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Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

 

Jim Stimson Reports on 3.19.20

It is remarkable how that in over a course of a week our world as we know it has plunged into dark times. There is no way to sugar coat this: the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board is recommending that non-residents need to stay away because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County have yet to have any confirmed case(s) of the virus but it seems like the clock is ticking, it is inevitable. The ski area has shut down, along with all of the bars, restaurants, coffee shops, that cannot provide take-out service. Yes, you can still fish and practice social distancing, but you better arrive completely self-contained. You can still get gas and shop at the grocery stores, but prepare yourselves for empty shelves. The self-serving, me-first hoarders have decimated the inventories for everything from TP (I still don’t understand), hand sanitizers, Lysol, wipes, pastas, can goods, etc…. it is like arma-friggin-geddon! 

And, on a lighter note, we did get a nice blast of snow over the weekend. It is not the Miracle March that we were hoping for, but there is still time. If you are heading out to the Upper Owens, beware of the new snow. The lateral roads heading out to the river will be soupy and goopy. A tow truck extrication is super expensive, don’t tempt fate. The mornings have been in the upper teens, low twenties, so the trout are slow to get rolling. You have plenty of time to greet the day, and the fish. If the cold temps are something you don’t care for, drive down the hill and fish the Lower Owens. It is a “banana belt” down there and the fishing for brown trout is fabulous.

Stay healthy and safe!

 

East Walker

The flows on the East Walker have been lowered to about 50 cfs! The river at this level is low but now at least the trout can move around and spread out through the system. They are not just sitting ducks trapped in the deeper pools. We fished up there when the river was about 70 cfs and we hooked some nice healthy fish, and scouted the river for the upcoming season. Black zebra midges worked great but get ready for the stoneflies…. copper johns, prince nymphs, and pats rubber legs will be a staple.

Hot Creek

I believe the creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 42 cfs, but the gauge is not working so this is a guess. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

The flows are dropping and sit at about 105 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 140 cfs. There seems to be a couple of pushes of rainbow trout that come up the river system from Crowley Lake; a late fall-early winter surge, then the mid-winter fish. Most of these spawners have headed back down to the reservoir. Yet, there are still some really nice fish to be had with SJ worms, small baetis, and balanced leeches. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there. Exercise some caution on the driving approaches to the river.

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 126 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. Thank God for Bishop. It is a nice break from winter when you need to see some dirt again and feel some warmth. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water and be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water.

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LCO'S Guide to Surviving Covid19

 

Tie some flies: Maybe the safest thing to do is stay home and tie flies. We have a ton of fly tying material at the shop. Give us a shout 415.483.2278 and we can get you dialed in. Two great patterns to tie are:

Practice Social Distancing

The local beaches and bays are a great place to get some fresh air and exercise. If you need a break from working from home you are surrounded by water.  

Wash your hands, we mean with soap and water but we hope you get some of this too!

Head out and go all walden on the situation

Head north and chase steelhead, conditions look great. Or maybe go fly fish the Upper Sacramento River. Let us know if you are planning to get out of dodge and we can help walk you through your options.

Organize your Gear & Plan Future

It's a great time to get your gear organized and plan ahead for trout season. Plan a few trips and have something to look forward to when this all comes to an end.  Check out our 5 things to do before trout season post from last year.

Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they are ok and see if they need anything. Especially our older friends may not want to leave home.

Double down on philanthropy - If you have extra, doubling down on your favorite causes is important as canceled events and decreased pipelines will have non-profits strapped for cash.

Shop Local:

Small businesses like ours are facing enormous repercussions, and we need your support more than ever. We will still be shipping web orders, taking phone orders, and are here to help you plan your escapes. You vote when you spend money, so vote for the fly shop who invests in local employees, does community volunteer work, and cares deeply about making California a better and more vibrant place.

On the flip side, as of now, we are currently allowed outside for isolated recreation and fresh air. The Bay and local beaches are fishy right now! We can turn any rod above a 5wt into a surf/bay rod.

Please do not buy fly fishing gear from out of state retailers or on Amazon! If it rhymes with fly fishing, we have it! We carry Simms, Sage, Scott, Redington, Beulah, Winston, Echo, Thomas and Thomas, Burkheimer, Orvis, Rio, Scientific Angler, Cortland, Airflo, Hatch, Galvan, Ross, Abel, Lamson, Gloomis, Tibor, Einarson, Patagonia, Arc'tyrex, Filson, Renzetti, Nor Vise, Fishpond, Seagar, Umpqua, Yeti, and much more. We also carry a ton of fly tying material and are happy to put together a kit for you to get through these days at home (on this note, check out our YouTube Videos!).

