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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson, Jim Stimson Fly Fishing

April in the Sierra means unsettled weather. Last week the ski area was plastered with almost two feet of new snow. Yesterday we received three feet of wind! This week I think the temperature fluctuations should even out and we’ll have a nice weekend and great fishing.

Upper Owens River

The Upper Owens is currently blown out. A weird phenomena considering we are in the midst of a serious drought, but when you consider that all of this water is owned by the City of Los Angeles, it makes a little more sense. The Department of Water and Power is moving water towards Los Angeles, storing it in their series of reservoirs along the Owens Valley. It is almost like a shell game, hiding this incredibly valuable resource, water. With eminent water use restrictions at hand, the more water they can move towards Southern California now, the better for their rate payers. Water is BIG business and the battle of who owns it and who can use it will rage on. 

With the higher flows comes murky water clarity. Solution? Tie on a San Juan worm. They aren’t the prettiest fly in your box but damn! They do work. 

Lower Owens River

The DWP has been ramping up the flows lately. The river is cruising right along at 125 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.

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