Nestled amidst the scenic Eastern Sierras of California, Crowley Lake is a go-to destination for fishing enthusiasts, RV travelers, and outdoor adventurers seeking a peaceful retreat. Spanning across 5280 acres and boasting depths of up to 126 feet, Crowley Lake is home to a variety of rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout that will surely make your fishing experience unforgettable.

No matter your skill level, this complete angler’s guide will equip you with all the essential insights you need for a successful fishing trip to Crowley Lake. We’ll be covering everything from the best fishing spots and techniques to the most appropriate gear and regulations.


Looking for a hassle-free camping experience? Adventure in Camping is your trusted partner for unforgettable RV trips. Send us an email at or give us a call at (844) 385-1863 to start planning your next big getaway.


The History of Crowley Lake

Approximately 700,000 years ago, Owens Valley was shaken by massive eruptions that caused a volcanic collapse. Hot ash and debris filled the valley, which was once a vast meadowland.

But in 1941, the City of Los Angeles built the Long Valley Dam, giving birth to the breathtaking Crowley Lake we know today. This stunning body of water was named after the “desert Padre,” Fr. John J. Crowley, a local hero and a significant figure in the history of Owens Valley.

Today, Crowley Lake is a haven for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. From hiking and fishing to simply soaking in the stunning surroundings, there’s something here for everyone. So why not come and explore? 


The Best Fishing Spots in Crowley Lake

Shore-Based Fishing Spots

If you’re looking for convenient and accessible fishing spots at Crowley Lake, shore-based locations are a great option. Here are some of the most popular shore-based fishing spots at the lake:

  • Layton Springs: is known for its shallow waters and rocky bottom, which attract a variety of fish species, including rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout
  • Sandy Point: offers ample shoreline access for casting your line and is home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout
  • Alligator Point: has great views of the lake and is known for producing some of the biggest trout catches
  • McGee Bay: home to numerous coves and points, making it an ideal spot for catching trout
  • Green Banks: characterized by its rocky banks, and the deep waters near the shore make it an ideal spot for catching rainbow and brown trout
  • Hilton Bay: features a boat launch, parking area, and a small beach area that’s perfect for shore-based fishing; it’s also a popular spot for fly fishing


Boat-Based Fishing Spots

If you prefer to explore the lake from the water, boat-based fishing spots offer a unique and exciting experience. Here are some of the top boat-based fishing spots at Crowley Lake:

  • Sandy Point: not only ideal for shore-based fishing, but also a great spot to launch your boat and explore the deeper waters of the lake
  • Alligator Point: another popular spot for both shored-based and boat-based fishing; its boat launch and parking area make it easy to launch your boat and get out on the water
  • North Arm: offers plenty of room for boats, where anglers can explore the deeper waters of the lake and cast their lines in search of some of the lake’s biggest fish
  • South Arm: features deep waters and rocky banks, which make it an ideal spot for catching rainbow and brown trout


The Most Effective Techniques for Fishing

Techniques for Different Types of Fish

One of the most important factors for successful fishing is using the right techniques for the specific fish species you’re targeting. Here are some tips on effective fishing techniques for the three main types of fish found in Crowley Lake:

  • Rainbow Trout: Rainbow trout are known for their aggressive feeding habits, making them relatively easy to catch. Effective techniques for catching rainbow trout include trolling with a variety of lures, using small spinners, and fly fishing with streamers or dry flies.
  • Brown Trout: Brown trout can be more challenging to catch than rainbow trout, but they’re also known for their large size. Effective techniques for catching brown trout include using live bait, such as worms or minnows, trolling with spinners or crankbaits, and fly fishing with streamers or nymphs.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Cutthroat trout are known for their skittish behavior and can be more challenging to catch than rainbow or brown trout. Effective techniques for catching cutthroat trout include using small jigs or spinners, fly fishing with small nymphs or dry flies, and trolling with small lures.

In addition to these species-specific techniques, anglers should also pay attention to the water conditions and adjust their techniques accordingly. Factors such as water temperature, depth, and clarity can all have an impact on the behavior of fish, so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable when fishing.

Bait and Lure Recommendations

Choosing the right bait and lures is also critical for successful fishing at Crowley Lake. Here are some recommendations for the best bait and lures to use when fishing in the lake:

  • Live Bait: Live bait, such as worms or minnows, can be effective for catching brown trout, cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout.
  • Artificial Lures: Artificial lures, such as spinners or crankbaits, can be effective for catching brown trout and rainbow trout. Small jigs and spinners can be effective for cutthroat trout.
  • Flies: Flies are a popular choice for fly fishing in Crowley Lake. Nymphs, dry flies, and streamers can all be effective, depending on the type of fish and fishing technique.

When choosing bait and lures, it’s important to match them to the specific fish species and the fishing technique being used. Experimenting with different types of bait and lures can help anglers find the most effective combinations and increase their chances of success.


The Different Types of Fishing Gear to Bring

Essential Rods, Reels, and Lines

Using the right fishing gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience at Crowley Lake. Here are some recommendations on the essential rods, reels, and lines needed for fishing in the lake:

  • Rods: When choosing a fishing rod for Crowley Lake, it’s important to consider the length and action of the rod. A longer rod, such as a 7 to an 8-foot rod, is ideal for shore-based fishing, while a shorter rod, such as a 6-foot rod, is better suited for boat-based fishing. The action of the rod should also be matched to the type of fishing being done and the fish species being targeted. For example, a medium-action rod is ideal for catching rainbow trout, while a fast-action rod is better suited for catching brown trout.
  • Reels: When choosing a reel for Crowley Lake, it’s important to match it to the fishing line being used and the type of fishing being done. A spinning reel is a good choice for most types of fishing at Crowley Lake, as it offers versatility and ease of use. It’s also important to choose a reel with a high line capacity to handle the large fish commonly found in the lake.
  • Lines: The type of fishing line used at Crowley Lake will depend on the type of fish being targeted and the fishing technique being used. The Monofilament line is a popular choice for most types of fishing, while the braided line is better suited for heavy cover and deep-water fishing. When choosing a fishing line, it’s important to consider the pound-test strength and diameter of the line to match it to the fish species being targeted.

Other Essential Equipment

In addition to the essentials, there are other pieces of equipment that you’ll need for a successful and comfortable fishing experience at Crowley Lake. Here are some recommendations:

  • Tackle Box: A tackle box is perfect for organizing and storing fishing tackle, such as hooks, weights, and lures. A tackle box with compartments and trays can help keep everything organized and easily accessible.
  • Fishing Net: A fishing net is useful for landing fish and preventing them from escaping. A net with a large hoop and a long handle is ideal for fishing in Crowley Lake.
  • Pliers: Pliers are essential for removing hooks and other fishing tackle from fish. A pair of pliers with a built-in cutter can also be useful for cutting fishing line.
  • Clothing and Gear: When fishing at Crowley Lake, it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and bring gear such as sunglasses, a hat, a fishing vest, sunscreen, and insect repellent.


Fishing Regulations to Keep in Mind

As a responsible camper, you must also follow fishing regulations at Crowley Lake to help preserve the fish populations.

Seasonal Restrictions

The fishing season at Crowley Lake typically runs from the last Saturday in April through July 31. However, there may be restrictions on fishing during certain times of the year, such as during the spawning season for fish. 

It’s important to check with local authorities and observe any restrictions to help preserve the lake’s fish populations. Some of the best times of year for fishing in the lake include the early season in late April and early May, as well as the fall months from September through November.

Catch Limits

To help preserve the fish populations in Crowley Lake, there are catch limits and size restrictions in place for different fish species. For example, the daily catch limit for rainbow trout is five fish, with a minimum size limit of 18 inches. For brown trout, the daily catch limit is two fish, with a minimum size limit of 18 inches. 

It’s important to follow catch limits and practice catch-and-release fishing whenever possible to help ensure a sustainable fishing experience for years to come.

Licensing Requirements

Anglers fishing at Crowley Lake is required to have a valid California fishing license, regardless of age or residency. Fishing licenses can be obtained online through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website or at local bait and tackle shops. There are options for one-day, two-day, ten-day, and annual licenses for both residents and non-residents of California.

It’s important to ensure compliance with all licensing requirements to avoid fines or other penalties.


Plan Your Next Fishing Trip With Us

With the right techniques, gear, and knowledge of fishing regulations, fishing at Crowley Lake can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience. By following the tips and recommendations in this guide, you’ll increase your chances of catching fish and experiencing the beauty of this Eastern Sierra destination.


Crowley Lake is a true gem in the region and a popular destination for RV enthusiasts. To fully enjoy your trip, Adventure in Camping offers top-of-the-line RV rentals for your convenience. Don’t hesitate to book your rental now and experience the adventure of fishing at Crowley Lake. Contact us at (844) 385-1863 or send us a message to learn more about our RV rental options.