Hot Creek contines to be a place where you can catch as many fish as you want, depending on how good you are at fishing it! Access is open with most of the snow disappearing or re-appearing as we speak.. Most days a great BWO hatch comes off and the creek shows you what it is capable of as fish appear out of their hold to consume surface bugs. This happens around 12-3:00 pm on most days depending on weather. Otherwise the underwater bug consumption biomass is very high! #18-22 red brassies and disco midges… also copper colours for the brassies and pearl or green for the disco, but, red has been steady. #18-22 BWO emergers, Loop wing emergers, halfback emergers and Robo PT’s are just a few of the successful underwater patterns on this volcanic creek. BWO’s come off #18-22 so fish your dries accordingly. Small tippets and soft tipped rods here…
The Upper Owens is open and travel is easy. There are a few muddy areas in the deep ruts but otherwise dry. Flows are down and temps hover around 40 degrees. Fish can be picked up in various areas on the usual bugs. #16-20 Copper Johns, PT’s, Robo PT,s and various mayfly nymph patterns can be used with success. #18 Brassies in Red and the Copper have taken a few fish recently. Attractor nymphs such as Prince Nymphs in similar sizes are also taking fish. Streamers of your choice have been seducing the trout as well.. Flows are optimal at 88 cfs. A few spawners are finding thier way into the river. This fishery will pick up as the spring weather warms up the water, and the trouts blood..
The Lower Owens continues to fluctuate around 500 cfs. It is running very clear below the dam and fish have settled into holding water and foam lines all down the entire river. Fish can be caught but access is limited at these high flows..There is just less water that fly fisherman can access at these high flows. Dry fly action can be found in certain areas of the wild trout section during mid day. Where the flows go from here will be interesting but the LORP project is requiring more water than previous years have demanded..
Flows fluctuating with Mammoth Creek and still a great place for a fly fishing destination! As with the Upper Owens the snow has been melting quickly the last few days making soft and wet terrain in places. Driving to the locked gate is not recommended, walk from the Ranch entrance to be sure you are going to fish and not spend your time calling AAA. There is always somebody eating at Hot Creek so be prepared with the usuals I have suggested before: Nymphing is successful with just a hint of weight needed to fish Hot Creek correctly. Try #18-20 copper bobs, Robo Pheastant Tails, Tung PT’s, and various small myfly imitations (WD-40’s) with #18-22 Midge imitations dropped off of that… red biot and disco midges, zebras and tigers and t and z midges all in #18-22’s just to name a few bugs that will find you success when fished correctly on Hot Creek.
The East Walker flows have finally been bumped! Up to 114cfs the East Walker is at a perfect fishing level! Just arriving back from there last night I am excited for the big fish I can see this will produce this year (and did yesterday!)… Water is slighty off colour (it always is) and 42 degrees. Some dry fly action has been happening there on baetis and midges in certain areas. Nymphing and streamer fishing continue to take nice fish out of the EW. A light nymph rig with the correct bugs will get you into fish here with every strike being the possibility of a 20″+ fish. Try moving around and fishing different areas than just a mile under the dam. For fishy flies try; Various colours of Tiger and Zebra midges in #18-20, WD-40’s in greys and blacks #18, PT’s in a number #18-20 and we also got some fish in the slower deeper pools with a #16 prince nymph. Disco midges in pearl and grey in similar sizes also scores fish on the East Walker. For streamers pick your favorite one (rabbit) and get it to the fish. Not much of a sinking line is required here as the weight of a heavy streamer is more than enough for most of the river. A+ on this one!
The Upper Owens has been losing its snow fast the last couple of days.. Walking in from the bridge is still recommended as there is a lot of soft snow and now deep mud and water. Not much has changed here but I imagine with this warmer weater and melting snow that things will start to happen very soon. One can still find large fish lurking in the bottom of most of the slower and deeper fishy holding water. Put Big Streamers and SJ/midge combos on their head to catch a quality fish! This will start to heat up from here on!! Stay tuned on this one..
Hot Creek is still fishing HOT! Low weedless flows make it a true pleasure to fish! A long snowy walk is all that stands between you and this fine fishery at this time (.75-1.5 miles depending). BWO’w come off more or less around noon with fish being very responsive to this for the time they are out! Take off the nymphs and put that BWO dry right on the 6x for some fine top water action. Midges can also be seen getting eaten on top throughout the day, but nothing too steady. Nymphing is on fire with just a hint of weight needed to fish Hot Creek correctly. Try #18-20 copper bobs, Robo Pheastant Tails, Tung PT’s, and various small myfly imitations with #18-22 Midge imitations dropped off of that… red biot and disco midges, zebras and tigers and t and z midges just to name a few that will find you success when fished correctly.
The EW is fishing well even with low flows! Little weight is needed and the fish are responsive. Big fish have been landed by employees here in the shop in the last few days. Snow is still there making the experience even more special. Fish your favorite streamer to see what comes out of the shadows after it to have a look or an eat! Nymphs are still working here with Pearl Disco Midges, Red Disco Midges, Tigers and Zebras, and various colours of WD-40’s all in #’s 16-20.. You can also put a SJ above that for some great success. Fish are spread out throughout the river and the low flows make them very spooky.. When you approach like the fish are not there you will see V-shaped wakes heading away from you and then they are NOT there… Going to get even hotter with March warming this area and a little more water squeezed out of the Dam…
Access is to Benton Crossing with a nice walk upstream to find some big fish that reside here…Flows are up to 158 which is higher than we usually see it in the summer so more weight is necessary to get down to the beasts. Most of the fish are in certain larger oxbow, slow holes. Fish streamers slowly on the bottom looking for that line to tighten.. Nymph slow and deep and make each cast your best knowing it could result in a 20″+ fish.. Fish San Juans here in #6 with PT’s, Zebras and Tigers, Hares Ears and disco midges all in #16-20 dropped off the larger SJ worm. Spend time where the pigs would hang out is the key here.. (slower deeper pools) Dont go here right now to catch lots of fish..go here to hunt yourself a big fish!
The river has been moved up to around 300 cfs as of today. Blue Winged Olives and Midges are still coming off setting off some topwater action in select spots around 12:00pm to more or less around 2:00pm, depending on weather and day. The grannom caddis cases are sealed and they will all pop soon for another round of dry fly action. Some of these small caddis are already starting to make an appearance. The nymph fishing is what takes a downside turn with this suprise spike in flows. However, fish can still be caught; get away from the fast riffles and find the slower moving sections with a slower moving foam line to tell you fish are holding under there for food and sanctuary from the faster water. Brighter patterns such as Robo PT’s #16-20’s, prince nymphs and bubble back emergers #16-18 can be easier for fish to find under water. San juan worms in sizes #6-10 also will bag fish with these higher levels moving new life around in the water. Streamers definitely shine at these higher flows. Yellow and white or dark and white combinations have been taking fish. Put on your sink tip (Airflo depthfinder 22′ sink tip 190gr)at these flows for streamer success.