Fishing entrepreneur Ronnie Kovach, who last weekend led seminars for anglers in the Village, got a surprise phone call at the otherworldly time of 8 a.m. last Saturday.
It was from a fishing buddy who was out on Crowley Lake.
Kovach, who does radio and video shows out of Los Angeles, reported that his pal and his pal’s pals, all had their trout limits, and would he like to join them for beertime?
So it went on this year’s Opening Day.
It was, as predicted by almost all knowledgeable trout-o-philes, just about perfect.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better kickoff,” said Mammoth Tourism Director John Urdi. “It was a great opener. The word on the street was that everybody had a good time.
“There were bigger fish, and a lot of fish, across the board.”
Urdi said ticket raffle sales for the boat giveaway reached $3,000, all of which went toward the stocking of fish, and from beer sales from Mammoth Brewing, a Fishmas Day sponsor.
Urdi said the Fishmas Celebration in the Village went all right, too, even given its first-year status.
“First-year events are always tough,” he said, “but the people who were there seemed to like it.
“In a way, it was a kind of ‘Welcome Back’ event for anglers who have been coming up here for years.”
It wasn’t just Crowley that had big action.
At Convict Lake, the resort reported top springtime fishing conditions.
“We had a great Fishing Opener Weekend and look forward to a exciting fishing season,” the resort posted on its website.
“By popular request, we also are in the process of developing a fishing map with instructions by zones.”
The Convict Catch of the Week was a three-pound rainbow, brought in by Bob Callahan of Temecula. He used night crawlers along the North Shore to land the big fattie.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Fishing Club, the Phantoms Fishermen, came in with impressive stringers, with their success coming by way of night crawlers and PowerBait along the South Shore.
Overall, anglers at Convict had the most success with night crawlers and Green/Yellow PowerBait, and the hotspots were the Inlet, Outlet, North Shore, South Shore, Creek, Jetty, Handicap Pier and Hangman’s Tree.
But actually, the entire Eastern Sierra had hotspots up and down the escarpment—one of the best openers in at least a decade.