Fishing Season: April 30 2022 - November 15 2022

Crowley Lake - CA

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Jim Elias's Tip of the Week

Water temps have come down with recent rains, but the cold water is generally sliding in under the warmer water so make sure your bottom fly is close to the bottom. Also, the gate doesn't open until 7 so unless your boat is in a slip and you can walk down don't get here before then.

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Map of Crowley Lake

5-Day Outlook as of 8/12/22

The fishing has definitely been improving with all the rain we got last week. The town of Mammoth Lakes got around 2 inches of precipitation, and much more higher up in the mountains. Flows on some river flows were as much as 10 times higher after heavy rain fell last week. Crowley has started to turn around, with water temps coming down bringing more productive hatches and active fish. Temps expected to be in the upper 70s to low 80s for the coming week. Monsoon moisture returns on Tuesday, hopefully bringing us even more rain with a chance at afternoon thunderstorms the rest of the week.

Techniques & Tips as of 8/12/22

Running multiple midges, damsel patterns or perch fry under an indicator is best with these water temperatures. I'd also suggest fishing in 12-15ft of water with a type III sink line with some damsels or fry patterns, or with an intermediate over the top of the weeds near the inlets.

Local Species Available April 30 2022 - November 15 2022

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Jim Elias's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Rojo Midge N/A 18
Bead Head Brassie™ N/A
Schultzy's Red Eyes Leech N/A
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer N/A
Albino Baron Spiral Flash Wine 16
Purple/Red N/A 16
Krystal Bugger N/A
TH Zebra Midge Black 16-18
Ultimate Damsel N/A 12
Holographic Red Spiral Flash Red/Black 16

Rojo Midge

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Jim Elias's Recommended Gear

Description: About Crowley Lake


Nearest Airport:



Ok, well you all wanted good news so here it is. The fish have moved into shallower water in search of the perch fry and damsels. I've been fishing all over the lake, and found good concentrations in, you guessed it; Mcgee. I had some solitude for a couple of days but the fleet has arrived in full force as of today, and I went from seeing about 8 other boats yesterday, to about 30 today. Takes are somewhat subtle, but if you're on top of it you can have a decent day. Water temps on the bottom in Mcgee, Green Banks, and Hilton were 66 by mid day. I checked up in Layton just to be sure, and the bottom temps were closer to 68-69 in the morning, so water temps are everything. Pay attention to which way the wind is blowing, as a south wind will blow the warm water from the South end of the lake into McGee and the North arm. West and Northwest winds are ideal, as they push the cooler water out through the weeds to where we can actually fish. There are NO stream channels that you can fish because of weeds and low water levels so don't expect to park in close. I already picked a ton of weeds out of my trolling motor so you don't have to. Fish are hanging in 13-20ft mainly and are fairly close to the bottom so don't be afraid to put your bottom fly right almost right in the mud. You'll want to use Mickey's little clip on weights they sell for like 2 bucks to check your depth and not your forceps, as they sink too far into the mud to get an accurate measurement. (I let the little secrets out every so often). Otherwise they fish are pretty damn picky when it comes to flies so it's really important to rotate through until you find the fly of the day. Most of my fish have been on slim larvae patterns very close to the bottom. Things are happening early with fish being caught in the first couple minutes of me getting my clients in the water, then slowing down considerably by 11. Hatches have improved, but not everywhere. I've seen the most chironomid activity in McGee, with LOTs of Callibaetis up in the north arm. By 11 I've been switching to mostly mayfly/perch patterns. Afternoons and evenings have been pretty decent, water temps are holding on the bottom, and the fish seem to have plenty of fight in them. Water clarity isn't much of an issue at the moment, not much algae, but the water is still it's signature green in most places, more of a brown in the north arm and I'm sure you all know why.

Best Time to Fish:


Best Stretch:

McGee near the bathroom, Hilton

Best Access:

North Landing off Benton Crossing Road or The Marina