Crowley Lake fly fishing has been good – slow – great. The Algae bloom has come and had now subsided a bit in some parts of the lake. It was a green soup for a while but yesterday water was much more its usual colour. The North Arm along Green Banks and across the arm has been the place to be as of late. Weather systems, mostly composed of wind, has been touching the eastern sierra recently making the fishing on Crowley a combination slow and very exciting fishing. The Sacramento Perch fry seem to be arriving late this year. This gives fly anglers the possibility and likelihood of an amazing Fall fly fishing on Crowley Lake! Tie on the usual Chironomid style fly offerings and don’t forget to carry a few different sized Perch patterns from about #14 up!
Within the last couple of days the Lower Owens River has dropped to a lower flow of around 33o cfs!! This opens up an amazing amount of fly fishing river to give access to some amazing sections that hold some hyper strong wild Brown Trout. Water temps are upper 50’s due to the cooler nights and lower overall day temps we have been experiencing. The river is full of bug life with midges and Caddis with an occasional Stone fly skittering over the water…running a gauntlet of Trout. The fish are definitely looking up to the well placed Stimulator, Terrestrial, and Caddis patterns. The size of the bugs out will tell you what size to use. Stoneflies are big, Caddis are medium-sized, and Midges are small….. It is wise to start light on the nymph and less deep than normal right now as fish are active and don’t need to see their meals hugging bottom to eat. This is the time for this river as summer turns fall and all around temperatures drop.
Crowley lake has been a steady fish producer throughout the season. As usual for this time of year there is a lot of fish in most popular areas, pretty much all of Mcgee bay is roamed by Rainbows, Browns and Cutthroat Trout. From aroud 7′ to 20′ of water fish can be found. It is now Perch Fry time of year. We usually will always have a Perch imitation of some type while fishing Crowley this time of year. They will still always hit the midge but there is a great chance to find a pod of Trout keyed in on Perch Fry. Crooked Creek now has some smaller fish that are willing and can be a day saver when the wind comes up or you just want to find something that makes your indicator move. Fish various Perch Fry patterns with the standard Crowley Midges beneath them in anywhere from 7′ to 20′ of water… Its a lot easier to cast the shallower water setup, but the payoff for going deep can be awesome on Crowley!
The Lower Owens continues to drain the Eastern Sierra at a high and healthy flow of around 500cfs. Even though this makes for tough fishing the high flow rates maintain a lower temperature, even through August. The outcome of all this water is always good! Fishing conditions pretty much remain the same as my last report.. Large Stimulator type patterns, and smaller types of Mayflies fished on top, while imitations of these aquatic insects in their nymph and larvae form are fished underneath the water. Fish are looking for a break from the strong main current … So read the water carefully to find some healthy wild Brown Trout putting themselves in places they can rest and eat!
The Upper Owens river is in perfect condition!! At around 114cfs water is clear and weeds are not bad. Below the bridge or anywhere on the Upper Owens system the majority of fish are being caught on Hoppers (yes hoppers) and attractor style nymphs. While walking to the river anglers who look down will see a ton of hoppers flying before their feet. Common sense tells us that maybe we should fish Hoppers in this case! Wind is even better! Small amounts of Caddis and Mayflies can be spotted in certain areas of the river with a varied response from fish. Fish appropriate patterns in this case then re-tie on your Hopper pattern as you continue on. #10-14
Recently the Lower Owens has become the main recipient of all the precipitation being dumped on the Eastern Sierra this past month! This did bring the flows up to above 500cfs at the time of writing this report which makes getting around the river a little harder, but, the fish are still there and active! Fishing here is only recommended with an experienced STM guide or an angler who knows exactly where to go and how to fish in this runoff situation. Caution is advised when entering the water on the Lower Owens at current levels. Stoneflies, Yellow Sallies, some Hoppers and Baetis are a few things fish have been eating on the surface. Underwater the nymphs are doing very well as usual. Lots of PT variations, Midges and Green Caddis are being eaten under the waters surface. Check in with the shop before attempting this river if you have any questions.
!! For the local creeks and streams the weather did not turn out to be as hot as forecasted and the local rivers responded very well. Flows are slowly descending yet water remains very clear and cool. Trout and most fish are in a hungry stage as there is a lot of food present while their summertime metabolism tells them its time to eat and gain some weight. Dry flies have been super productive the last few days with the nymph box only being opened a few times. We have been fishing a variety of flies from larger Hopper attractor patterns down to #18 Midge and Beatis. All depending on where you are, and the time of day .. the fish have been looking up!
The East Walker Fly Fishing is still showing us signs of its absolute amazing potential as a trophy trout stream! Flows are a perfect 220 cfs at the writing of this report. Some days are warmer, some days are cooler, and as usual, some days are better than others. The Upper section can be crowded during high tourist periods. Arriving on a weekday and starting early definitely pays off. Stoneflies are out and making a presence here as well so some bigger fly patterns are in the quiver as well as the usual small Midges, Baetis and some Caddis. Streamers you ask? You dont need to ask. Streamers are always a great option here on the East Walker, big or small. For patterns fish SJ worms, Stonefly nymphs and dries, Baetis nymphs and Emergers, and, of course, Midge larvae and Pupae in colours ranging from Black to Cream.
Over the last couple of months the Lower Owens River has been very good to us Fly Fisherman! Flows went up to around 500 cfs and held for a moment, but like the price of Bitcoin, the numbers have tumbled back down to a very nice summer flow of 285 cfs around the time of writing this report. Fish are evenly dispersed and active throughout the entire river system. Stoneflies have been making their presence known, so this allows us fly anglers to fish larger patterns this time of year. #12-18 patterns have been fished regularly with good success under and on top the water. Tungsten Soft Hackle PT’s #12-16 , Hot Head PT’s #14-16 and the like … Midge larvae and midge larvae emergers #18-20 in creams and blacks work well throughout the day as well. Stimulators of various sizes are working well on the waters surface when stoneflies are out and about. You can spot this by the violent strikes the trout give when the take one off the surface. In the morning some small Mayfly eating goes on in some of the beautiful riffles, runs, and foam lines, that the Lower Owens is abundant with …this makes for a great start to the day! .. throughout the day we gravitate towards the larger stimulators on top , and then dropping under the waters surface with the nymphs as the sun rolls higher.
forgive us for the lack of fishing reports as we have been on the river relentlessly these last couple months with great results..
The Upper Owens River is flowing up at around 111 cfs making a nice pathway for the incoming fish from Crowley lake. We have Cutthroat, Rainbow and Brown Trout in the system. And as most of you already know… some of them are extremely large! Of course I am sure you have heard people saying “dont fish to the fish obviously on reds ” this is easy to tell as they are paired up with two or more and in very shallow water. These fish are making more fish for us. Fish the deep pools where the fish are hot and eating…This will allow you to catch a fish that is on fire and ready to fight as they don’t necessarily have trout sex on their mind, and have not been eating because of the pursuit of the female Trout! There is a lot of river to explore with a lot of Trout to find. This is a world class fishery as many people have come through the shop claiming to have caught the biggest trout of their lives on the Upper Owens in the last couple of weeks! Flies are large and usually attractor patterns. Lots of SJ worms, Copper Jons, Tungsten Jigs and even some small midge larvae and caddis can be the choice bugs certain days. Streamers!