The Mammoth area offers Southern Californians the best, closest, most varied fly fishing for trout. There are several different types of waters to fish, giving anglers the opportunity to fish many different styles of fishing. Fly fishers visiting the Mammoth area have the option to fish all four basic types of angling water: spring creeks, tailwaters, freestone streams and stillwaters (lakes). As an added bonus there are quite a few fisheries that are open to angling all year around.
Dave Neal is Reel Mammoth Adventures and is a full-time year around fly fishing guide who is licensed, bonded, insured, and carries forest service permits for all the necessary waters in the region. Dave also has a BLM permit for the Trinity River where he guides for steelhead in the fall & winter months.
Born in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento, Dave was very fortunate to be introduced to the High Sierra at an early age. His family spent winters skiing the mountains and summers hiking them. This early and sustained exposure - to this day- leaves him with a greater sense of place being out-of-doors than in.
A culmination of life experiences brought him to the Eastside of the Sierra. Dave lives in the Mammoth Lakes area with his endearing wife Tracie, their daughter Bella, and their faithful border collie.
Dave has been a fly fishing guide since 2001. In 2002, He attended the Guide School at Clearwater House in northern California and promptly began working & guiding in the Mammoth Lakes region.
Since 2005, Dave has been operating his own independent guide service, Reel Mammoth Adventures, while also working with a local "guide group" of other top independent guides in the Mammoth region.
He is licensed, bonded, insured, and carry forest service permits for all the waters in the Mammoth Lakes area. CA DFG Lic. #3765
A quality guide will find situations to challenge the most experienced anglers, while facilitating the confidence in the beginner by teaching a solid foundation of the basics. Allow him to share his passion with you…Go’n fishin’!
The Eastern Sierra area boasts of at least four different strains of Rainbow, wild and reproducing Brown Trout, a couple of different species of Cutthroats, a few Brook Trout and the occasional Golden or Golden/Rainbow hybrids.
Fly fishers visiting the Mammoth area have the option to fish all four basic types of angling water: spring creeks, tailwaters, freestone streams and stillwaters (lakes). As an added bonus there are quite a few of the local fisheries that are open to angling all year around.
Trinity Steelhead - In the fall/winter months of November – January, Dave splits his time between guiding locally in the Eastern Sierra, squeezing in some waterfowl or upland hunts, and guiding in Northern California for steelhead on the Trinity River.
Dave is among a limited number of independent fishing guides issued a Bureau of Land Management permit for the public lands along the Trinity River.
The Trinity River is consistently one of the best rivers along the west coast to hook anadromous steelhead. The river experiences healthy runs of wild steelhead along with thousands of returning hatchery reared steelhead. These fish average between 4-10 pounds.
In addition to steelhead, the Trinity boasts runs of Chinook "king" salmon, Coho "silver" salmon and an added bonus of special sea-run brown trout, which are very rare anywhere on the west coast.
You will primarily fish from a drift boat, but you can get out of the boat and wade fish when desirable. Depending on the situation, Dave will focus on several techniques of steelheading with a fly rod - from nymphing with or without indicators to traditional swinging techniques with single or double handed Spey or switch rods.
They base their operations in Weaverville CA, minutes away from the banks of the Trinity River. Weaverville is about an hour west of Redding CA on Hwy 299. The town has several excellent restaurants and many options for accommodations.
Where To Fish
This is one of the most popular fly fishing streams in our area. Located 15 minutes from Mammoth, this fantastic spring creek contains one of the highest densities of trout per mile in the country.
The Upper Owens
Another local spring creek, this river has beautiful scenery with the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains as a backdrop. The Upper Owens features big meandering bends with undercut banks. There are no trees or bushes along most of the public water making the Upper Owens popular with beginners who want to keep their flies on their line and not in the branches.
The Lower Owens
This tailwater river is open all year long and a favorite with anglers who just cannot put the fishing rod away in winter. Excellent for beginners and experienced fly fishers, the Lower O. has an incredible population of wild brown trout. One can experience some of the best spring dry fly fishing here. In winter the river is an excellent place to hone your nymphing skills.
The East Walker
The East Walker is our best trophy trout river. If you are game for a technical fishing challenge, this is the place. The fish in this river are often measured by the foot!
The required hike in may not be for everyone. The Gorge is an excellent choice for anglers looking for dry fly fishing for wild brown trout.
The San Joaquin
This river is surrounded by designated wilderness and is breathtakingly beautiful. There is a lot of fishable water with secluded sections where it’s rare to come across other anglers.
This is our premier stillwater fishery. Probably better described as a “Hawg Farm” because the fish grow big and strong in this lake. There are days where 20 fish to hand per angler is common…averaging 16”-18” with plenty of girth and attitude.
Twin Lakes (Mammoth)
Twin Lakes is only 5 minutes from the front door of the fly shop. Probably the best lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin for fly fishers thanks to its extensive weed growth which supplies the fat trout a healthy supply of damsel flies, leeches and one of the best local callibaetis mayfly hatches.
This lake is Crowley’s little sister. It has the same high altitude alkaline personality as Crowley and produces some absolutely monster fish with less crowds.
There are a wide variety of lodging options in the immediate vicinity and range from hotels, motels, cabins and condo rentals.
Dave also has access to much of the area's famous private waters, some of which are only availale by booking the accompanying nights stays:
Half Day . . . 5 hrs drinks provided
1 or 2 anglers . . . $280.00
3rd angler add . . . $95.00
Full Day . . . 8 hrs lunch provided
1 or 2 anglers . . . $380.00
3rd angler add . . . $120.00
Please inquire about pricing for groups 4 anglers or more
Drift Boat Trips Lower Owens River
Full Day . . . 7-8 hrs w/ lunch
1 or 2 anglers . . . $380.00
Crowley Lake Fly Fishing From Boat
Same as Half Day or Full Day rate schedule