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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson, Jim Stimson Fly Fishing

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Upper Owens River

The fishing has slowed a little, especially after the President’s Day Weekend. With anglers flogging and caning the water for several days, the trout are getting wise to the commotion, plus, the larger fish seem to be headed back downstream to the lake. The river is low and clear but fish are lurking throughout the system. 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 roe patterns have been working well. 


Lower Owens River

This particular section of the river has been fishing particularly well, mornings to afternoons. Nymphing has been very productive using midges, loop winged emergers, Barr emergers, PT’s, drowned spinners, etc…. just about anything baetis 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 mayfly emerger off the hook bend. Before you wander back to your car for lunch, you might want to stick around and check out the BWO hatch. It occurs around noon, you can almost set your watch to it. First the flurry of mayflies, then the rise forms. The trout start looking up and getting in on the surface action. If you enjoy fishing with dries, the time is now. The hatch lasts approximately an hour. Postpone your lunch….. you will be glad you did. Small baetis patterns work well (#18-20) such as an Adams, hackle stackers, etc. And keep your eyes peeled for trico hatches. Griffiths Gnats work well for these tiny little guys. Nice fish are coming up to enjoy the feast. Enjoy.

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