The Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes happens to have some Large fish swimming about its waters. For Fly Fisherman this is always great news and a much awaited time of year has arrived. The spring creek formation of the Upper Owens in the Long Valley Meadow created a perfect, yet unique fly fishing destination. No trees, only surrounded by a wall of mountains consisting of the Sierra range, the Whites, and the Glass mountains to the East and the Upper Owens below Mammoth Lakes runs through it all. The road is still open and snow machines are not necessary as of now. Snow has melted and walking in is a bit easier now. As far as the fishing goes the fish have now moved up from the Lake and spread throughout the system. This is great news currently its about choosing the correct water to fish once your arrive at your beat of river, since the fish have spread throughout the system you don’t need to worry about being in the correct section only to read the water correctly and appropriating your time accordingly. Have your drag set and let these fish run! Otherwise you’ll look around after he breaks you off, hoping your fishing partners did not see you make that rookie mistake and lose your trophy Trout! Attractor patterns are on the menu; SJ worm variants, PT variants, Soft Hackles, Robo PT’s, Coppers and the like are all on the menu. Of course, us guides here at the shop have some of our favorite patterns we tend to lean towards for constant success. Give the shop a call to get on the water with us or for more information. STM Fly Shop – 760.873.0010
The Lower Owens River just down the hill from Mammoth Lakes and right outside of Bishop, California has been great fishing! Willing wild fish, both Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout, have been very healthy and hungry this early winter season. The river is down to a beautiful flow rate of around 150 cfs of fishable and wadable water. The entire river seems to want to show us the amazing trout she holds, from the dam, to down below Bishop the successful angler will find all the Trout one desires. Nymphing has been the go-to successful technique although streamers and dries has been playing a part of the fishing action as well. Just around noon a small Mayfly hatch starts to form and some trout put their noses above the water to have a taste. This have been escalating the last few days and we expect some full blown dry-fly action any time now. The amazing thing about the Lower Owens is that if the water looks like it holds Rainbow and Brown Trout, they are in there. It is up to the knowledgeable Fly Angler to figure out how to extract these amazing wild fish. Flies to try are; Soft Hackles, Midges, Caddis Worms, PTail patterns, Attractor Nymphs and some Micro Mayfly imitations are all a good bet. On top, a traditional Adams, Baetis Dunns, and Parachute Adams are a few suggestions for patterns on the surface. Overall the fishing has been beyond satisfying and we look forward to this winter fishing on the Lower Owens River right here in Bishop, California.
The Fabulous East Walker River outside of Bridgeport California is currently experiencing extremely low flows of around 20cfs. Big and small fish are there in the cold low water. Its just very very low rate of flow to fish to the podded up fish. Bridgeport being one of the coldest places in California keeps the low flows very chilly as well. Flows this low can put excess pressure on the fish to survive as it is harder to utilize the river as their defense against the outside world.
The long awaited event of diminished flows of the Lower Owens River right outside of Bishop, California has finally happened! The River is currently sitting at a very comfortable and fishable flow of 225 cfs. To make a long story short, fish are very happy, and the river is very accessible and readable. Finally! Some rising fish can be spotted and fished for. Bugs raise out of the water here and there form mid morning to mid afternoon in Mayfly style. Caddis are also seen throughout the day and trout can randomly be seen eating them with very splashy and exciting takes. Moderately light nymphing rigs, high sticking style nymphing, and tenkara types of techniques have been very successful this last week. Small Mayfly nymphs, Caddis Worms, and Nymphs have been the patterns for success. Stay tuned as I will be updating reports on this river often!
The Lower Owens has fell from a super boisterous 700cfs (cubic feet/second) down to 450 cfs in the last few days! This has been a long awaited event for the few Fly Fisherman that know what the Lower Owens River holds for them this coming fall and winter. I was able to sneak out and get a preview of the current fish status in one of the holes that fishes well at high flows. And he result is that the average size was impressive after these amazing flow rates. The fight is intense and surprising for a trout of their size. The beauty of the Brown and Rainbow Trout in the Lower Owens does not quite have an equal. We always speak of how its hard to find more beautiful Brown Trout than right here in Bishop in the Lower Owens River. Rising trout were noted, but not consistent with time or location. There is definitely enough top water action to warrant some dry fly attempts with a Caddis or Mayfly pattern. Nymphing revealed some very hungry fish on the usual suspects; PT soft hackle variants, Caddis worms and Midge Larvae. Stay tuned and watch the flows on the top on this site to plan your trip to the Eastern Sierra to visit the Lower Owens River.
