The East walker continues to fish similar to the conditions of my last report, fish are fat and healthy and range in size from 14″ fish to 25″ fish. One thing is different.. snow. Although the landscape is white, it is not deep, access is easy for now . Small hatches of baetis do come off during the warm parts of the day.. the smaller fish in the East Walker usually respond to this hatch in certain areas. This is certainly not a river wide event. The same patterns still hold: #18-22 pearl T- Midge poly wing emergers, Poly Wing Emergers in lighter and darker shades in sizes #18-22, Miracle Nymphs #18, WD-40′s in browns and grey in sizes #18-20. Recently, Flash Bang midges have really shined in cream and red colours in sizes #18, see these at the shop, they are very similar to JuJu Bee’s. Baetis Emerger patterns such as; halfback emergers and poxy back BWO emergers also take fish. Fish these in #s 18-20. On the surface,for a suggestion, try a cut wing BWO or Extended Body BWO in #’s 18-20 to trick these fish on top.
The landscape of Hot Creek has turned to a white wonderland- Huge mountains and a high desert landscape below make just being there an experience at this time of year. The first gate is shut and 4×4 vehicles can push through to the gate at the moment. Do this at your own risk! Weeds continue to die off as winter sets in. Some spawning continues to be seen in some areas as different bahavior is evident to the observent fly angler. As for what fly patterns to use, the same still stand. On the surface fish: Thorax BWO #20, Cut-Wing BWO patterns in #18-22, CDC Baetis and Para BWO’s in sizes 18-22 are a few suggestions that work well for this hatch. Under the water you can fish; #18-20 Halfback Emerger BWO’s, #18-20 loop wing emergers and poxy back BWO emergers, Poly Wing emergers #18-20, Small Tiger and Zebra midges in #18-22 and WD-40′s in #18-20. Large fish can be seen out and moving on some days! SCROLL DOWN TO LAST HOT CREEK REPORT TO SEE A HUGE HOT CREEK BROWN !!!!
Now 194cfs…A lot of people consider 200 cfs the optimal flow on the Lower Owens. Some people like it around 100cfs and lower. Whatever the flow it seems that it is going to be a great December… We will see how the hatches play out with these weather fronts..
The Lower Owens has been turned up and then back down since my last report. Going up to a very driftable flow of 325 cfs it is now down to 275cfs and almost guaranteed to fall from there. Fish have been on the prowl and hungry the entire time. Some really nice sized fish are coming out of the Lower Owens this year. Bugs are abundant and the river bottom is very healthy. The entire system seems to be in great shape this year. Some dry fly top water action is being found on certain parts of the river. These are usually Blue Winged Olives and they are a favorite food of the wild brown trout that reside in the Lower Owens. Try a Throax BWO in sizes #18-20, etha wing (cut wing) BWO’s, Para BWO and Classic BWO patterns all in #18-20 will get fish as they are surfacing to adult baetis. On the underwater side try; Robo PT’s #16-20, Sparkle Trigger #16-20, Crystal PT, #18-20, Bubble Back Emergers and Half Back emergers in #18-20, Poly wing emergers, and Zebra and Tigers Midges in greens, browns and creams seem to do the best in sizes #18-20. Look for flows to drop even more around ThanksGiving time.
The East Walker is down to the mandated flow of 22cfs of fishing flowing water. Some fish are spawning so watch for frest gravel which also always reveals a red (fish nest) of some sort. The river is healthy and the bottom is full of healthy weeds (bug sanctuary). While a small population of the trout are spawning most are eating to their hearts content. Light nymph and dry dropper setups are the best way to trick the inhabitants of the East Walker. #18-22 pearl T- Midge poly wing emergers, Poly Wing Emergers in lighter and darker shades in sizes #18-22, Miracle Nymphs #18, WD-40’s in browns and grey in sizes #18-20. Baetis Emerger patterns such as; halfback emergers and poxy back BWO emergers also take fish. Fish these in #s 18-20. On the surface, starting in the later morning baetis are on the surface with fish eating them in certain holes. A cut wing BWO or Extended Body BWO in #’s 18-20 will trick these fish on top.
