Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
I took a little break from the normal routine and headed to northern California to swing some flies to steelhead. And, the fish Gods were kind to me! Thank you, thank you.
We’ve been under the banner of high pressure weather systems lately with the storm tracks tracking well to the north. Locally, this means inversion time with fog and frigid conditions settling into the basins. Dress warmly! Not to dissuade you from fishing, because the angling opportunities are excellent, just err on the side of caution when approaching the Upper Owens River system. So far, you can still drive out to the regular parking areas along the river. Do not try this without a truck with high clearance 4WD. With the crisp temperatures, the lateral roads are firm but beware if you see any boggy areas. These are the keeper holes and a tow truck will cost a small fortune.
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.
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 37 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 Hot Creek caddis below.
Upper Owens River
The Upper O is fishing incredibly well. The flows are at 86 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 120 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 are coming down and now sits at 90 cfs. Everything is working: streamers, nymphs, and dry flies. Enjoy!
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing142 Larkspur LaneCrowley Lake, CA 93546760.209.4300 (cell)