Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
The weather on the eastside has stabilized. It is a relief waking up to clear blue skies, albeit frigid temperatures, and not having to shovel out the driveway to get down to the road. The Sierra, in general, is running about 150% of normal for the season. I look forward to summer and a plethora of water and healthy fisheries.
If you are intent on fishing the Upper Owens, plan on parking out on the paved road near the bridge and walking in. There are many snowmobile tracks out there that you can walk on, otherwise plan on either skiing, snowshoeing, or post-holing your way to the river.
Here is the big news. A few days ago the irrigation district increased the flows from 18 cfs to 170, and now they have gone up again to 192. I have been waiting for the water to stabilize, the trout to start moving around and settling into the new environment. I may head up Friday and see what I can find.
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 40 cfs. Access is the issue. You will have to park your vehicle near Hot Creek Ranch then walk, ski, or snowshoe in. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the grasses and rocks. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis or mayfly pattern above and a midge or scud below.
Upper Owens River
With all of this snow along the river corridor, the trout will earn a well deserved break from the angling pressure. The flows are at 94 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to about 140 cfs. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. If you get a hookup, the fish are usually in the 18-22” range, and fat. Try red san juans with egg patterns dropped from the hook bend.
Lower Owens River
The Lower Owens flows have dropped to a perfect 104 cfs. At these flows, the river is easy to wade and user friendly. The fishing is solid and fun. Most trout are in that 10-12” range but if you poke around and get lucky, you can hook into some browns in the 15-16” category. There are some healthy midge and mayfly hatches throughout the day. I caught fish on everything from green caddis worms to black midges.
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing142 Larkspur LaneCrowley Lake, CA 93546760.209.4300 (cell)