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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson Reports on 11.3.2016

What a World Series! Congratulations Chicago!

We had another weekend of wet weather. The ski area received anywhere between 6-24” of snow, depending on the elevation. Tioga Pass closed for the season (I think). All of the freestone rivers blew out during the storm as well. The San Joaquin went from 40 cfs to 1400 cfs, then back down again. Hopefully this trend of wet weather continues throughout the season.

Lower Owens River
The Lower Owens is flowing at 80 cfs. This is on the low side but it is easy wading along with hungry fish. With the background peaks cloaked with fresh snow, Bishop is a nice place to wet a line. Try a hopper-dropper combo with either a black zebra midge or micro mayfly on the bottom. Money! There is also a nice midday surface hatch along the foam lines to anticipate. Small, sized 18-20 comparduns worked well even though the most prevalent bug hatching was caddis. Hmmm…..

Upper Owens River

The Upper O is still fishing reasonably well. Larger fish are moving out of the reservoir and into the river system. The fishing is hot or cold. One day the river is really grabby, then the next it can punish you. It is consistent if there is a  high pressure ridge that has built up, but if a low pressure system moves in, the trout go down and are tight lipped. I’ve still had good success nymphing with a soft hackled pheasant tail, sized 16 or 18. The key is that the trout are moving up the river which means you should do the same. If you are not getting bumps, walk to the next run. The flows are nice and stable at 90 cfs.

East Walker

Keep an eye on the flows, they have been all over the map. Last week they peaked at 110 cfs, now I believe they are settling into the winter mode. This morning is was about 30. The fishing is not bad AND nobody is there. I ran into a couple of duck hunters yesterday, that was it. The water is slightly off color and small perch are everywhere, washed through the pipe from the reservoir. I think you might be able to get some big tugs hucking Clouser minnows into the “Toilet Bowl.” There are some big, meat eating browns that reside in that run that have to be munching on the perch. Good luck, and again, watch the flows. If the river sits at below 50 cfs (in the winter), I like to leave it alone, just saying’….

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