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EASTERN SIERRA REPORT: Crowley Lake offer opportunities to learn fly fishing


BY BOB SEMERAU/Special to Western Outdoor News Published: Aug 18, 2009


After a day of successful fishing on the “technical” waters of the East Walker we headed south to Crowley Lake Fish Camp for an opportunity to fish with local guide, Mickey Baron.

Mickey has guided Crowley for six years and has a reputation for innovation. He ties his own flies and has an assortment that is different from those fished by most on Crowley Lake. He also has created a pair of unique strike indicators, useful for still water fishing.

The morning broke calm and warm as we headed across Crowley Lake to McGee Bay and set up on the underwater channel which, according to the meter, was holding fish.

Mickey set up 5-weight rods and checked the depth before setting the indicator to fly length. He wanted the bottom fly to be just off the bottom some 12 inches or so.

“It’s just as important to use the right depth as it is to use the right fly. Cast out twenty-five feet and keep the rod tip down near the water,” Mickey advised Dylan as we started our fishing.

Several boats moved into the area as we began hooking fish with several doubles throughout the morning. The size 14 Super Shaft and the size 16 Copper Zebra flies were proving to be very effective under the “screwball” strike indicator created by Mickey.

Dylan had a tough time with one particularly large rainbow that ran out from the boat tearing line down halfway through the backing. Once the fish turned, it ran back at the boat, causing Dylan to crank the fly reel as fast as possible while we yelled “Reel, reel, reel,” all the while. The fish proved to be a big Crowley rainbow of over 22 inches.

Getting kids out on the water, even spots considered to be too technical, can hook a kid for life. A day like this, catching lots of great fish and learning about the area is what makes for lifetime memories for Granddads as well.

The Sierra is a great region to fish and with the right help they can be a great place for anybody to learn about fly fishing. “Technical” water like the East Walker can be unraveled and made easily fishable while sometimes difficult still waters like Crowley can be tamed with a little bit of local knowledge.

Contact Info:  Mickey Baron, Crowley Lake Guide Service, 760-937-3245

• MICKEY BARON HELPED 12-year-old Dylan Semerau trick this Crowley 'bow using a size 16 copper zebra fly.