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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson reports on 1.17.19

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Today is a good day to tie up some flies. The weather outside is foul, very wet and stormy. This is a good storm that will produce some nice runoff in the Spring. Hopefully, the mountains will receive several feet. I cannot wait to see the Sierra when the clouds part. This should make for interesting driving conditions out on the Upper Owens. As always, be careful driving around out there, most of the roads are passable with a high clearance vehicle, but this too will change after this storm system moves through the region. Err on the side of caution. The main north-south road is firm even when there are standing puddles, however, the lateral roads can be bottomless quicksand and mud. Use caution and common sense.

East Walker

The flows are currently at about 25 cfs. This is pretty bony water and will continue at these levels throughout the winter. Personally, I am going to wait until the irrigation district bumps up the flows again before I fish in the North County. That said, expect the trout to be more lethargic and hanging out in the deeper pools and runs. They are sitting ducks now and super spooky with the low, clear water.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 45 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the grasses and rocks. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis or mayfly pattern above and a midge or scud below.

Upper Owens River

The Upper O is fishing on the slow side. The flows are at 85 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to about 130 cfs. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. If you get a hookup, the fish is usually in the 18-22” range, and fat. Try red san juans with egg patterns dropped from the hook bend.

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows have come down and now sits at 85 cfs. There are some healthy midge and mayfly hatches throughout the day. I had my best success with red midges or perdigons.

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