CROWLEY LAKE & EASTERN SIERRA OPENER JUST AROUND THE CORNER

by Ernie Gulley Fly Fishing
in Blog
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THE EASTERN SIERRA AND CROWLEY OPENER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.   THIS IS THE TIME FOR US ANGLERS TO START REALLY GETTING EXCITED ABOUT HIGH EXPECTATIONS AND DREAMS OF TROUT TO BE CAUGHT AND RELEASED.   NEW TECHNIQUES ACQUIRED BY READING, VIDEOS, THOUGHTS AND CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHERS ON HOW TO BECOME BETTER ANGLERS.  TIME AT THE VISE, INVENTING NEW AND OLD FLIES, WAITING TO PUT THEM TO THE TEST ON THE SOON OPENING SEASON.   

 

WE ALL HAVE DREAMED AND PLAYED OUT DIFFERENT STRATEGIES BASED ON THE TIME WE HAVE SPENT OUT ON THE WATER IN YEARS PAST.   THIS IS A NEW AND EXCITING TIME THAT WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEE IF WE HAVE PREPARED NOT ONLY OUR RODS, REELS, LINES, FLIES AND EQUIPMENT, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY OUR MINDS.  WE HAVE USUALLY COMMITTED A LOT OF TIME ON READING, VIDEOS AND CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER ANGLERS TO TRY TO MAKE US BETTER ANGLERS AND READY FOR A NEW SEASON.  WE MUST ALWAYS REMIND AND REMEMBER THAT WHATEVER STYLE AND FLIES WE FISH, WE MUST MATCH OUR LINES SO THAT THEY CAN HELP US IMITATE THE WAY OUR FOOD ITEMS MOVE IN THE WATER.  HAVING AND USING THE RIGHT FLY LINES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF FLY FISHING. 

 

MORE TIMES THAN NOT AT CROWLEY, THE OPENING WEEKS OR SO YOU ARE GOING TO FIND YOUR FISH IN DEEPER WARMER WATER.   YES, WARMER WATER IS GOING TO BE DEEPER.  MANY TIMES IN THE 20 PLUS FEET OF WATER AND ON THE SEVERE DROP OFFS THAT CROWLEY HAS SO MANY AREAS TO FIND THEM.  THE LAKE TEMPERATURE WILL HAVE A THERMOCLINE THE FISH WILL HANG IN, HOWEVER IF WE HAVE HIGH WINDS, THE WINDS WILL MIX THE WATER TEMPERATURE AND FISH WILL MOVE UP INTO SHALLOWER WATER.   TYPICALLY WE ARE GOING TO BE FISHING AGAIN ANYWHERE FROM 18 TO 25 FEET.  

 

THESE WATER DEPTHS, (18' TO 25') WITH THE LAKE BEING SO FULL AS WE SPEAK, CAN BE IN MANY AREAS SUCH AS THESE:  BIG HILTON, THE MIDDLE OF MC GEE BAY, STORMY FLATS, SANDY POINT, SIX BAYS, ALLIGATOR POINT AND NORTH LANDING.   ALL OF THESE AREAS CAN GO FROM 15 TO 25 FEET IN JUST A FEW BOAT LENGTHS.   ITS IMPORTANT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO ANCHOR YOUR CRAFT SO THAT YOU ARE FISHING UPHILL OR DOWN HILL INTO YOUR TARGETED DEPTH.   IF THE WIND IS BLOWING SIDEWAYS TO YOUR DROP OFF, THIS MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FROM A BOAT.  

 

THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO FISH AND PRESENT YOUR FLIES.   I FEEL THIS IS WHAT MAKES FLY FISHING SO UNIQUE AND INTIMATE BECAUSE ITS HOW YOU FEEL AND WANT TO CATCH FISH, NOT THE WAY SOMEONE ELSE FEELS YOU SHOULD FISH.  

YOU CAN FISH WITH THE SLIDING INDICATOR IN DEPTHS UP TO AND OVER 25 FEET OF WATER.  I USE A FLOATING LINE, CORTLANDS NYMPH FLY LINE. 

 

HERE IS A PICTURE OF MY SLIDING INDICATOR

 

WITH THE SLIDING INDICATOR, MY LEADER SETUP IS ABOVE AND MY FAVORITE INDICATOR IS THE "UNDER-CATOR" WHICH CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE CROWLEY LAKE STORE AND SIERRA DRIFTERS.

 

IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE INDICATOR OR FIND IT MORE DIFFICULT IN DEEP WATER, YOU CAN FISH VERTICAL WITH A FULL SINKING LINE.  I PREFER A TYPE 7 OR EVEN BETTER, A TYPE 9 LINE FROM CORTLAND LINES.  YOUR TYPE 7 AND 9 LINES ARE THE HEAVIEST BUT MORE IMPORTANT, THE SMALLEST DIAMETER FOR BETTER FEEL WHEN A FISH GRABS YOUR FLY.

 

MY LEADER IS VERY SIMPLE AND VERY SHORT, BETWEEN 3' AND 4' FEET ONLY AND A MINIMUM OF 3X BUT I PREFER 2X TIPPET.  DROP YOUR FLY STRAIGHT DOWN THE THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE FLOOR.   START TO RETRIEVE YOUR FLY UP IN SMALL ONE INCH OR SHORTER PULLS UNTIL THE FLY IS ABOUT 10 FEET UP OFF THE BOTTOM.   ONCE YOU HAVE PLAYED YOUR FLY OUT, RELEASE YOUR EXCESS FLY LINE BACK DOWN TO THE BOTTOM AND START THE PROCEDURE OVER AGAIN.  IN MOST SITUATIONS, YOU WON'T HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHEN THE TROUT TAKES YOUR FLY, USUALLY THE ROD GETS BENT UNDER THE BOAT OR THE FISH TRIES TO PULL THE ROD RIGHT OUT OF YOUR HAND.    THIS IS WHY I LIKE TO FISH 3X AND 2X TIPPET. 

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, SOMETIMES TO FIND FISH,  IS TOO LOOK FOR BAIT ANGLERS CATCHING FISH.   EARLY SEASON MOST BAIT ANGLERS WILL BE IN THE DEEPER WATER SO IF THEY ARE CATCHING FISH, YOU KNOW THE FISH ARE THERE.

 

I REALLY LIKE THE CORTLAND "TOP SECRET" TIPPET MATERIAL AND FEEL ITS THE STRONGEST AND MOST SUPPLE TIPPET MATERIAL ON THE MARKET.  

 

I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU IN SOME WAY TO PRODUCE MORE FISH FROM CROWLEY OR ANY OTHER STILLWATER WHEN FISHING DEEP WATER TACTICS.

 

I WILL BE GUIDING CROWLEY THE WHOLE FIRST WEEKEND AND WEEK OF THE OPENER.   I DO HAVE SATURDAY AND SUNDAY OPENING WEEKEND OPEN FOR GUIDING AND THURSDAY THE MIDDLE OF THE FIRST WEEK OPEN IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE GUIDED AND TRY OUT SOME OF THESE DEADLY TECHNIQUES.

 

GOOD LUCK ON OPENING WEEKEND AND HOPE TO SEE YOU OUT ON THE WATER.  PLEASE BE SAFE AND COURTEOUS TO YOUR FELLOW ANGLERS. 

 

DON'T FORGET, CROWLEY LAKE FISH CAMP HAS ALL OF THE RENTAL BOATS, SLIPS AND CAMPING FACILITIES THAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON!

 

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