Rock Creek

Fishing Rock Creek

Just about halfway between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, the Rock Creek area provides a myriad of fishing, camping, and hiking opportunities for the outdoorsman. Rock Creek and Rock Creek Lake are both regularly stocked by the DFG (at least when the hatcheries aren’t shut down).

About the Creek

To my understanding, there are four main sections of the creek that people fish. From Tom’s Place to East Fork, the creek is a fairly fast flowing freestone-style creek with the occasional deep pool. The DFG usually stocks near the campgrounds or where the creek is easily accessible from the road, making for decent fishing if you get the timing right. There are also a few natives here and there but I’ve found it tough going - I’ve walked downstream from East Fork for nearly 3 hours once, throwing my entire tackle box with nary a nibble.

Near East Fork, the creek turns into a calm, slow moving meadow area. I’ve mostly caught smaller wild fish in this area, which seem to be fairly aggressive - a mix of brookies, browns and rainbows. Near the East Fork campground you start running into both a few more stockers as well as faster water and heavier pressure.

Between East Fork to about Pine Grove, the stream returns into a fast moving, pocket-water style creek. This section seems to be pretty decently stocked, thanks to the campgrounds. Try worms, mice tails, or small lures - all seem to do quite well when drifted with the current. A few pools here and there hold some larger fish. The rest of the creek until Rock Creek Lake is much slower moving, and makes for prime dry fly fishing territory.

Above Rock Creek Lake, the creek mostly returns to its freestone roots. A lot of people fly fish in this area - near Mosquito Flats, you can often people taking fly fishing lessons. Above Mosquito Flats, Rock Creek forms a number of small lakes and ponds in what is known as the Little Lakes Valley. At around 10,000 feet, hiking here provides views of beautiful high-altitude scenery. The hikes are also fairly flat, making this area a good choice for kids. The lakes here have mostly brook trout, although some have rainbows, browns, and goldens - check out this website for more info.

A happy fisherman with a stocker rainbow pulled out from Rock Creek

A stocker rainbow pulled out from Rock Creek near Pine Grove

Notes

There are a number of campgrounds in this area - check out this website. There are also two resorts that provide cabin-style accomodations - see here and here.

Check out my stream trout fishing guide.

For the trout:

Panther Marin, 1/16 oz

A classic trout spinner. I like a retrieve with many erratic jerks with these spinners, to let the blade flutter as much as possible. Traditionally the gold blade with black body and yellow spots has been the most effective for me, but the other colors should also work.
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Powerbait Micetails

A less messy version of Powerbait, which is basically a piece of soft plastic infused with the Powerbait flavoring. I prefer the micetails in moving water, as they have a more natural appearance and drift more naturally.
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Disclaimer: the above purchase links are mostly Amazon Affiliate links that help me keep this website running. I use all of the above products every time I go fishing.

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