Made it out for another couple of hours on Friday the 12th to see if it was as good as the day before and we were not let down! The BWO hatch sustained itself until pretty much sunset, with parts of the river producing more emerging insects than others. The hatch has now stretched down the river past Hwy. 6 bridge and beyond. Small groups of risers can be seen as far down as E. Line Street Bridge and down. In the morning hours we noted more midge activity as the fish were feeding on the surface midges until the BWO’s come out mid-morning as the day gets going. As before the midge emerger (T-Midges and other emerging midge patterns) are getting hammered under the surface as well. RS2’s and Loop-Wing emergers in #16-20’s are also good patterns to go with during the baetis emergence. The usual Pheasant Tail and Midge Zebra patterns are also getting business done. Some very satisfying fishing! Walk it Wade it or Float it!
Tip: Move around to new water if what you are standing over is not producting and think outside the box!
Fishing is Excellent with many anglers reports some of their best days (dry fly) on the Lower O!! Fishing continues to be good for most anglers and excellent for more experienced anglers on the Lower Owens.. Blue Winged Olives continue to come off throughout the day in various places in sizes #16-20.. Midges continue to be on the menu as well and are what the trout are eating on the surface when you can not see the the sailboat silhouettes on the water. Some samples to include in your collection are #18-20 Pheasant Tails and Copper Johns #16-20 Tigers and Zebra Midges in varous colours, Palomino midges # 18-20 and other similar patterns are being eaten under the water. One good tip to remember is when you can see adult dry flies on the surface that are not being eaten such as Midges or BWO’s, is to try an emerging pattern such as a RS2 for mayflies or a t-midge for emerging midges. The fish are usually capitalizing on these emerging insects in the water column.
These photos all taken a couple of hours ago 1/24/2010
The Lower Owens has been fishing great all through the storm and today it was on fire! I made it out of the shop to the river without clients this morning to some unbelievable dry fly action on the river! Around 10am a good cloud of midges come off to bring the trout to the surface for a few hours.. A #20-24 Hi Vis midge is one pattern that was working great! After the hatch died down the fish kept on eating below the surface with baetis imitations and emerging midge patters getting hammered! #18-20 PT’s or WD-40 getting eaten.. T-midges (emerging midge patterns)in light colours #18-22 for the dropper worked like a charm…
The Lower Owens is flowing a very low and fishable 82 cfs according to the flow chart at the top of this page. This low flow tends to really hold the fish up in larger areas of water on the river.. And the Lower O is full of places like that! Dry fly activity becomes more prevelant as you get closer up to the PV Dam and the more stable water temps exiting there. Nymphing has been good to great for most fisherman depending on the day and fisherman. Flies that will extract wild brown trout from the Lower O are: #16-20 Miracle Nymphs, Tiger and Zebra Midges of various colours, #18-20 Robo PT’s & BH P-Tails of various sorts and Coppers Johns in Reds and greens, Have a #14-16 Cased or Crawling caddis imitation as one of the flies on your Czech Nymph(I now have a great selection of Bottom Roller Czech nymphs in the Shop! Get your flies down!) or indicator setup. For Dries the fish are taking BWO’s and Midges. Baetis Comparaduns, CDC patterns, Para BWO, and good old adams #18-22 for the BWO’s and #20-24 for the midges…
Hot Creek is a gem of a stream and only gets better in the Winter with limited access leaving the creek to those who have no fear of uphill snow hikes. A 4×4 vehicle will be needed to make it up to the locked gate which is about 3/4 mile from where the plow stops. This puts you at the top of the canyon section at the FS locked gate. You can also walk this 3/4 mile section of unplowed road. From the locked gate it is about 1/4 mile of snowy downhill to fly fishing utopia. Dry fly eating activity can be found with midges in the morning and BWO action happening later morning in certain pools and runs of the creek. Hi-Vis Midge patterns and Griffiths Gnats cover it in sizes #20-24.. For the Baetis(BWO’s) try a #20-22 Para Adams, CDC and comparadun patters or just a Para BWO pattern. I have been fishing these off the RIO suppleflex 6x (nonflouro)with great results. As far as nymphs go it is small as usual. Thin bodied #18-22 Zebra and Tiger patterns get eaten with proper presentations frequently on Hot Creek this time of year. Try small PT’s and Baetis patterns in the same sizes as the midges. Some egg patters are still getting eaten by trout not willing to let anothers genes live on. Fish it light with little or no weight shorter than usual. A dry dropper setup is also a great method for extracting trout on Hot Creek right now.
The East Walker is a snowy and icy edged place right now flowing at a low 23 cfs. Angling pressure is way down and it is still on fire! Midge surface activity can be found happening all over the river mid-morning and some pools boil with surface activity for up to an hour or so. After that the usual Midge patterns will work great: #18-22 Disco Midges, WD-40’s, PT’s, Robo PT’s and Micro Mayflies. Try the infamous SJ worm in the combo. Streamers of your choice can be fished here for a possible trout of a lifetime. Fish your favorite streamer in deeper water… The giant hole at the dam?
The Upper Owens is flowing heavy at 162 cfs… This flow is way up there and somewhat difficult to fish.. If you go pick the slower larger pools and throw some “meat and potatoes”… or heavily nymph some SJuans #6 with tigers and zebras below #18’s. Watch out for wintery conditions! Fishing from the bridge up recommended..
The Lower Owens is now flowing at an even 90 cfs. These are low flows that make for some very decent fly fishing! It can be a little slow in the mornings but things really start happening around 9:30-10:30 am.. I have been seeing more dry fly action every day out there with the fish responding accordingly. Drift trips have been yielding good numbers of fish depending on the day and fishermans skills. Look to the slower deeper water once again in this winter wonderland for holding trout. The usual suspect are; Tiger and Zebras #18-20 in colours of olive with copper or black/silver or gold and also the red/silver combo has been taking fish. #18-20 Copper Bobs in red and copper, Trigger Nymphs, Robos and PT all in like sizes are taking fish as well. What a great river to fish in the winter!
As I was arriving last Friday I was the first one to be shut out as the Forest Service was there locking the gate at lower end of the ranch property. Lots of snow has fallen since then making access even harder.. For the serious fisherman the work to get there is well worth it! Mid morning the water boils with fish taking very small #20 Baetis.. Going on into the afternoon they switch over to the Amiocentrus caddis for their afternoon meals. Use #20 baetis imitations or just the good old P. Adams… For the Caddis try a Partridge, Hemmingway or Hot Creek Caddis, once again in a size #20. Under the water voracious bug eating also occures. Very small midges fished properly here will yield lots of trout with some big guys coming out of the creek!
The East Walker is now up to a more fishable flow of 44 cfs. The fishing remains strong, the only catch in arriving there. Since the last dumping of snow a few days ago the trip over the mountains to the East Walker takes a little while longer. The majority of the fish are holding in the slower water due to a slower metabolism from the colder winter water temperatures. One other thing; you will also be much more likely to have the river to yourself this time of year. For bug to toss at them try the usual small midges in different colours and configurations in sizes #18-22… Silver and Gold on Black TigerZebra is a good place to start. Disco and Biot Midges are also a good choice. WD-40’s and PT’s in the same sizes will also get you fish in the middle of this winter wonderland.