The Lower Owens has been pumped up to a higher flow of around 450 cfs for the moment. While considered to be high flows there are plenty of places one can get into some great water. The new news is an afternoon PMD hatch comes off with fish responding well in the slower moving and foamy water areas where the river channels the majority of the PMD's to. Light Cahills and Para PMD's in #14 -16 will take fish during these times. Late in the evening Caddis and other Mayflies come off with the trout responding in certain areas to give anglers some evening top-water dry fly action. Nymphing and pulling streamers throughout the day will produce when the fish are not feeding on the surface. Some patterns we have been using are; Sparkle Trigger Nymphs #16-20, CDC Bubble Back Emergers #16-20, Poly Wing Midge Emergers #18-20, Small SJ Worms #12-14, and Robo PT's #16-20. On the surface try Elk Hair Caddis #16-20, Turkey Quill Caddis #16-18, BWO Thorax and Para BWO #16-20. Look for these flows to drop and for the Lower Owens to be running lower this summer than usual.
The Small Creeks around Mammoth Lakes are doing OK with very little runoff...Yet flows are good and water is cool and clear. Fish are around in all parts of the creeks with some big guys showing themselves here and there. It is always amazing how many fish pack themselves under the banks to let you walk by thinking there is nothing there. Stoneflies and Caddis are the main treats the trout of these streams have been feeding on. An afternoon caddis hatch comes off letting the angler enjoy some dry fly action throughout the system. Streamers do get attention when fished correctly and deep. Pull them by the dark areas of the undercut banks to have success. Look for flows to remain reasonably constant from the snow we still have up high from this year and left over from last year.
The East Walker continues to be one of the Top places to extract large fish in the State of California. Flowing at a nice and easy flow of around 110 cfs the East Walker has been a pleasure to fish in the last couple of weeks. Some Dry Fly activity is noted mid-late mornig with some average sized fish responding on the surface. Going under with nymphs or streamers will possibly get you the trout of a life time in this fertile river system. The rule for the East Walker like most of our Eastern Sierra streams is the same - if the water looks good, and can possibly hold trout, it does- We have been seeing that the crowds are hit and miss depending on the day and time you fish the East Walker.
Hot Creek continues to fish very well with slightly higher flows and healthy trout in clean and cool water. Crowds are hit and miss and when arriving early enough solitude is possible. Caddis, Midges and Baetis are all on the menu is this popular stream. An afternoon emergence of Baetis and Caddis come off with fish responding throughout the river, the trout seem to be keying on the Caddis on the surface. Some popular suggestiong are; Throax Baetis #18-20, Loop Wing Baetis #18-20, Trigger Nymphs #20 and CDC Baetis #20.. For Dries use #18-20 Fertile CDC Caddis, Para Turkey Caddis #18-22, EHC #20-22.. Various small Attractor Patterns such as Small Hoppers and Beetles will also take fish with placed with precision and patience. Fish are being caught all day long here!!
The Lower Owens has been pumped up to a higher flow of around 400 cfs for the time being. While considered to be high flows there are plenty of places one can get into some great water to extract some great Lower Owens trout. Late in the evening Caddis and Mayflies come off with the trout responding in certain areas to give anglers some top-water dry fly action. Nymphing and pulling streamers throughout the day will produce when the fish are not feeding on the surface. Some patterns we have been using are; Sparkle Trigger Numphs #16-20, CDC Bubble Back Emergers #16-20, Poly Wing Midge Emergers #18-20, Small SJ Worms #12-14, and Robo PT's #16-20. Streamers of all sorts and colours will work when fished correctly.. light and dark colours. On the surface try Elk Hair Caddis #16-20, Turkey Quill Caddis #16-18, BWO Thorax and Para BWO #16-20. I look for the flows to stay reasonably low this year on the Lower Owens with the snowpack we have this year.
Starting off our new "Fish of the Month" to chronicle the great fish caught in the Eastern Sierra Jon W. holds the fish of the Month for April. Taken on a very small midge on light tackle in strong current it took skill and concentration to bring him to hand. Great work Jon! East Walker River
With our fish of the month we will be also doing a fish of the year ! On August 3, 2011 Craig Coston of Bakersfield, Ca caught this fish of three lifetimes while with me on a pack trip in the High Sierra. I am 6'4" on the left and Craig is 6'6" on the right to give you an idea of the immense proportions of the fish. We were above 10,000 feet in elevation when this gargantuan Brown Trout came to hand on a 2wt Winston. Yes, it was a 2wt!!!