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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 8.13.20

Fishing is solid for the most part, depending on where you visit. The smaller creeks are low and boney but if you fish on the Owens River system, Hot Creek, or the high country lakes, you can have an enjoyable experience. Be advised, both Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks. In the past two weeks the number of positive COVID cases have tripled in Mono County. Beware! Please respect one another in these tenuous days. And, no fires allowed if you are outside a developed campground. Thank you.

East Walker

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 95 cfs.. 

West Walker

The flows are 44 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. 

San Joaquin

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. It is a zoo down there……. The flows are at 34 cfs

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 36 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 62 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 River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 500 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. The LADWP has been sending flushing flows through the Owens River Gorge and the Lower O, beware of the high water levels. 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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