The local area small creeks and streams are at their most fishable levels we have seen all summer. Clear and beautiful the smaller flowing waters of the Eastern Sierra are full of happy fish right now. Some of these creeks have given us some great dry fly fishing the last couple weeks where no nymph is needed all day long. Classic fly patterns such as the Royal Wulff, Coachman, and other old school patterns come to use. Small streamers, and large nymphs come into play on these streams as well in the deeper holes where the big guy will not raise to dry!
The green summer grass and flowers of the Upper Owens are diminishing with the cooler high elevation nights. Flows are beautiful at 75-100cfs depending on the section you are fishing. Below and above Benton crossing fishing has been consistent and good! Fish throughout the Upper Owens river system are still looking up to Hoppers, Beetles and other well placed attractor patterns. Smaller fish are taking small Mayflies and Caddis patterns as you will see these trout rising but these guys don't amount too much size when caught. Attractor nymphs leaning towards the larger sizes are working well. Fly Fishing the Upper Owens is picking up as we await the arrival of the Large Fish we have all been thinking about!
The notorious flowing waters of the Lower Owens River continue to flow heavily relieving the High Sierra of all their heavy moisture. Fishing has been great when the river can be accessed in specific areas where the river allows us. Flows will come down soon at the nights are now freezing up the higher elevations running waters. Big Nymphs and Dries here! Check back here for updates!
The Local Creeks and Streams from Bishop to Mammoth are unseasonably high, yet running very clear and a pleasure to fish. Lots of dry fly action here with large offerings being accepted on top and under the water. For Dries large Beetles, Stimulators and Rubber legged patterns have been bringing all kinds of fish to the surface. Buggers and Stonefly nymphs are also very productive in these situations. As the fall rolls in these streams will be amazing with the cooler nights and days producing active trout and less vegetation around and in the streams.
The Lower Owens continues to flow at a very healthy and clear flow of around 450 cfs. This is a fishable flow only to those who know the river and can find the accessible spots at these current higher than average flow rates. Other than that the fishing has been very satisfying with some larger specimens popping up that we usually dont see from the Lower. Stoneflies of many types emerged in good numbers this year making the nymph fishing with the larger patterns very successful. Trout have been coming up for Hopper patterns, Beetles, and some Stimulators placed under the overhanging willows as well. Fish large PT nymphs and Stone patterns #12-16 under and indicator or Tight line nymphing. We look forward to this current flow to recede down below 300cfs so we can really start accessing and fishing the Lower Owens completely.
The Upper Owens is a beautiful river to fish is these late days of July. Grass is green, flowers remain, and the river is down to a very nice fishable level! The huge fish the make their way up river in the colder months have returned to Crowley and the resident fish of the river remain. With the water levels abundant grasshoppers abound everywhere and when presented correctly can provide some reasonably violent eats against the opposite deep banks. Attractor nymphs and larger offerings are getting eaten. Fish are not giving themselves away here. The Fly Angler must cover water to have success in the Upper Owens right now. Above the Hot Creek confluence the water is a bit lower and different colour, you might also find less people. Below Hot Creek water is higher and stained a reddish tea colour. Both are fishable and we have had equal success below and above.
Crowley has good days and so-so days. Mostly good days if the correct patterns and locations are being used. This time of year its all about McGee, this is somewhat obvious by the amount of watercraft packed into a certain area. Fish anywhere in between 10-21 feet of water for success. Earlier in the day more fish seem to be landed in shallower and typically moving out to the depths as the sun rises. The chironomid patterns I have suggested before are still our main go to bugs; Crowley Buzzers in #12-14 of all sorts of colours. Fish 4x and 5x to hold the big fish and be ready to let those Rainbows run!
The Wild Brown Trout rich waters of the Lower Owens River are slowly lowering their fierce runoff levels to a rate that is at least fishable. Fluctuating between 400-450 cfs the system is in Amazing condition! Feeding on larger patterns is typical for this time of year and the Browns of the Lower O are fully proving that by eating ; #14-18 Pheasant tail variations, Soft Hackles, Hot Heads, and Yellow Sally imitations. Of Course, look for holding areas away from the strong main current with cover and depth nearby. On the surface some fish can be enticed to feed up top with larger attractor patterns, smaller Stone fly patterns, and Foam Buggies of your choice. Fish these in various colours in #10-16. If you do plan on fishing the river watch each step you take in or near the river. Things are not the same as they were before the high flows. We are absolutely anticipating this river to continue on with its legendary dry fly fishing, producig beautiful Trout of pure quality. Quite possibly better than before after this record flushing the Lower Owens received these last few months.