Fishing The Eastern Sierra California


Next to the Sierra, there is a large plain and arid area stretching east of Nevada and covering Utah partially. This area is known as the Great Basin. The name is uniquely given to this area as its water doesn’t meet the sea but end in pools of alkaline and salty water. The western edge of this basin joins the east side of the Sierra which is locally known as the Eastern Sierra, a very famous region of California. It comprises of Inyo and Mono Districts and accessible through Route 395 which crosses many cities from Bridgeport to Lee Vining, Bishop to Big Pine and from Independence to Lone Pine and Olancha. Amongst these cities, Bishop is the largest city area wise and sporadically inhabited by the locals. Due to the Eastern Sierra’s scenic beauty, lakes, rivers & creeks it makes a great spot for a fishing expedition. Anglers can find a good day of catch and release of various species of fish, but few popular spots are the Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Twin Lakes, Owen River & Creek, Big Pine Creek, Death Valley National Park, Manzanar, Bodie and parts of Yosemite National Park

The splendid beauty of the Alpine Forests, heavily snow clad winters and rejuvenating & mild summers make it a complete package for vacations, summer camping in the wild and participating in the winter sports across the Sierra. Skiers from all around the world come here to participate in the winter sports near Mammoth Lakes, and Lake Tahoe, organized by the resorts present nearby. Anglers target quiet places for anchoring and fishing, whereas the hikers explore the best trails. Popularly known for its Lakes, Creeks, Rivers, and Forests, the tourists are equally attracted towards the eastern desert that provides a good variety to fishing enthusiasts. 

The dynamic topography of Sierra reflects the very unpredictable climatic situation. The winters are below freezing levels while summers are fairly pleasant. Apart from providing a delight to your eyes by its beautiful scenery, Sierra inhabits an array of local wildlife and plantations varying from region to region due to its erratic landscape. The Eastern Sierra inhabits more than 16 types of Native fish and more than 20 Sport Fish. 

Fish Species and Fishing at Eastern Sierra, California

Only a few Native fish such as Cutthroat Trout, Eagle Lake Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Speckled Dace, Redside, Owen and Tahoe Sucker, Pupfish & Sculpin, have survived and dwell in small thermal springs, creeks, and lakes. Non Native sports fish which are widely available include Rainbow, Golden, Brown, Brook & Lake Trout, Arctic Grayling, Carp, Golden Shiner, Sacramento Blackfish, White Catfish, Channel Catfish, Black Bullhead & Brown Bullhead Catfish, White, Small and Large mouthed Bass, Bluegill sunfish, Sacramento Perch and many more.

Mono District

Popular place amongst anglers, East &West Walker River, Upper Owens River, and Hot Creek are the places to be during the fishing season. East Walker River which resides near Bridgeport, West Walker situated towards the north of Mono County and Owens River & Hot Creek near Mammoth Lakes have a wide variety of fish present mainly Wild Brown, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout. Weather here is unpredictable and can vary from a blizzard to a glaringly sunny day in a matter of just days.


Anglers visit Pleasant Valley Reservoir near the lower Owens River during winter and mainly springtime for the Black Jones derby and other contest arranged by the local authorities. Rainbows and Wild Brown Trout are mainly available here during spring and winters. It’s a paradise for fly and shoreline fishing!

Boating is not allowed here; however, float tubing facilities are available.

Big Pine South to Lone Pine

Tinnemaha Reservoir, Owens River and other small lakes are found here. Wide varieties of Bass, Catfish, and Trout are found here. Bass & Catfish are majorly found in the reservoir where fishermen/ women can fish from the mouth of the dam. Boating and Float tubing facilities are restricted in the reservoir. Small and Large Mouthed Bass are found in the small creeks, rivers, and lakes near Southern side of Lone Pine at Owens Lake. Towards the eastern side of highway 395 and southern side of Owens Valley, the Owens River has large reserves of Blue Gill and Bass present, but only shoreline and float tubing fishing are possible due to condensing growth of tule.

Amenities at Eastern Sierra, California

Boating is not allowed in most of the regions, but anglers can enjoy float tubing and shoreline fishing as there are many access points all over the Eastern Sierra. Many fishing derbies and contest are held all year round and can be searched on the county’s websites.

However few lakes like Mammoth lakes provide the opportunity of Boating, Kayaking and Paddle Boating. Boats, Motor Boats, Kayaks, and Paddle Boats, are easily available in these areas

Lodging at Eastern Sierra, California

Adventure packed, outdoorsy vacation doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. At Eastern Sierra, you can enjoy all the updated modern world facilities at the hotels, relax and rejuvenate yourself at a spa and take it easy.

An array of accommodation options are available at Eastern Sierra ranging from large comfortable hotels and resorts to budget-friendly B&BS, Motels, Cabins and Condos. Camping and RV options are also available.

Outside Attractions at Eastern Sierra, California

Eastern Sierra has an inconsistent personality in terms of weather and geography, but it has an array of attractions other than fishing to attract the anglers and tourist and keeping them occupied in its scenic beauty.

Bird Watching

A blast of surreal landscapes, Eastern Sierra, offers ideal spots for bird watching clubbed with amazing sceneries. Sierra Birding Trail is a 200 miles stretched area in Inyo District where you can see various bird species such as American Dippers, Long-Eared Owls, Golden and Bald Eagles, Wood Ducks, Shorebirds, Thrashers, rosy finches, and many migratory birds.


The scattered habitation of the locals gives a chance to tourist to explore the surreal Eastern Sierra on thousands of miles of paved roads and trails where they can cycle, hike or simply use a bicycle to explore. Few areas are the US Highway 395, Owens Valley, Canyons and Death Valley. Spring is a great time to see the Death Valley blanketed under the bed of flowers, blooming, and spreading joy.


Furnace Creek and Bishop Country Clubs are the famous golf spots for golfers vacationing at Eastern Sierra. In the boundaries of National Park, Furnace Creek is a golf course of just 18 holes with the lowest elevation in the world.

Horseback Riding

Day trips to Onion Valley, Crest Trail, Bishop Creek Canyon, and John Muir Wilderness can be visited by jumping on the horseback and exploring these places one on one.

Bouldering & Rock Climbing

The drastic landscape has led to various rock formations which provide an opportunity to the tourist for rock climbing and bouldering. Few famous rock climbing areas in the Inyo County are Alabama Hills, Happy & Sad Boulders of Volcanic Tablelands, The Gorge and Buttermilk.

Skiing and Snowshoeing

Due to extreme winters, Eastern Sierra is a great choice for winter sports such as Skiing and Snowshoeing. Onion Valley, Mount Whitney, Wahoo Gullies, Mount Tom, Shepherd Pass, and Elderberry Canyon are few spectacular sites for Skiing and Snowshoeing.








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