Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
Close Icon

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Arrow Thin Left Icon

Jim Stimson Reports on 12.10.2015

Most of the weather models are coming into agreement, the Eastern Sierra by Thursday will be getting pounded by a substantial storm. Even though we are off to a good start to winter, we are still behind the Eight Ball at about 33% of normal precipitation for this time of year. Soooo, bring it on! We will need many wet storms to start erasing four years of drought.
Here’s to a wet December. Cheers!

Lower Owens River

The flows have been lowered to about 66 cfs. It is easy wading and the river is “grabby” again. The trout are settling into their winter habits and habitat. The water temperatures have dropped, so the fish are seeking the quiet water along seams and the deeper buckets below tail outs. For indicator nymphing, tie on black zebra midges in the mornings then make a bug adjustment as the temperatures rise. Go for something in the baetis family next. Right around lunch time look for rises along the foam lines. The browns have been sucking down BWO’s. Keep your eyes peeled for these mayflies as they start lifting off the water surface. The hatch seems to occur just before noon. Eat your lunch early, otherwise, you may miss incredible top water action. The swallows start swooping down along the river competing with the trout for this bounty of food. Anticipate the hatch…. Small Adams patterns, hackle stackers, anything sized 18-20 that sits on or within the film will trigger a response.

Upper Owens River

The flows have stabilized on the Upper Owens (42 cfs) and fishing is on the slow side. You can get fish here and there. The big rainbows are beginning to make the migration into the river system from the lake. As the water temperatures begin to fall, you may find nice rainbows, browns, and the odd cutthroat in the tail outs. Try small pheasant tails, about a sized 18. Make sure you are getting your nymph rigs deep enough. A combination of enough split shot and setting your indicator deep enough is the trick. I think the key is patience. Keep grinding away on a run. Make sure you are covering a tail out thoroughly, start your drifts near and end far. The fish are lethargic. Putting your bugs right in front of their faces is the key to success, sometimes. Good luck out there.

Leave a comment