Photo of Green Lake, Mono County, CA

Green Lake Fishing

Eastern Sierra - Mono County

Photo of Green Lake

Green Lake

Green Lake is easily overlooked by fishermen working the streams and lakes along the Eastern Sierra. Tucked up a canyon near Bridgeport in Mono County, Green Lake has wonderful fishing for brook and rainbow trout. It does involve a 2½-mile hike, but once you are there you will quickly forget about the trail and spend an enjoyable day working around Green Lakes' varied shore.

In My Creel

  • #16 Black Ant
  • #16 Grey Hackle Yellow
  • #14 California Coachman
  • Panther Martin Gold
  • Acme Kastmaster
  • Super Duper

I was glad I had brought both my spin casting rig and my fly rod because by mid-day the wind had come up making fly fishing more difficult.

Making Your Way to Green Lake


From Bridgeport in Mono County, drive 4½ miles south on Highway 395. Watch for the Green Creek turnoff on your right. The dirt road is fairly well graded and easy enough for all vehicles. On the way you will pass the Dynamo Pond which has some good fishing and some undeveloped camping sites. Along the road to the trailhead you will pass several places where you may be tempted to pull over and try your luck in the creek.

After 8 miles you will come to the Green Lake trailhead. There is a vault toilet next to the parking lot, along with information signs.

Photo of  Dynamo Pond

Dynamo Pond

Along the Trail

The hike to Green Lake is 2½ miles, and the trail climbs 1000 feet. Green Lake is almost at 9,000 feet in elevation, so I took it slow on the trail, pausing often to catch my breath and take pictures. The hike to the lake took 1½ hours, but I imagine younger anglers could do it in an hour.

A few places along Green Creek look tantalizing for fishing, but I was anxious to reach the lake and passed them by. The trail began with only a gradual incline for the first mile and then grew steeper with switchbacks. Overall it is a fairly moderate hike. Once at the lake you'll find use trails that provide access to most areas along both shores. Fishing was especially good at the upper end of the lake.

Photo of Green Creek

Green Creek

Accommodations and Supplies

A number of good backpacking sites are located along either side of Green Lake. The Green Lake Campground at the trailhead was closed when I was there (June, 2012) to remove fallen trees but was expected to reopen in a few weeks. The Green Creek Group Campground is open. Other nearby campgrounds include Lower Twin Lakes, Paha, Buckeye, and Honeymoon.

Lodging is available in Bridgeport and at several small motels on Highway 395 close to the Green Creek turnoff. Among them is the charming Willow Springs Motel and RV Park. For more information about lodging in Mono County, see
Mono County - California's Eastern Sierra.

California's Best Camping logo

To find the very best campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra and all across California, visit California's Best Camping.

If you are in need of fishing supplies, try one of these places:

Recommended Fishing Gear and Books for the Green Lake Area

Photo of East Lake, Mono County, CA

East Lake


A great sidetrip from Green Lake is to continue up the trail to East Lake, only a mile up the trail. East Lake rivals Green Lake for beauty and quality fishing. Another option is West Lake less than a mile beyond Green Lake in another direction.

Other Featured Trips in Mono County

  • Cooney Lake - One of several lakes near Virginia Lakes
  • Spuller Lake - a High Sierra lake near Yosemite
  • Fern Lake - hike out of June Lake to a scenic alpine lake

High Sierra Trails

A Backpacker's Guide to the
Most Spectacular Trails
in the Sierra Nevada