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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson Reports on 10.27.2016

We had an interesting weekend of weather throughout the Sierra. At our end of the State we had primarily a wind event, though the town of Mammoth Lakes reported just over 4” of rain. I watched the river flows on the San Joaquin go from 5 cfs to over 900 cfs on Sunday evening. This ended up being a nice, wet event. The ski area received a few feet of snow depending on the elevation it was recorded. The peak gust on the summit of the Mountain was 149 mph with several hours of sustained winds over 100 mph! Personally, I was frazzled. It blew in Crowley for several days straight, day and night. Rain falling on the roof is peaceful and relaxing…. wind that makes the house shudder is unnerving. That was a good storm for October. Let’s keep it coming, a wet winter would be nice.

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens is flowing at 80 cfs. This is perfect; easy wading and 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 seeking cooler water. 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 98 cfs.

East Walker

Keep an eye on the flows. They dropped into the low 20’s last week but have rebounded higher into the upper 150’s. With these higher flows, attractor patterns work well such as a prince nymph.

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