Eastern Sierra trout-fishing season's calm before the storm
This is a view of Convict Lake and one of its guardian peaks, Mt. Morrison, as seen Sunday afternoon from the trail on the north side of the picturesque Eastern Sierra fishery just south of Mammoth Lakes.
Convict Lake regulars planning to attend the April 25 opening of the general trout-fishing season might happily note there is no ice on the surface and no snow on the north-side trail. There's only a small amount of snow on the south-side trail along the far corner of the lake (pictured).
Translation: Access should be ideal for opening day not only at Convict, but at mid-elevation lakes throughout the region, including those on the June Lake Loop and in the Bridgeport area. They've been free of ice for weeks and that bodes well for a productive opener.
I drove past Crowley Lake en route to Convict and envisioned hundreds of boats atop its glassy surface come the last Saturday of April. Barring fierce winds, it will be a large-scale slaughter at Crowley, a bountiful fishery that last fall received 100,000 Kamloop-strain rainbows, 100,000 Coleman rainbows, 80,000 Eagle Lake rainbows and 60,000 cutthroats.
I tried driving to Sabrina and South Lakes above Bishop but the roads are still gated beyond 8,500 feet. However, barring a late stretch of wintry weather, the roads will open long before opening day. Creek fishermen will be pleased to learn that the shores of all forks of Bishop Creek are essentially ice-free to at least 9,000 feet.
Outposts will provide more updates as opening day draws closer. Good luck to anglers young and old!
-- Pete Thomas
Photo of Convict Lake by Pete Thomas/Los Angeles Times