Crowley Lake Fishing
Crowley Lake: Fair-very good
The “epic” fly fishing has ended for the time being but you may still encounter some fantastic days on Crowley as the conditions remain excellent and the stage is set for the mother of all falls on this premier stillwater.
There are two very distinct concentrations of trout that are foraging in different regions in close proximity. The larger fish are targeting on the perch fry and callibaetis/damsel nymph migrations and you will see them annihilating the perch fry balls along the shallows in McGee Bay and the North Arm of the lake near the inlets. Little Hilton also has a number of predators bushwhacking the perch fry and larger swimming nymphs. Streamer fisherman using perch fry imitations can have some fun if you find enough open water to cast and work a channel edge or weed line in the short or shallow water. The Bataan death kick by float tube has only a few hardy souls making it to the promised land of McGee Bay. Hilton or the North end is a better choice if you do not have a boat. The wind has been a pest most days with the southerlies beginning around 11 am until around 4 pm the last several days. This condition is forecast to improve by mid-week as a substantial high pressure builds over the area.
The second area is the deeper water from 10-15 feet on the mud flats or along the deeper weed edges that are beginning to protrude the surface in several areas of the lake. The chironomid hatches have been sporadic and these will dictate what kind of bite you will have in the deeper water. On the days when there are just a few midges coming off you will have a tough time getting grabs on the flats. If you are struggling on the outside get out those sink tips and start working the streamer patterns in close. In general there are larger concentrations of fish out deep with a more consistent bite day to day. If the fish go off inside you want to be there and it is here you will find “Jangles” terrorizing the perch fry.
We are finding better results going down in hook size especially when using chironomid imitations recently. Drop down to a #20 or even a #22 in the short water for more grabs. Back those drags off a bunch and drop down to 5X or 6X tippet when using #20 or smaller fine wire hooks. Gillies, crystal emergers, and larva patterns like tigers and zebras are all working well. Our light and olive Punk Perch, as well as Loebergs are doing a number on the trout for those of you who want to troll or cast streamers on Crowley.
Have a great “Hog-gust” on Crowley!
Sierra Drifters “top gun” clients Rich from Canyon Country and son Richard Rathcke from Acton, CA, with Frank Carlsen from La Crescenta got into an epic bite of large short water browns recently. Incredible day guys!
About The Author: Captain Tom Loe
Company: Sierra Drifters Guide Service
Area Reporting: Eastern Sierras - Lower Owens River
Bio: Tom Loe grew up in Thousand Oaks Ca. and married his high school sweetheart Michele after attending Moorpark Jr. College.
The next 20 years Tom spent harpooning broadbill swordfish as the owner/operator of offshore commercial fishing vessels on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He is currently a licensed Coast Guard captain and year round fly-fishing guide residing full time with Michele on McGee Creek overlooking Crowley Lake in the Eastern Sierra. Tom has had a maniacal fascination with trout his entire life. He began tying flies at 12 years to assist him in financial support of his addiction to fishing. The truant officers had no problems locating Tom if he turned up absent at school, find trout, you found Tom!
During extended periods his sword boats would be tied up in port Tom would spend large blocks of time fishing the Eastern Sierra developing and perfecting unique methods of fly-fishing for trout in the area. Tom pioneered guided drift boat trips down the Lower Owens River and the “dip and strip technique” in 1998 after selling the swordfish boat “Bandido” that same year. Sierra Drifters Guide Service was founded and has been in operation since 1998 and to date has assisted thousands of fly-fishers in pursuit of trout in the Eastern Sierra.