We have rerouted the phone system to our cell phones and are available to help. We can facetime, speak on the phone, text, whatever you need. This goes beyond just your shopping needs, we want to connect with you throughout this tough period.

Here is how you can help the LCO Team:

  1. If you have been considering making a purchase, please make it with us. You can place orders with us on our website or by calling us at 415-483-2278. We are offering free shipping on all orders.
  2. Purchase Gift Certificates.
  3. Go through your fishing gear to see if you need to restock on anything and let us know how we can help.
  4. Make a post on social media on why you value LCO’s presence in the community. Or just tell your fishing friends.
  5. If you’re planning a trip, give us a call. We’d love to line up some of our trusted guides.
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Northern California Surf Fly Fishing Report

Northern California Surf Fly Fishing Report

Ben Engle Reports on 3.11.2020

Finally made it back out to the beach after a little steelhead hiatus and was rewarded with yet another great day of perch fishing on our northern California Beaches.  I'm still finding most of my fish around high tide and they are definitely consolidated on the beach.  We would walk the beach and not get anything at decent looking water and then all of a sudden you couldn't keep perch off your line once you hit the right area.  So my advice to any angler trying the beach stuff is simple. COVER WATER

a good recipe for success out there is anything bigger than a 6wt with at least a sink 6 line.  For flies, you'll need a handful of small clousers, a couple of mole crab patterns, and pack some 25lb test for leader material.  Keep it simple and hit all the good looking rips and buckets and you will find fish. 

I still have guided perch days available out there if you're interested in learning some beach techniques before our striped friends show up in the surf.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about guiding or just need some insight before charging the surf with a fly rod in hand 

Also, make sure to check out our page on fishing the surf.  Some great info in there for the amateur and experienced angler

ben@lostcoastoutfitters.com

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Northern California Fly Fishing Report

Dave Neal Reports on 3.11.2020

There are a lot of solid fly fishing options in Northern CA right now and through the months of March and April. My short list includes: the Lower Sacramento River, Trinity River, Upper Sac, Pit 3, Shasta Lake for bass.

Steelhead season is winding down. There are fish in the upper Trinity River and believe it when I say that February & March have been some of the best fishing we have seen all season long. The reason? The wild fish arrived and with the tribs too low they’ve been hanging out in the river with no place to go. That all may change this weekend when/if we see a return of rain. If the tribs bump… those fish will too! I wish them the best…it’s been a tough few months to be a steelhead in northern CA and they have places they should be.

Lower Sac is a solid option right now. Fishing has been what you’d expect in March with great weather… it’s ON. Water conditions are good, flows are good and many of the springtime bugs are active. PMD’s, BWO’s, spring caddis, along with stoneflies, large drake nymphs, midges and egg patterns rounding out the menu.

The Lower Sac should remain a top choice for anglers over the next few months…

For those walk n wade fly fishers who just wanna… the Upper Sac and Pit 3 can offer up some amazing potential right now. Flows are prime time perfect… just keep an eye on the precip headed this way this weekend. Heavy rain might affect the Upper Sac more than the tailwater of the Pit River below Lake Britton. Similar bugs to the Lower Sac with maybe more of a focus on general attractor patterns like Pheasant Tails, Price Nymphs (hard to beat the Gordon’s Prince), black midges, rubber legs, etc… along with any of your favorite tung. Czech nymphs you’ve been tying up all winter. 

Finally, Shasta bass fishing is really heating up. Yesterday, on the eastside of the lake I saw some of the warmest surface temps yet 55-58 degrees. I got into a mess of spots and some nice hard pulling smallies, too. A lot of fish still clinging deep in 30-40’ of water but plenty are willing on the float n fly as temps warm up in the shallow areas later afternoon. When I’m not trout fishing on the Lower Sac or running late season trips to the Trinity… I am out on Shasta Lake in the bass boat every chance I get right now. 

I have a few open days so take a look at my calendar online at www.reeladventuresguideservice.com or hit my contact info at the Continue reading

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Fly FIshing Report 

The weather forecasters are rattling their swords…. apparently we could get a few storms beginning this weekend which may carry on through most of next week. We are still hoping for a Miracle March, crossing our fingers to get back to a “normal” seasonal snowpack. That said, the Upper Owens is still kicking out some nice fish but the “bite” does not happen until close to lunch time. So relax, enjoy that extra cup of coffee, doughnut, NY Times, and wait until the water warms up a little. You can get some nice rainbows or browns throwing streamers or nymphing with PT’s or balanced leeches. If the cold temps are something you don’t care for, drive down the hill and fish the Lower Owens. It is a “banana belt” down there and the fishing for brown trout is fabulous.

