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Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.7.20

Get it while it lasts, the autumn colors that is. October is a magical time of year in the Eastern Sierra; the shadows are long, the mornings are crisp, and the mountains are speckled with the yellows, golds, and reds of autumn. The best fall foliage can be found along the S Fork of Bishop Creek, Rock Creek, and Conway Summit. Enjoy!

The Inyo National Forest has reopened, kind of….. Good luck finding some logic and continuity with the current regulations. The front country has reopened to dispersed camping, but the wilderness areas are closed until December 1st. There are no campfires allowed! None. Everything is tinder dry from a meager winter and hot, crispy summer. Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks with the pandemic. Please respect local businesses, each other, and be good stewards of the land. Thank you!

East Walker

The flows are at 19 cfs, extremely low and boney.The Bridgeport Reservoir is about as low as I have ever seen it. Personally, I am going to give the river a rest….. it was a great summer.

West Walker

I believe the West Walker has reopened (it flows thru a different National Forest). That said, having recently driven thru the canyon the conditions are low, boney, and clear. Seek out the deeper, longer runs and go into stealth mode as the water is gin clear. Walk quietly as you approach the river, maintain a low profile, use a longer rod, and wear some camo. Think invisible.

San Joaquin

Closed

Hot Creek

Closed ?

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 106 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 140 cfs. There are some big fish beginning their journey back into the river system from the reservoir. Be patient and persistent…..

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 9.30.20

Thank you firefighters! 

The Inyo National Forest remains closed until a revaluation of conditions occurs on October 8th, hence, any fishing on USFS land is prohibited. This goes for any activity: fishing, hiking, biking, sight seeing, etc….Until the extreme fire conditions (heat, wind, drought, not enough fire fighting personnel) disappear, expect and respect the temporary closures. This means no campfires, no campfires, no campfires! Each day is a nail biter with local residents poised and ready to evacuate as the Creek Fire burns out of control just 15 miles from Mammoth Lakes. Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks with the pandemic. Please respect local businesses, each other, and be good stewards of the land. Thank you!

East Walker

The flows are in the low sixties along with the water temperatures. The fishing now is tough. The Bridgeport Reservoir is very low from the drought winter and is kicking a lot of mud and algae into the river, meaning, the water is off color. The bigger fish are hunkered down and tight lipped. There are trout to be had but it is a grind-a-thon. Keep in mind it is fun being on the water and whiling away the hours. The fishing will eventually improve!

West Walker

I believe the West Walker has reopened (it flows thru a different National Forest). That said, having recently driven thru the canyon the conditions are low, boney, and clear. Seek out the deeper, longer runs and go into stealth mode as the water is gin clear. Walk quietly as you approach the river, maintain a low profile, use a longer rod, and wear some camo. Think invisible.

San Joaquin

Closed

Hot Creek

Closed

Upper Owens River

Well heh! Looky here! There is something that is actually open, flowing, and has trout. 

The flows sit at about 60 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 90 cfs. There are some big fish beginning their journey back into the river system from the reservoir. Be patient and persistent….. dredge those deeper, slower buckets and you may get rewarded with a bruiser. You can get some top water action with elk haired caddis and tricos, but generally for smaller trout. I have had the best success nymphing with small pheasant tail or a soft hackled flies. 

Lower Owens River

The river is raging along at roughly 438 cfs. Beware of the high water levels, do not even think about wading across the river unless you enjoy swimming down the Owens Valley.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. Stay safe!

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 9.17.20

I feel I am about to write a new Cormac McCarthy style novel; something dark, hopeless, with endless amounts of despair. If COVID were not enough, we now have thick, heavy, acrid smoke coming over the Sierra from one of the many fires burning in the State. With the extreme fire conditions (heat, wind, drought, not enough fire fighting personnel), all National Forests and BLM land are closed, temporarily. The agencies will reevaluate on the 21st but for now, you cannot even set foot on USFS lands. There is the campground on the Upper Owens and a BLM campground near Crowley Lake that is still open but everywhere else is closed. No campfires, no campfires, no campfires! Each day is a nail biter with residents poised and ready to evacuate as the Creek Fire burns out of control just 15 miles from Mammoth Lakes. Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks. Please respect local businesses, each other, and be good stewards of the land. 

