Bishop, California is FAMOUS for many things, but fishing
is at the top of most visitors' lists. Record-class
fish are regularly caught in the Eastern Sierra and
many a stringer of pan-sized trout are caught as well.
No matter where you fish, you can be assured that the
Department of Fish and Game has stocked every available
water with plenty of catchable-sized fish. Bishop Creek
is a good bet for plenty of action during the open season
from late April to the end of October. During the off-season,
the Owens River and Pleasant Valley Reservoir remain
open and very active. During the short summer season
in the high country, the fish are often on a feeding
frenzy and you can catch them using anything for bait.
It really doesn't get any better!
This is trout country cold, clear creeks dancing
down mountain canyons and gem-like alpine lakes are
home to fighting rainbow, brown, brook and golden trout.
Cast a fly or lure, bait a hook and get ready for some
of the finest fishing in the West. Whether it's the
challenge of the catch-and-release wild trout section
of the Owens River or lazily casting your line into
a sparkling lake, the chance of catching a big one is
always there. Our fishing
report provides information on Bishop area fishing
conditions, during fishing season.
Popular Fishing Areas:
Pleasant Valley Reservoir
This is THE place to catch large trout. Not your everyday-sized
fish, but instead huge fighting machines. The Reservoir
is open to fishing year-round with a five fish limit
per day and five fish in possession. You can park at
the gates at either end of the reservoir and walk or
ride your bike along the shore on a paved roadway. Flows
in the upper area of the river can fluctuate wildly;
if you wade in, make sure you can wade out fast!
Lower Owens/Bishop Area
Below Pleasant Valley reservoir you can fish the Owens
year-round. During the winter, if you pick a good day,
you'll have as much fun as during the middle of summer.
Yes, there ARE hatches during the winter you
just have to really pick the right day. But no matter
what, being outside surrounded by some of the most spectacular
scenery anywhere, throwing your line in the water, with
snowy mountains in the background well, it beats
working. During the summer, the fishing can be very
good here. Sometimes it's very hot, but it can be worth
the effort. The Wild Trout section of the river comes
out of Pleasant Valley Reservoir and flows for 4.4 miles
downstream towards Bishop. There's supposed to be 4,000
fish per mile living here, and if you catch one you
are supposed to release it so there continues to be
4,000 fish per mile.
Owens River (Benton Crossing Road area)
Classic Mammoth river fishing. Lot's of fly fishing.
A slow meandering stream to test your technical fishing
skills without a lot of trees around to steal your flies.
Certain times of the year you will need mosquito repellent,
but it is often windy here, which keeps the little buggers
at bay. This is reputed to be a world-renowned fishery,
with an amazing number of fish per mile. Locals report
mixed luck at times. Good place to fish, great scenery,
ignore the hype and enjoy the place. South on Hwy. 395
to Benton Crossing Road (at the green church), then
about three miles to the bridge. Turn left on the dirt
road and drive as far as you want, look for dirt roads
leading to the river every so often. Just pick one.
It tends to be less crowded the further you drive.
Everyone knows Crowley. Opening day is usually a sight
to see: 6000 - 8000 people show up. This lake arguably
provides some of the best trout fishing in California.
This is a big lake, and a boat is useful. They are available
for rent. Float tubes are common. Try crawling all the
way across the lake in a float tube. That would make
a good story. Crowley Lake is just a few miles south
of Mammoth on Hwy. 395. There is a marina, general store,
rental boats (most with motors), campgrounds, and RV
sites (some with full hook-ups). There are two fishing
seasons on Crowley from opening day until August
1 there is a five fish per day, no size limit, and 10
in possession rule. After August 1 thru October 31,
it's a two fish per day, 18-inches total length, and
only artificial lures with barbless hooks can be used.
Lake Sabrina is located on the middle fork of Bishop
Creek, and is surrounded by inspiring, 13,000-foot granite
peaks, with glaciers on the rock faces. Lots of trails
lead from Lake Sabrina to backcountry lakes. To get
there, drive to Bishop on Hwy. 395, and turn west on
West Line Street. Follow the signs to the lake, which
are located approximately 20 miles southwest of Bishop.
Bishop Creek, Middle
Turn west on West Line Street in Bishop and continue
on 15 miles to Intake II. Trout are planted from Intake
II to Cardinal Lodge and from Lake Sabrina down to the
North Lake Turnoff.
Bishop Creek, Lower
Turn West on West Line Street and continue to Bulpitt
and Isaac Walton Parks. Plants are made upstream from
Bulpitt Park to the Powerline Road.
South Fork of Bishop Creek
West on West Line Street, to the South Lake turnoff
just below Intake II. Turn left at the fork. The creek
is planted at various access points between Habeggers
to the USFS campsites, and from Parcher's to Weir Lake.
At 10,000 ft., South Lake presents a breathtaking scene
and is also loaded with trout. The road to the lake
meanders along beautiful Bishop Creek, lined with pine,
aspen and cottonwood. Campgrounds, boat rentals, food
services and lodging accommodations are available. South
Lake is also popular with hikers, backpackers and horsepackers,
with the trailhead for Bishop Pass leading to hundreds
of high-mountain lakes in the John Muir Wilderness.
Rock Creek Lake
Take Hwy. 395 north from Bishop, about 30 miles. Turn
west at Tom's Place and follow the road to the lake.
Other backcountry lakes
Some are close by, some are overnighters, but none are
THAT far away. Leave the crowd behind. Skelton Lake,
Barney Lake, Duck Lake, Thousand Island Lake, and many
Department of Fish & Game