The Lower Owens has has some major events recently! A wind driven fire jumped around and burned about 70% of the river bottom from the dam area to below Five bridges last week. Chalk Bluff road is now open and fishing has resumed as normal! The river looks excellent and we were the first ones on the water after the fire and were very pleased with the great results. In other words, not many fish were killed, at all. Flows continue to stay low with clear to semi clear water depending on your location. As the fire was burning we were forced to fish down lower on the river than our usual guiding spots. We were very happy with the results as fish have been relocated throughout the system after the amazing high water experienced a few months ago. The same seasonal flies mentioned in my last report are still enticing the wild brown trout of the Lower Owens. (Caddis Worms, PT variations, Midge larvae and emergers, BWO nymphs and emergers) fish these bugs in sizes #14-#18. Mayflies still come off around noon throughout the river system … Fish rising to these Baetis can be spotty but have been noted recently. Stay tuned for more as this amazing system prepares itself for springtime fishing!
Flowing at a healthy rate of around 105cfs, the Upper Owens has yet to turn into the winter wonderland it has been past years during this time of the year. This makes the entire river accessible. Water is slightly off colour with the increase in flow volume. This changes the fishing slightly as the fish feel a little more bold as to where they spend their time. The entire system appears to hold fish. BIG FISH. Reading water is key to success here, also knowing where to allocate your fishing time accordingly are keys for optimum success. Smaller fish can be seen rising to small Caddis and Mayflies here and there. If you can’t get a huge hookup maybe these dinks will humor you…. Fish the same flies as mentioned in my last few Upper Owens Reports and don’t miss any strikes!
Have you been waiting for the Lower Owens Flows to drop to easy and accessible flow rates to have a toss at her amazing wild Brown Trout?? Then NOW is the time. The river is fluctuating around 100 cfs of trout loving sierra water. Lots of big Caddis Worms, Baetis and of course, Midges are out and about. Dry Fly fishing is not yet River Wide but can be found on foam lines and fishy riffles throughout the system. Lots of large caddis worms are being eaten as I will post a picture of a recent stomach pump as well. Its Time to come up to the Lower Owens River! Call the shop fore more details on a guided trip to maximize your days in the Eastern Sierra!
So you want to go to the Upper Owens? You heard you can catch a very big fish there? Your Right !! The Upper Owens River continues to produce some of the largest trout you can fish for in a small high meadow stream anywhere in the world! Access is good and flows are optimum. As in my last report the big guys are in the deepest and darkest parts of the River. They entire system is now full of fish, so whatever piece of water you choose to fish its up to you to read the water. Large attractor nymph patterns as well as midge imitations will take fish here when sunk deep and presented in the correct parts of the river. 3x and 4x are the preferred tippet sizes here to have a chance of netting these battling bruisers!
The nutrient rich flowing waters of the infamous Lower Owens River have dropped to an amazing fishing level of 100cfs!! This is what anybody that has waited to to fish this awesome Brown Trout river have been waiting for! The entire river from the bridges in town up to the Wild Trout section and footbridge has been fishing great! Wading is very easy and managable… THE RIVER HAS CHANGED SOMEWHAT .. some holes you once know will not be there now, or may have changed completely. That being said the new river is every bit of what has made the Lower Owens many Fly Angler first choice! Mayflies, Caddis, and Midges can all be fished with success. Some top water activity has been noted and been picking up. Stay tuned for much more as this river is just starting to show us what she has been hiding the last year!
The amazing flowing water that consists of the Upper Owens River has been steadily giving people exactly what they are after this winter of 2018… Big Trout!!! Flows have been hovering around 70cfs for quite some time now as we have received some precipitation recently up on the eastern slope of the Sierra. As in my last post the fish are in the same areas and eating the same things! Access is still fine to most any vehicle. Some with small two wheel drive cars will have to possibly walk farther or risk staying out longer than planned. Choosing how much time to spend in a spot and what spots to fish in will maximize your success in the Upper Owens River winter fly fishing of 2018! Flies to try are ; SJ worms of all varieties and sizes (of course we have our favorites), Jig Headed Czech style nymphs, Green Caddis, Hot head patterns, Lightning Bugs, and many similar attractors. Streamers? Of course!!
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……
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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!
Temps have dropped yet a little more on the grassy banks of the Upper Owens River with the addition of more precipitation in the Mammoth Lakes area after some threatening storms. Some runoff flowed down Hot Creek making the water below the confluence cloudy for a couple of days. The water above the confluence area took on a tea stained red hue while remaining clear. This has now subsided and clearer flows have resumed. The river is now in perfect condition with flows as clear as any angler would desire. This, of course give the fish the advantage as they can see us coming a mile away on the treeless banks of the Upper Owens. The BIG Trout are indeed moving in! They have moved up and are peppered throughout the system. A Fly Angler only needs to take some time explore the deeper parts of the Upper O too find these world class Trout. Right now we are seeing mostly Rainbows as normal, but there is are more Brown Trout and we can see some Rainbows with Cutthroat trout genes as well. Fish the normal suggested flies; Large attractor Nymphs, Small Midges , Eggs, Worms ect.. Streamers always will take fish here but need to be fished in a proper manner in this spring creek type stream . Stay tuned for much more to come from the awesome waters of the Upper Owens River while Fly Fishing this winter.