Mammoth Lakes Fall Fishing Guide

mammoth fall fishing

If you visit Mammoth Lakes in the fall, you may not believe that it is one of the slower parts of the year for tourists.

There are postcard-like sights around every corner as the fall foliage colors the mountainsides, comfortable weather that’s perfect for outdoors activities, and of course, plenty hikes, drives, and campsites that are as empty as they’ll be all year.

Everyone who visits Mammoth Lakes in the fall benefits from the small crowds and incredible weather, but the fishermen and women who visit during this time are the real winners as the lack of crowds on the shores of the lakes or boats in the water combined with hungry and active fish makes for the best fishing of the entire year.

Whether you’re coming for a fishing story you’ll tell for years or a postcard moment amongst the beauty of the Eastern Sierra waters, use our Mammoth Lakes fall fishing guide to plan your trip!

Fish Characteristics in the Fall

Just like the leaves on the trees, the trout in the waters around Mammoth Lakes respond to the cooler temperatures by changing colors. For example, the brown trout’s white belly will turn dark orange as a way to attract females. You’ll want to remember that as brown trout are the most active during the fall, and therefore what you’re most likely to catch.

In fact, for the most part brown trout are not stocked in the lakes so while other stocked trout that are unfamiliar with the area and the fishermen in it have been caught, there are plenty of brown trout who are smart, aggressive, and hungry.

mammoth fall fishing

Where and When to Fish

The main thing affecting the fish is the dropping temperatures, so you can predict their behavior based on how quickly the water is cooling.

Another reason why the brown trout are so aggressive and active during the day is that fall is when their mating season begins. Specifically, brown trout breed in waters with gravel bottoms that they can easily cover their eggs with. For Mammoth Lakes, this means the shallow inlets of lakes are the best place to find aggressive brown trout as they spawn. Brown trout like these areas not only because of the ground, but because the shallow water near embankments, trees, and boulders, gives them plenty of protection and opportunities to feed.

Creeks are also a good choice for fall fishing as the trout like to feed in the moving water, but you have to make sure your lure sinks deep enough for the fish to see it so don’t be afraid to add weight.

While all the lakes and streams in the area are worth giving a shot, a few of the best are:

Each lake not only offers beautiful scenery, but also plenty of options for how to fish whether it be from the shore, a boat, or a kayak.

What Gear to Use

The brown trout in Mammoth Lakes grow to trophy size because of their intelligence and aggressiveness. When choosing your lure know that brown trout will not be attracted to fluorescent colors, so stick to natural hues on your lures.

For standard sized trout, you can stick to your common trout lures such as rooster tails, but for large trophy fish you’ll have to change up your setup. Start with 6- or 8- pound line and then go with a bait that has a diving lip that the big trout prefer while they are preparing for winter.

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