July News and Fish Report

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

Hello anglers! 

Fourth of July weekend went off without a hitch here in the high country. Almost every open campground was packed to capacity, as anglers and outdoor enthusiasts engaged in their favorite activities. 

The weather looks to be really heating up this week with very pleasant mornings and warm days. A little bit of wind will be showing up in the afternoons, and this can add a new layer of fun to the dry fly fishing currently.

Crowley Lake is starting to resemble smokestacks along the shoreline as hundreds of thousands of midges begin to gather and mate above the brush. Fishing here has been nothing short of excellent this past month, as medium fish in the 15-18” range were the norm. These fish were exceptionally heavy this year and eating midges tight to the bottom on most days. The damselflies are now all over the lake, and you will observe fish surfacing for them in open water as well as the weed lines. 

The lake is still dropping in elevation daily, so now there are more weeds just starting to reach the surface, especially in the north arm of the lake. The Owens River channel is weeded up this year, so there isn’t much of a clean bottom to fish over. 

We should see an excellent season on larger fish this year, as we have seen some major returns on numbers from the lack of fish kill this season. The perch are now gathered in the tightest of schools as is typical prior to the spawn. As we get into the month of June and await the perch fry hatches, we should soon see some large fish making their way to shallower water.

The Upper Owens River is now offering up some of the best dry fly fishing in the area. Immature and adult grasshoppers have taken over as the main food source for the trout here once again. The windy days or even calm days have been providing some fun action with hopper imitations. There are still lots of smaller hoppers hatching daily, but there are a lot of adults flying around that keep the trout looking up. Look for clearer water above the Hot Creek confluence.

Hot Creek has been fun with dry flies too. Small tricos and midges are a good morning fly. Dry dropper setups are also a good call in the open water areas. The weeds have reached the surface and become mat-like in some sections. The trout here can be observed chewing on clumps of floating algae as they try and filter out these smaller mayfly nyphs. There aren’t as many hoppers here, but that should change shortly.

The East Walker River is at ideal flows currently and as the water warms in the reservoir, we may see a slight turnover with some greener water coming through the dam. The fish should start to seek out more aerated water along the riffles. Flows are ideal for wading and crossing currently and it is a fun time for large fish right now. 

Most areas are now accessible for fishing and almost all roads have opened. Not all campgrounds have opened up yet, but I expect them to shortly as the month moves on. We want to thank everyone for their patience this year while you waited for us to reopen. We had an amazing June and July is already filling up fast. Come bring the family up and learn to fly fish this summer, or if you’re already a seasoned angler, let us challenge you with long casts to rising fish, the ultimate challenge. We hope you can join us this season.

Be sure to check out our fly selection here where you can have them shipped directly to you by Priority Mail. You can also find them at the following locations:

The Crowley Lake General Store & Deli ( full selection), Reagan’s Sporting Goods in Bishop (full selection),   Stroud Tackle in San Diego (full selection), Fisherman’s Spot in Van Nuys (seasonal top patterns), Bridgeport Reservoir Marina -(full selection)  Ricks Sport Center in Mammoth Lakes (seasonal- top patterns only). Eagle Lake RV and store. (seasonal- top patterns) and Fly and Field Outfitters in Bend, Oregon (seasonal top patterns)

Fill out one of our trip request forms here to be guided to some fun fly fishing this summer.

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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: Fish N' Conditions

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