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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson Reports on 10.13.2016

I have been dividing my time between fishing and photography. The autumn colors are about as good as it gets between Bishop and Bridgeport. The mornings are crisp with frost and some fog settling in along the river basins. Dress warmly if you head out early. Once the sun hits the valley however, it warms up nicely. With any luck we will be on the receiving end of the first major storm of the season this weekend. Another “atmospheric river…..” or whatever happens. Any precipitation is good.

Lower Owens River

The LADWP had been sending copious amounts of water down the Owens Valley for weeks but now it seems that the flows have finally stabilized and sit at 123 cfs. This is such a great place to fish when the temperatures in the high country dip into the 20’s. Bishop is a great escape once the short, cold days of winter set in.

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 slightly higher into the upper 30’s. Personally, I like to leave the river and the trout alone if the river drops below 75 cfs. Ethically, it seems unfair to fish if the levels get too low….. just sayin’.

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