The infamous Fly Fishing in Lower Owens River just outside of Bishop, CA has began and is as good as we imagined! Flows are down to a perfect 180cfs of perfectly balanced, and nutrient rich sierra water. Trout are very abundant and are being found and caught in their usual hangouts. Weeds are not an issue and the entire river is accessible on foot by wading. Around 12:30 some small mayflies can be seen exiting the waters surface. In some of the slower, foam line areas surface action is noted. The entire river is fishing well from the dam to as far down as you would wish to go. Nymphs and streamers will take fish all day long. Stoneflies patterns are now a thing of this summer past. Fish Caddis, Mayflies, and Midges for success here on California’s premiere Wild Brown Trout River, The Lower Owens.
The Lower Owens River Fly Fishing near Bishop is within reach as the river hits 345cfs! The river held steady at a rate of around 380cfs for a few days and recently has fallen down to its recent flows. Cooler nights will drop temps and drive the wild brown trout to continue feed into this upcoming season. Once the river hits the 280cfs and below mark, it will be time to to start thinking about visiting California’s premiere wild brown trout fishery, the Lower Owens.
The Lower Owens River Fly Fishing near Bishop could be happening soon! The river is getting some positive signals that it may be returning to fishable levels in the near future. it is now down to 470cfs, A few days ago she was flowing 600+cfs. We will closely watch this amazing fishery as the water drops and she reveals what lies below.
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….
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.
The Lower Owens has been fishing very well since my last report! Yellow Sallie Stoneflies, Mayflies and Caddis all have been taking fish! Although, Stoneflies have been the major player in the last couple of weeks. Conditions on the Lower Owens near Bishop are in pre-runoff. Holding Steady at 340cfs for the last couple of weeks it is poised to succumb to the melting snowpack in the near future. Look for rising fish under overhanging river willows. These wild Brown Trout are usually looking for a fallen Yellow Sallie to come up and engulf in a splashy moment of violence. Nymphing has been very effective as well, as it is always in the Lower Owens. Start light then take her deep if needed!
BWO hatch is on!! The event that many of us have been waiting for! A little past high noon a thick Baetis hatch comes off in a rather large size of #16. The fish have recently started responding and looking up to these top-water protein snacks. Blue Duns #16-18, Hendricksons #16-18, and Baetis Zingers in similar sizes are a few of the patterns popular with the fish we cast to them. Before this day changing event the nymphing has also been very successful, making for an amazing day. Use the same bugs as listed in previous reports; Caddis, Mafly, and Midges tied in nymph stages. Soft Hackles, PT’s, Bubbleback Emergers, Caddis Worms, and various Midge Emergers will get you fish when placed in the troutiest water such as; foam lines, large deep pools with evident seams, well defined drop offs and deep riffles.
The Upper Owens has been continuing its legacy of giving us BIG Trout all winter long! Recently some rather handsome fish have been coming out of her deepest and darkest runs and holes. By the picture you can see the amount of snow is not at a level where it inhibits driving to the river from the pavement at Benton Crossing Bridge. However, we did fire up the snowmobiles up the other day to be ready for the big snow that could possibly blanket the banks of the Upper Owens in the near future. At this point nobody can really predict if we will actually really need them this year. The 4×4 vehicle may be sufficient. Streamers and Attractor style nymphs are still on the menu as the big fish must eat! SJ worms variations, Copper Bobs and Jons, PT’s and Princes are just a few of the patterns lost on the bottom of the Upper Owens while trying to seduce an oversized trout. Flows continue to be low are very fishable. Its time to come and fish the Upper Owens River 2019.. You’ll regret it if you don’t!
The Lower Owens, once again, has been very good to the persistent Fly Fisherman. Flows are down at their usual levels for this time of year of around 100cfs give or take 10cfs depending on where you are. Spotty dry fly hatches have been happening for some anglers in the bend right above their buddies! These have been larger Baetis Mayflies and can be replicated with a #16 or #18 BWO pattern (Blue Winged Olive). Some midges can be seen above the water but with limited response from the Trout. They seem to be liking Midges much more below the water recently. Green Caddis worms, or some types of Midge larvae fished under the waters surface have been a fish producer for most of the day. Tung Jig PT’s with a nicely tied Soft Hackle have been absolutely reliable for us fishing guides at STM on the Lower Owens River recently. The entire system has something to offer this time of year. You have to come up and try it for yourself to see exactly what I am talking about. Call the shop for more info. 760-873-0010
Lower Owens River fly fishing continues to be a very rewarding fly fishing experience for some of the most beautiful, and wild Brown Trout you will ever see. Flows are low and clear and wading is very easy to figure out. Mayflies make their appearance in the warmer parts of the day throughout the river system. If your lucky you will be in an are where the fish deem it worthy to rise to the surface and pluck the unsuspecting, sexually mature bugs from the surface. For bugs concentrate on, of course, Midges, Baetis, and Caddis .. in that order as well.. for now. Trace has been tying up some great Midge Larvae and Midge Emergers with a little shuck that have been downright fooling the fish. Green Caddis Worms, Emerging Caddis, and larger PT variations fish well above a small Midge or Baetis Emerger. RS2’s have also been a choice out of the box recently.