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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 12.12.2019

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Winter keeps pushing with regularity into the Sierra with more snow expected this weekend. I am glad to have the precipitation and look forward to the bounty of cold, clear, and clean water for the Spring runoff. 

 Be careful driving up the Upper Owens road for fishing. If you have any doubts, park just off the main north-south road and walk to the river on the lateral roads. The main road is usually firm and solid but the side roads get really goopy and bottomless. The fishing is solid, not great numbers of trout, but the fish that are actively feeding are large and fat. Enjoy!

 East Walker

The East Walker is flat lining and dribbling along at 20 cfs. Until the river flows pick up, I recommend giving this fishery a rest….. 

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 47 cfs. Try patterns like zebra midges and small mayflies. Dry droppers work really well at these flows. May stealth be your guide as the river is not only low, but gin clear. Keep a low profile… if you can spot fish in the river, they can certainly see your movements.

San Joaquin

The road to Devil’s Postpone is closed for the season.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 53 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. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

Just a reminder, the Upper Owens is closed for the season BELOW the bridge to the reservoir. 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 160 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 SJ worms, small baetis, and balanced leeches. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there. And beware of the new snow as it will impact the driving approach (see above).

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has finally lowered their flushing flows through the Gorge and below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. The river is running steady at roughly 146 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, caddis worms…. Thank God for Bishop. It is a nice break from winter when you need to see some dirt again. 

Get out there!

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