Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
Jim Stimson Reports on 7.20.20
These are tenuous times with the pandemic. With the number of new cases skyrocketing in California, the State is clamping down once again, and rightfully so. Enjoy the Eastern Sierra but please respect the fisheries and each other. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visiting a retail store. Wearing a mask is a minor inconvenience…. we need to get through these dark days. And finally, please refrain from open campfires if you are camping outside of a developed campground. Fire season is already here — beware of the heat and wind. Thank you.
The East Walker in particular is vulnerable to warm water conditions. I am giving the river a break until the summer cools down……If you fish up there, again, watch the river temps. Fish in the morning with heavier tippet so you can land fish quickly, then once it gets too warm, reel in, hop in your car, and head around the Sweetwater Range to try the West Walker. The flows on the East Walker are at 152 cfs..
The flows are 72 cfs and are perfect. The West Walker has gin clear water so use some stealth when approaching the water and fishing. A dry-dropper setup or Euro style nymphing is deadly on this pocket water.
The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River are open. Because of the pandemic, the shuttle busses will not operate this season. There will be some kind of quota system for driving your own vehicle down into the canyon. Stay tuned! The flows are at 51 cfs
Hot CreekThe creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 43 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. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!
Upper Owens River
The flows sit at about 64 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 100 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice browns and rainbows. When the afternoon breezes kick in, throw on a small hopper with a “drowned” hopper below. Money!
Lower Owens RiverThe river is cruising steady at roughly 329 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.
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