Eastern Sierra trout opener brings sunshine, heavy load of trout at Crowley

By Joel Shangle

BISHOP-To say that the recently completed opening weekend of the 2013 season was the best ever might sound like a stretch, but by most accounts, it was easily one of the most productive and pleasant (weather-wise) in decades. As veteran San Diego scribe Ed Zieralski of the Union Tribune reports, daytime temperatures in the 70s (and in some case lower 80s) kick-started “the best trout opener in terms of weather and fishing that many veterans of 40 and 50 trout openers could remember.”

“We probably had about 600 boats out there,” says Bonnie Fanti at Crowley Lake Fish Camp. “We haven’t had a chance to actually count the number of people who rolled through here on the weekend, but the numbers are way up from last year.

So was the catch rate, most noticeably on big fish like the 7-pound, 10-ounce German brown landed by Kevin Ortiz on opening morning, a fish that earned first place in the Fred Hall Memorial Tournament.

Hot trolling gear this week at Crowley will include “anything with red or pink” like a Needlefish, Tasmanian Devil, Dick Nite or Thomas Buoyant.

Kevin Ortiz of Eastville with a 7-pound, 10-ounce brown landed opening morning at Lake Crowley. (Photo courtesy Crowley Lake FIsh Camp)