their stringers. Several five to six-pound class cutts reported, most in bays with water flowing into the lake. Hot Creek and the upper Owens River were both fair. Hot Creek produced mostly eight to 14-inch browns on nymphs fished through the deeper pools. The Owens has stayed fair to good on big rainbows moving up out of Crowley Lake. The fish are mostly in the Hot Fingers stretch of river. Lots of 16 to 22-inch rainbows, cuttbows, and cutthroats in the mix for fly anglers. The best bite is on small nymphs and egg patterns fished in the deep pools and runs. Information: The Troutfitter at 760-934-2517.
BISHOP AND BIG PINE AREA: Trout action was good throughout the Bishop Creek drainage for opening day, in spite of snow flurries. Lake Sabrina was very low, but it produced a lot of fish, including some limits. Gary Temple, Fillmore, landed a 2-8 rainbow on a nightcrawler at Sabrina. Also some brookies and browns reported. North Lake was good, especially since opening weekend. Bishop Creek, Weir Pond, and Intake II, were all heavily planted by the DFW and were very good, but a lot of wild browns and holdover rainbows were in the catch, too. South Lake fair. Very low water, snow, and tough access. Fair to good action in the Owens River on wild browns and holdover rainbows. Pleasant Valley Reservoir has been fair to good at the upper end of the lake for jig and fly anglers. Fishing information: Sierra Drifters Guide Service 760-935-4250, Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop 760-873-0010, Culver’s 760-872-8361, Brock’s 760-872-3581.
LONE PINE TO INDEPENDENCE AREA: All of the streams in the lower valley were good for the general season trout opener with plants everywhere by the DFW (see trout plant list).