The Upper Owens River below Mammoth Lakes is at its prime time of the year! Water continues to flow clear and cold as the very large fish continue to inhabit the amazing holes, runs, and deep riffles of the Upper Owens this January. Small dustings of snow have been seen upon early arrival in the morning on the river which melts away as the sun rises leaving a completely changed landscape from just moments before. The fish have continued to infiltrate the river system with seemingly new members showing up on each visit. Fish the patterns that I have mentioned in my last post. Do not be afraid to try your own new patterns though, it just may be what these unbelievable fish want in that moment. Upon hooking up be ready for the possibility of a screaming run, just when you think they are done they give that last unexpected run leaving you without a fly and speechless all at the same time.
Last weeks weather casted some lovely weather on the Lower Owens River in the shadow of Mt. Tom, right outside of Bishop, CA. This week we see more typical seasonal style weather with the fish continuing to fill their pretty little stomachs with the local menu ; Midges, Caddis, and Mayflies. The flows are still low and river access is at an all time high. The Brown Trout are as healthy and beautiful as you can find along the 41th parallel. Dry fly action is noted when the sun is highest in the Eastern Sierra sky, although not river-wide, look to the larger and deeper pools to spot some noses piercing the surface as they consume small mayflies and midge adults.
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This amazing trout stream, the main artey of Crowley, just below Mammoth Lakes, known as the Upper Owens remains a puzzle of an amazing trophy trout fishery. Concealing her prizes to only the most persistent and faithful fly anglers. With flows low and clear one day, while off colour the next, depending on what nature throws the previous days, this river is an absolute pleasure to explore and her rewards are great! Not much has changed since my last report ; the snow has come and gone, one day fish are out, another you may question if they inhabit the river. Streamers and Nymphs are the offerings that will bring you success. Small, exact imitation patterns, as well as attractor almost steelhead style underwater flies will get you something unforgettable to the net.
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The Trophy trout season on the Upper Owens right below Mammoth Lakes is showing us some absolute stunning large Trout. From the bridge up the big fish are spread out throughout the system. Some days we fish a long time without a fish, but, then it happens. These fish are large and bright. The fight is a tug of war that one must be prepared for. Giving and taking line when they let you is what you must do to bring these behemoths to the net. Many sorts of semi- steelhead and trout type patterns will trick these fish to get them to eat and run. Streamers work, but must be constantly tended to and fished appropriately without spooking the fish. This is one of our favorite times of the year as we do not need to travel to hook up with a Trophy Trout!
The Upper Owens just below Mammoth Lakes California has the Meat! Flows are low and clear as usual for this time of year making for some spooky quarry. Cold weather hit hard this last week pushing some more fish towards the north and upstream. Days are clear and the smoke is completely gone while Mammoth Mountain can be seen in the distance covered in snow. Fish the deepest and darkest areas of the Upper Owens. Time appropriation is crucial as these fish are more characteristic of Steelhead than Rainbow Trout. A few Brown Trout are also coming up with the mix of Rainbows and are a pleasure to catch. Stay tuned for many more updates on this amazing fishery throughout the winter.
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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 Upper Owens River Fly Fishing is getting addicting as the river makes its seasonal change right below the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The entire river is full of Trout of all sizes and species. Rising fish are noted as well as some lunkers heading up and hanging out in the deeper water. Water flows are seasonally low and clear. Weeds are minimal and dying off with the cooler night temperatures preparing the landscape for the coming season. Attractor nymphs, streamers, and dry flies (for the smaller fish) can all be casted out and presented properly with success on the Upper Owens River this time of year. Stay tuned for weekly reports tracking the fishing on this amazing trout fishery.
The majestically formed bends of the Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes are absolutely filled with fish right now. The river is flowing around 70 cfs and is as clear as it gets. All deep holes hold a good population of fish thst can been seen upon peering down into the clear waters. Be careful though, fish you can see usually have already seen you! Hoppers are still being eaten during the warmer parts of the day! Before the hopper weather one can fish many of your favorite nymph and streamer patters through the riffles, bends, runs and deepest darkest holes of the Upper Owens for satisfying success.
A fair amount of Fly Anglers have been calling the shop and asking what is actually open for fishing due to the temporary closures and the smoke. For the last couple of days we have seen A good amount of smoke settled in that has not moved much and seems to be lingering in the valley, it’s not awful but annoying. We expect it to move around any day now. It is a nuisance but not a fishing game-changer, you cannot see the mountains but the fishing is still unaffected and very good with the filtered sun.
All the usual Fisheries are open except for the ones in the closed national forest. We still have:
- Lower Owens River
-Upper Owens River
-Pleasant Valley Reservoir and mid river
- Bishop Creek
So yes, there is smoke, but if you really want to get out and fish it is not stopping you! We have been running scheduled guided trips as normal. Give the shop a call for more info 760-873-0010 or text 661 364 6981.
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The East Walker River Fly Fishing continues to show us that it is indeed a big fish factory. Flows are around 70cfs more or less which is a very moderate and low flow for this system. Fish appear to be placed throughout the system and still in the usual spots where we usually find trout holding in a boisterous river such as the East Walker. As usual on the East Walker we fish a variety of large and small flies. SJ worms of different types, small micro mayflies, midges, and midge emergers seem to be the patterns that bring admirable fish to our hands. Streamers? Always! One must know the ropes when sticking to hucking the big patterns! Stay tuned as we see how the fabulous East Walker turns out this winter.
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