Upper Owens River Fishing Report

Owens River - Gorge - Bishop, CA (Inyo County)

The first snow of the year fell on the UO; but it was not enough to keep Scott Weller from getting a beautiful Crowley Steelhead. This fish took a dark Assassin/crystal leech combo.
Photo Credit: Sierra Drifters

by Tom Loe

Access is ok with all wheel drive vehicles; but there are some ruts that might get a low ground clearance car stuck. There are some big Crowley Steelhead, & some large browns present now; but you will have to cover a bunch of water to locate the rascals. Numbers have declined recently, & most of the browns are spawned out. Single digit air temps will keep ice in the rod guides until 10/11am for an extended period. You can fish year around above the Benton Bridge with special angling restrictions. The sections below Hot Creeks inlets have some aquatic weed that makes nymphing difficult. The fish are spread out, & spooky. Make your stream side approaches quietly, & on their tails. Keeping a low profile is necessary to avoid spooking them. Most of the browns are lying under the cut banks during higher sun periods. Flows have dropped considerably; with current levels being 50cfs. Attractor patterns, & streamers are good calls for migratory trout. Drifters Crawlers, crystal eggs, San Juan Worms, crystal leeches, & Assassins are my go to nymphs below an Under-Cator.

The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year around with special regulations. Seasonal closures, and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section.

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