The mighty Lower Owens River near Bishop, CA continues to flow, for us fly fisherman, far to high at nearly 600 cfs. This must drop soon as we wonder where the water continues to come from to support these crazy flows. For now, we will imagine how the trout deep in the water columns are taking advantage of the larger food volume. Putting on weight for the winter months….
Hoppers! Do I really need to say anything else on this report!? The grassy fields of the Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes, California have been full of the leaping insects, and the resident Trout have been taking full advantage of the situation. No doubt putting on some serious yearly mass for the seasons ahead. Windy days? Yes! We love them! In this case many hoppers are blown into the water this making themselves available to feeding trout. All sections of the river have been fishing well. Flows are clear and cool and very manageable at around 65cfs. Normal bug activity is also noted in seams and foam lines. Nymphing various attractor nymphs as usual is very effective. Crowds have been here and there but usually one can find a place to call their own for the time they are on the edge of the unique Upper Owens River just down from Mammoth Lakes.
The Lower Owens near Bishop, CA has been flowing clean and clear for the last few months. Up to around 330cfs, this amazing river is still being fished successfully in the foam lines, pools, runs, riffles, and of course, drop offs of the clear waters of this flowing Gem. The Lower Owens has proven itself over and over again to the fact that if the water looks fishy, there is indeed a substantial amount of Trout holding there. The high flows make it more difficult yes, but the water temps are moderate, driving the fishes metabolism to consume protein in the form of aquatic invertebrates. As for flies the standby Midge patterns, Caddis Worms, Split Backs and Soft Hackles in Sizes #14-18. For dries; Elk hair Caddis, Blue Duns, Stalcups Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Terrestrials in sizes #10-18. These are only a few of the patterns we have been using to extract fish in the Lower Owens River recently. (and put them back of course)
The current news on the East Walker River flowing out of Bridgeport California, is that the flows are now a decent 50cfs, this is up from slightly less that half of this current number to put it into perspective. The current flow rate is definitely still low but render the East Walker morally fishable. Water temperatures hover in the low to mid 40’s. Sporadic trout rising to Midges in very slow water during the warmer parts of the day can get the fly angler into some sketchy surface action. These fish are usually smaller, but the bigger varieties have been seen making an appearance occasionally when it suits them on the surface. All sorts of Midge Larvae, and Midge Adult patterns have been taking fish. Caddis Worms, Baetis patterns, and Streamers lightly weighted can provide for the best action on certain days. Lightweight indicator and and dry -dropper set-ups can be successfully used on the East Walker at these flows as well. Stay tuned for these flows to eventually be bumped up to the next level very soon.
The Fly Fishing on the Upper Owens River just outside of Mammoth Lakes California is still happening for the oversized Trout! Flows are around 100cfs and steady, as they have been the last couple of months. Weather is moving away from the winter feeling and a warm spring has been tempting us in the Eastern Sierras, from the Bridgeport to Bishop area. The Trophy trout of the Upper Owens are spread out along the entire system. Not only confined to the deepest and darkest holes anymore we have been finding them in the usual trout hang-outs as well. Streamers, Nymphs, and Dries can help you get a trout into your hands this February on the Upper Owens River. Snow is almost non existent on the banks of the Upper Owens these days. Watch some spots in the afternoon though, some of the thawed clay ground can be slippery upon melting!
The Lower Owens, continues to flow, right outside of Bishop California, at a perfect rate of 15Ocfs. This promotes very healthy fly fishing conditions making the entire system accessible and fishable. Nymphs, of course, and even some streamers have been absolutely killing it since my last report. More and more dry flies are being seen on top of the water every day. Fish have been looking up frequently, feeding heavily in some areas, and not surfacing at at all in others. As the new weather rolls in we will see more and more waves of insects coming off the surface of the water. Which will drive the surface activity heating up to an unforgettable climax of dry fly action. Mayflies, Caddis, Stoneflies, and Midges are all playing a vital part in the protein requirements of the Brown and Rainbow Trout of the Lower Owens. Now is time to get up here!
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.
Up the grade, near Mammoth Lakes California, the fabulous fly fishing water of the Upper Owens river steadily flow along the Long Valley flat. Like stated in my our last report, and the report before that, very large Trout inhabit its sacred sierra waters these times of year! Predators! The hook-ups here have been nothing short of pure exhilaration with the average fish over 20″. The Upper Owens is closed below the Benton Crossing bridge. Yet above the bridge in pretty much every dark hole, deep run and riffle, and dark undercut banks, the vigilant and determined Fly Angler can hook himself up to an unforgettable trout. Crowds have been coming and going, mostly there has not been many people out there. Arriving early, even though it is cold, can sometimes make a big difference. Fish are widespread throughout the system. No place is better than the next necessarily, it is up to each fly fisherman to decide when and where to appropriate their time on each hole on the river. High Sticking, Indicator Nymphing, Euro, and possibly even Tenkara. Pick your craft and come let the Upper Owens just up the hill from Bishop California give you a shot at her trophy trout! Call the shop for more info @ (760)920-2747 or email [email protected]
Why travel the world for Trophy Trout? Right here in the Eastern Sierra on The Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes California the trophy trout are making dreams come true once again! Flows are low and perfectly clear. BIG fish are in Bigtime! From the bridge on up the massive trout has infiltrated the entire river. Snow access is not an issue. There is some show here and there but is not an issue. Some possible walking may be required to get to your favorite hole but nothing more than a few minutes. Look for the Trout in the usual places; undercuts, dark holes, and deep runs and riffles. Its all about finding out were to appropriate your time to different parts of the river to find success. Call the shop at 760-873-0010 for more info on how to get in on these amazing fish. text 661 364 6981 for a guided trip.
The Lower Owens, flowing at a perfect 150cfs, has been a pleasure to fish this winter! The Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout are some of the most beautiful specimens of their kind in the Lower Owens. Flows are absolutely perfect for the wading and for the fish. (not to high for us, not extremely low for them) Water is clear and the Lower Owens River near Bishop is absolutely gorgeous. Dry Fly action is at its infant stages as rising fish are being noted more frequently in the past week. Lots of different techniques have been employed recently; Standard Indicator Nymphing, Euro Nymphing and some Tenkara when appropriate. All techniques used in appropriate situations have been successful. Stop by the shop or give us a call for more information on this amazing winter fishery of the Lower Owens!