Mid-September?!? Already? The higher elevation canyons are starting to look as if it were autumn. The willows and aspens are turning gold and the nighttime temperatures are dropping. There were trace amounts of snow on the high peaks from thunderstorms that rumbled through the Sierra last night.
Let’s be careful out there….
The river has dropped to about 280 cfs. I think the ideal level lies between 200-300 cfs, the river is very fishy now. With the river dropping and trout on the move, try the upper section of the Miracle Mile. The pocket water is very productive with caddis worms, brown Fox pupae, stoneflies, damselfly nymphs, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, and red midges. The water temperatures are holding well in the mid-60’s and as the day time temps begin to drop, the river will have made it through a hot summer with no ill effects. The trout are thriving!
If the East Walker weren’t so close, convenient, and a Blue Ribbon fishery, I would fish the West Walker more. It is a fun place to explore with lots of nice trout, primarily rainbows. The flows are about 170 cfs, which is tenuous for river crossings but that said, fishing is good. In the shallows, try some stimmy’s or elk haired caddis. The deeper buckets you can usually find fish with attractor patterns like prince nymphs.
If you like to fish in a wilderness setting, try the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin. The river is cruising along at nearly 72 cfs as it winds through the canyon past Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls. A dry dropper setup with a elk haired caddis, stimulator, or hopper along with any type of emerger pattern suspended off the hook bend will work; midges, juju baetis, pheasant tails, etc… these trout are ravenous.
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 40 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 dry dropper setup. Dave’s Hoppers are working well, very well. Streamers have also fooled some nice trout.