The gate has been open and Hot Creek canyon has been seeing some slightly increased pressure. The kiosk area seems to usually have a few cars around with fly fishers scattered everywhere. The tokyo hole has some of the most educated trout on the Continent.. In spite of it all Hot Creek continues to be one of the greatest places a fly fisher can practice his art.. Small caddis and BWO’s are coming off as the day warms up with Midges coming off in the AM.. Some very exciting and challenging dry fly activity can be found on Hot Creek in most spots on most days.. Be prepared for a lot of casting and short precise drifts.. For the underwater menu.. try the usual small midges and WD 40’s ,as well as a variety of small PT’s, hares ears, and small caddis worms usually imitated by a green midge larva or a small soft hackle.. Dean Endress’s Robo PT in a #18 really got us into a ton of fish one afternoon.. Be prepared for a great experience on this stream!
The Upper O continues to be a well visited area.. And for good reason, its still fishing well! The fish are slow moving cold creatures until the sun hits the water then the bite is on until it cools down or the sun sets.. Midges and baetis continue to be the active bugs on the Upper O.. Small parachute patterns with long casts to unspooked fish will find an angler action topwater.. Small klinks and griffiths knats will also bring fish up off the bottom… Disco type midges and really getting some great action as well as a variety of small PT’s, hares ears, and small caddis worms.. Streamers as always are eaten on the Upper Owens, pick your streamer of choice, find the deeper holes, and get it down there..think larger on the streamers.., …. Everything else around a size #16 – #18 in colours from black to olives..
The Lower Owens has some of the best wild brown trout fishing an angler could ask for. Consistent dry fly action tops it off to make for a day that passes you by far too quickly.. Weather has been up past 65 degrees here recently on the Lower O mixed with sun and overcast, though the last few days have been more on the sunny side.. Flows have stabilized for the moment at around 100cfs.
Streamers and nymphs continue to produce fish with choice streamers being in colours of green and blacks… Some whites can also create trout interest..Use smaller streamers here than those of the Upper O.. Nymphs are still PT’s and baetis emergers, hares eares also do good as an emerging baetis as their colour lightens as they emerge.. Trigger nymphs and all sorts of midge larva and emergers still take fish.. Green caddis worms tied in soft hackle patterns seems to be a fish favorite as well. Soft hackels in general seem to be fine choices. Sizes are #14-18
The dry fly hatch comes off like clockwork every afternoon and it is a blast to fish out of my driftboat.. Size 14 Bwo’s casted in the path of rising brown trout will be eaten .. Parachutes and classic hackle patterns both take fish.. 6x seems to get more attention to the fly instead of the usual 5x… Here is an example of a BWO on my Winston IIx… About a size #14
Putting a bend on the bamboo during a hatch…
The hatch dies off after around 3:00 pm and then back to your nymphs to continue your fish count for the day.. Around dark the river slows down a bit but the avid nympher will contine to feed his need for trout.. Great weather and 7000-11000 fish per mile @ 100cfs with reliable dry fly hatches and drift boats make the Lower O a great winter destination…
Flows are still a constant 20cfs.. In the next couple of weeks I will start to fish the East Walker every week.. Temps and conditions are getting more fisherman and fish friendly.. Time for the [email protected]!
Hot Creek has proved to be a great indicator of a fly fishermans skill; Bug selection, precision casting, absolute proper presentation, reading water, and the list goes on.. I am referring to down in the canyon and not the meat hole..(some of you will know what I mean) The same nymphs as my last report suggested are still taking fish.. use small WD-40’s and midge patterns once again in dark greens and blacks. Experiment with different pattern variations beyond what I have suggested here. Very small PT’s and small baetis emergers also get some attention, sometimes later in the day for the dries.. (BWO’s).. If the dry hatch stops suddenly go back to technical nymphing.. Try all of these patterns in sizes #18-#22. Snow is plowed to the gate which is still locked… Ever fished Hot Creek where you are the only one?
The Lower Owens flows have been adjusted to 147 cfs of water coming out of PV dam.. This level is great for floating and it will be interesting to see how long it stays here. The warmer weather has done nothing but good for the bug activity and the fishing. The hatchs come off strong in certain parts of the river allowing an angler to catch many fish without moving from one spot. It can happen around the bend and not on another bend right out of sight. Midge patterns and very small mayflies will catch the rising fish.. CDC patterns and small parachute patterns will be a good bet for the mayfly lunch. CDC adult midges and griffiths gnats are great places to start for midge imitations. Nymphing and streamers still continue to pull fish out of the depths. The # 16 midge emerger in dark green, olive or black continues to produce, hares ears and PT’s in similar sizes, The rob0 PT #14-18, and any sort of bright green caddis worm is a standard for this time of year. Steamers fished low and slow or swung off the banks will be chewed. Most colours of streamers have been working; greys, olives, browns,blacks and sometimes whites. The water contines to warm the river making the fishing conditions and the comfort level as good as anywhere in the country for winter fly fishing…!!
Flows on the East Walker have flatlined out at 19 cfs.. I will wait until they bump it up a little before making the trip over the hill… stay tuned.. I can’t stop thinking of the Browns that river holds!!
The Upper Owens is still a frigid meadow for winter fishing but the weather has warmed a bit allowing some snow to melt. Temperature highs are in the high 40’s to lower 50’s. In the morning things are frozen and driving is easy.. Later on things can get sloppy.. Use only a 4wd when driving on the east side of the river. The flow continues to be just above 100 cfs. Small nymphs such as WD-40’s in dark greens and blacks, small PT’s and hares ears around size # 16, and prince nymphs in similar sizes continue to bring trout to the net. Dont forget to bring your midge patterns as well…Look for rising fish in the foam (foam is home!) The traditional streamer strip up along the undercut banks also produces strong tugs. Go bigger on the streamers here as I usually find they dont mind chasing down the big meat on the Upper O. Or try a larger streamer followed by a smaller one to figure out what they want for their protein for the day!
Hot Creek continues to fish well! Warmer weather has pushed a little more bug movement. Like the Upper O use small WD-40’s and midge patterns once again in dark greens and blacks. Very small PT’s and small baetis emergers continue to get some attention. Try all of these patterns in sizes #18-#22. Rises to midges and very small baetis occur more often than last month, if you want to take them on the dries, spot a rising fish to try the midge or baetis dry. Place accurate casts over them until you trick their instincts and he decides to bite, patience is needed here. As always certain sections of the river will fish well when a small bugger or streamer pattern is pulled by their lips. Always a pleasure to fish and ALWAYS an education!