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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.23.2019

Yikes! November is barking at the door…. say it isn’t so! I saw the first hint of Christmas decorations at the local supermarket. The autumn colors are slipping past their prime. Once we get a hard frost and some wind, fall will be over. The temperatures are cold now with morning lows in the 20’s. Fishing, and catching are good, depending on where you go.  The fishing is stellar with large rainbows and browns cruising up the Owens River from the Crowley Reservoir. Stripping leeches and perch fry will get you some major grabs and porkulent trout. Have fun out there!

East Walker

The East Walker is cruising along at 140 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on! There are a potpourri of bugs cruising around but they seem to prefer small mayflies, like sized 22. The river fishes really well at these current flows.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 67 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 11 cfs. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon. You still need to pay an entrance fee for access. I fished down there a couple of weeks ago and the river is really “boney” with crystal clear water. There are lots of nice little browns and rainbows if you scout around.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 180 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 112 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 165 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 balanced leeches and punk perch.

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 almost 703 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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