Well, March has come in like a lion. The ski area reported over six feet of new snow over the weekend! Just when you think that winter is over, wham! Apparently we are in for more precipitation this weekend and into the following week. There are no drought busters on the horizon but every drop of moisture counts. A word of caution for the Upper Owens, be careful driving out there. With the new snow, some of the roads are sketchy. If it looks mucky, err on the side of caution. Some of the lateral roads heading out to the river can be “keepers,” even if you have a high clearance 4WD. Just saying’ …..
The fishing and irrigation gods are looking kindly on the East Walker. The flows have been bumped up to 85 cfs. If the weather isn’t too stormy this weekend, I may wander to the north country. Stay tuned….
I am not sure about the flows… the gauge seems stuck at zero point zero. I am guessing that the river is running somewhere in the 75-100 cfs range.
This is the “other” Walker River and a great fishery that I would visit more if the East Walker were not closer. This is a blue ribbon fishery and a fun place to explore. Generally the river runs gin clear as this is a freestone creek, so some stealth is needed. If you like pocket water and technical angling, this is your place…
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 46 cfs.
Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the grasses and rocks. You may not see fish, but they are in there. If you are nymphing, try a San Juan or a Hot Creek caddis. Streamers have also fooled some nice trout. There are lots of hatchery fish cruising around and making the grabs, but every once in awhile, you can fool one of the old, wily browns. Keep grinding away.
Upper Owens River
The flows have been running steady at about 108 cfs in the river system. The water clarity is slightly off color which bodes well for the angler. The big rainbows like the security of the deep, slower moving, opaque water. Pink or red San Juans, egg patterns, and red/black leeches, have all been working. You can either swing the leeches or dead drift them through the deeper buckets. I have been pinning some nice fish with pink San Juans as an attractor, with a small midge pattern as the point fly.
Lower Owens River
The Lower Owens has reopened. The flows are about 61 cfs. Keep you eyes on your watch or the growls of your stomach, there is usually a noon time hatch of bwo’s. There is a narrow window of opportunity for hucking dry flies, usually about an hour or so. Watch for the appearance of birds feeding along the river. They can spot a hatch well before we can. Then, keep your eyes peeled for snouts 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. New grass growth is already appearing, the river should recover quickly.