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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson reports on 5.9.19

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

The weather is still on the cool side with morning temps often in the low 30’s. Once the sun climbs higher in the sky, things start happening. On just about any stream on the east side, look for a nice BWO hatch around lunch time. Wildflowers are starting to pop up everywhere. Look for showy displays of desert peach and balsam root on the moraines. It is probably not a bad idea to start packing some insect repellent as things are very moist and the biting bugs are getting ready to wreak havoc on tender flesh. The high country is still choked with snow from the winter. We received anywhere between 150-180% of normal snowfall. High water from the spring runoff will become an issue on the spring creeks once the temperatures heat up.

The Reservoir is brimming with water and poised for spring runoff. The flows have been hanging steady at 310 and the water temps are coming up stimulating some nice insect hatches, in particular BWO’s. The trout are moving around and settling into their new habitats. Fishing is good now. There are a lot of hogs in all the good places. Try skwala and baetis patterns.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 74 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the grasses and rocks. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis or mayfly pattern above and a midge or scud below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are at 82 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to about 150 cfs. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. The cutthroats will be coming into the river soon so be careful where you wade and fish. If you see spawning beds AND more importantly trout sitting on their redds, please avoid the temptation of hooking into spawning fish. Leave the spawning trout alone, they are stressed out enough and can die easily during this important time of the year.

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows have dropped (finally) to 372 cfs. This is still on the high side for this section of the river so exercise some caution when you fish. You can easily go for am an impromptu swim and end up flushed downstream if you are not careful. Most trout are in that 10-12” range but if you poke around and get lucky, you can hook into some browns in the 15-16” category. There are some healthy midge and mayfly hatches throughout the day. I caught fish on everything from green caddis worms to black midges.

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