Mammoth Lakes Fish Identification Guide

Mammoth Lakes, locally known as Mammoth, is home to a stunning collective of fully-stocked yet challenging lakes with top gamefish such as trout and bass. Mono County contains 21 different bodies of water, and anglers can find an assortment of species and types of fish in Mono County no matter when you stop by.

Below is your handy Mammoth Lakes fish identification guide so you can know when you have something quite common- or incredibly rare- as you scour the depths of Mammoth Lakes basin fishing. The list begins with the most accessible Mammoth local fish and moves to some of the most desirable and rarest.

Brown Trout

The Brown Trout is the ideal candidate for an all-around challenge. Brown Trout can be identified by their brown and black ringed spots intermixed with red-ringed spots on their back, sides, dorsal and adipose fins.

What the Brown Trout lacks in bright colors and a vibrant design it makes up for in speed. These clever fish occupy the rich and crevasses of the Sierra Mountain streams.

Some of the best fishing professionals aim to catch big and aggressive Brown Trout when fishing at Crowley Lake. The lake is an iconic local spot for finding some of the biggest trout in the state.

Rainbow Trout

Mammoth Lakes Fish Identification Guide || Rainbow Trout

Most experienced anglers will recognize the immediate appeal of the treasured Rainbow Trout. Interestingly, Rainbow Trout are not rare. Their body color can be variable but includes a characteristic pink streak on the sides, irregular spots on the sides, back, head, dorsal fin, and tail, and a greenish-blue to olive back.

They do make for some of the most exciting High Sierra trout fishing. They are famous for their alluring red glow which can be caught from above the surface. They are eternally connected to California fishing culture, and many visitors to Mammoth strive to catch at least one.

Any good Eastern Sierra fishing guide for day hikers should mention this species due to their beauty and ability to live in any small waterside creek. Even purists, against the idea of man-made re-stocking, love a good Rainbow Trout on the end of their line.

Golden Trout

No Eastern Sierra backcountry fishing guide is complete without a mention of this rare spectacle of a fish. This species is recognizable by the parr marks that remain on the fish throughout its life on the sides, as well as its red-pinkish streak similar to rainbow trout.

Being a prize to anglers, the Golden Trout could not be better named. The species is only found in lakes above 10,000 feet elevation, requiring some serious exploring and hiking.

Few, if any, lakes are accessible in the area by vehicle above this elevation. To make it even more desirable, the Golden Trout glows with this spectacular golden brown, making it one of, if not the most, sought-after gamefish species on the west coast.