The Lower Owens river fly fishing has been intriguing! The river is flowing at a good flow of 300+ as the top of the site says here. Water is perfect colour and temperatures are hovering around 44-50 degrees. Some dry fly activity is seen in the foamy areas throughout the day. Usually after mid morning the dry fly action can be seen if any. Of course, under the water a whole different story is happening. Caddis Worms, Midge Larvae, and May Fly nymphs are on the Trout of the Lower Owens diet right now! Some voracious eating of aquatic insects is seriously happening under the surface! Even though water is high with some beginner water reading skills the Fly Angler can pick out the right pieces of river to fish. It seems after months of record flows the fish on the Lower Owens are coming back to show us what that volume of river allows them to become……
The fly fishing below Mammoth Lakes CA on the Upper Owens river in winter is a special place for any serious fly angler. Mainly because it becomes large trout hunters dream with the stream of over-sized trout swimming up from Crowley lake! Flows are low and water varies between very clear and slightly murky, both presenting different presentation situations. As forecasted the Trout are throughout the Upper Owens system, holding in the deepest pools and darkest runs, corners, and banks. Most part of the mighty Upper O’ are fishing well. It is up to each angler to choose the correct water to fish and take into account how much time to spend in each piece he chooses. All sorts of semi salmon/steelhead reminiscent flies are taking fish. Various midge variations, and Pheasant tails/ soft hackles are other ideas to sink down in the Upper. Streamers patterns fished deep ? of course! Fish these whenever you want in any size. Just get them deep!
The Upper Owens is a beautiful river to fish is these late days of July. Grass is green, flowers remain, and the river is down to a very nice fishable level! The huge fish the make their way up river in the colder months have returned to Crowley and the resident fish of the river remain. With the water levels abundant grasshoppers abound everywhere and when presented correctly can provide some reasonably violent eats against the opposite deep banks. Attractor nymphs and larger offerings are getting eaten. Fish are not giving themselves away here. The Fly Angler must cover water to have success in the Upper Owens right now. Above the Hot Creek confluence the water is a bit lower and different colour, you might also find less people. Below Hot Creek water is higher and stained a reddish tea colour. Both are fishable and we have had equal success below and above.
The Lower Owens Fly Fishing is pretty non existent as it is still receiving an amazing flushing flow of water… very few souls attempt to fish the River at the current level of around 700+cfs… There has been Bass and Carp taken out of the river to the East and South of Bishop. Fish the back eddies to find these fish. Even though water is high, it is relatively clear. Stay tuned for this amazing fishery to finish run-off and show us what its capable of with new runs, riffles, and holes once this historical run off comes to an end.
Just received this awesome video of STM guide Seth C. helping a young angler land a Trout of a lifetime. Copy and paste the Dropbox link below!
The Upper Owens River continues to flow at a tea stained flow of 78cfs at the writing of this report. This is the same flow rate as previous reports and not much has changed flow wise other than a slightly stronger tint to the water. What has changed is the snow levels… although you can not drive in yet, its getting close to the time we can. Standing water is collecting on the fields of the Upper Owens and snow is soft when the sun gets high and warms the area. Arriving up river is easy in the morning while the snow is frozen solid from the night before, as the sun rises it tends to get a little more difficult as it becomes more like a slushee hike around high noon. Fishing remains around the same as my last report as you can see if you’ve been following my videos. Attractor patterns with SJ worms and sometimes eggs on hook sizes #8-18. Some underwater Midge and Baetis eating has been going on by the big Trout of the Uppers system… Try the smaller midge/baetis patterns under a larger one on slower days in the clearer water sections. Streamers as usual, when fished correctly will take large trout. Fish them hard and stick with them to have success!
Less potent storms have been pelting the Bishop /Mammoth areas for the last week.. This has changed nothing on the river. Flows, Fish and decent water clarity remain stable. Access is about the same as before. With the right Temps snow can be very hard in the morning making walking very easy, be careful if it warms up and softens the snow, this will make walking out an amazing workout to say the least. But very worth it! For those who do not want to walk.. Call the shop for options. Attractor nymphs in larger sizes take most of these fish. Our main fish extractor (very popular with the bug trout) the Tungsten Jig Head Soft Hackle patterns we have had in the shop for years is still in of our many star flies we use out there. There’s something very nice about sticking to actual hand tied flies with equal success as the guys throwing rubber egg patterns. We can fish over the waters where the Anglers have been throwing egg after egg and take fish out right behind them. So much more satisfying and effective to stick to real flies. Streamers fished with tenacity will also take fish. A sinking or floating line will work in this case depending on your streamer technique. Call us now to get in on this amazing world class fishery.