Eastern Sierra Fish’N Conditions

Ron Ortiz is back on the attack and worked hard to fool this beauty!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

Ok winter, you are free to go now. Spring has been trying to break through, and when it does it gets really nice here, weather and fishing. We have been having some bang up days on Crowley Lake when the bugs start to pop off the mud bottom. The fish are still cruising at all levels of the water column and some nice rainbows, browns, and cutthroat have been showing their faces. Hot Creek has also been fishing well with small midges, especially our copper tiger midge which seems to be the star of the show lately there. McGee Creek is finally accepting spring run cutthroat and they are beginning to pool up and starting to spread out in the shallows. Upper Owens is running at 75 cfs and a few cutts are starting to move in here. Middle Owens stable for some time now but still a little on the slow side here. East Walker River flows down again to 340 cfs, which will improve fishing here. A few fish being caught here but some very large ones. McGee Creek has the cutthroat in it now!

Crowley Lake
It has continued to be very good here. The browns we have been getting are all solid fish and very fat this season. Talk about some hard pulling trout that want nothing to do with the surface and do everything they can to reach the bottom of the lake while hanging on a fly rod. It’s always a real kick in the pants to get into these guys in the early season. The fish have been cruising consistently in all levels of the water column. Staying of the fish all day means changing depths and sometimes moving from deep to shallow or vice versa. #18 Broken Back Copper Tiger, #18 Broken Back Dark Tiger, #18 Broken Back Zebra, #18 Broken Back Gillie, #12 Level Crystal Leech, and #18 Gillie Dark and Light Chironomid Pupa have been the hot flies this week.

Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area)
Flows are remaining stable at 400 cfs here. It’s been a little slower here lately. This level is still too high for wading in the wild trout section, but fishing the slower water and the edges can yield some takes. Smaller nymphs with some flash in them are a good call with plenty of weight to get your bugs down. Look for some afternoon hatches on all sections of the river.  When the mayfly hatch is happening, try switching to our #16 Punk Perch and Crystal Leech just prior to and after the peak of the hatch. Best flies for these area have been #10 Loebergs in all colors, #8 Spruce-a-bus in light and dark, #16 Punk Perch, #14 Crystal Leech, #18 Assassin Light, #16 San Juan Worm Red, #18 Blue Winged Olive, #22 Parachute Midge, #18 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge, and #18 Crystal Caddis Larva Olive Dubbed-Black.

Upper Owens River
A few cutthroat showing up in the lowest sections of the river. It’ll get real fun here soon when the pods of cutts start to make their run here.  Smaller flies are best currently like #16-18 Copper Tiger Midges both long and short, #16-18 Gillie Dark and Light, #16-20 FB Pheasant Tails and Tungsten Pheasant Tails, and #14 SD Crawlers in red and brown still getting bit. Use caution when driving in the mud bogs.
Hot Creek
The flows have slowed down for a bit with the cooler weather. It is really good and fun fishing here. Spring can be some of the best days on the crrek. Finding the good holding areas for the majority of trout is the key. Water temps will start to warm back up with some coming high pressure. If you are nymphing go small in the canyon in the I- site area. Best flies this week have been #20-22 Para midges,  #16-18 BWO’s, , and Otter eggs and SD Crawlers in red. #18 Gold FB Pheasant tails are also hot.

This is a year around fishery with special regs in place. We walk and wade guide here.*Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, Hans Grotewold, and Devin Preston are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

East Walker River
Flows have dropped to 340 cfs and this is great news. Some big fish have been seen in a net here but it had been slower overall while the flows were up. With the new drop in water levels fishing should get back to a good status especially after the weather warms again next week. Fish are holding in the softer sections and tailouts of the deeper pools. Make sure you are getting your flies down near the bottom to get into the big ones.  Otter eggs in all colors, #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal have been great patterns to hang.

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More Reports

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Friday, May 17th, 2019

: Eastern Sierra Fish'N Conditions
Crowley Lake: Great Opportunites For Beginners
Owens River - Middle: Flows Are Remaining Stable
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Cutthroat Starting To Show Up
Hot Creek: Flows Have Slowed Down
Walker River - East Fork (CA): Flows Are On The Rise

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Friday, May 10th, 2019
: Eastern Sierra Fish’N Conditions
Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report
Owens River - Middle: Flows Are Remaing Stable
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Smaller Flies Are Working Best
Hot Creek: Flows Are Starting To Ramp Up
Walker River - East Fork (CA): Flows Are On The Rise