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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson, Jim Stimson Fly Fishing

Snow! It actually snowed yesterday! 15" in Mammoth Lakes. Certainly not a drought buster but every drop and flake of snow is welcome. The peaks look wintery and awesome. The trout are frisky!

Upper Owens River

The fishing has slowed a little with most of the big rainbows heading back down to the lake (Crowley). Keep in mind that the upper Owens River is open year round above (upstream) the Benton Crossing Bridge. The river is low and clear but fish are lurking throughout the system, just not as many. Most of the fish are hanging out in the slow, deep, dark pools. With the low water, 50 cfs, use a little caution approaching the water. If you stomp up to river’s edge, the trout will feel those vibrations and dive for cover. Use some stealth and walk with light feet. Nymphing tends to be the best and most consistent tactic. With the cooler water the fish tend to be a little more lethargic. So, it may take many casts and the perfect drift to get a fish to make a commitment. Keep at it, they’re in there. Pink San Juans, Copper Johns, PT’s and midge patterns have been working well. Don’t forget about streamers…..

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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