The infamous Fly Fishing in Lower Owens River just outside of Bishop, CA has began and is as good as we imagined! Flows are down to a perfect 180cfs of perfectly balanced, and nutrient rich sierra water. Trout are very abundant and are being found and caught in their usual hangouts. Weeds are not an issue and the entire river is accessible on foot by wading. Around 12:30 some small mayflies can be seen exiting the waters surface. In some of the slower, foam line areas surface action is noted. The entire river is fishing well from the dam to as far down as you would wish to go. Nymphs and streamers will take fish all day long. Stoneflies patterns are now a thing of this summer past. Fish Caddis, Mayflies, and Midges for success here on California’s premiere Wild Brown Trout River, The Lower Owens.
The legend of a fly fishing stream, flowing just below Mammoth Lakes, the Upper Owens River continues to fish with consistency throughout the entire system. All sizes of fish have been spotted, hooked, and caught. Streamers and nymphs in the cooler mornings, while continuing on with the terrestrials (hoppers) in the warmer afternoon seems to be the way to a satisfying experience in the Upper Owens River on these smokey days in the first part of September .
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The Lower Owens is more than heating up, we are now seeing some amazing Fly Fishing here in Bishop with dry fly action on the surface as well as great nymphing and streamer fishing. A long time awaited, this weekend we saw the trout of the Lower looking up and keying in on insects on top of the water for a good part of the mid-day hatch. If you are not in the section of the Lower Owens where they are looking up your nymphs will give you success when dropped in appropriate parts of the river. Squallas! Squallas, an inch long emergent bug, the first big meat hatch of the spring were spotted this weekend. All these factors combined with the warmer weather is all adding up for some great fly fishing, now and this entire year.
Storms has given the Owens Valley a good amount of precipitation the last couple of days. Upon arriving at the river today we were delighted to find it flowing low and clear with very happy fish. Click the link below for a sample recorded tonight of the rivers condition. Low flows with great clarity and a great Mayfly hatch around 1:00pm today.
(click report link for video)
The long-awaited Lower Owens River dry fly fishing is beginning at a great rate. Come to the Owens and fish size #14 through #18 Baetis patterns for the fly fishing you’ve all been waiting for!
The Upper Owens has been continuing its legacy of giving us BIG Trout all winter long! Recently some rather handsome fish have been coming out of her deepest and darkest runs and holes. By the picture you can see the amount of snow is not at a level where it inhibits driving to the river from the pavement at Benton Crossing Bridge. However, we did fire up the snowmobiles up the other day to be ready for the big snow that could possibly blanket the banks of the Upper Owens in the near future. At this point nobody can really predict if we will actually really need them this year. The 4×4 vehicle may be sufficient. Streamers and Attractor style nymphs are still on the menu as the big fish must eat! SJ worms variations, Copper Bobs and Jons, PT’s and Princes are just a few of the patterns lost on the bottom of the Upper Owens while trying to seduce an oversized trout. Flows continue to be low are very fishable. Its time to come and fish the Upper Owens River 2019.. You’ll regret it if you don’t!
Some snow has arrived on the banks of the Upper Owens River making it even more of an amazing place to visit. The Big Trout are still there with newer prospects arriving and moving. Flow rates are at their usual winter levels with great to good visibility, depending on where you fish. The Big and small flies have been tricking the large trout in 2019. Lots of attractors of various types: Hot Head leaches, Pistol petes, Sammy Juan worms, Copper Bobs and Jons, and other similar patterns, Midge patterns, Soft hackles, and some small Beadheads are flies to attach to you tippet. The snow is there but we are still able to drive in, those with a 2-wheel drive vehicles can park at the bridge and take an easy walk in. Streamers! Yes! A sinking tip or longer weighted leader on a standers floating line presented properly on some days seems to be the way to get one of these unforgettable fish into your net!
Lower Owens River fly fishing continues to be a very rewarding fly fishing experience for some of the most beautiful, and wild Brown Trout you will ever see. Flows are low and clear and wading is very easy to figure out. Mayflies make their appearance in the warmer parts of the day throughout the river system. If your lucky you will be in an are where the fish deem it worthy to rise to the surface and pluck the unsuspecting, sexually mature bugs from the surface. For bugs concentrate on, of course, Midges, Baetis, and Caddis .. in that order as well.. for now. Trace has been tying up some great Midge Larvae and Midge Emergers with a little shuck that have been downright fooling the fish. Green Caddis Worms, Emerging Caddis, and larger PT variations fish well above a small Midge or Baetis Emerger. RS2’s have also been a choice out of the box recently.
Upper Owens River fly fishing near Mammoth Lakes CA is a great winter fly fishing experience …even though we just are not seeing the amount of large and prefect catchable fish heading up the river. Flows are still down to the same levels associated with my last Upper Owens Report. Use the same flies and techniques. As weather gets cooler and cooler we should see more trout move on up and in the deep water.
The Lower Owens got turned way up to a high flow of 525 CFS. There are a few places on the river with some decent foam lines that the fly angler can nymph deep and extract some nice brown trout. We have been throwing streamers to the opposite bank and tugging them back with some great results in very certain areas. The last couple hours of the day the caddis hatch comes off with good action in the deeper pools. We will have to see how long the department of water and power keeps us at these very high water levels, there’s not enough water up there to maintain them very long that is for sure.. Flies are : larger and heavier Streamers #4-8, Bubble Back Emergers # 16-20, Sparkle Trigger Nymphs #14-20, Robo PT’s #16-20, and at night Elk Hair Caddis and other Caddis patterns # 16-20 will take fish.