The 2023 Blake Jones Trout Derby

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Third time is a charm! This beloved annual fishing event was originally set for March, the re-scheduled for May and now, we are certain it’s going to happen September 16, 2023!

This past winter’s epic snowfall led to crazy melt and runoff, but things are looking great now!

This event will be a little different than the traditional Blake Jones – more fishable lakes & streams this time of year. You might discover a new favorite fishing spot at Lake Sabrina or South Lake. And, we’re getting an extra load of beautiful trout from Wright’s Rainbows to make sure there are plenty of fish for everyone!

As always, we’ll have TONS of amazing prizes and categories for adults and kids. You don’t have to catch a big fish to grab a BIG PRIZE because it’s a blind bogey format.

And, we even have categories for catch & release anglers.

We do want everyone to be safe out there. Some roads in the region have recently washed out and some waterways are still flowing way too fast.

Here are a few links to help you “know before you go”

Cast Your Line Into The Legends Of The Blake Jones Fishing Derby 

Originally set for 3/11, then 5/13 – the RE-RESCHEDULED NEW DATE IS SEPTEMBER 16, 2023.

Due to safety concerns, the Bishop Chamber of Commerce has made the difficult decision to reschedule the previously rescheduled 2023 Blake Jones Trout Derby. Originally, the event was set for March 11th, but unusually heavy snow made holding the derby impossible at that time.

Organizers had hoped conditions would improve by May, but the Owens River is running too high and too fast. Access to other waters is limited due to ice, snow removal and road repairs. New date for Blake Jones will be Saturday, September 16th , 2023.

“We’re sorry to have to do this, but safety of our guests is our highest priority,” explains Event Coordinator April Leeson.

Conditions should improve greatly by mid-September. Flows in the Owens will likely stabilize and upper elevation lakes like Sabrina and South Lake will be open and ice-free. Pleasant Valley Reservoir should be good as well. The derby will follow the same format – registration, weigh-in and prize ceremony at the Tri-County Fair & Event Center. It will be a blind bogey with plenty of prizes for all.   Derby participants that have already registered may choose to rollover the fees to the new date or receive a refund.

“We’re grateful for all the hard work of the land and water management agencies as well as road repair crews.  This winter has been a tough one and we know everyone is working as hard as possible to get us safe access to all the places we love to recreate. We’ll just have to be patient,” adds Tawni Thomson, Chamber Executive Director.

Note: California Department of Fish and Wildlife has not changed the date for the General Trout Season Opener – Saturday, April 29 th . The Bishop Chamber, LADWP and Inyo County encourage anyone who is fishing or otherwise recreating in the region to be extra careful around all waterways. Please obey all road closures and pay attention to posted warning signs.

A silver lining… “We may get a bit of a late start this year, but we’ll see great fishing later into the season.  Summer and fall will be wonderful with full lakes and flowing streams,” adds Thomson.

This more than half century old event isn’t just a fishing derby, but a testament to the popularity of fishing in the Eastern Sierra. To this day, it is still the largest single day fishing derby in the state of California. Held every March a month prior to “Fishmas” and the opening of the alpine lakes, this is your chance to warm up your cast and enjoy the spring weather in the Eastern Sierra.