Tioga Pass is open again along with Sonora and Monitor Passes. Come on over the hill. The weather outlook looks clear, warm, and sunny until later in the month.
Lower Owens River
The Lower Owens is flowing at 80 cfs. This is on the low side but it is easy wading combined with hungry fish. With the background peaks cloaked with fresh snow, Bishop is a nice place to wet a line. Try a hopper-dropper combo with either a black zebra midge or micro mayfly on the bottom. Money! There is also a nice midday surface hatch along the foam lines to anticipate. Small, sized 18-20 comparduns worked well even though the most prevalent bug hatching was caddis. Hmmm…..
Upper Owens River
The Upper O is tough. Larger fish are moving out of the reservoir and into the river system but the fishing is hot or cold. One day the river is really grabby, then the next it can punish you. I’ve still had good success nymphing with a soft hackled pheasant tail, sized 16 or 18. The key is that the trout are moving up the river which means you should do the same. If you are not getting bumps, walk to the next run. The flows are low and clear, currently running at 52 cfs. Be stealthy. If you see fish, they can see you.
Keep an eye on the flows, they’ve been all over the map the last couple of weeks but I believe they are settling into the winter mode. This morning it was about 27 cfs. The fishing is not bad AND nobody is there. I ran into a couple of duck hunters yesterday, that was it. The water is slightly off color and small perch are everywhere, washed through the pipe from the reservoir. I think you might be able to get some big tugs hucking Clouser minnows into the “Toilet Bowl.” There are some big, meat eating browns that reside in that run that have to be munching on the perch. Good luck, and again, watch the flows. If the river sits at below 50 cfs (in the winter), I like to leave it alone, just saying’….