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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

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Jim Stimson reports on 2.7.19

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

The latest round of storms dropped a ton of snow in the Sierra. Mammoth Mountain is reporting 8-11 feet of new snow at the ski area. The Town is trying hard to keep the roads clear, but…  

That said, there is a slight break in the weather rolling in but there is another set of wet storms ahead. If you are intent on fishing the Upper Owens, plan on parking out on the paved road near the bridge and walking in.

East Walker

The flows are currently at about 20 cfs. This is really bony water and will continue at these levels throughout the winter. Personally, I am going to wait until the irrigation district bumps up the flows again before I fish in the North County. That said, expect the trout to be more lethargic and hanging out in the deeper pools and runs. They are sitting ducks now and super spooky with the low, clear water.

Hot Creek

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 86 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 120 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.

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