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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
September…… the sun is getting lower in the sky, the nights are chilling down, and the grasses are starting to pick up that autumn hue. With the blink of an eye, the morning temperatures are in in the mid-30’s and there has been frost on the windshield and along the river corridors. It is quite beautiful. 
The hopper hatch is slowing down but in the afternoons, the fish are still looking up and will readily wolf down a hopper or large terrestrial pattern. If you are not getting grabs on your hopper pattern, try switching over to something like a Chernobyl ant. Sometimes seeing a different profile float by on the surface can get these trout to crush something a little different than a grasshopper.

 

East Walker

The East Walker is cruising along at 265 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on!

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 90 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

 

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 33. If you poke around, you can find lots of soft water stacked with trout. Bring your waders as the water temperatures are frigid. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon.

 

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 60 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. There are some nice fish lying in ambush for hoppers falling into the creek. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a hopper above and midges or caddis below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 111 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 170 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with hoppers and Chernobyl ants. The grasshopper infestation is still happening but as the mornings temps are in the 30’s, I cannot imagine the hoppers to be around much longer.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing a flushing / scouring purge of the Gorge and the lower river, mandated by Fish and Wildlife. The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to above 650 cfs. I would avoid these sections of the river until normal flows are reestablished. These high flows will be good for the health of the river down the line as it cleans out years of sediment and debris.

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