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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 1.22.20

February is barking at the door, and here it is winter, but not much snowfall so far. But as they say, “In the mountains, if you don’t like the weather today, wait another 5 minutes.” Hopefully that will be the case. We have lots of time left for the sky to start falling…..

I am Jones-ing bad to go steelhead fishing…. I may pull anchor and head north this weekend. The irony though, while we are having drought-like conditions in the Eastern Sierra, Northern California is expecting two weeks of solid rain.


East Walker

The East Walker is still flat lining and dribbling below 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 perhaps 31 cfs. The river is looking very boney up high but as you drive down the canyon, there is more water as side streams add to the flow. 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 48 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

The flows are dropping and sit at about 104 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 150 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. Currently, the driving approaches to the river are fine with only a few icy puddles to worry about but beware of any new snow. 

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 150 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 and feel some warmth.

Get out there!

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