Enjoy!

East Walker

The flows on the East Walker have been raised to about 70 cfs! The river at this level is still low but now the trout can move around and spread out throughout the system. They are not just sitting ducks trapped in the deeper pools. We fished up there over the weekend, hooked some nice healthy fish, and scouted the river for the upcoming season. Word on the river is that the flows will be raised again this weekend. 

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 42 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

The flows are dropping and sit at about 101 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 140 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with SJ worms, small baetis, and balanced leeches. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there. Currently, the driving approaches to the river are no problem but beware of any new snow or precipitation.

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 126 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. Thank God for Bishop. It is a nice break from winter when you need to see some dirt again and feel some warmth. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water and be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. They know! There is carnage for the BWO’s as the trout and birds gorge themselves on the mayflies. The hatch doesn’t last long. Look for rises along the foam lines as snouts start poking up through the surface film. 

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water.

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Truckee River Fly Fishing Report

Truckee River Fly Fishing Report

Matt Heron Reports on 3.10.2020

We actually got some weather this past week. Saturday and Sunday a storm rolled in and gave us 3-6 inches of the white stuff in Truckee. It isn’t much but we’ll take it!

The water is still low and clear, temps are in the low 40s or so. Like past reports, very normal for this time of year.

The bug thing also hasn’t changed. We’re nymphing with baetis, midges, winter stones, eggs and skwalas.

Although we’re mostly fishing the bottom this time of year, don’t be afraid to fish midge pupa suspended mid day. We’re running into pods of fish suspended off the bottom when the mid day midge hatch pops.

Not much as far as dries go unfortunately.

Don’t forget to check out our new podcast too!

Give us a call, we have guides available everyday and good luck out there! 

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Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Central Valley Fly Fishing Report
Captain Hogan Brown Reports on 3.10.2020
Lake Oroville - Fishing has been good with stable weather. When the barometer changes like last weekend and the forecast this weekend fishing can turn off for a day or two. Fish are gorging on Wakasagi Minnows in the 1-2" size and fishing a float'n fly rig during the morning and switching a stripped fly set up ounce the water temps get up over 53 midday day. Best success is over graphed fish in 10-20' of water suspended under dead bait on the surface. 
Valley River Striper fishing - Has been fair. Rivers are LOW and CLEAR making our resident stripers pretty skittish but there are feeding fish and water temps are warming but still in the "winter" range as day time temps are in the 70s but night time temps are still in the high 30s-low 40s. No reports of migratory fish showing up in the lower sections of our rivers but March/April is usually prime time. With low water though the spawn will take place MUCH lower then previous years. June -October is prime time for our resident valley stripers. 
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Putah Creek Fly Fishing Report

Putah Creek Fly Fishing Report
Rob Russell Reports on 3.10.2020
What an incredible opening week! Putah fished well for my guests last week and should continue to provide great fishing into the spring. Flows have more than doubled since the opener, with a perfect 200ish cfs of clear, cold water creating ideal conditions for fish and flyfishers alike. Dam releases will continue to fluctuate with the weather as the first warm spell will usually see the first big increases, slowly rising to the 500-600 cfs high flows of July.
We have seen some early mayfly hatches with fish feeding on top during record warmth early last week. These conditions don't last long at Putah, but the observant may have seen large pods of big fish, lazily slurping bugs throughout the day... Midges, present subsurface, are extremely important all year at Putah. Although extremely small, sizes 22-26, prolific hatches occur every month of the season providing a huge amount of readily available calories and protein for these unusually chunky trout.
Nymphing will get you tight to some beautiful fish now, however don't be afraid to mix it up and most of all fish the technique you enjoy most! I cannot think of a technique that will not occasionally work at Putah, although I have not tried mousing, yet.
The basic two-fly indicator rig, dead drifted through the runs and riffles will catch fish. Small and dark flies on light tippet nearly always gets some attention. Mend, mend, mend. A completely "dead" presentation is important as the trout will track your fly in the gin clear water, looking for any movement added to them by a less than perfect drift.
With perfect weather and ideal flows, spring is amazing at Putah Creek. Give a call or email for guided trip details. Hope to hear from you soon to take advantage of some great fishing. Dates available in March, April, May... November. Thanks and Cheers! 
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