Click here for Team Payment of $20.00
Welcome to the first ever Trout Rodeo, which will be Bishop, California on February 26, 2022! This catch and release tournament is a challenge to ALL anglers to see who comes out on top. The event is open to fly and conventional anglers and we have made it easy to be a part of it!
Cost– $25 per person.
Teams – There is an additional fee ($20) if you want to compete in the team category and there will be separate prizes for each team member. To compete as a team, you must designate a Team Leader as all participants need to register individually and the leader will place you on the team. The cost of being a team can be split among the members but cannot be handled within iAngler.
Other Categories – There will be separate categories for fly caught and lure caught along with separate prizes. If you are a licensed guide or lodge/retail owner, you may participate in a separate category for no cost. If you are affiliated with Casting For Recovery and/or Project Healing Waters, there is no charge for you to participate as an individual or as a team. If you are in this category, please contact Graham or Michael for the passcode.
Scoring – All individual anglers MUST register and use the iAngler app (https://www.ianglertournament.com/2022-bishop-trout-rodeo). This app allows you to photograph and record your catch, where it is then sent to the event administrator for scoring. Fish must be measured from the tip of their nose to the fork of their tail and rounded to the next lowest ¼”. All species available (trout, carp and bass) will count towards your total score and must be released. All catches must be photographed with your phone for verification. All flies and lures MUST be a single hook and de-barbed. In the case of lures, replacing your treble hook with a single barbless hook is fine. Foul hooked fish (not mouth hooked) will not be counted. Scores for each individual will be totaled and finalists (1st, 2nd, 3rd) determined.
Team Scoring – total score for the team will be divided by the number of members and that number will determine your place. So teams of ANY SIZE are accepted.
iAngler will “hold” the record of your catch until your phone can get Internet coverage and at that point, will download your catches to the event administrator for scoring. All catches MUST be caught during the designated time of the tournament (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and within the eligible waters as listed below. Your catch is automatically time and location stamped.
Awards and Prizes – There will be three winners in each category (fly, gear, fly team, gear team, non-profits). Each winner will be awarded raffle tickets to be used in the giant raffle of goods following the event. Award levels are listed below. Any participant in the Tournament can buy additional ticket through our on-line portals
|1st place individual – 100 tix||1st place team – 50 tix each|
|2nd place individual – 50 tix||2nd place team – 20 tix each|
|3rd place individual – 20 tix||3rd place team – 10 tix each|
Additional raffle tickets may be purchased at the event
$1.00 – 1 ticket
$5.00 – 6 tickets
$20.00 – 30 tickets
$50.00 – 100 tickets
Hours of event
7 a.m. – 8 a.m. – Registration happens when you sign in with the iAngler app. But we are asking everyone to meet at the Tri-County Fairgrounds parking lot for a quick Q&A (if you have any) and to wish everyone luck. if you have any questions ahead of or during the event, we will be available by phone. Michael Schweit 818.6019702, Graham Day 562.2219340. You MUST be signed into iAngler before the start time of 9 a.m. so please plan accordingly. Before the event, you will need to download and install iAngler. Once you are signed in to the event, you are responsible for taking photographs and measurements.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – head out and fish your favorite area! Feel free to move around but be sure not to crowd other anglers.
6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – At this point, we are hoping we can have a dinner, raffles and awards at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. This is all subject to Covid restrictions and will be announced closer to the event. Winners will be announced that night in some shape or form!
Eligible Waters – With the DFW regulations changes, there are many additional waters open to fishing at this time of year. So rather than limiting the fishing areas to the Lower Owens and Pleasant Valley Reservoir, we are expanding the area to Long Ears in the north (Upper Owens) all the way down to Independence in the south. You still need to be fishing waters that are designated as open and follow all DFW regulations on this matter. And as we do not know the weather for the day of the event, we leave it up to each contestant to fish with safety in mind. You need to allow enough time to get a cell signal so your catch is transferred to us no later than 4:30 p.m. and to be back at the Tri-County Fairgrounds by 6 for awards and prize drawings.
