The legendary fly fishing of Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes California has been going on with a bang this May! Of course, a few slow days followed by some on fire ,0-100mph hook up days have happened these last few weeks. Fish have been found all around the lake to the North End of Crowley at around 16-20ft of water at this time. The normal Crowley flies have been very successful. A stomach pump recently revealed black/grey/white midges in sizes around #14-18 with some possible larger members being seen. All three species of fish (Brown Trout, Cutthroats, and Rainbow Trout) as well as perch have been coming to our nets. Making for a great start to our Crowley season!
The Upper Owens River seasonal large Trout continue to haunt its darkest areas is full post spawn mode. Making them back in to aquatic bug eaters! The river remains in about the same condition as my last report although, either good or bad, we have seen clearer water conditions due to the lack of precipitation these last couple of weeks. Fish continue to haunt the deepest and darkest portions of the Upper. Cast out similar patterns as mentioned in my previous few reports. With Mammoth in the distance and the snow almost gone on Long Valley Floor, you could say the Upper Owens is pretty close to paradise for most of us. It will be interesting to see what is going to occur in the next few weeks as it warms up and cool water flows heavier from up high…..
Opening at the end of the month the Legendary Crowley Lake will show us what it has in mind for us this year… After the water years recently we can all imagine what large and aggressive Trout roams the chironomid infested waters; Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Lahonton Cutthroat and some feisty Cuttbows. If they were as big as humans, we would fear them….. I will include a few pictures of the recent past just to jog your memories of what is to come in a matter of weeks. Call the shop for more questions or to book on trip on our special Crowley Boat! 760-873-0010
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 has been nothing but good to us this January of 2019! Nymphing has been very steady nearly all days on the same usual winter patterns: (Tung Jig PT soft Hackle, Green Caddis, Midge Larvae..ect.) The flows continue to be around 100cfs give or take a dozen cfs. This, of course, leaves the entire river open to wading and access is at its best. The Baetis (BWO’S) are starting to make an appearance! In the last week we have had the pleasure off fishing dries for a good part of the day! This, as I have said before, only happens in certain parts of the river. One must find a slow moving foam line in deep enough water with adequate cover nearby. That is where you will find the risers at the moment. Soon, very soon this even should be river-wide… stay tuned!
Some snow has arrived on the banks of the Upper Owens River making it even more of an amazing place to visit. The Big Trout are still there with newer prospects arriving and moving. Flow rates are at their usual winter levels with great to good visibility, depending on where you fish. The Big and small flies have been tricking the large trout in 2019. Lots of attractors of various types: Hot Head leaches, Pistol petes, Sammy Juan worms, Copper Bobs and Jons, and other similar patterns, Midge patterns, Soft hackles, and some small Beadheads are flies to attach to you tippet. The snow is there but we are still able to drive in, those with a 2-wheel drive vehicles can park at the bridge and take an easy walk in. Streamers! Yes! A sinking tip or longer weighted leader on a standers floating line presented properly on some days seems to be the way to get one of these unforgettable fish into your net!
The Upper Owens has been a consistent Big Trout Factory for the last couple of months! Awesomely wild and perfectly finned Rainbows, Cutt Bows, and Brown Trout will continue to be roaming the waters of the Upper Owens River for the next few months. The snow level has pretty much vanished at this point and needs no further attention. Of course upon arriving in the morning hours it is well below freezing on most days, this, of course adds to the experience as you take in the surroundings and realize what are special place you are able to visit to sample her amazing Trout. The same techniques and strategies hold as in my December post. Deep holes and riffly water erase the view from the surface which keeps these oversized beasts of the river hidden, feeling comfortable and safe, and ready to eat! All sorts of Tubifex worm patterns, Tung Jigs, and various attractor patterns in larger sizes will give you a shot at these unforgettable fish. Streamers are always an option here as well. This will keep you casting and strategizing all day on how to get one of these trophy Trout into your hands for just a moment….
Upper Owens River fly fishing near Mammoth Lakes CA is a great winter fly fishing experience …even though we just are not seeing the amount of large and prefect catchable fish heading up the river. Flows are still down to the same levels associated with my last Upper Owens Report. Use the same flies and techniques. As weather gets cooler and cooler we should see more trout move on up and in the deep water.
Hot Creek Fly Fishing in Mammoth Lakes has been decent as the newly released citizens are continually getting more accustomed to their new homes in the flowing voclanic aquas of Hot Creek. Fishing can be actually quite fun here using a light nymphing technique with some standard Hot Creek nymphs. Pheasant tails, Midges and Midge Emergers, Small Caddis and Coppers will do the trick. Try these nymph patterns and their Dry counterparts in small sizes for success on Hot Creek. Some Hot Creek surface activity is noted throughout the system, but nothing constant. We look forward to seeing what Hot Creek has in store with its recent re-stocking and instant trout population.
Crowley Lake continues to dazzle us with big trout of all three varieties been brought to hand every time we are out there. Cutthroat, Rainbow, and Brown trout are being boated daily in many different parts of the lake. Perch fry, and many sorts and color varieties of Chironomids have continued to take fish. The algae bloom seems to be holding off for the moment as the air temperature was much cooler this morning when we arrived.