Finally, thank you firefighters! 

East Walker : Closed

West Walker : Closed

San Joaquin : Closed

Hot Creek : Closed

Upper Owens River

Well heh! Looky here! There is something that is actually open, flowing, and has trout. 

The flows sit at about 60 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 90 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice browns and rainbows. You can get some top water action with elk haired caddis and tricos. I have had the best success nymphing with small pheasant tail or a soft hackled flies. 

Lower Owens River

The river is raging along at roughly 600 cfs. Beware of the high water levels, do not even think about wading across the river unless you enjoy swimming down the Owens Valley.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. Stay safe!

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 8.27.20

Ughh! California is an inferno. Other than smokey air quality that you could cut with a knife, the Eastern Sierra is one of the few places in the State not on fire. But, we all need to exercise caution. There are NO campfires permitted now, even in developed campgrounds. And ad nauseam…. both Mono and Inyo Counties are requiring the use of face masks. COVID is running rampant. Please respect local businesses and be good stewards of the land. Take care of your trash, TP, sewage. That does not mean leave it for someone else to pick up. Leave no trace. NONE!

East Walker
The East Walker is very vulnerable to warm water conditions. Currently the flows are 87 cfs. Even first thing in the morning the water temps are in the low 70’s. Give the trout a break…. but if you insist on fishing up there, fish in the morning with heavier tippet so you can land fish quickly, then once it gets too warm, reel in, hop in your car, and head for the high country.  

West Walker

The flows are 29 cfs, low and boney. The West Walker has gin clear water so use some stealth when approaching the water and fishing. A dry-dropper setup or Euro style nymphing is deadly on this pocket water. 

San Joaquin
The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River are open. Because of the pandemic, the shuttle busses will not operate this season. There will be some kind of quota system for driving your own vehicle down into the canyon. It is a zoo down there……. The flows are at 24 cfs
Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 35 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 62 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 90 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice browns and rainbows. When the afternoon breezes kick in, throw on a small hopper with a “drowned” hopper below. Aim your casts along the shoreline, tight to the banks and overhanging grasses. Money!

Lower Owens River

The river is raging along at roughly 511 cfs. Beware of the high water levels, do not even think about wading across the river unless you enjoy swimming with the fish. 

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. Stay safe!

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports On 7.10.2020

One of the most important tools in your summer fly fishing arsenal should be a thermometer. In these hot days of summer, I LOVE putting on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and heading outside. However, trout don’t feel the same…. they thrive in cold conditions. When the river starts feeling tepid, take the time to use your thermometer and get some readings throughout the course of a day. You might be surprised. It is amazing how much the temperature can fluctuate in just a few hours. If your morning reading is in the mid-60’s, raise a yellow flag because by afternoon there is a good chance that the temps may climb close to 70º, which is not good for the trout or the fishery. Trout love water that is in the 50’s. Once you climb into the upper 60’s and beyond, the fish get lethargic, they don’t feed as much, and their mortality rate goes up if they get hooked. If you must fish, tie on heavier tippet material so you can land the trout quickly. Because of the reduced dissolved levels of oxygen in warm water, trout can get stressed and die — basically by suffocation. This is only a recommendation, let your conscious be your guide. I tend to pull the plug once my thermometer reaches 68º. I will give the river a break and seek out the high country or water that is cooler. 

All of the mountain passes are open including Tioga Pass but check with the Park Service for details and restrictions. These are tenuous times with the pandemic. Enjoy the Eastern Sierra but please respect the fisheries and each other. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visit a retail store. And finally, please refrain from open campfires if you are camping outside of a developed campground. Fire season is already here. Thank you.

