Sierra Drifters Fish N' Conditions

Peter with a big rainbow trout.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

Nothing but excellent fishing continues to be had this winter. The Upper Owens River is still firing on all cylinders! Big fish are being caught left and right. The crowds are increasing here, but we have plenty of water to fish with easy access. Hot Creek is starting to turn on with the arrival of the mayfly hatch which is taking place every afternoon. There isn’t any snow in sight, but we are currently in a cold front that is not bringing any measurable precipitation. March might be the turn around month for snowfall and we will have to wait and see. I can say that at this point the snowmobiles will not be running the river as this late in the winter, any snowfall we get is usually confined to the higher elevations. The Lower Owens River has come back online with daily mayfly hatches and fish really chasing streamers. Flows have remained stable and the fish are moving around more along the river.

Lower Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area)
Pretty good bite here again as the river fish have returned to a more typical feeding behavior. We are seeing very solid BWO hatches in the afternoons, with some lasting a couple of hours and others going for 4o minutes or so. We are drifting on all of our runs here and taking advantage of the great weather. Most days have been quite pleasant in the 50-60 degree range, with very little wind. Various streamers have been working well with #18 BWO’s getting takes mid-day.

Best Flies: Spruce-a-Bu #8 Light and Dark, Loeberg #10 all colors, Agent Orange #8-10, Crystal Leech #8-10, Punk Park dark and light #8-12, Flashback PT #16-18, Copper Tiger Midge #18-20
Hot Creek
The afternoon mayfly hatch has been loads of fun this month. Some good hatches in the afternoons have the fish looking up at everything that floats by or lands on the water. Fishing smaller midge patterns prior to the big hatch can be deadly too. Small nymphs and egg patterns are also doing the trick throughout the day. Water is very clear and low, so stay hidden for more bites.

Best Flies: Flashback PT’s #16-#20, Tricos Spinners #20-22, SD Crawlers in Red #14, Copper Tiger Midges #18-20, and #18 Assassin Dark, Tangerine Opaque, Kiwi Flash, and Apricot Flash Otter Eggs have been excellent.

Upper Owens River
The fish are getting harder to catch up here as more anglers take to the water. Some days it can get pretty crowded and others will have miles of open river to fish. The fish are moving around daily here, so spend some time fishing to find them. With pickier fish comes the importance of perfection in your presentations and fly selections. This is where a quality fishing guide can come in handy. If you want to spend more time catching fish and less time trying to figure out the puzzle, give us a call and we can show you the way. Our team of experts will take you to the most productive areas and maximize your fishing time while showing you intermediate and advanced techniques that most anglers lack for this type of fishing. We have plenty of dates available for the rest of the month and for March.

Best Flies: Stimulator – 12, 14, 16; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge – 16,18; B100FB – 14, 16, 18, 20; Spruce a bu dark and light; Loeberg Mallard Silver; Loeberg Guinea Silver, Crystal Midge Pupa Black – 18; Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper – 16, 18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge – 14,16,18, Tangerine Opaque, Tangerine Red Flash, Kiwi Flash and Flamingo Otter Eggs.
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
Still light on the fishing pressure here. The fishing is good if you can get into the right pools and throw the right bugs. The fish are definitely opportunistic this time of year, and as they lay corralled up in big numbers they remain very competitive. Work the main pools and you could be rewarded with some monster fish!

Best Flies: B100FB – 18, 20; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge -16; Crystal Zebra Midge – 16, 18; Punk Perch Light and Dark – 14, 16; Parallel Punk Perch Light and Dark; Crystal Leech – 12, 14, 16; Agent Orange 12, 14, 16; Parallel Agent Orange – 14, Spruce-a-bu Dark and Light, Eggs: Tangerine Red Flash, Dead Egg, Tangerine Opaque, Flamingo.

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More Reports

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

East Walker River (CA): Fishing is Good in The Right Pools
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Upper Owens River Fishing Report
Hot Creek: Afternoon Mayfly Hatch Has Been Loads of Fun
Owens River - Lower: Good Bite Going on The Lower Owens

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

East Walker River (CA): The Fishing is Good in The Right Spot
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Great Bite Going On
Hot Creek: A Great Area to Fish With The Dry Weather
Owens River - Lower: River is Still Flowing 150 cfs
: Sierra Drifters: Fish N' Conditions