2008 Crowley Lake Stillwater Classic Recap

Crowley Lake - Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County)

by The Trout Fitter Staff
(800) 637-6912

The Second Annual Stillwater Classic, a benefit for fisheries enhancement of Crowley Lake eclipsed the inaugural 2007 event by more than 50% raising $12,400 for the planting of Brown Trout for the lake. The total prize packages in team and individual categories totaled $8,500 and more than $10,000 was awarded in raffle prizes to the contestants. Don Goodyear was deemed the "Lord of the Fly" taking first place in the Indivdual category and Team Cybertrout, Bill Hammons and Bryan McBride, took the honors in the Team category. The grand prize raffle winner of a $4,000 bonefishing trip to the Bahamas, donated by the Trout Fly and Troutfitter, was Craig Higa of Gardena.


1st Place, Don Goodyear - 7 fish
2nd Place (tie) Dave Valadez - 6 fish
2nd Place (tie) Kevin Kinney - 6 Fish
4th Place (tie)Jim Kinney - 5 Fish
4th Place, (tie) Jason Morgan - 5 Fish

1st Place, Team Cyber Trout - 6.5 Fish avg.
2nd Place, Deep Creek Stillwater Team - 6.0 Fish avg.
3rd Place, Team En La Mosca - 5 Fish avg.
4th Place, Team Pulp Fishin' (passed their awards to the next place) 3.5 fish avg.
5th Place, (3-way tie) Team Gettin' Bit, Team Trio Minus One, A-Team - 3 Fish avg.

A special thank you to Dr. Wade Yoshi, the San Diego Fly Fishers, DPR Construction Company and Honda Marine, who all gave cash donations to the event. And, to Gordon and Susan Stolla, who donated the Water Skeeter pontoon boat, Minn Kota Motor and battery, which was the biggest revenue generator of the event, selling for $500. We'll make sure a few of those new Browns are earmarked to make their way to your flies next year! The sponsers who donated fishing gear, lodging and other gifts for the awards and raffle prizes are shown below. A super thanks to all you folks for your generousity!

Abel Reels
Adventures in Camping
California Fly Fisher
Central Reservations of Mammoth
Fish Pond
Galvan Fly Reels
Hendrix Outdoors
Holiday Haus in Mammoth
Honda Marine
Kittredges Sports
Outcast Watercraft
Pacific Fly Group
Performance Anglers
Rio Products Sage Manufacturing
Scott Flint Guide Service
Scott Fly Rods
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
Sierra Rentals
Smith Action Optics Snowcreek Resort
The Crowley Lake Fish Camp
The Mammoth Channel 72
The Trout Fly and Troutfitter
Umpqua Feather Merchants
Western Outdoor Publications
Whoa Nellie Deli - Tioga Mobil Mart
Please support these merchants with your business!

Fishing Recap
The fishing was tough for sure but those anglers who moved to the outside of the fleet faired the best. This is the norm for contests like this including the Double Haul in the Fall. The fish react to the sudden increase in activity on contest day and stop biting or move out from under the fleet to the perifiery.

For the most part, no one fished inside in the shallows (5-7 ft) near the weedline where the fish were very active early rolling on the surface chasing Perch Fry and those who were closest to that area did the best stripping and midging. The fleet was a good 200 feet outsi de and stayed there all day.

I put a line in 10 feet from the weed line for thirty seconds at about 7:30 am and was immediately hooked up using a blood worm and quietly landed it with my rod underwater to not give those in eyesight unfair information. Then again mid-morning, ditto, with a gray/black Optimidge and finally stuck a 24" monster in the last half hour of the contest with a size 18, dubbed-head, Olive Optimidge. I hate to say "I told you so" but that was the exact location and fly recommendation that was on the Fish Report all week before the contest.

Why everyone stuck in a tight pack outside in 8-10 ft of water all day not catching fish is my question. The cardinal rule of Crowley is "If you are not catching fish, change what you are doing . . . first your fly and then your location!"

Secondly, in any contest you have little chance of out-fishing other s if you are right next to them. There are no secret flies these days that can make that much of a difference. You have to take a chance and go find your own spot away from the troops and keep moving until you find fish or move to an area where you can see fish are being caught.

How to fish stillwater contests will be a topic covered in the Crowley Lake University seminar we are giving in Fullerton on Saturday, August 23. If you want to be competitive in contests or just want to catch more fish every time you fish the lake, it will be the best $60 you ever spent! -k

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for Thursday, August 14th, 2008

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