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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
Sonora and Monitor Passes are open, however, Tioga (120) is closed again. I would expect another “opening” perhaps this weekend? I guess between CalTrans and the Park Service, they are having problems with avalanche danger, not to mention a large landslide. The same goes with the road down to Devil’s Postpile and the San Joaquin River. The road thru the ski area is still under several feet of snow….. there is no access into the canyon, yet.

The creeks are swollen with high country runoff and there is so much more snow left to melt. Be careful out there! Get yourself a wading staff and cinch up that belt around your waist. River hydraulics are powerful. Err on the side of caution while fishing and wading during this time of year. All off 

East Walker

The flows are at about 580 cfs, which is on the high side, but fishable — with caution. At the higher flows, there is less river to fish safely. The section in particular below the bridge and the Miracle Mile has a steeper gradient and lots of pocket water, which makes for nail biting, white water angling. Your best bet is the softer water below the dam. The trout are moving around and settling into their new habitats. With the high volume of water coming out of the reservoir, the angling options get reduced. Most of the best fishing will be in the Miracle Mile. You will find most of the trout stacked along the river margins, hanging in the softer water. Fishing is decent now. Try stonefly patterns in the buckets below the riffles, along with BWO’s and caddis. There are a potpourri of bugs out there now. With the higher water, I tend to fish a lot of attractor patterns. With the swift water the trout only have an instant to see and commit to your bugs floating by, make it as obvious as possible for them. I often pull out my trout spey rod for these conditions. I like being able to stand in the safe water along the edges and cast down and across, swinging my bugs into the juicy looking areas under the willows and cottonwoods. It is fun but be careful out there.

West Walker

Yeehaw! The river is ripping thru the canyon at about 1440 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Do not even think about wading too deep.

San Joaquin

The road to the river and the Devil’s Postpile area remains closed at the Ski Area. I cannot imagine access until early July. The river is starting to get juiced up at about 714 cfs.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 176 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 have been bumped up to 140 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 300 cfs. The better fishing has been above the confluence where the water has better clarity. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. You may see the odd cutthroat here and there leftover form their spawn but for the most part, the trout have left to head downstream and the reservoir, leaving rainbows and browns for the summer months. 

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows are at 400 cfs. This is on the high side for this section of the river so exercise some caution when you fish. You can easily go for am 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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