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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson, Jim Stimson Fly Fishing 

All of the trans-Sierra passes have reopened, but stay tuned, May has been an unsettled month for weather, the wettest May recorded in Bishop, ever…. check the latest road and weather reports. Be prepared if you are traveling. Here is a link to the CalTrans site:   http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi
The thermometer and barometer are on the rise, June looks to be a great month for fishing. Memorial Weekend was fantastic fishing. Where else can you catch rainbows, browns, and cuttys on the same stream? Most of the backcountry lakes below 11 grand are ice free. The fish are hungry but lethargic with the colder water temperatures. They are readily taking nymphs down deep… PT’s, midges, scuds ….. as the water starts to warm, expect the fish to become more aggressive. Did I mention streamers?

Upper Owens River

The flows have stabilized on the Upper Owens and fishing has picked up again. Nice rainbows and cutthroats can be found in the deeper pools throughout the river system. If you see pods of trout (the cutthroats) on their redds, please don’t cast to them and be careful where you wade. 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 will do the trick.

Lower Owens River

The DWP has been ramping up the flows lately. The river is cruising right along at 112 cfs. The lower Owens has been fishing particularly well, mornings to afternoons. It is still fairly easy to navigate around in your waders. The river is forgiving, just make sure every foot placement is solid. Nymphing has been very productive using midges, loop winged emergers, Barr emergers, PT’s, green caddis worms, etc…. just about anything buggy will work if presented well. There have been stoneflies and caddis cruising through as well. Try using a golden stone as an attractor then drop a caddis worm off the hook bend. Huck this combo into the shallower, faster moving water and watch what happens. Voilàl! Enjoy. 

East Walker

Currently the river is running at rock bottom, about 20 cfs. If you can hit the timing right (higher flows), you have a chance at some great fishing. Small baetis patterns are the key…. As much as I love this stream, I’ve been avoiding the East Walker until the irrigation district calls for more water and the flows increase. 

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