East Walker

The East Walker in particular is vulnerable to warm water conditions. I am giving the river a break until the summer cools down……If you fish up there, again, watch the river temps. Fish in the morning with heavier tippet so you can land fish quickly, then once it gets too warm, reel in, hop in your car, and head around the Sweetwater Range to try the West Walker. The flows on the East Walker have dropped to 82 cfs.. 

West Walker

The flows are over 98 cfs with the spring runoff as a heat wave settles in over the Sierra. These flows are perfect. The West Walker has gin clear water so use some stealth while approaching the water and fishing.

San Joaquin

The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River are open. Because of the pandemic, the shuttle busses will not operate this season. There will be some kind of quota system for driving your own vehicle down into the canyon. Stay tuned! The flows are at 64 cfs

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 43 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 65 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 110 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice cutthroats and rainbows. In addition to sunscreen, throw some bug spray into your fishing vest. The mosquitos are loving life now. Hoppers are still “money."

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 250 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. Stay safe out there and have a great 4th of July weekend.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 7.1.20

One of the most important tools in your summer fly fishing arsenal should be a thermometer. In these hot days of summer, I LOVE putting on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and heading outside. However, trout don’t feel the same…. they thrive in cold conditions. When the river starts feeling tepid, take the time to use your thermometer and get some readings throughout the course of a day. You might be surprised. It is amazing how much the temperature can fluctuate in just a few hours. If your morning reading is in the mid-60’s, raise a yellow flag because by afternoon there is a good chance that the temps may climb close to 70º, which is not good for the trout or the fishery. Trout love water that is in the 50’s. Once you climb into the upper 60’s and beyond, the fish get lethargic, they don’t feed as much, and their mortality rate goes up if they get hooked. If you must fish, tie on heavier tippet material so you can land the trout quickly. Because of the reduced dissolved levels of oxygen in warm water, trout can get stressed and die — basically by suffocation. This is only a recommendation, let your conscious be your guide. I tend to pull the plug once my thermometer reaches 68º. I will give the river a break and seek out the high country or water that is cooler. 

All of the mountain passes are open including Tioga Pass but check with the Park Service for details and restrictions. These are tenuous times with the pandemic. Enjoy the Eastern Sierra but please respect the fisheries and each other. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visit a retail store. And finally, please refrain from open campfires if you are camping outside of a developed campground. Fire season is already here. Thank you.

East Walker

The East Walker in particular is vulnerable to warm water conditions. I am giving the river a break until the summer cools down……If you fish up there, again, watch the river temps. Fish in the morning with heavier tippet, then reel in, hop in your car, and head around the Sweetwater Range to try the West Walker. The flows on the East Walker are at 106 cfs.. 

West Walker

The flows are over 156 cfs with the spring runoff as a heat wave settles in over the Sierra. These flows are perfect. The West Walker has gin clear water so use some stealth while approaching the water and fishing.

San Joaquin

The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River are open. Because of the pandemic, the shuttle busses will not operate this season. There will be some kind of quota system for driving your own vehicle down into the canyon. Stay tuned! The flows are at 90 cfs

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 46 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 66 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 120 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice cutthroats and rainbows. In addition to sunscreen, throw some bug spray into your fishing vest. The mosquitos are loving life now. Hoppers are still “money."

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 360 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water. Stay safe out there and have a great 4th of July weekend.

Continue reading

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 6.19.2020

Hoppers, hoppers, and more hoppers….. If you are planning on fishing the Upper Owens, stock up on those large, grotesque, and gaudy terrestrial patterns. Yellow Humpys will get their attention as well. The trout are gorging themselves on the bounty of these terrestrials. Don’t miss out.

All of the mountain passes are open including Tioga Pass but check with the Park Service for details and restrictions. These are tenuous times with the pandemic. Enjoy the Eastern Sierra but please respect the fisheries and each other. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visit a retail store. And finally, please refrain from open campfires if you are camping outside of a developed campground. Fire season is already here. Thank you.