Big and beautiful trophy trout are reason ambitious anglers travel across the globe. We are fortunate enough to have this opportunity right here in the Eastern Sierra while Fly Fishing on the Upper Owens River! Each missed strike could be a lost opportunity to latch onto the trout of a lifetime. The moment you hook into one of these bruisers they instantly demonstrate the weight and power they possess sending your senses crazy and a feeling overwhelms you that you cannot forget and you want more! The Upper Owens River is flowing at a clear and steady rate of 111 cfs below the confluence of Hot Creek. Above Hot Creek the Fly Angler can expect to find gin-clear flows around 100cfs give or take a few. The Mountains around the Upper Owens have been dusted by a touch of snow last night showing us Winter is on her way. For those of us that know we have been anxiously awaiting this time of year to see what this years infamous run of jumbo sized trout consists of. So far it has not let us down! For patterns to offer to these large trophies one can fish Streamers, SJ worm variations, Jig Flies, PT variations, and other attractor patterns can be successful. Smaller yet great fish are rising to small mayflies in the warmer parts of the day. These rising fish are up to 15″. We have seen, on rare occasions, the larger trout rise to dry flies.
The Lower Owens River Fly Fishing is about to make a big change as the Lower Owens lets go and drops it very high flow rate within the next week or two. The Brown Trout of the Lower Owens have been enjoying a greatly enhanced flow level for the last couple of months which allows them to move freely while eating large amounts of food thus adding to their body mass… Bigtime! Stay tuned as this rivers flow recedes and reveals some of the most beautiful and quality trout a fly angler can find in the very near future.
The East Walker is running at a steady flow of around 140cfs. This is a great flow for fishing except the East Walker is still pumping out a green algae colour from the algae bloom of Bridgeport reservoir from weeks past. East Walker River Fishing has been tough, however the fish are still in there if a fly fisherman finds him or herself passing by the banks of the East Walker just outside of Bridgeport, CA. The same patterns used in years past still hold true. SJ worm variants, Soft Hackles of all sorts, Green Caddis Worms, Light coloured Midge patterns with decent ribbing, and PT patterns just to name a few. Streamers and Mice? of course! Any Fly Fisherman who wants to put in the time with these larger patterns on the East Walker has a good chance of receiving what he is looking for. Look for the algae to be gone soon as temperatures across the Eastern Sierra cool down as November approaches.
The Upper Owens has undergone a few changes since my last report. Weather has changed in the direction of winter, dropping the temperatures around the Mammoth Lakes area extending down to the grassy plains of the Upper Owens River. Hoppers can still be seen, but numbers are diminishing during the coldness of the nights. However, after eating the leggy creatures for a solid few months it seems that they still hold some residual memory of the big insects. The Upper Owens trout will still come up and eat a hopper for the time being, during the warmer parts of the day. Some of the anticipated big boys coming out of the lake have been spotted in the deeper holes of the river. We will have to see what this year holds as these this spectacular run of fish swims up the Upper Owens from Crowley Lake from now and forward. Stay tuned!
Just down from the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA the banks of the Lower Owens river are still overflowing and water surges down its path at around 700cfs. This is way too much cubic feet per second of water to enter, and it is actually a sight to behold. The Lower Owens is hardly containing the water in its banks. The good news for the Trout of the Lower Owens is that this huge flow volume brings that level of food with it as well. When the river recedes to its normal level, and fly fisherman are able to enter, we will see the benefits in the mass of the fish. Lizards and small mammals are in trouble as the trout leave the river bed to roam the newly flooded areas for a real satisfying protein snack. (its a cool thought!)