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Written by: Jim Elias, Fish Mammoth Information Service 

Huge lakes can produce equally massive trout, however you must know the place to look.
All images by Jim Elias

I’ve been guiding on Lake Crowley within the Mammoth Lakes area of California for greater than a decade, and in that point, I’ve realized quite a bit about the best way to discover trout in these massive nonetheless waters and the best way to catch them on fly–even through the warmth of summer season. On this two-part collection, I’ll first focus on methods for locating fish, adopted by a second chapter highlighting particular methods for presenting flies when you’ve recognized a probable spot.    

Preserving Cool

Fly-fishing summer season nonetheless waters might be an intimidating prospect for many anglers, significantly should you’re used to fishing in rivers. Discovering trout stacked up in a present seam is one factor, however discovering fish on a 5,000-acre lake is a little more sophisticated. 

Huge lakes can appear featureless, so discovering the correct water temperature is essential to deciding the place to fish.

Throughout the warmth of summer season, backside temperature is the only most essential variable to contemplate when trying to find trout in lakes. It’s not unusual to see noon floor temperatures nicely into the higher 70s in July and August, forcing trout to actively search out colder water as soon as the solar rises. That usually means shifting all the way down to better depths all through the day, however trout may also be discovered close to coldwater inlets, or hovering round submerged coldwater springs, as the encircling lake warms up. 

An everyday stream thermometer received’t lower it while you’re attempting to test the underside temperature, since it is going to be exhibiting the hotter studying close to the floor by the point it’s totally retrieved. I recommend utilizing a “min-max” model thermometer, which can file each the bottom and highest temperature all through the water column.  

Remember that the nice and cozy floor water will stress trout, so play them shortly, and get them out and in of the web as quick as you may, to allow them to return to the cooler depths.

Discovering the Meals

Chironomids are a significant meals supply in most lakes.

The following variable to contemplate when trying to find stillwater trout is the provision of meals, particularly throughout summer season months when feeding exercise is often highest. You’re on the lookout for any indicators of their favourite meals, together with (however not restricted to) insect species akin to chironomids, Callibaetis, and damselflies.  

Chironomid hatches are often strongest right here within the mid-morning, and if these massive midges are actively hatching, you will note empty shucks on the water on calm days. If it’s windy, nonetheless, the bugs on the underside will know based mostly on adjustments they’ll detect within the mild shining down from the waves above, and so they’ll wait to hatch till the wind calms down. 

Callibaetis adults (left) and spinners present a few of the finest dry-fly alternatives.

Typically, Callibaetis can be flying excessive above you, so search for now and again to see what’s hovering round, you is perhaps stunned by what number of you see.

Damsels are fairly simple to identify, given their distinctive, bright-blue our bodies. They require some form of construction to climb out of the water to hatch, together with weeds, rocks, downed timber, anchor strains, or simply about any floating particles.

Search for damselflies the place there may be some form of construction–grass, docks, and many others.–that they’ll climb as much as hatch.

For measuring water temps or on the lookout for indicators of life on nonetheless waters, it helps to have a motorboat outfitted with a fish-finder able to displaying depth, temperature, GPS place, backside contours, and suspended fish all on the similar time. However that doesn’t imply boatless anglers are out of luck. Some smaller lakes are extra forgiving, and might be successfully fished from a float tube, stand-up paddle board, or kayak (significantly should you’re in a position to equip it with a fish-finder) with out a lot danger. Nonetheless, Lake Crowley–and lots of different massive impoundments prefer it–can generate 4-foot waves surprisingly shortly when the wind kicks up, so be sure you select your vessel accordingly. 

Jim Elias is proprietor and operator of Fish Mammoth information service in Mammoth Lakes, California. 

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