The last couple of weeks have been very hot mixed in with some afternoon thundershowers. The afternoon high yesterday in Crowley was 96º, that is cooking! The downside to this is that the water temperatures in places are getting tepid, the East Walker in particular. Until the weather starts cooling down (perhaps a couple of months?), I am pulling the plug on fishing up there. I draw the line at 68º. One of the most important tools to throw into your fishing vest now is a thermometer. And do not hesitate to use it. Just be aware that as the water temperatures go up, the amount of dissolved oxygen goes down. When you hook a fish, they are struggling, become anaerobic, and need oxygen to recover. When the water temperatures get too high, the mortality rates of trout rise as well. Let’s be careful out there.
Game on! The West Walker is flowing at about 188, which is very fishable. Try attractor patterns such as Copper John’s and Prince Nymphs, then dangle a caddis pattern below.
Hot Creek could not be any better. The creek is flowing through the canyon at 54 cfs
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 hopper or beetle pattern and mayfly or stonefly pattern below.
Upper Owens River
The flows are meandering along at 100 cfs but these are readings that are taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to about 154 cfs and off color. The entire river system is open now, from Big Springs to the reservoir. The Upper O is fishing well. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. You can catch many small rainbows and browns on the surface with elk haired caddis, stimulators, hoppers, and some bigger fish with nymphs in the deeper runs. Hot Creek is flushing lots of moss into the river so I recommend fishing above the confluence for “cleaner” water.
Lower Owens River
The Lower Owens is still running on the high side but it “seems” like the Los Angeles DWP is transporting less water, but who knows? Crowley Lake is still brimming with water. At some point this reservoir as well will have to make a southward journey. The flows are over 207 cfs which makes for “interesting” river crossings. Err on the side of caution when wading and make sure your waist belt is snug in case you go for a swim.
Keep your eyes peeled for a noon time hatch of bwo’s. There is a narrow window of opportunity for hucking dry flies, usually for about an hour or so. Watch for the appearance of birds feeding along the river. They can spot a hatch well before we can. If all goes well, snouts begin appearing along the foam lines in the river. Then, cast away…. usually something sized 18-20, blue-gray in color, in the mayfly family will get some nice splashy grabs. Have fun! With the big brush fire, we had a couple of weeks ago, access is much easier. A lot of the tules are gone and the willow have been thinned. The river corridor has an apocalyptic look and feel, but the river itself is running clear and fishy. New grass growth is already appearing, the river should recover quickly.
San Joaquin River
The road to Devil’s Postpile is open. If you drive in before 7 am and exit after 7 pm you can avoid the mandatory shuttle buses. The trout will hammer stimulators and elk haired caddis. The flows are about 88 cfs. The San Joaquin is a dry fly paradise. Enjoy!
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing