While certain sports or activities require becoming an expert to enjoy, fishing isn’t one of them. One pole, one net and one tackle box is enough to make an outing well worth it. It’s an easy way to get into the great outdoors and become one with nature while doing something at the same time. Here are just a few of our favorite places to go fishing on a lake in the High Sierra.
Webber Lake (Truckee)
First time ever open to the public
Few people today are aware of Webber Lake in Truckee, California due to it being privately owned by the Johnson family since 1870. A 3,000-acre haven filled with threatened and endangered species, bird migration corridors and a lake stocked with fish, the area was only visited by a select few as a private campground for generations. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson wanted the property preserved and kept like it is. They turned down many lucrative offers and instead sold the property to the Truckee Donner Land Trust. For 2018, it will be the first time EVER that this 45-site campground will be open to the public. With it being new, demand is high so reservations are recommended. Go to tdlandtrust.org/webber-lakelacey-meadows for reservations and check out Truckee’s in-depth article to learn more.
Crowley Lake (Mammoth Lakes)
Best Stillwater Trout Fisheries In The United States
Located twelve miles south of Mammoth Lakes, this reservoir on the upper Owens River is heaven for ANY angler. One of the only locations in the Eastern Sierra where visitors can drive up to the water’s edge and a shoreline that adds up to 45 miles, you have a big selection of where you can drop your line. This is considered by many as the best stillwater trout fisheries in the country. Ever since the lake was created in 1941, it has provided ideal habitat to grow large trout. The lake is also home to a vast assortment of other fish such as:
- Eagle Lake (considered the hardest fighters)
- Scrappy Kamloops and Colemans
- Lahontan Cutthroats (Only Native species of Trout)
- Sacramento perch (Largest population in the state)
- Two types of browns: a Scottish version called Lock Lavens and “God’s Fish”—the legendary beastly browns from Germany called Von Behrs
With a unique fishery management plan, they follow general trout season rules for half the season and then turn into a catch-and-release region for the other half so you can visit this lake ANY time of year.
Don Pedro Lake (Coulterville)
A Trophy Bass Lake
A recreational gem in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range is the only way to describe this special place. Near the communities of Coulterville, Moccasin and La Grange, this reservoir is situated in a canyon carved out by the Tuolumne River. At over 13,000 acres and 160+ miles of shoreline, this is a “big fish” lake. This body of water has given up a largemouth bass that weighed in at 18 lbs. 9 oz. back in 2003 with multiple caught annually in the teens range. You’ll also find king salmon in the 10 to 12-lb range, trout, catfish, bluegill and a wide variety of bass. The several tributaries draining directly into the lake make sure the water levels remain high AND keep the water temperatures comfortable for fishing and other water activities.
Pack your tackle box because you won’t want to waste another second sitting at home missing out on all the fun. Make this the year for your best fishing adventure ever. Be the one that comes home with grand tales of the “monster” you caught and the envy of all your pals. When it comes to fishing, the lakes in the High Sierra offer you some of the best in the world.
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com
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