The official fishing season in Mono County begins with enthusiasm on April 28th. Locals call it “Fishmas,” a celebration of many months of incredible bass fishing that has turned the region into an iconic fishing destination.
But, the season can’t last forever. When does fishing season end? By October, things have slowed down tremendously when it comes to fishing. After a few slower weeks and one final last rush of quality (and colder) bass fishing, the season officially comes to a close November 15th.
So what now? When fishing closes up and the winter season kicks into full gear, what can you still do in the wild and wonderful mountains of Mono County?
You can still have some wonderful fishing experiences if you are outside fishing season. A few selection locations do allow for year-round fishing. There are restrictions to this designation. For one, only catch-and-release is allowed. Secondly, only barbless artificial flies and lures are permitted in the year-round fishing areas.
All other fishing locations are closed out of season. Some of these year-round locations include both the East and West Walker River. You can also stop by the Hot Creek, just east of
Mammoth. It is one of the most promising and gorgeous fishing locations open year-round and close to Mammoth.
You can find plenty of other amazing activities for the off-season. During the span of September through November, Mammoth is widely known for its gorgeous fall colors when the willows, cottonwoods, and aspens begin to change leaf color. During this time period, the trees are in transition, changing from the glowing greens of the summer to the radiant and dark browns and yellows, oranges and crimson hues that radiate in the fall.
The transitions are remarkable. It is the astonishing sight that brings many people to Mammoth in the fall despite the cooler temperatures.
The colors are often described on a grade of 0-100% in terms of intensity of colors, with each sightseeing region peaking at different times of the year. Some of the top destinations to visit to see the fall colors include Mammoth Lakes, Sagehen Summit, Tioga Pass, Rock Creek, the June Lake Loop and many other areas where you can see the fall colors at their most brilliant.
Sagehen Summit is one of the grandest points in the region. It can be found off California Highway 120, on the southeast edge of the Mono Basin. You can find the parking location for the summit at the Benton exit on 120 East. It is one of the region’s most popular areas for advanced rock climbing and to see the incredible fall colors.
The official Mono County website has a breakdown of the transitions, rating them by grade depending on the time of year and providing insight into the best vistas in the region to help guide you.
The skiing culture is divine in Mammoth once fishing season closes. The ski season is spectacular, with many family fall and winter events in Mono County to keep you enthralled every afternoon of the winter. The skiing season commences in Mammoth on November 8th.
Guests can take advantage of lessons, rentals, and seasonal passes for unlimited entrance. Skiing is a definitive sport for the fishing off-season, with annual tournaments lined up for experienced skiers, but certainly not the only one. Even newcomers can come hit the slopes in year-round areas. Cross-country skiing is an accessible entry-level form of the sport that focuses mostly on flat terrain. Mammoth is also a premier snowboarding destination this time of year.
Other Winter Activities
Anyone hesitant to ski can find loads of fun things to do on Mammoth Mountain for the winter. Firstly, snowmobiling is a grand and popular activity. Guests will come packed, two to a snowmobile, to glide effortlessly on guided tours through the Sierra Nevadas. Visitors can also go on gondola rides to take in the views at the summit of Mammoth without necessarily having to ski their way back down. The summit of Mammoth is 11,000 feet in the air, and offers boundless views of the winter landscape.
You can still fish during the winter after the season has ended or see the most vivid vistas of the changing colors and snow covered landscape. You can ski, snowboard or go on adventurous mountain tours when the summer ends. Despite the cooler temperatures and the snow, Mammoth seems to come to life more than ever before when the fishing season takes a bit of a break. Stay at one of our Mammoth vacation rentals to enjoy it all in luxury.