Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Well apparently, Mammoth Mountain has the most year-to-date snowfall totals in North America, 446” with another big storm system piling it on this week. The Sierra is looking great, all of the peaks are plastered with snow to the valley floors. The spring runoff will be nice with all of the streams and rivers juiced with plenty of water. The Town is trying hard to keep the roads clear, but… If you are intent on fishing the Upper Owens, plan on parking out on the paved road near the bridge and walking in. It is a slushy swamp out there.
The flows are currently at about 30 cfs but with a deep base of snow and the reservoir filling up, I would expect the irrigation district to start increasing the outflows. i am looking forward to fishing the East Walker again.
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 41 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 caddis or mayfly pattern above and a midge or scud below.
Upper Owens River
Fishing on the Upper Owens has been up and down. One day you feel like a pro, then the next you cannot buy a grab. 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 89 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 130 cfs. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. If you get a hookup, the fish is 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 come down and now sits at 87 cfs. 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 had my best success with red midges or perdigons.
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing142 Larkspur LaneCrowley Lake, CA 93546760.209.4300 (cell)