Some snow has arrived on the banks of the Upper Owens River making it even more of an amazing place to visit. The Big Trout are still there with newer prospects arriving and moving. Flow rates are at their usual winter levels with great to good visibility, depending on where you fish. The Big and small flies have been tricking the large trout in 2019. Lots of attractors of various types: Hot Head leaches, Pistol petes, Sammy Juan worms, Copper Bobs and Jons, and other similar patterns, Midge patterns, Soft hackles, and some small Beadheads are flies to attach to you tippet. The snow is there but we are still able to drive in, those with a 2-wheel drive vehicles can park at the bridge and take an easy walk in. Streamers! Yes! A sinking tip or longer weighted leader on a standers floating line presented properly on some days seems to be the way to get one of these unforgettable fish into your net!
The Lower Owens, once again, has been very good to the persistent Fly Fisherman. Flows are down at their usual levels for this time of year of around 100cfs give or take 10cfs depending on where you are. Spotty dry fly hatches have been happening for some anglers in the bend right above their buddies! These have been larger Baetis Mayflies and can be replicated with a #16 or #18 BWO pattern (Blue Winged Olive). Some midges can be seen above the water but with limited response from the Trout. They seem to be liking Midges much more below the water recently. Green Caddis worms, or some types of Midge larvae fished under the waters surface have been a fish producer for most of the day. Tung Jig PT’s with a nicely tied Soft Hackle have been absolutely reliable for us fishing guides at STM on the Lower Owens River recently. The entire system has something to offer this time of year. You have to come up and try it for yourself to see exactly what I am talking about. Call the shop for more info. 760-873-0010
The Upper Owens has been a consistent Big Trout Factory for the last couple of months! Awesomely wild and perfectly finned Rainbows, Cutt Bows, and Brown Trout will continue to be roaming the waters of the Upper Owens River for the next few months. The snow level has pretty much vanished at this point and needs no further attention. Of course upon arriving in the morning hours it is well below freezing on most days, this, of course adds to the experience as you take in the surroundings and realize what are special place you are able to visit to sample her amazing Trout. The same techniques and strategies hold as in my December post. Deep holes and riffly water erase the view from the surface which keeps these oversized beasts of the river hidden, feeling comfortable and safe, and ready to eat! All sorts of Tubifex worm patterns, Tung Jigs, and various attractor patterns in larger sizes will give you a shot at these unforgettable fish. Streamers are always an option here as well. This will keep you casting and strategizing all day on how to get one of these trophy Trout into your hands for just a moment….
The Lower Owens fly fishing has been outstanding! Good numbers of fish as well as some large specimens have been coming out of the Lower O’s nutrient rich system. Some dry fly action is seen mid-day but can be short lived. Baetis, a small Mayfly can be seen hovering around the river and over the water around this time of the day. The nymphing turns out to be very good! The same patterns I have been going on about are still working very well. The green caddis worms also have their good days this time of the season. Flows are down to around 100-125cfs and wading is straightforward in the standard areas.
The Lower Owens has dropped to a very popular flow of around 148cfs right outside of Bishop California. Wading is gentle, and the river is alive with action! BWO’s come off around 11-12:30 at a varied duration of time, Caddis can be seen flying acrobatically over the waters surface , and a healthy Midge population is around all day long. The main surface action occurs on the BWO’s also knows as Baetis or basically a small Mayfly around size #16-18. Nymphing and streamer activity has been very productive in between the dry fly session. Now is the time we have been waiting for to come to Bishop and fish the premier wild Brown Trout river of California, the Lower O!
The Fly Fishing the Upper Owens down from Mammoth Lakes remains a seasonal and somewhat mythical fly fishing destination…. why you ask? BIG FISH! of many species… Although we have not had a fish driving hard storm yet we do have a good showing of over sized fish heading up the river in decent numbers. Flows are low and clear which is typical during the fall/winter fly fishing season on the Owens river system. Fish the places you would hide if you were a big aggressive fish looking to pass your genes on to the next generation! The fish have infiltrated the entire system so read the water correctly and appropriate your time in the fishiest spots. Fish the same flies as in my last report. SJ Worms of various styles, Coppers, PT’s, Hot Heads ect… Don’t be afraid to experiment with some similar patterns as well.
The trophy trout waters of the Upper Owens River are living up to their reputation as we see an influx of what is on all of our minds all year …. BIG TROUT!!! It is the beginning stages….. The river is flowing at a low and tricky flow just below 90cfs and the entire system is showing us evidence of the arrival of these brute trout, fresh out of Crowley Lake. Maybe you could be the Angler that lands one? These guys are aggressive and ready to eat the right offerings. SJ Worms of different styles, Soft Hackles, Pheasant Tails, Hot Head Hares Ear and many more similar patterns…. #12-18
Stop by or call the shop to get in on these world class fish that people usually have to travel far away to catch!
The Lower Owens is on its way down! We now have a flow rate of 240 cfs down from a super fast and nourishing 600cfs. This has allowed us to fish the river for the past week with awesome results! Not much to be said for dry fly action, yet anyway .. although some rising fish are noted throughout the day it could start big time at any hour! That being said the nymphing and streamer fishing has been great! High Sticking, High Sticking Tenkara style, nymphing with, or without an indicator ..pick your practice and get those flies in the water. As usual we have some special soft hackle nymphs tied on Jig hooks for a slightly different presentation and drop rate. Midges? Yes! lots of Midges and Midge Emergers of different styles have been taking a lot of fish when presented correctly. Stay tuned as an amazing Lower Owens River lowers its high flow rates to let us Fly Fisherman see how the high volume of water and food has affected the Trout in a very positive way.
Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes Fly Fishing is nearing the end of the season… But not without a bang! The North end of the lake has been a steady producer of Big Trout these past weeks! From Alligator north to Green Banks and the inlet of the Upper Owens the fishing has been on fire. That is if you like Big fish on the end of your line! Search for these Big Trout in anywhere from 8-12 ft of water using the standard Crowley Buzzer Chironomids in #12-16 in various colours that we carry at the Shop.
Out on the Upper Owens River the fly fishing has been very entertaining the last few days. Just down from Mammoth Lakes the Upper Owens meanders through one of the most beautiful sierra meadows you will ever see. Flows are down to around 100cfs, low and clear …(the flows are visible on the upper black bar on all the pages on this website). Fishing has been a mix of deep nymphing, some dry fly action for smaller trout, and an occasional toss of some sort of a streamer pattern. Small Caddis and Mayflies make up most of the diet on the surface while the nymph stages of those insects are on the menu down below. This is the turning point time of year where the Crowley lake beasts make their way up the Upper Owens River making it possible for any angler to catch a world class trout right here in the Eastern Sierra. SJ Worms, Pheastant Tails, Robo PT’s and Tungsten Jigs are some successful nymph patterns at the moment. Elk Hair Caddis and similar patterns with a good mix of Baetis top-water patterns are good bugs to have in the quiver for when you find those foam risers.