Most PCC members only consider lake fishing as an afterthought, if at all. We’re somehow conditioned to gravitate to moving water when we fish for trout. Overlooking lakes, especially in the Eastern Sierra, really limit our opportunities to catch large trout.
This month, our program will focus primarily on three lakes in the Eastern Sierra, each with its unique history and specific fishing methods, which will help illustrate stillwater techniques which can also be applied elsewhere. The presentation will include Kirman Lake, the best brook trout fishery in California; Heenan Lake, which is the Lahontan Cutthroat brood stock lake for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; and Crowley Lake, considered by many to be the best stillwater fishing in this state. All of these lakes present the opportunity to land fish getting mighty close to the 30 inch range. Crowley Lake is a perfect example of why huge fish are found in select Eastern Sierra lakes. From a human perspective, Crowley looks like a barren reservoir scoured by the mountain winds. But if you descend under the surface of the lake, from the perspective of a fish, Crowley is a piscatorial Vegas buffet without equal. The nutrient-rich water supercharges the growth of trout treats including chironomids, mayflies, caddis midges, damselflies, blood worms, perch, terrestrials, etc.
Ernie Gulley is relatively new to the guiding scene in the Eastern Sierra, and perhaps the only one who limits himself to lakes. However, in the five or so years since he’s turned pro, he has proven his stillwater expertise time and again, as any of you who have fished with him know. A contributor to PCC’s fundraisers and a prior speaker, he’s not unknown to our members. If you’ve ever fished with him, you’ve experienced his dogged perseverance, exacting rigging methods, and sheer intensity. Not one to ever quit, Ernie will try endless combinations of locations, flies, and depths to find large, hungry fish. He was also patient enough to help my then seven year-old son land his first trout ever out on Crowley with four other clients in his new 22 foot bay boat.
In his presentation about these three lakes, Ernie will tell you when in the year to go, where specifically to fish, what equipment to bring, the flies you’ll need and how to rig them, and exactly how to fish these locations. The program is not an advertisement about a guide service, but a careful how-to useful to anyone who wants to try these waters. Incidentally, this is a new program, and not a repeat of his prior presentations.
Ernie is a native of Southern California, and has been fishing the area since he was a kid. Family obligations permitting, you’ll find him fishing on his days offs. He is a member of both Deep Creek Fly Fishers and the High Desert Fly Fishers. You can learn more about Ernie and fishing the lakes of the Eastern Sierra at www.erniegulleyflyfishingguideservice.com. His blog is updated regularly, and it is on the blog portion of his website where you’ll also find close-up photos of flies, leader diagrams, and in-depth discussions of lake fishing.
Even if you never wanted to try lake fishing before, join us on Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m., October 8th, at the San Marino Masonic Lodge, 3130 Huntington Drive, San Marino, 91108.
Seymour R. Singer