EASTERN SIERRA — Trout season officially kicked off in California’s Eastern Sierra region on April 29. The annual inland lakes fishing season opener in the Sierra Nevada region – colloquially referred to as “Fishmas” – is a regular draw for angling enthusiasts. This year’s opener was highlighted by the 11-pounds, 12-ounce brown trout catch at Lower Twin Lake near Bridgeport Reservoir.
Two other notable catches were made at the Bridgeport Reservoir region, making the watering hole the go-to destination for anglers this spring.
Kyle Springermeyer of Galt set the opening weekend mark with his 11-pound, 12-ounce trophy brown trout at Lower Twin Lake. Meanwhile Garth Robert Shaw of Pittsburg, California reeled in an 8-5 holdover rainbow trout, according to reports.
Kyle Shelden, also at Bridgeport Reservoir, caught a 7-4 brown trout.
“Bridgeport Reservoir produced a lot of trout and the quality was excellent across the board with most of the fish topping two pounds with a bunch of three- to five-pounders,” fishing columnist Jim Matthews stated in his May 6 report. “Upper Twin was fair to good with rainbows to five pounds, but no trophy browns.
“Virginia Lakes drew a few hardy ice-fish souls who made the two-mile trek from where the road was cleared. Little Virginia was very slow, but Big Virginia was excellent,” Matthews continued.
The Eastern Sierra opener also attracts anglers from outside of California. Victor Tafolla of Utah, for example, won the June Lake Monster Trout Contest with his 6-pound, 7-ounce rainbow trout catch. Tafolla caught his rainbow on PowerBait.
“June was the best spot in the Loop with pretty good numbers and rainbows to eight pounds since opener. Gull is tough with an algae bloom, while Silver was just fair,” Matthews wrote in his May 6 report. “Grant was also pretty fair, but trollers working within 100 feet of shore dragging Rapalas or similar lures had quite a few brown trout from 16 to 18 inches (up to 3 pounds). Rush Creek also produced a few browns in that size range. All of the loop waters produced a lot of DFW catchable rainbows.”
A 5.2-pound cutthroat trout was the winning catch of the Fred Hall Memorial Big Fish Contest’s adult contest, according to reports; the trout was reeled in by Steve Martinez of Crestline. Martinez reeled in his winning trout at Crowley Lake.
Mason Anderson of North Hills won the contest’s junior division with a 5.4-pound trout.
Crowley Lake’s top catch was a 6-14 trout catch by Nash Helm.
Other top spots include Bishop Creek, Sabrina Lake, North Lake, South Lake, East Walker River, Hot Creek and Upper Owens River.
Bridgeport Reservoir photo