Sierra Drifters: Fish N' Conditions

Jerry guided the Kibler family with young Evan showing his nice brown trout.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

Another spectacular week of weather in store for us as we get into the Independence Day weekend! Fishing continues to get better in most locations we are fishing. Crowley Lake has had pleasant weather days this week and the forecast is looking good as we move into July. Lots of fish still being caught in water that is growing shallower by the day. Upper Owens River is getting really good for dry fly or rather terrestrial fishing. The baby hopper hatch has exploded, and we are even seeing them fly or get blown onto Crowley Lake. East Walker flows have come down some, so crossing and wading has become a breeze. Hot Creek getting weedy since most of the run off is starting to dissipate, but fishing continues to be great here. Bridgeport Reservoir nearing the peak fly fishing time, as the water drops and the weeds start to grow.

Sierra Drifters is a guide service based near Mammoth Lakes, CA. There is no retail shop to visit, but our time tested fly patterns are available to purchase at select locations and online here on our website. Click here to view our entire selection of flies.

Crowley Lake 

Water level is dropping at a good pace here. Look for fish to start showing more in the shallows and anglers having to target deeper water less as we ease into the month. Fish are still tight to the mud while fishing over the sand. Along the weed beds you will find them shallower and taking food off the top or near the surface. Punk Perch in dark and Assassins in light colors have been getting some nice fish to take along the weed edgers. You may get the occasional surface feeder over the weed tops with a long leader and floating line. #12-20 midges are on the menu as well as assassins, perch fry, and damsel fly patterns. We are filling up extremely fast this summer for trip bookings so get those calls into us sooner than later if you would like to come fishing.

Lower Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 

Flows have begun to rise here as Crowley Lake begins to slowly drop. The summer heat is on during the day, so best times for fishing are early morning and late evening. Look for all day midge hatches and some afternoon and evening caddis. We will be starting to fade out on our drift trips now as the water starts to rise. Fishing up the hill has been on fire, so we are focusing our efforts on more productive waters.

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, San Juan Worm Brown #14, Crystal Caddis Larva #18

Hot Creek 

Pretty steady action in both the Interpretive Site and in the canyon. Smaller nymphs and dry flies are working well here. Getting weedy on the surface, so find some clean areas for a good drift. Look for a decent caddis hatch in the evenings and solid midge hatches throughout the day. Access is now open to both areas.

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 hoppers are coming hooray hooray, the hoppers are coming hooray! They are everywhere and its game on when you match the size and style. Water is very clear above the Hot Creek confluence, so sneak up on the little rascals to get them to bite. Look for fish in the riffles and in the deeper water. The undercut banks can be very good target areas at times. Windy days are your friends up here right now, as the wind blows the bugs off the tall grass into the water. Enjoy the show!

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 

Flows are down again into the 100 cfs mark. The bite can be great here any time of day so no need to get here early. The miracle mile section has been giving up some good ones and various other spots are holding some big ones. Crossing at the current flow rate of 120 cfs is fairly easy, so access to the best spots is completely feasible. Nymphing has been getting the job done.

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 Friday, July 3rd, 2020
East Walker River (CA): Flows Are Down Again
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): The Hoppers Are Coming
Hot Creek: Pretty Steady Acton
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens River Report
Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Monday, June 22nd, 2020
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Upper Owens Fishing Report
East Walker River (CA): Flows Have Been Perfect Here This Spring
Hot Creek: Pretty Steady Action
Owens River - Lower: Flows Have Begun to Rise
Crowley Lake: Fish Are Running Deep
: Fishing Report 6/22/20