Lake Mary (above) is one of a chain of lakes that make up Mammoth Lakes
There are many lakes that offer good canoeing and fishing within an easy drive from Los Angeles (300 - 375 miles). Most are located at high altitude, so you can expect some frosty mornings in June and October--my favorite fishing months.
Among my favorites are the Mammoth Lakes chain, which includes several small lakes you can drive to. They are the two Twin Lakes, Lake Mamie, Lake Mary, Lake George, and Horseshoe Lake. Many have campgrounds, but most require reservations.
Another favorite fishing destination of mine is the June Lake loop which includes June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.
Finally, a bit further north you'll find the Virginia Lakes which include Big and Little Virginia Lakes. Two more that are accessible only by hiking are Red Lake and Blue Lake.
One of the prettiest views you'll ever see is the view from the highway of Twin Lakes (above). I avoid Twin Lakes during the summer because of the huge crowds it draws.
It's an especially beautiful morning if there's no wind and you're the first boat on the water. The trout are just starting to rise on one of the Twin Lakes--see the rings?
A few years back I camped at June Lake, then made a really early morning drive up to Virginia Lakes. I put my canoe in the water just as the day was breaking. Trolling an original Rapala behind a canoe on glassy smooth water is my idea of fishing.
When I caught this beauty at Virginia lakes I didn't have anyone to snap a photo, so I had to drive 19 miles to Bridgeport to find someone to take this one.
Happy canoeing and good fishing!