We have signed up with The Rolling Chef 395 Food Truck to be at the Fairgrounds by 5:30 so you can grab a bite before awards and prizes.
Lodging – there are campgrounds at Pleasant Valley Reservoir and many hotels/motels in Bishop. We are working on event pricing.
Covid 19 – Participants agree to wear a facial covering (over mouth and nose) when indoors or when outdoors and within 6 feet of persons from another household. While in Inyo County, they take face covering seriously when indoors or when outdoors without physical distancing.
As requested by county officials, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham delayed the start of the trout opener in Alpine, Inyo and Mono counties. The director made this decision in consultation with California Fish and Game Commission President Eric Sklar.
The trout season was scheduled to open in these three counties this Saturday, April 25. The delay to the opener in these counties expires May 31.
Meanwhile, more fishing for shut-ins, this time at Brooks Falls – Katmai National Park, Alaska.
Update: The Bishop Chamber of Commerce has announced significant changes for this weekend’s Blake Jones Trout Derby. In light of rapidly evolving concerns regarding Corona Virus/COVID-19, “social distancing” and “mass gatherings,” the Bishop Chamber is taking measures to at reduce risk to derby attendees, staff and volunteers for the event.
“We’ve given careful consideration to the situation including consulting with the Inyo County Public Health Officer,” Tawni Thomson of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce said. Dr. Richardson stated he feels the event is low risk and did not recommend cancellation; however, in order to minimize chances of virus spread, the Chamber Board of Directors has decided to eliminate the traditional awards ceremony “mass gathering” portion of the derby and all prizes will be awarded via raffle.
How will this work?
Everyone who has pre-registered for the derby will automatically be entered into the raffle.
Winners will be chosen on Monday, March 16, then notified by email or phone.
Winners will have the option to pick up the prize at the Chamber or have it shipped.
People that have pre-purchased a t-shirt will have the option to pick up at Chamber or have it shipped.
There will be no fish-weighing and no prize ceremony at the fairgrounds.
Anyone who does not wish to be in the raffle will have registration fee refunded.
“The fish have been stocked, the prizes are all ready to go,” Chamber Event Coordinator April Leeson said. The Bishop Chamber understands the annual derby is a beloved tradition that draws anglers from near and far to enjoy the family-friendly fishing event. They also understand the derby is very important to our local economy. “Although less than ideal, we believe this plan represents a good balance between preserving the fishing tradition and accommodating current health care concerns,” added Leeson.
“We’re calling our new format Plan “C” for Coronavirus,” Thomson said. “We are keeping a good sense of humor about the situation and we hope everyone that chooses to fish near Bishop this weekend has great luck and a great time.”
PRESS RELEASE: Since 1968, the Blake Jones Trout Derby has been a favorite event in the Eastern Sierra.
This year’s event is slated for Saturday, March 12, 6 a.m.-3 p.m., at Pleasant Valley Reservoir and promises to be tons of fun for everyone!
Nearly $10,000 worth of cash and prizes will be awarded including float tubes, rods and reels, gift certificates and more. The derby is a blind bogey format with categories for adults and kids of all ages.
Prior to the derby all waters near Bishop will be well stocked with plenty of trout by California Department of Fish & Wildlife and Desert Springs Trout Farm.
We encourage everyone to register early to make derby day check-in quick and easy.
Click here to get printable entry form. Print, complete and mail in with registration fee. You can also pre-order your Blake Jones commemorative t-shirt.
The Blake Jones Trout Derby is organized by Bishop Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsored by Inyo Count, City of Bishop, plus many other generous prize sponsors.
For more information, contact the Bishop Chamber at (760)873-8405.
Stoked by a warm-water fishing article that recently appeared in Cal Fly Fisher mag, my son and I stopped in Lone Pine over the weekend to check out the lower Owens. After all, I’d fished the ponds behind Bishop for bass and panfish, and this piece sang the praises of throwing a bass bug into the river’s hot summer waters.
After a two-minute ride from town we found, yes, more water flowed; the weather was unseasonably hot as blazes; and we did spot a good-sized bass near a bank.
