The Crowley Lake Story
By Steve Rudzinski
This was only the second time I visited this lake, and had done some homework prior to the trip which paid off with some of the largest trout I ever landed.
John and Elaine, "The Cooks" came through again (my first time I signed up), The planning it takes, all the phone calls and emails involved with the logistics could/must be maddening.
We shared two condos which were second or third homes for some well-connected family and worked out shared cooking and cleaning and shopping to take the strain off one or two individuals. (I gained 5 lbs.). Other than the high-altitude sleeping difficulty and an overuse of the word, "literally', it was a great destination and it occurred during the height of the Kavanaugh hearings which clearly separated the fishermen into two distinct groups of opinion. Yikes.
Those headed that way are best served to ask at the fly shop in Mammoth for small balanced punk perch fly and or midges in sizes from #10 - #20 (white bead head or copper and wine-colored body or grey worked for me). It is imperative that you use a float tube and if "bobber-cating", try to find a sunken river channel and measure the depth using an alligator clip/weight to the fly and using a sliding bobber/indicator and setting it to only a few inches under the surface. When you take off the clip, the fly will suspend just over the bottom. fish right there, back away a few feet, all you need to do, the fish will not see you right above them in 12" of green water. A second fly a foot or two above that on a dropper; you can use the punk perch or the other way around. The fish seem to stay down on the bottom.
Most of my fish were taken while kicking and twitching a leech pattern from a fairly fast sinking line (T-11 or lighter) I found that I would be getting weeds and sticks which meant I was down on the bottom of just above, use a shorter length leader (6' or less), 8 lb. test Fluorocarbon was enough for me. When I was away from the trout, I was catching Sacramento Perch of a fairly good size. (15"). You know pretty soon you don't have a trout as they "give it up" quickly. I always hear about losing fish because of a bad knot. One of the guides who came to our club meeting one year, said that a simple clinch knot (6 twists and back through the loop one timed and cinch till it clicks, you can hear it and or feel it snap tight. That knot never comes undone like the improved clinch knots some people use instead. (good on Mono line, not Fluorocarbon).
I went to catch some big fish and did not explore the small streams with small fish as some others in the group. I was pretty content on the float tube expecting a new lake record fish.
Peace, Steve Rudzinski "Stosh"
PS: I also had my closest encounter with mamma bear and two cubs at Lake Mary.
Gone Fishing - Mammoth Thoughts
Beautiful scenery, great kinship with the group. I fished very consistently (as in consistently bad). Thank you, John and Elaine, for all your efforts. It was very enjoyable - Andy Glucs
Mammoth Lakes fishery has been wiped out!- Rich Hughes
First time for this dedicated tent camper to join the "condo crews" in Mammoth. No campfires, smelling like smoke and shower deprivation, including a five-day-old beard. I came for record size fish and my wish came true with multiple lunkers daily. The altitude kept me awake night was my only complaint, other than the overuse of the word "literally." - Steve Rudzinski
Hot Creek, hot weather, hot food, hot fishing.- Mark Teague
The wide variety of fishing opportunities, the beautiful surroundings, nice folks, moving up from couch to hide-a-bed to having my own condo. - Kirk Mathew
It was a real pleasure this year to help three budding fishers and see them successfully catch fish. Wishing more tight lines to David Marks, Jeff Gose, and Liz Plummer - Elaine Cook
I had a great time. Good camaraderie, good food, great fishing for ginormous trout on Crowley Lake. This was my fourth trip and certainly won't be my last. I think I enjoy this fishout more each time I go. - Dave Moore
My first time at Mammoth with the SCFF. Great, beautiful location, nice accommodations, John and Elaine were excellent hosts, other members were congenial crew. Had a great time fishing creeks like McGee and Owens Gorge with John. Will definitely come back if Dan (30 fish in one day) leave any fish for the rest of us. - Dave South
On October 4, I caught 34 fish on Crowley Lake. This was my best day ever on lake or river. Most fish all ranged from about 14" to 28". Big fish! - Dan Smith
It's been an honor to fish/camp/eat/and chat with everyone. Safe drive home everyone! - Steve "Stosh" Rudzinski
O'Neill Forebay Fishout
By Steve Rudzinski
We had a great turnout this year, Saw at least 12 or 13 vehicles around the camp. Just about everyone caught fish, some more than others as there were great days and not so great. The winds came up hard on Saturday afternoon through Sunday when we broke camp.
The hounding of the California Water Board and Fish and Wildlife led to great weed beds and more feeding fish this year. A few more legal sized fish and some over 20" came in along with many smaller fish. If the conditions stay like this throughout 2019, we should have even a better year next October.
Thanks to all who attended, camping and sitting around a great campfire sharing stories and laughing out loud all highly therapeutic. Will see some of you at the Pyramid Lake fishout.