Middle Owens River Fishing Report

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

by Tom Loe

Water conditions are good; with flows below 80cfs. The blue winged olive mayfly hatch has been consistent. We are also observing some large brown drake mayflies coming off on the warmer days. The stone fly emergence is also just another five degrees of water temp away. Golden stones are like filet mignon to the trout! The BWO hatch begins most days around 12:30, and lasts for about ninety minutes. Use Assassins, flashback pheasant tails (large ones for the drakes), hares ear, or small punk perch patterns for nymphing. Midge activity will really accelerate as high pressure sets in. It is wise to have smaller larva and pupa patterns this time of year if the barometric pressure rises. The bite has not been great in the WT area recently; but that could be related to the crappy weather, and windy days attributed to the string of storms. “In like a lion, out like a lamb!” so it is said about March. 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. Adult blue winged olives in #16 & 18, para midge adults, & Stimulators when the stone flies pop. 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. Get your licks in soon here friends, flows will be moving upward making conditions tough. Crowley is near capacity, and with the additional water from snowmelt, the LADWP will need to lower CL to accommodate the run-off.

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.