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Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 12.5.2019

I made a quick overnight trip to Pyramid Lake which was a fun change of pace. And, the fish Gods were kind….

Winter has arrived in the Sierra with more snow expected this weekend. I would avoid the temptation to drive up the Upper Owens road for fishing once the storm systems exit the area. Park near the bridge and slog up the road to gain access to the river. Unless of course you enjoy getting buried in deep snow and mud. Just sayin’….The fishing is solid, not great numbers of trout, but the fish that are actively feeding are large and fat. Enjoy!

 

East Walker

The East Walker is dribbling along at 20 cfs. Until the river flows pick up, I recommend giving this fishery a rest….. 

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 40 cfs. Try patterns like zebra midges and small mayflies. Dry droppers work really well at these flows. May stealth be your guide as the river is not only low, but gin clear. Keep a low profile… if you can spot fish in the river, they can certainly see your movements.

San Joaquin

The road to Devil’s Postpone is closed for the season.

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 especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

Just a reminder, the Upper Owens is closed for the season BELOW the bridge to the reservoir. The flows are 111 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 160 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with SJ worms, small baetis, and balanced leeches. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there. And beware of the new snow as it will impact the driving approach (see above).

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has finally lowered their flushing flows through the Gorge and below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. The river is running steady at roughly 152 cfs and is fishing well with all of the traditional patterns; PT’s, Hare’s Ears, midges, caddis worms…. got out there!

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 11.13.2019

The general trout season will be closing soon, November 15th, to be exact. Make sure you are aware of the local regulations, as some streams stay open year around but others close in a week. In general the fishing has slowed down. Just get yourself into the mindset of grinding away on good runs, being patient, expect less trout, and enjoy your surroundings. 

East Walker

The East Walker is dribbling along at 21 cfs. Until the river flows pick up, I recommend giving this fishery a rest….. See the photo below.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 40 cfs. Try patterns like zebra midges and small mayflies. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

The road to Devil’s Postpone is closed for the season.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 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 especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

The flows are 108 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 160 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with balanced leeches and punk perch. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has finally lowered their flushing flows through the Gorge and below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. The river is running steady at roughly 175 cfs, a tad on the high side yet for wading, but doable. I am looking forward to fishing down there again. Stay tuned…..

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.7.2019

The general trout season will be closing soon, November 15th, to be exact. Make sure you are aware of the local regulations, as some streams stay open year around but others close in a week. In general the fishing has slowed down. Just get yourself into the mindset of grinding away on good runs, being patient, expect less trout, and enjoy your surroundings. 

East Walker

The East Walker is dribbling along at 21 cfs. Until the river flows pick up, I recommend giving this fishery a rest. Some of the browns are stranded by the boney water not to mention their spawning redds are in jeopardy from the low river flows. 

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 40 cfs. Try patterns like zebra midges and small mayflies. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

There is not much more time to catch the San Joaquin…. the river is super boney now, 9 cfs, but if you scout around, you can find fish in the deeper buckets. Personally, I am scratching the San Joaquin off my list of places to go for this season. Come springtime though…..

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 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 especially now that the crowds have gone home. 

Upper Owens River

The flows are 125 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 175 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with balanced leeches and punk perch. Work the deeper buckets relentlessly…. they are in there.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has finally lowered their flushing flows through the Gorge and below Pleasant Valley Reservoir. The river is running steady at roughly 368 cfs, a tad on the high side yet for wading, but doable. I am looking forward to fishing down there again. Stay tuned…..

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.23.2019

Yikes! November is barking at the door…. say it isn’t so! I saw the first hint of Christmas decorations at the local supermarket. The autumn colors are slipping past their prime. Once we get a hard frost and some wind, fall will be over. The temperatures are cold now with morning lows in the 20’s. Fishing, and catching are good, depending on where you go.  The fishing is stellar with large rainbows and browns cruising up the Owens River from the Crowley Reservoir. Stripping leeches and perch fry will get you some major grabs and porkulent trout. Have fun out there!

East Walker

The East Walker is cruising along at 140 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on! There are a potpourri of bugs cruising around but they seem to prefer small mayflies, like sized 22. The river fishes really well at these current flows.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 67 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 11 cfs. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon. You still need to pay an entrance fee for access. I fished down there a couple of weeks ago and the river is really “boney” with crystal clear water. There are lots of nice little browns and rainbows if you scout around.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 180 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.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 112 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 165 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with balanced leeches and punk perch.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing a flushing / scouring purge of the Gorge and the lower river, mandated by Fish and Wildlife. The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to almost 703 cfs. I would avoid these sections of the river until normal flows are reestablished. These high flows will be good for the health of the river down the line as it cleans out years of sediment and debris.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 10.17.18

Mid-October! The autumn colors are in their prime. Once we get a hard frost and some wind, fall will be over. The temperatures are cold now with morning lows in the 20’s. The fish seem to be edgy and charged up for autumn. The fishing is good with large rainbows and browns cruising up the Owens River from the Crowley Reservoir. Stripping leeches and perch fry will get you some major grabs and porkulent trout. Have fun out there!