Water is clear and continues to hover around 100cfs which is about right for the Upper O. We are seeing large fish and smaller fish with some being very large. If your fish a dry fly expect the smaller fish of the population… Go down in the deeper holes and hook on to something that might leave you with your heart pounding as you realize what you should of done when he went for that undercut…… Nymph with #14-18 PT nymphs of different styles (robo, crystal, sparkle), Hares Ears Bead Head and Flash Back in sizes #14-18, Tiger and Zebra Midges in a variety of colours in sizes #16-20, Poly Wing Midge emergers #’s 18-20, Trigger Nymphs #16-20. For surface activity expect to see baetis (BWO) and small caddis over the water. Streamers sunk deep will also get you large fish.. Try Slumpbusters, Double Bunnies and large Wooly Bugger style streamers to bring out the larger inhabitants of the river.
Hot Creek is in good shape as the blasts of cooler weather have lowered the water temps- Weeds continue to die out of the lanes and collect in pads on the fronts of rocks downstream. Water is cool and low and some fish are starting to show spawning behavior. Caddis are left behind as BWO’s emerge and fish key on the adults on the surface. Dry fly action is what Hot Creek is known for and that is what is going to happen throughout the winter here. On the surface fish a: Thorax BWO #20, Cut-Wing BWO patterns in #18-22, CDC Baetis and Para BWO’s in sizes 18-22 are a few suggestions that work well for this hatch. Under the water you can fish; #18-20 Halfback Emerger BWO’s, #18-20 loop wing emergers and poxy back BWO emergers, Poly Wing emergers #18-20, Small Tiger and Zebra midges in #18-22 and WD-40’s in #18-20. Some large fish are starting to move as this weather closes in…
The Lower Owens has been lowered to a very fishy flow of 200cfs. Water temps are mid-high 50’s and fish are healthy and fat from months of feeding at a very high and clear cfs (cubic feet/second of water). Some summertime-high flow weeds still exist making some familiar holes fish different than we remember them, on the other hand many other new runs and riffles have popped up with the lower seasonal flows. Caddis, Baetis (BWO) and Tricos can be seen during mid morning. Some dry fly action can be observed. For flies fish #16-20 Pheasant tails and Hares Ears, Zebra Midges in various colours from black to green in #’s 18-22. Poly wing emergers #18-20, Sparkle Trigger Nymphs #16-20, Various Green Rock Work patterns in #’s 16-18 and RS2 and WD-40’s in similar sizes are all taking fish. Exact patterns that fish take can change daily so be prepared. On the surface BWO patterns #18 (para BWO, Adams, Etha Wing Duns) Have a few elk hair caddis with you to cover a caddis feed.
Cooler nights have the trout of the East Walker moving about and eating more to stock up for the long winter ahead. Flows are down to around 90 cfs and steady. Water colour is slightly off which is usual for the East Walker for this time of year.
We have been seeing BIGGER fish eating and moving around recently. Fishing has been great some days and good on others. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with different styles of the same pattern. Caddis sparkle pupa #18, Ascending Caddis #16-20 Gut Instinct #16-20 and Poly Wing Emergers #18-20 in (Cream and Gray) T- Midge emergers in Pearl or Olive #18-22. Bow Warriors #18-22. To change it up a bit more try crayfish patterns or perch fly patterns in sizes #8-12. Tug or nymph these patterns. Further on down the river Prince nymphs, Copper Johns and Stonefly nymphs all sizes #12-16 as well as all mentioned patterns above.
The Upper Owens is flowing at a great fishing flow of 65 cfs, it is clear and water is perfect for fishing. The new news on the Upper Owens is that there are some lunkers in there up from Crowley lake. A little tough to catch at the moment- as they acclimate to their new enviroment and food they will be on the chew to sustain their body weight. As far as fly patterns not much has changed. San Juan Worms #10-14, Robo Pheasant Tails #14-18 , Hares Ears #14-18, Trigger and sparkle back emergers #’s 16-20, and Disco, T and UV midges in #18-20 will get fish below the water. Copper Johns in red have also been getting attention #16-20. Large Streamers will also take fish. Streamers must be heavy enough to get down to fish. A #3-6 sinking tip fly line will also get it down. Stay tuned for some large fish to come out of this water.