But now for that all-important cast … bonk. Only the croak of an insistent bull frog kept us smiling.
The looming LORP problem for the fly fisherman remains terrible access. If you’re a tule, you’re really a happy camper surrounded by lots of your tule friends, but if you’re struggling through them, fly rod in hand, feet in the muck leading to where you might find the river’s edge, it’s just not so good. Casting? No way. The only casts we got in were right next to the road.
Last summer, reporter Louis Sagahun from the Los Angeles Times penned:
“The largest river restoration ever attempted in the West — intended to support a cornucopia of wildlife and outdoor activities — has left a 62-mile stretch of the Lower Owens so overrun with cattails, cane and bulrushes that it may take decades to bring them under control.”
He was writing about the Lower Owens River Project, LORP for short, that began about six years ago when L.A. Department of Water and Power began putting more water into the river that it had diverted to Los Angeles Aqueduct since 1913.
It’s a shame to have the restoration project in full swing, as evidenced by the nifty explanatory signage about the project and a new, shiny access gate, and not be able to fish. Anybody got a lawn mover?
I’d skip this one until there’s a solution, possibly like the disabled fishing platform on the ponds outside Bishop.
See you on the river, Jim Burns
How’s the old Sam Cooke song go?
“It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy,
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”
Jumpin’, that is, everywhere except the eastern Sierra.
Who’s to blame for this atrocity?
Every summer, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes and environs are overrun with bait and fly fishermen, who want to catch as many naturals and plants as possible, from opening day in late April, until season’s end, Nov. 15. You’ll see them wade, float and paddle in the area’s lakes, rivers, streams and private waters. You’ll see them buying up as many worms, dry flies, nymphs and streamers as the sports and fly shops can carry. New expensive rods sell; flashy reels fly off the shelves; tippet and leaders; hemostats and non-felt-bottom boots. Bammo! It’s usually an injection of debit cards and cash for the summer economy.
So this year who’s to blame for fishing that can only be described by this writer as mediocre? That’s after three days on water from the C/R area of Rush Creek, to Hot Creek, to the C/R lower Owens.
Well, here’s the sad truch: It’s not actually who’s to blame, but what.
And that what is Mother Nature.
After a snowpack that was the best in years — 199 percent of normal — and a cool spring, the Tioga Pass, which connects Highway 395 to Yosemite’s eastern gate, finally opened Saturday, June 18. According to the Mammoth Times, Tuolumne Meadows still has a summer blanket of several feet of snow. Rivers are running at ridiculous levels. Maybe some visiting Hollywood producer will make a disaster movie about it in the vein of “2012.”
I mean when’s the last time a guide actually refunded your trip deposit, rather than take you out? It just happened to me.
My son and I watched the white caps on Hot Creek as the water tore through that wind-beaten canyon. You read that correctly — white caps.
So, if you’re headed up for your annual Sierra fix, better check the cfs numbers carefully. The same guide told me he didn’t expect normal flows until August. According to him, last year, which also had unusually heavy snowfall, July was the magical month.
Aside from private waters not affected by the torrent of water coming off the mountains, if you must fish (and if you’re like me, you must), try The Gorge, north of Bishop, off Highway 395. Any fly shop can give you exact directions.
Two cautions: it is hot as blazes — expect the high 90s or more — and an unfriendly plant called stinging nettle certainly will make you miserable if you brush against it. Access to the water is down a long, steep, gated road, which means you have to have something left in the tank for the 25-minute or so trudge back up. Long pants, yes; extra water, please, and sunscreen (try the new spray-on from Trader Joe’s. Good stuff.)
Even with the moderate water flows, fishing The Gorge is tough. We managed to catch several browns in several hours; the lengths were more Southern California average than the monsters you’ll find on any local fly fishing Web site. Much as I hate to write this, I probably wouldn’t do it again this season.
As the world’s most honest guide said to me as I signed for my refund, “You fellas are just here at the wrong time, hell, wrong season.”
Which is great news for thirsty Los Angeles after a string of drought years.
See you on the river, Jim Burns