East Walker

It is a good idea to start carrying around a thermometer. With the hot summer heat and lower flows, the East Walker in particular is vulnerable to warm water conditions. Once the temps climb into the upper 60’s, beware, the trout are getting stressed. There is an inverse proportion: warm temperatures mean less dissolved oxygen in the river. The mortality rate of the trout start rising in these conditions. 

The flows on the East Walker are at 126 cfs.. The river at this level is perfect. These flows are easy for wading as well. The fish have moved for the most part out of the deeper, still buckets and into the moving water. This is a combo of several factors; oxygen needs and the food source. Caddis and stonefly nymphs are tumbling out of the riffles into the run outs below, especially in the afternoons. That said, black zebra midges and WD-40’s work well in the morning but as the day heats up, watch for BWO’s, stoneflies, and caddis. I generally use a stonefly nymph as an attractor with a beatis dropper. The combo has been money. 

West Walker

The flows are over 289 cfs with the spring runoff as a heat wave settles in over the Sierra. if you insist on fishing here, tighten your waist belt, use a staff, and keep your wading conservative. Try using big, flashy, and bright attractor patterns in this fast, off-color water.

San Joaquin

The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River should be open by this weekend. Because of the pandemic, the shuttle busses will not operate this season. There will be some kind of quota system for driving your own vehicle down into the canyon. Stay tuned! The flows are at 200 cfs

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 50 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 66 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 120 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice cutthroats and rainbows. In addition to sunscreen, throw some bug spray into your fishing vest. The mosquitos are loving life now. As for bugs, just a plain ‘ole pheasant tail works wonders sub-surface, but hoppers are the ticket now for the top water. 

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 370 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water.


Continue reading

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 6.18.20

Hopper season is here. If you are planning on fishing the Upper Owens, stock up on those large, grotesque, and gaudy terrestrial patterns. They work! And don’t agonize over making perfect, delicate presentations with long 7X tippet. Hoppers are made to hit the water coming in hot. Don’t be tentative, plop them down along the river’s edge like that kid at the local swimming pool desperately trying to splash the lifeguard with endless cannonballs. Cast like you mean it and enjoy the excitement!

All of the mountain passes are open including Tioga Pass but check with the Park Service for details and restrictions. These are tenuous times with the pandemic. Enjoy the Eastern Sierra but please respect the fisheries and each other. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visit a retail store. And finally, please refrain from open campfires if you are camping outside of a developed campground. Fire season is already here. Thank you.

East Walker

The flows on the East Walker are at 120 cfs. Keep your eye on the USGS website as I would expect the irrigation district to start releasing more water as the snow from the high country starts making its way to the valley below. The river at this level is perfect. The trout love the extra cold water and are free to move throughout the river system. These flows are easy for wading as well. The fish have moved for the most part out of the deeper, still buckets and into the moving water. This is a combo of several factors; oxygen needs and the food source. Caddis and stonefly nymphs are tumbling out of the riffles into the run outs below, especially in the afternoons. That said, black zebra midges and WD-40’s work well in the morning but as the day heats up, watch for BWO’s, stoneflies, and caddis. I generally use a stonefly nymph as an attractor with a beatis dropper. The combo has been money. 

West Walker

The flows are over 300 cfs with the spring runoff as a heat wave settles in over the Sierra. if you insist on fishing here, tighten your waist belt, use a staff, and keep your wading conservative. Try using big, flashy, and bright attractor patterns in this fast, off-color water.

San Joaquin

The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River is currently closed.


Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 52 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 64 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 120 cfs. Most of the trophy trout have moved back into Crowley Lake but there are still some stragglers hanging around; nice cutthroats and rainbows. In addition to sunscreen, throw some bug spray into your fishing vest. The mosquitos are loving life now. As for bugs, just a plain ‘ole pheasant tail works wonders sub-surface, but hoppers are the ticket now for the top water. 

