We have had a few days off from inclement weather which has been great but it looks like we need to get psyched for at least another week of snowy conditions.
Lower Owens River
A word of caution, there has been a tremendous amount of precipitation in the last several weeks, even for Bishop. There are many deep puddles and lots of mud. Watch where you drive and walk to the river. It is as slippery as snot. The Lower Owens has been ramped up to almost 250 cfs, the wading is not as easy as it used to be but this bodes well for the fishery and trout. The water is a little off color and debris is coming down from the increase in flows. The trout are still in there, perhaps lethargic with the cold water temperatures, but they still like to eat. Black zebra midges, micro mayflies, pheasant tails…. all seem to work if placed at the correct depth. Look for deeper pools as the fish are into hanging out and not much else. The grabs are subtle and you need to cover the water thoroughly. You HAVE to put your bug right into their faces before they make the bite. There is usually a nice surface hatch of BWO’s near the noon whistle. Keep an eye on your watch and try to anticipate the hatch. Size 18 anything BWO will get grabs. If they prove finicky, vary the bug. Often times, the trout will reject an Adams because it sits too high on the film. Try a comparadun or a mole fly as they sit lower within the surface. My favorite offerings are hackle stackers and comparaduns.
Upper Owens River
I would wait until the weather dries out before venturing out there. The flows read about 70 cfs but these are taken well above the Hot Creek confluences. The river system below the confluence will be muddy, off color, and full of debris. Plus walking out in super saturated, deep snow will be entertaining.
850 cfs? Really?! This will be a great spring! I am wondering if the flows will exceed 1000 cfs. These rates are gonna be great for the season, flushing out algae, moss and sediment.
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing
Crowley Lake, CA