East Walker

The East Walker is cruising along at 140 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on! There are a potpourri of bugs cruising around but they seem to prefer small mayflies, like sized 22. The river fishes really well at these current flows. 

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 67 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 38. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon. You still need to pay an entrance fee for access. I fished down there a couple of weeks ago and the river is really “boney” with crystal clear water. There are lots of nice little browns and rainbows if you scout around. 

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 51 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.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 114 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 165 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with balanced leeches and punk perch.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing a flushing / scouring purge of the Gorge and the lower river, mandated by Fish and Wildlife. The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to almost 703 cfs. I would avoid these sections of the river until normal flows are reestablished. These high flows will be good for the health of the river down the line as it cleans out years of sediment and debris.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
September…… the sun is getting lower in the sky, the nights are chilling down, and the grasses are starting to pick up that autumn hue. With the blink of an eye, the morning temperatures are in in the mid-30’s and there has been frost on the windshield and along the river corridors. It is quite beautiful. 
The hopper hatch is slowing down but in the afternoons, the fish are still looking up and will readily wolf down a hopper or large terrestrial pattern. If you are not getting grabs on your hopper pattern, try switching over to something like a Chernobyl ant. Sometimes seeing a different profile float by on the surface can get these trout to crush something a little different than a grasshopper.

 

East Walker

The East Walker is cruising along at 265 cfs and the water temps are dropping with the frigid nights. Game on!

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 90 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

 

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 33. If you poke around, you can find lots of soft water stacked with trout. Bring your waders as the water temperatures are frigid. The shuttle busses are no longer running so you are allowed to drive your own vehicle down into the canyon.

 

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 60 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. There are some nice fish lying in ambush for hoppers falling into the creek. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a hopper above and midges or caddis below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 111 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 170 cfs. More and more trout are pushing up into the river system from the reservoir. There are some really nice fish to be had with hoppers and Chernobyl ants. The grasshopper infestation is still happening but as the mornings temps are in the 30’s, I cannot imagine the hoppers to be around much longer.

Lower Owens River

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing a flushing / scouring purge of the Gorge and the lower river, mandated by Fish and Wildlife. The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to above 650 cfs. I would avoid these sections of the river until normal flows are reestablished. These high flows will be good for the health of the river down the line as it cleans out years of sediment and debris.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson reports on 8.29.2019

Here it is, the Dog Days of Summer…… September is just around the corner. Most of the families | tourists visiting the area have gone home for the summer. Normally crowded water such as the Upper Owens River or Hot Creek has thinned out. There is plenty of breathing room AND, fishing is pretty good. Speaking of Hot Creek and the Upper O, if you like hucking large dry flies like hoppers, now is the time. The afternoons are particularly rewarding with the rainbows and browns gorging themselves on the bounty. The hoppers have been almost Biblical in numbers….. it is REALLY fun.

it is that time of year to carry an important and often overlooked piece of equipment to the river, a thermometer. The tailwater fisheries, in particular the East Walker, are getting on the warm side. I tend to draw the line at 68º F….. anything warmer is putting too much stress on the trout. The mortality rates start sky rocketing when the water is too warm as they cannot get as much oxygen as they need to recover. Even though a trout seems to swim away fine, it does not mean that they don’t “belly up” sometime after their release.

East Walker

The temps are starting to get too high, even in the morning, so err on the side of respect for the fishery and trout. Give the fish a break for a few weeks until the water cools off. Thanks.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 122 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 86. If you poke around, you can find lots of soft water stacked with trout. Bring your waders as the water temperatures are frigid. The San Joaquin has been a great place to fish during the hot days.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 68 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. There are some nice fish lying in ambush for hoppers falling into the creek. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a hopper above and midges or caddis below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 111 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 180 cfs. The better fishing has been above the confluence where the water has better clarity. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. You may see the odd cutthroat here and there leftover form their spawn but for the most part, the trout have left to head downstream to the reservoir, leaving rainbows and browns for the summer months. Hoppers are invading the river system and the trout are loving them. Hoppers, hoppers, and more hoppers….

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to above 542 cfs. This is on the high side for this section of the river so exercise some caution when you fish. You can easily go for am impromptu swim and end up flushed downstream if you are not careful. 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. You can find nice dry fly action along the foam lines and quiet water in the morning and evenings. Midges, tricos, mayflies and caddis are all working.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Jim Stimson Reports on 8.23.19

it is that time of year to carry an important and often overlooked piece of equipment to the river, a thermometer. The tailwater fisheries, in particular the East Walker, are getting on the warm side. I tend to draw the line at 68º F….. anything warmer is putting too much stress on the trout. The mortality rates start sky rocketing when the water is too warm as they cannot get as much oxygen as they need to recover. Even though a trout seems to swim away fine, it does not mean that they don’t “belly up” sometime after their release.

