Middle Owens River Fishing Report

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

by Tom Loe

The good news is that access to Pleasant Valley Campground, and Five Bridges Crossing are now open. The fish in the wild trout section, upstream to the dam at PVR appear to have survived the blaze. The bad news- this fire has left miles of scorched willows and trees, with stands of burnt willow skeletons, and tules along the river bank. There are reports of fish kill near the cement plant. Water conditions are good; with flows stable at 75cfs. The blue winged olive mayfly hatch has been consistent. It begins most days around 1pm and lasts for about ninety minutes. Use Assassins, flashback pheasant tails, hares ear, or small punk perch patterns for nymphing. The extended colder weather has diminished midge activity; however it is wise to have smaller larva and pupa patterns this time of year if the barometric pressure rises. Crystal tiger, and olive zebra midges, small gillies, crystal midge emergers, and pupa patterns #20/22 will get you grabs in the deeper pools while fishing properly weighted, tandem rigs fished below an Under-Cator. Drift boat trips have been consistently fun; with good numbers of planted rainbows and browns showing each trip. A few large rainbows are also smashing our streamers most days. The sections we float are well downstream from the fire, and I am happy to report that water clarity remains normal; with no ash concentrations I have observed. We are primarily pulling streamers using the “dip & strip” method with sinking tip lines. There are opportunities to dry fly fish during the BWO hatch some days, & the fish are focusing on this emergence. Spruce-A-Bu’s, Loebergs, & smaller Punk Perch patterns have all been fooling the trout.

If you would like to go fly fishing with Sierra Drifters give them a call at (760) 935 4250 and for more information visit their website www.sierradriters.com.