Fish N' Conditions

Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout
From left to right, Patrick, Jackson, Jacob, and James with a nice triple!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

What a pleasant summer it has been in the high country. Highs in Mono County have ranged from 72 – 82 degrees this past week. We have had an absence of the normal thundershowers that usually show up around the month of July, but a warm up this week may bring us some moisture in the afternoons and evenings once again. All of the passes are now open for travel and the road to the San Joaquin River has opened too! Crowley Lake kicked out some real nice fish and great numbers for the holiday weekend. The damselflies are everywhere and the midge hatch is back in full swing again. Hot Creek continues to produce some great fishing all day long. Upper Owens River is also kicking out some good action throughout the day. The peak of the runoff has happened and we can now look forward to a stabilization of flows on most moving water in the area. Bridgeport Reservoir picking up as the fish move into the channels. East Walker is down to 443 cfs and may continue to drop some. West Walker has stabilized and been stocked with some fish recently.

Crowley Lake

The lake is on fire! Well not really, it just looks like smoke is rising from the shoreline as swarms of midges pair up for mating and lay their eggs on the water. The best fishing has been in the 20-24’ range in most areas and the lake has been rising a few inches a day causing the weeds to get deeper. The damselflies are out in force and the trout are capitalizing on this easy prey. The fish have been feeding tight to the mud bottom on most days and some days can be an all day bite even through the wind. McGee Bay, Sometimes Bay, Hilton Bays, Sandy Pt, and the north arm channel have been good spots. Copper Tiger Midges, Assassins, Damselfly nymphs, Zebra Midges, and Dark and Light Gillies are hot flies currently. We have had some epic days and this is only the beginning.  A lot of our first time young anglers have been connecting with some great fish this summer. Add some moms and dads in the mix of experiencing the best catching in the eastern sierra and you’ve got some great family memories!

Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area)

Flows down slightly at 399 cfs. Hot Weather and warming water have the fish in the deeper sections. The flows may drop even more here soon and we will splash the drift boats and give it a good look if so. Smaller nymphs with plenty of weight will get some grabs in the slower sections.

Hot Creek

It continues to fish well here and with less water coming out of  Mammoth Creek you can expect even better results. Good morning, afternoon, and evening action with dry flies. Small nymphs with flash and worm patterns still dominating on most sections of the creek. The use of weights is still important to get those bugs down to the fish. San Juan Worms, Bead SJ Worms, SD Crawlers, Copper Tiger Midge, Flashback PT’s and Caddis pupa doing great here.

Upper Owens River

Fun fishing here again as flows stabilize. Good dry fly fishing up and down the river. Some fish from Hot Creek are being planted below the bridge and working their way up river. You can have hours of fun on select pools and runs with nymphs and dries. Flashback PT’s, Assassins Dark and Light, Killabaetis, Copper Tiger Midge, Zebra Midge, Dark Tiger Midge, SD Crawlers, Paramidges, BWO’s doing best

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/Bridgeport Reservoir

Fish starting to channel up at the reservoir along the weeds. Assassins in parallel and standard in dark and light working best. You can pair these up with some midges in the mornings and afternoons for some good quality fish. Stripping damsel patterns along the defined weed lines will also get you grabs. Level leeches also working well. The marina has our full selection of flies to get you on the fish. East Walker still running high, but slowly dropping. Just a bit more will make the river fishable in some sections. Use weight to get your flies down to the fish and slow down your presentation. Some big ones can be extracted from their lies if you know where to throw your bugs!

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More Reports

Happy July to all of you summertime fly fishers! There are lots of changes to report on in this month’s...... Read More

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Monday, June 24th, 2019

: Eastern Sierra Fish'N Conditions
Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report
Owens River - Middle: Flows Should Be Dropping Soon
Hot Creek: Really Good Fishing At Hot Creek
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Good Dry Fly Action
East Walker River (CA): River is Starting to Come Down