Jim Stimson, Jim Stimson Fly Fishing
Lower Owens River
The river has been running steady at 85 cfs, not the optimum flow, but still healthy. The high mountains in the Sierra received about a foot of snow over the weekend and the morning temperatures have dropped considerably. Use some stealth when fishing. Halloween has passed so there’s no need to clomp around like Frankenstein in your wading boots. Approach the water with light feet and watch where your shadow is falling on the water. The trout are a little edgy with the lower, clear water. That said, It is easy wading and the river is “grabby” again. There is about a two hour window, right around lunchtime, that the BWO’s start lifting off the water and the trout snouts start poking out of the water. You want some ridiculous dry fly fishing? Come on over the hill. One of my favorite mayfly patterns, the hackle stacker, works like a charm, sized 18 or 20. For indicator nymphing, tie on black zebra midges in the mornings then make a bug adjustment as the temperatures rise. The browns have been sucking down BWO’s like there’s no tomorrow. Mercer’s micro mayflies are killer along with small PT’s.
Upper Owens River
Big fish are on the move, coming out of Crowley Lake and spreading out throughout the river system. There are a lot of fish up high in the river system, above the Hot Creek Confluence and the Longyear Ranch. This part of the river is flowing steady at about 50 cfs. The water is cold and clear, as with the lower Owens, exercise some stealth. The most successful fishing is in the faster, disturbed water and the shady undercut river banks. Because the water is so transparent, these areas give you the best cover to make your drifts. Copper johns, prince nymphs as attractors with drowned trico or baetis spinners worked well in the morning. Try hucking out streamers like a black wooly bugger, below the Monument down to the lake. Use a short leader with 3 or 4x with your streamers….. when they grab, they crush. Hang on..