The creeks and rivers are still swollen with high country runoff so be wary. Get yourself a wading staff and cinch up that belt around your waist. River hydraulics are powerful. Err on the side of caution while fishing and wading during this time of year. Fishing in general has been good with hoppers being the afternoon food du jour. As the afternoon breezes sweep across the grasses, hoppers get blown into the rivers and creeks and the fun begins. Benign looking water begins to boil with trout as they suck in these large terrestrials. It is REALLY fun smacking down hopper imitations along the river banks and watching the water erupt with hungry fish.

East Walker

The temps are starting to get too high, even in the morning, so err on the side of respect for the fishery and trout. Give the fish a break for a few weeks until the water cools off. Thanks.

West Walker

The river has dropped considerably thru the canyon and is at 124 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Dry droppers work really well at these flows.

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 90. If you poke around, you can find lots of soft water stacked with trout. Bring your waders as the water temperatures are frigid.

 

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 71 cfs. Target your casts to the feeding lanes between the weeds and rocks, plus the overhanging grasses along the margins. There are some nice fish lying in ambush for hoppers falling into the creek. You may not see fish, but they are there. Try a dry-dropper setup with a hopper above and midges or caddis below.

Upper Owens River

The flows are 105 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 180 cfs. The better fishing has been above the confluence where the water has better clarity. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. You may see the odd cutthroat here and there leftover form their spawn but for the most part, the trout have left to head downstream to the reservoir, leaving rainbows and browns for the summer months. Hoppers are invading the river system and the trout are loving them.

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to above 510 cfs. This is on the high side for this section of the river so exercise some caution when you fish. You can easily go for am impromptu swim and end up flushed downstream if you are not careful. 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. You can find nice dry fly action along the foam lines and quiet water in the morning and evenings. Midges, tricos, mayflies and caddis are all working.

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Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report
Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report

All of the passes are open now with no restrictions; Tioga, Sonora, and Monitor, as well as the road down to Devil’s Postpile. However, unless you have a campground reservation at Devil’s Postpile, to drive your own, personal vehicle, you will need to pass thru the kiosk at Minaret Vista before 7 am. Otherwise, you can take a shuttle bus that boards at the ski area. The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin is raging as it plunges over Rainbow Falls. Well worth the short hike.

The creeks and rivers are swollen with high country runoff and there is so much more snow left to melt. Be careful out there! Get yourself a wading staff and cinch up that belt around your waist. River hydraulics are powerful. Err on the side of caution while fishing and wading during this time of year.

East Walker

The flows are at about 440 cfs, which is a smidge on the high side, but fishable — with caution. At the higher flows, there is less river to fish safely. The section in particular below the bridge and the Miracle Mile has a steeper gradient and lots of pocket water, which makes for nail biting, white water angling. Your best bet is the softer water below the dam. The trout are moving around and settling into their new habitats. With the high volume of water coming out of the reservoir, the angling options get reduced. Most of the best fishing will be in the Miracle Mile. You will find most of the trout stacked along the river margins, hanging in the softer water. Fishing is decent now. Try stonefly patterns in the buckets below the riffles, along with BWO’s and caddis. There are a potpourri of bugs out there now. With the higher water I tend to fish a lot of attractor patterns. With the swift water the trout only have an instant to see and commit to your bugs floating by, make it as obvious as possible for them. I often pull out my trout spey rod for these conditions. I like being able to stand in the safe water along the edges and cast down and across, swinging my bugs into the juicy looking areas under the willows and cottonwoods. It is fun but be careful out there.

West Walker

Yeehaw! The river is ripping thru the canyon at about 1200 cfs. Try patterns like San Juans or Prince Nymphs, big attractors, and fish the margins. Do not even think about wading too deep.

 

San Joaquin

The road is open and the flows are 588. If you poke around, you can find lots of soft water stacked with trout. Bring your waders as the water temperatures are frigid.

Hot Creek

The creek is flowing through the canyon at 125 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

The flows are 105 cfs but these are readings taken high in the river system. Once Hot Creek dumps into the mid-section the flows are closer to over 230 cfs. The better fishing has been above the confluence where the water has better clarity. More and more trout are spreading out throughout the river system. You may see the odd cutthroat here and there leftover form their spawn but for the most part, the trout have left to head downstream and the reservoir, leaving rainbows and browns for the summer months. 

Lower Owens River

The Lower Owens flows are at 390 cfs. This is on the high side for this section of the river so exercise some caution when you fish. You can easily go for am impromptu swim and end up flushed downstream if you are not careful. 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 caught fish on everything from green caddis worms to black midges. 


Jim Stimson Fly Fishing
142 Larkspur Lane
Crowley Lake, CA 93546
760.209.4300 (cell)
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