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Exploring the Mammoth Lakes Area

Cindy and I got to Mammoth Lakes on Friday 8/24.  We made sure to stop by the Mammoth Brewing Company to pick up some suds along the way.  We unpacked, ate dinner and started trying to plan out what we would do on Saturday.  We decided to do some exploring and walking around to acclimate ourselves to the elevation change.

The first place we stopped was at Mammoth Creek Park.  We found the creek inside the park to be quite overgrown and not very fishable.  We did see several trout that appeared to be planted fish just upstream from the Old Mammoth Road bridge.

mammoth creek 1

There was a nice size Rainbow Trout hogging this spot.

mammoth creek 2

The smaller Rainbows were located just downstream from him.

We decided to explore Mammoth Creek a little more to see if we could find any places that had better access for fishing.  We took Mammoth Creek Road East away from the park, stopping in several spots to assess the situation.  In all of the places we stopped we found heavy vegetation growth and downed trees that did not look to be fun places to fish.

We came to a fork in the road and took the one less traveled...  Unfortunately it led to a dead end.  We then back-tracked to the fork and finally made it back to the highway near the intersections of Highways 203 and 395.  

Heading south on 395 we took the turn to Convict Lake.  We drove past the creek and up to the lake.  We found the lake a little crowded, but it was a Saturday.  After seeing the scenery (and taking pictures) I could see why it was crowded.  The mountain peaks to the west of the lakes rose loomed over the lake, almost as if they were on guard to protect it.

convict lake 2

After eating lunch we headed down to check out Convict Creek.  Like Mammoth Creek earlier we found Convict to be overgrown in a lot of places as well.  We headed back to the truck and I noticed a flatter spot farther down the creek, closer to Highway 395.  We drove down there and found signs that were rather confusing.  It appeared that the creek may have beenopen West of 395, but at a certain point there was a University of California research program going on and that the creek was closed in this section.  Not wanting to get cited for fishing in the wrong spot, we moved on.  

We drove east on Benton Crossing Road and then turned North onto Owens River Road.  After taking a right hand turn, we stopped near a bridge and got out to inspect.  Finding heavy weed growth and not seeing any fish activity I went back to the map book.  It appeared that we were looking at Hot Creek downstream from the springs.  No wonder there weren't any fish.  Heading further on up Owens River Road I noticed several unmarked roads that headed east looking like they were heading to the river.  Unfortunately the one that I tried to take have been closed off with a pile of lava rock.

We continued up Owens River Road past all of the private property and stopped near the Big Springs Campground.  Here we were able to finally wet a line.  We walked a ways downstream and then fished back up.  In a little over 4 hours I landed 4 fish in the 4" class, one in the 6-8" class, and missed several other fish.  Of course those were the big ones, right?  The map book had this section labeled as Deadman Creek, but the DFG Angler Survey box labeled it as the Upper Owens River.

deadman creek 1

upper owens river 1

upper owens river 3