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!
Temps have dropped yet a little more on the grassy banks of the Upper Owens River with the addition of more precipitation in the Mammoth Lakes area after some threatening storms. Some runoff flowed down Hot Creek making the water below the confluence cloudy for a couple of days. The water above the confluence area took on a tea stained red hue while remaining clear. This has now subsided and clearer flows have resumed. The river is now in perfect condition with flows as clear as any angler would desire. This, of course give the fish the advantage as they can see us coming a mile away on the treeless banks of the Upper Owens. The BIG Trout are indeed moving in! They have moved up and are peppered throughout the system. A Fly Angler only needs to take some time explore the deeper parts of the Upper O too find these world class Trout. Right now we are seeing mostly Rainbows as normal, but there is are more Brown Trout and we can see some Rainbows with Cutthroat trout genes as well. Fish the normal suggested flies; Large attractor Nymphs, Small Midges , Eggs, Worms ect.. Streamers always will take fish here but need to be fished in a proper manner in this spring creek type stream . Stay tuned for much more to come from the awesome waters of the Upper Owens River while Fly Fishing this winter.
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.
The upper Owens is down to a low flow of 64 CFS. Hoppers and Caddis are being eaten on the surface throughout the day. We are not seeing the big fish that swim in upper Owens River from Crowley Lake recently but we are getting some very nice standard size Trout consistently. Attractor patterns such as Robo PT’s, Green Rock Worms and Prince Nymphs and red Copper Johns are just a few of the patterns that will take fish, all in sizes # 16-20. Various leggy hopper patterns in # 12-14, And Elk Hair Caddis patterns and similar patterns to the rising pods of smaller fish #18-20.