The Lower Owens river fly fishing has been intriguing! The river is flowing at a good flow of 300+ as the top of the site says here. Water is perfect colour and temperatures are hovering around 44-50 degrees. Some dry fly activity is seen in the foamy areas throughout the day. Usually after mid morning the dry fly action can be seen if any. Of course, under the water a whole different story is happening. Caddis Worms, Midge Larvae, and May Fly nymphs are on the Trout of the Lower Owens diet right now! Some voracious eating of aquatic insects is seriously happening under the surface! Even though water is high with some beginner water reading skills the Fly Angler can pick out the right pieces of river to fish. It seems after months of record flows the fish on the Lower Owens are coming back to show us what that volume of river allows them to become……
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The fly fishing below Mammoth Lakes CA on the Upper Owens river in winter is a special place for any serious fly angler. Mainly because it becomes large trout hunters dream with the stream of over-sized trout swimming up from Crowley lake! Flows are low and water varies between very clear and slightly murky, both presenting different presentation situations. As forecasted the Trout are throughout the Upper Owens system, holding in the deepest pools and darkest runs, corners, and banks. Most part of the mighty Upper O’ are fishing well. It is up to each angler to choose the correct water to fish and take into account how much time to spend in each piece he chooses. All sorts of semi salmon/steelhead reminiscent flies are taking fish. Various midge variations, and Pheasant tails/ soft hackles are other ideas to sink down in the Upper. Streamers patterns fished deep ? of course! Fish these whenever you want in any size. Just get them deep!
Temps have dropped yet a little more on the grassy banks of the Upper Owens River with the addition of more precipitation in the Mammoth Lakes area after some threatening storms. Some runoff flowed down Hot Creek making the water below the confluence cloudy for a couple of days. The water above the confluence area took on a tea stained red hue while remaining clear. This has now subsided and clearer flows have resumed. The river is now in perfect condition with flows as clear as any angler would desire. This, of course give the fish the advantage as they can see us coming a mile away on the treeless banks of the Upper Owens. The BIG Trout are indeed moving in! They have moved up and are peppered throughout the system. A Fly Angler only needs to take some time explore the deeper parts of the Upper O too find these world class Trout. Right now we are seeing mostly Rainbows as normal, but there is are more Brown Trout and we can see some Rainbows with Cutthroat trout genes as well. Fish the normal suggested flies; Large attractor Nymphs, Small Midges , Eggs, Worms ect.. Streamers always will take fish here but need to be fished in a proper manner in this spring creek type stream . Stay tuned for much more to come from the awesome waters of the Upper Owens River while Fly Fishing this winter.
The new news here on the fabulous Lower Owens River is that the flows are now on their way down! As you can see at the top of my website the levels are now down to 400 cfs instead of the whopping 550 cfs it had been maintaining. A little bit more and this place is going to be one of the next amazing fly fishing winter destinations you have to experience this winter of 2017/2018! Stay tuned for much more to come as we are fly fishing the Lower and Upper Owens daily!
The life giving flowing waters of the Upper Owens River are in amazing fishing condition! Flows are relatively above average and clear while weed growth is way down. In most dark and deep runs, holes, riffles, and pockets there is a likely chance of a large, or very large Trout with your name on it!! The flies are the same as my last report (SJ Worms Variations, Some Egg patterns, Soft Hackles, ect.)with emphasis on the anglers choice of waters to fish and how much time to spend and each piece he chooses. The Upper Owens is just starting to show Fly Fisherman the fantastic future it holds for us this winter…
The fabulous East Walker is showing signs of its glorious past as a massive flowing and fish producing piece of water. Currently running at an incredibly fishy flow of around 60-65cfs despite huge summer flows… water is clean and healthy! From the origin of the river at the spillway down to the Nevada line the East Walker is giving up some of its hefty specimens to the more advanced angler. Fishing the all classic SJ worm variations and well as a myriad of Midges, Baetis and Caddis has been working for different anglers on different days. Some dry fly action is noted but not consistent. Streamers fished correctly will almost certainly make your day with a hand jolting strike. Stay tuned for the East Walker Fly Fishing accelerate as Autumn and Winter take over the Eastern Slope of the Sierra.
The magnificent Lower Owens River just does not want to let go of its crisp, high flows! At a steady 547 cfs as of now we are happily anticipating the dropping of flow levels any day! That being said for those who know how to fish the river it is in amazing shape. The Trout of the Lower Owens have not seen, if ever, a sustained volume of this magnitude for such a long block of time. This gives the finned creatures of the river a lot of room to move around and take advantage of the food delivery system the river now offers to them. As far as they are concerned after the last five years of edge of drought situations the river is an entire new ecosystem, thriving with food and life on a constant delivery system. This makes for very healthy and happy fish of all sorts! Emerging Mayflies and Midges with some rogue Caddis are seen over the water inconsistently as the day warms. Emerger and Soft Hackle patterns have been very successful in #14-18. As well as various small streamers and seasonal dry fly patterns in slow moving foam lines during the warmer parts of the day.. As amazing as it is its very high and fast in most areas. Extreme caution at all times!
The Upper Owens River can be a bit of a fly fisherman’s paradise; dreamy grass meadow littered with various flowers surrounded by a ridge of majestic mountains. In Autumn these give way to cooler Temps and we see snow start to dot the mountains. This usually means the fishing is starting to change to larger offerings meaning…. BIG FISH. this is just starting to happen. The river is in perfect shape this year after a tremendous healthy water year. Stay tuned for another report very soon!
The Lower is making us wait a little longer for its flows to come down until the entire river is fishable. Currently fluctuating between 400-500 cfs of nutrient rich water with lots of aquatic insects making their appearance. Mayflies, Caddis, and Midges are around for most of the day with mid morning being the heaviest emergence. Fish are larger than we have seen and in fire once hooked!