Owens River Fish Report

Owens River - CA

by Tom Loe

The Upper Owens is a spring creek situated at 6,700 feet meandering through a picturesque meadow called Long Valley. The Lower Owens origin is a tailwater carving through the center of the Owens Valley and has a high desert climate associated with its 4,000 foot elevation. Both are fishing great and unless a drastic change in the weather occurs suddenly you can expect this to go on for the remainder of the fall season. As we stated earlier the Upper Owens has not seen the numbers and the quality (size) of trout for a fall run in at least ten years. Both browns and rainbows are present in the upper sections of the river above the Benton Crossing Bridge. Check out the pictures of the beasts that have been fooled by Sierra Drifters clients recently by visiting our website at www.sierradrifters.com/fish.htm

The hot ticket here has been a dry dropper rig using a large hopper or Stimulator #12/14 with a bead head crystal tiger midge #16/18, or flash back PT #16/18 about three feet below the dry. Fishing this rig and casting 25-50 feet upstream while keeping a low profile is essential to success. The bigs are spooky, and are wise to any bank side presence. Stay on their tail! The wind is always factor on the UO and mornings are best with a strong showing of snouts in the foam rising on the midges each day after the frost comes off. We clip off the nymph at this time and tie on a #20/22 parachute midge pattern and punish the "schoolies" on top. A variety of streamers will also get you into the fatties on the cloudy or windy days, and during the late afternoons when the sun gets low. Loebergs, Spruce-a-Bu's, and perhaps the ugliest, most beat up streamer I have ever seené─Â "The Rat" unleashed by the always innovative veteran SD client Rick R. (looks like a broke-back crappie jig on crack), but it did get him a trophy rainbow on a windy afternoon when the fish were hunkered down in the pits. High fives Rick!

The Lower Owens has been nothing short of epic the last few weeks and fifty to the net for a ride is kinda Ho-hum! We have seen some big fish showing early this year as well. The drift boat sections are smoke'N for tugging streamers using our dip and strip method. Loebergs have been best with Punk Perch patterns are also getting clobbered in the #10/12 range.

The last generation Baetis (BWO) hatches and trico adults are also something to look forward to after lunch. Plenty of eager noses sipping along the eddy's and foam lines for about two hours. Stick with a #18 mayfly imitation and if you don't have eagle eyes tie it 2-3 feet behind a larger sized dry fly to help you mend and see your point fly.

The wild trout section of the LO is also going off and a variety of nymphs and dries will get you grabs. There is still some lingering caddis around as well as strong midge and mayfly activity.

You must walk to the rivers edge this season as the LADWP has erected a fence along the section that was burned last March. The flows dropped to 100cfs in mid November making wading very easy and safe.

We have pro drift boat guides available for fall trips and have lowered our rates for a limited time for the winter season. We can customize gift certs for that special fly fisher for the holidays at the special price also. Hope to fish with you soon, or see you on the water!

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.