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 and after 7 pm. 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.
The flows have dropped to just under 400 cfs, which is still 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 yellow sallys in the buckets below the riffles, along with BWO’s, caddis, crayfish and tricos. 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, docile 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.
The creek is flowing through the canyon at 125 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.
The flows are 90 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 200 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.
The Lower Owens flows have been bumped up to above 400 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.
Rebecca and I headed up to Clearwater Lodge to fish Fall River & Hat Creek. We fished late on Sunday evening on the powerhouse 2 riffle. A storm was blowing through leaving sporadic raindrops and cracks of thunder. The 1 billion mosquitoes out were a sign of a good hatch to come. I was thankful for the Simms Bugstopper Shirt and Ben’s 100that I had brought in anticipation of this particular...Continue reading
Although Hat Creek was a very social scene and crowded Saturday Sunday proved otherwise. Our guides and clients found very good fishing at the Power House 2 riffle both days with Sunday being far fewer anglers.
The creek is in excellent shape running a bit high but gin clear. We witnessed occasional PMD’s and Caddis but nothing to get excited about….yet. This is...Continue reading
I have been fishing the rifle portions of hat creek. Czech Nymphing with a small soft tackle, size 16-18 as my top fly and the dropper has been a small jig style fly with a tungsten bead, size 14.
This has been producing incredible action for 6-12 inch fish with the occasional large trout, 14-20 inch. If early morning fishing is your thing don’t forget the...Continue reading
Day 2 of 5 Rivers Challenge: Another fun day and happy anglers fishing the wild trout waters of Northern California– Fall, Pit, McCloud, Upper Sacramento rivers and Hat Creek. We have 8 two-person teams out on the water, testing their angling skills to see who catches the most fish and the biggest fish. Congrats to Steve Johnson and Mikk Anderson for both catching a 19” from the Pit and Fall rivers. So far the competition has one team far ahead the rest, but with one more half-day fishing today, let’s see how it turns out. Thanks to Mike
Golden Stones, PMDS, and caddis pupa are to be expected this time of year.
Hex’s are popping on the Fall River too!
The crick is fishing well and is pretty consistent this time of year. Cloudy and rainy afternoons can lead to epic conditions! I like fishing Hat and Pit 3 in the same day for a contrast of experiences (nymphing Pit early and then hunting w/ dry flies on Hat for the evening). Or fish Fall River and then Hat for another change of pace. Look for lots of small...Continue reading
Hot, Hot, Hot! With temps in the high 90′s to 100′s fish will be relaxing in the middle of the day… as should you! It’s all about the morning and evening. If you are a die hard to fish in the middle of the day find white water, shade and deep pools.
You should be fishing caddis, Pmds, small soft hackles, ants, grasshoppers, and LBS (little black shit)Continue reading
LCO Reports on 7/6/17
Fall River is fishing well as it’s usual self. Mid morning dries, afternoon leaching, and evening hex hatch. For dries; Pmds and calibaetis tend to be the most abundant. When fishing dries I like to use a 15ft 5x leader and add 3ft of 6x fluorocarbon. this has been the best combo I have found for sticking nice fish on dries.
Nymphing rig a small bobber the take is...Continue reading