Typically, in the west, we see some of the biggest fish come out to feed before winter conditions arrive. That means the next two months on Crowley Lake! Already the amazing fishery nestled in between the mountains of Long Valley, just below Mammoth Lakes, has shown us some amazing Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Lahonton Cutthroats just these past couple of weeks. McGee bay and the north end of the Lake are where the action has mostly been happening. 10-20′ of water has typically been where the fish have been found throughout this season. Typical patterns have been taking fish; Chironomids, Perch Fry, streamers ect… Look for the fish to move around and spread out as the overall water temperature of Lake starts to cool down and fish are able to head out and seek out some food. Call the shop for more information and to get in on this amazing fall fishery in out brand new Mako 19′ CPX!
Hoppers! I really do not need to say anything else on this report! The grassy fields of the Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes, Ca have been full of the leaping insects and the resident Trout have been taking full advantage of the situation, no doubt putting on some serious yearly mass for the seasons ahead. All sections of the river have been fishing well. Flows are clear and cool and very manageable. Normal bug activity is also noted in seams and foam lines. Nymphing various attractor nymphs as usual is very effective. Crowds have been here and there but usually one can find a place to call their own for the time they are there.
The Lower Owens has been flowing clean and clear for the last month. Up to around 442cfs, this amazing river is still being fished by a select few who know what she has been holding. The Lower Owens has proven itself over and over again to the fact that if the water looks fishy, there is indeed a small or large amount of Trout holding there. The high flows make it more difficult yes, but the water temps are moderate, driving the fishes metabolism to consume protein in the form of aquatic invertebrates. As for flies the standby Midge patterns, Caddis Worms, Split Backs and Soft Hackles in Sizes #14-18. For dries; Elk hair Caddis, Blue Duns, Stalcups Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Terrestrials in sizes #10-18. These are only a few of the patterns we have been using to extract fish in the Lower Owens River recently. (and put them back of course)
Crowley Lake has been giving us fly anglers something unforgettable this year. Big Trout of three different varieties! Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and the infamous Lahonton Cutthroat, are all growing big and plentiful in Crowley lake this summer of 2019. Our brand new red Mako 19′ CPX has been nothing short of perfect for fishing Crowley Lake delivering us quickly and comfortably with style to our favorite locations . From 10′ to 22′ we have been finding fish and bringing them to the Mako. Always moving around when necessary, the Lake will let you know when it is time to pull up anchor and present your slim offerings at another location. The North Arm, Mcgee, and the other named bays around these areas have been very productive for the STM crew. Nymphs of Damsel and Dragonflies have taken fish recently, of course Chironomids have been the staple overall. Sizes range from #12-16 and in colours from Black to White. Weather is warm and water is prime. Some bays are showing some green algae in the middle of the day near the warmer parts of the shore but not affecting the areas anywhere near where the fish are. Its time to call the shop and see what Crowley has to offer and see how quick you are on the strike!
The Upper Owens has been the recipient of the pending runoff recently. Above Hot Creek flows are lower and water has more clarity. Hot Creek appears to be dumping in around 140cfs of the total 260cfs flow. So above this confluence can be the best choice if water comes up any higher on these systems. Fish are found in the same places as before. Drop-offs, foam lines, dark bottomless holes , ect. Fish attractor patterns at these flows. Large bugs have been spotted around the Upper Owens River system so do not be afraid to go bigger on the sizes chosen. Medium Sized to Smaller Streamers tugged and passed through the right waters will prompt a strike from a fish as well. The size of the fish has returned to somewhat normal when compared to the winter population we find in the Upper Owens, but there is always some of the big ones that do not return to Crowley and give us a big summer surprise when hooked!
The Lower Owens has been fishing very well since my last report! Yellow Sallie Stoneflies, Mayflies and Caddis all have been taking fish! Although, Stoneflies have been the major player in the last couple of weeks. Conditions on the Lower Owens near Bishop are in pre-runoff. Holding Steady at 340cfs for the last couple of weeks it is poised to succumb to the melting snowpack in the near future. Look for rising fish under overhanging river willows. These wild Brown Trout are usually looking for a fallen Yellow Sallie to come up and engulf in a splashy moment of violence. Nymphing has been very effective as well, as it is always in the Lower Owens. Start light then take her deep if needed!
The legendary fly fishing of Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes California has been going on with a bang this May! Of course, a few slow days followed by some on fire ,0-100mph hook up days have happened these last few weeks. Fish have been found all around the lake to the North End of Crowley at around 16-20ft of water at this time. The normal Crowley flies have been very successful. A stomach pump recently revealed black/grey/white midges in sizes around #14-18 with some possible larger members being seen. All three species of fish (Brown Trout, Cutthroats, and Rainbow Trout) as well as perch have been coming to our nets. Making for a great start to our Crowley season!
The never forgotten East Walker river out of Bridgeport California has finally received some life giving water! Fishing has been anything but boring with some huge fish being hooked and fought, but only a percentage of those actually landed. Flows are a steady 300 cfs which the Trout have been enjoying immensely after a winter of near piss flows. The “Miracle Mile” section up top fishes very well throughout the day, as do the sections below the bridge. Some pools are fewer out and further between depending on where you are on the river. All deep holes most likely have a big trout with your name on it, these Titans of the river do not give themselves up easily though, it can take hours to trick a trophy sized trout into tasting your fly. The chaos then begins as you go from 0-100mph as you hook a torpedo of a fish on the end of your line…. Fish various styles of SJ worms, Caddis Worms, Jig Flies, Light Coloured Midges, PT’s Ect. Streamers of all sorts fished deep and drifted will also Bring big fish to the net. Stay tuned for some amazing fish to be seen by Fly Fisherman out of the East Walker this year.
The Upper Owens River seasonal large Trout continue to haunt its darkest areas is full post spawn mode. Making them back in to aquatic bug eaters! The river remains in about the same condition as my last report although, either good or bad, we have seen clearer water conditions due to the lack of precipitation these last couple of weeks. Fish continue to haunt the deepest and darkest portions of the Upper. Cast out similar patterns as mentioned in my previous few reports. With Mammoth in the distance and the snow almost gone on Long Valley Floor, you could say the Upper Owens is pretty close to paradise for most of us. It will be interesting to see what is going to occur in the next few weeks as it warms up and cool water flows heavier from up high…..
Opening at the end of the month the Legendary Crowley Lake will show us what it has in mind for us this year… After the water years recently we can all imagine what large and aggressive Trout roams the chironomid infested waters; Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lahonton Cutthroat and some feisty Cuttbows. If they were as big as humans, we would fear them….. I will include a few pictures of the recent past just to jog your memories of what is to come in a matter of weeks. Call the shop for more questions or to book on trip on our special Crowley Boat! 760-873-0010