Location and Overview
The eastern slope of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is justly famous for its outstanding trout fishing, and in this respect Lake Sabrina definitely does not disappoint. Located about 20 miles from Bishop, CA at an elevation of about 9100 feet (check out the map), Lake Sabrina is home to boatloads of trophy-size rainbows and is conveniently close to a number of area campgrounds and lodges. Hotel accomodations and other amenities are available in the town of Bishop itself.
Fishermen rate Lake Sabrina:
Fishin’ Lake Sabrina
Sabrina’s appeal to anglers can be summed up in just one word: TROUT! And they’re here in all sizes, ranging from pan-size to five pounders, plus. The California Department of Fish and Game plants hatchery fish in the lake on a regular basis during the fishing season, which runs from the last Saturday in April through November 15. For more info on DFG’s stocking schedule, click here. Alpers trout are also planted in the area by Adopt-A-Creek throughout the season. In addition to the ubiquitous rainbows, a number of big browns and the occasional brook trout may also put in an appearance.
Anglers report good results using a variety of natural baits such as worms and salmon eggs, as well as Power Bait. Spoons such as Kastmasters and Thomas Buoyants, spinners (including Rooster Tails and Mepps Aglias), and jigs are also productive. Many fishermen like to rent a boat (or launch their own), and troll for the big ones out in the middle of the lake or near the intake at the south end. Shore fishermen also do well near the intake area, as well as by the dam at the north end.
Lake Sabrina Boat Landing, located at the north end of the lake near the dam, features boat rentals, a launch ramp, a cafe, and a small tackle shop which sells bait, tackle, and snacks. The staff there will be happy to give you tips on what baits or lures are working best. For more information, including boat rental rates and the latest fishing report, click here.
Lake Sabrina Weather
The weather in the eastern Sierras can change rapidly, so no matter what the forecast says it never hurts to be prepared for the possibility of rain. Summertime thunderstorms are not uncommon, although they seldom last long. Depending on conditions during the preceding winter, some snow may still be present at higher elevations well into the summer fishing season. Daytime highs during summer can range from the high 60’s into the 80’s near the lake, and up to 100 degrees plus in the town of Bishop. Low temperatures at night can range anywhere from freezing or below, up into the mid-40’s. Make sure you have plenty of warm clothing and rain gear just in case.
Click here to see current weather conditions and forecasts for the town of Bishop.
Lodging and Camping
Lodging is available at several motels in the town of Bishop, and three lodges near Lake Sabrina also offer small housekeeping cabins for rent. Closest to the lake is Cardinal Village Resort, just off highway 168, which has a restaurant (open for breakfast and lunch only) and a store as well as rental cabins. Bishop Creek Lodge is located on South Lake Road, and in addition to rental cabins features a small general store where fishing tackle, bait, and a limited selection of camping gear and food can be purchased. They also have a restaurant and pay-for-use public showers. Parcher’s Resort, which boasts a number of rental cabins, a store, and a café, is located farther up South Lake Road just before you get to South Lake. Habegger’s Resort, an RV park with a small general store, is located across the road from Bishop Creek Lodge.
Several U.S. Forest Service campgrounds located throughout the area offer a less expensive alternative for those who enjoy sleeping in a tent or RV. The U.S. Forest Service website has information on campground locations, fees, and dates of operation. Campsite reservations can be made through ReserveAmerica.com.
Licensing and Regulations
All anglers must have a valid California fishing license in their possession while fishing. Only one pole per fisherman may be used. The trout season is open from the last Saturday in April through November 15 every year, with a bag limit of 5 fish per day and a total of 10 in possession.
The California Department of Fish and Game has all the current fishing regulations on their website.