Crowley Lake Fishing Solid

by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
in Blog
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Howdy friends,

Just back from a guiding 10 out of the last 12 days at Crowley Lake.   The lake is fishing very solid right now with many 20 to 50 fish days.  

My Hardy rods and reels are really getting the job done on these very large trout from Crowley Lake

The algae bloom has come on strong and is in the stringy stage, however its only a few feet thick so the wind will blow the algae around and clean up the water very nicely in most cases.  When dealing with the algae situation, remember to use very thin profile flies, coated with additional coats of Sally Hansens hard as nails and use a couple of size AB split shots to help get it down thru the goo fast!

The fish are still hanging out in McGee Bay, You will find a lot of browns if you get up tight to the weeds in 10 to 12 feet of water.  You can be very successful throwing midges, perch fry, damsels and leech patterns.   I have been hitting bigger fish early in the morning and then moving on to the North End, Green Banks area and North Landing areas.   The fish in the North Landing areas are spread out and moving around from day to day and hour to hour.   You will find about a 70% Cuttthroat ratio to 30% rainbow in the larger fish over 15" and I have only had 4 browns landed in my last ten trips to the North Arm but they will come!  I have been very successful fishing away from the weed edges, away from the crowds and finding humps and depressions out in the bay that are holding a lot of fish.  I have had success in 9 feet of water all the way out into 17 feet of water.  The last two days guiding anglers had over 40 fish to the net with 80 or more grabs.    The fish are in three different catagories, small (6' to 12") medium (14" to 17") and very large (20" to 24").   We have had a dozen fish each trip over the 20 inch mark including multiple fish over the 23" range and larger with the excepting of one of my last 10 guided trips.   I have been averaging about a dozen legals almost every single trip!  Same set up in North Arm, midge on the bottom and a perch or damsel pattern as the top fly.   Some anglers have moved back into 9 feet or less or water and fishing larger holes in the weeds with leech or perch patterns hanging about 6 feet under and indicator in 8 to 9 feet of water.   Its very crowded back there and I am hanging back in the middle or edges of the bay and keeping a very good pace with quality fish and less crowds.  

The water temps have dropped to around 65 surface temperature in the mornings and will continue to drop because of the nights and mornings being much more chilly.   Make sure you have your jackets on for the ride out in the early am, you will need them.  We have seen some throat samples that have been coming up with daphnia, this means the bite may shut down for a while but we will have to see, its going very strong right now.  My throat samples of about a dozen fish have only found three out of the twelve fish sampled with daphnia so lets pray for the best!

My midge patterns have been staying very consistent, starting with blood midges 4" off the bottom, when this slows I switch over to a Copper Tiger 7" to 12" of the bottom and when that slows the grey midges 12" to 36" off the bottom are working well!  Sometimes they want the white head, sometimes they don't so keep switching and don't be afraid of change.   The strip bite is off and on, sometimes I see the float tubers hammering fish and then not getting many at all.   We are using small punk perch, horn bergs, low-bergs, haresears and perfection perch patterns with success.  Don' forget a small pheasant tail nymph with a flash back will look like a small perch also.  

The float tubers are also getting very aggressive around the guide boats that are landing a lot of fish.   I am a float tuber with thousands of hours out on the water and I have never been asked to move away from a guide boat or any other boat for that matter.  Use proper judgement for space and PLEASE BE COURTEOUS TO OUR CLIENTS AND DON'T RUN OVER OUR INDICATORS!   You can fish behind our boats as much as you want, far enough away so we can't hit you with our back cast but PLEASE DON'T RUN OVER OUR INDICATORS!  We all want to share the water, lets all be courteous to each other out on the lake!

I am very excited about a very strong fall and great finish this year for Crowley Lake!  

Hope this helps anglers and good luck and be safe out on the water!

I do love me some "Stillwater" fly fishing….Ernie