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 276 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water.



Continue reading

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 6.8.20

Tioga Pass will open on Monday but check with the Park Service for details, restrictions, and any possible hoops to jump through. Privately operated campgrounds and RV parks are just now opening. The USFS campgrounds will hopefully be open by the end of the month. Motels and restaurants are still struggling to open. If you plan on coming over anytime soon, be prepared to travel completely self-contained.  And please, when you camp and fish, honor the old adage, “Leave no trace.” Some of the campgrounds may not reopen at all this season because of issues with trash and sewage. It is disheartening to see the amount of trash, toilet paper, and sewage. The fire danger is high already, especially with all of the high winds we have had lately. Please no campfires. Respect the fishery, the nice place you are visiting, and each other. Let’s all pitch in and leave our waters in better shape than you found them. Carry a trash bag and pick up some trash even if it is not yours. Come on over, do some fishing, practice social distancing, and be prepared to wear a mask if you are grocery shopping or visit a retail store. We are sailing on uncharted waters. A little courtesy and patience goes a long ways. We will get thru this pandemic.

Sonora and Monitor Passes are currently open. Tioga Pass will open the 15th. Hang in there! Stay safe and healthy.

East Walker

The flows on the East Walker are at 130 cfs. Keep your eye on the USGS website as I would expect the irrigation district to start releasing more water as the snow from the high country starts making its way to the valley below. The river at this level is perfect. The trout love the extra cold water and are free to move throughout the river system. These flows are easy for wading as well. The fish have moved for the most part out of the deeper, still buckets and into the moving water. This is a combo of several factors; oxygen needs and the food source. Caddis and stonefly nymphs are tumbling out of the riffles into the run outs below, especially in the afternoons. That said, black zebra midges and WD-40’s work well in the morning but as the day heats up, watch for BWO’s, stoneflies, and caddis. I generally use a stonefly nymph as an attractor with a beatis dropper. The combo has been money. 

West Walker

The flows are over 303 cfs with the spring runoff as a heat wave settles in over the Sierra. if you insist on fishing here, tighten your waist belt, use a staff, and keep your wading conservative. Try using big, flashy, and bright attractor patterns in this fast, off-color water.

San Joaquin

The road to the Postpile and the San Joaquin River is currently closed.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at roughly 52 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis above and a midge or small mayfly below. Hot Creek is always a fun place to fish. The canyon is home to not only some nice trout, but deer, osprey, and the occasional bald eagle. Enjoy!

Upper Owens River

The flows sit at about 68 cfs high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to 140 cfs. The river is very clear so fish with some stealth. There are still some massive sized cutthroats spread throughout the caldera. Please avoid the temptation to cast onto the spawning fish. Choose where you wade carefully as you do not want to destroy their redds. These fish are the future, let us be respectful to the fishery. Thanks. In addition to sunscreen, throw some bug spray into your fishing vest. The mosquitos are loving life now. As for bugs, just a plain ‘ole pheasant tail works wonders.

Lower Owens River

The river is cruising steady at roughly 199 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, Frenchies…. If you enjoy hucking dry flies, this is the place. Around lunchtime, watch for BWO’s to start coming off the water. Be ready. The first thing you will notice is the bird activity along the river. You will see swallows, fly catchers, and sparrows flitting around the surrounding brush and diving at the river surface. Look for rises along the foam lines as fish snouts start poking up through the surface film. This BWO carnage only lasts about an hour. If you get finicky trout snubbing your dry flies, change your bug. Usually a sized 16-18 adams will get grabs, but often the trout are looking for a mayfly that is sitting lower in the surface film. An adams rides high so try a comparadun or a hackle stacker, they sit more within the film. Sometimes that is all you need to get back into the game.

Get out there! You cannot catch fish if your line isn’t in the water.

Continue reading