There is not much new to report other than as I write this rain is pouring off our roof by the bucket loads. Amazing. Plus at 6:30 am it is 50º outside. It has to be snowing somewhere, right?….. 14-15K? So, all of our local streams are going to be out of shape until we get a spell of dry weather with all of the added runoff and discoloration.
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 225 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.
383 cfs? Really? Wow, the irrigation district is releasing a lot of water from the Bridgeport Reservoir, especially for this time year. I like fishing the river between 200-300 cfs. I would wait until this dries out as well before making the drive. These flows are gonna be great for the spring, flushing out algae, moss and sediment.
Jim Stimson Fly Fishing