October Mid Month Fish Report and News

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

We have a new line of t-shirts and hats which are now available in various colors. We will be adding streamside tools (nippers, hemostats, fly boxes, etc.) in the near future. Dry fly floatant and starter rod and reel kits will also be available shortly to go along with our fly orders. Check out our full line here.

Smoky conditions continue to be up and down depending on the day, but it is nothing close to what it was last month. Fog like smoke, has given way to thin veils here and there, and the creek fire which is burning on the other side of the eastern escarpment is being met with more aggressiveness from fire crews. 

Nighttime temperatures have now reached the 30’s and the temps during the day still remain in the 70’s in the Long Valley area. Most days have been very mild, with little to no wind all day which has allowed for some nice long fishing days. 

Over the years, many people have expressed to me what type of fly fishing they prefer. Some like to fish the rivers, some like drift boating, and others are Crowley Lake addicts. I have been asked many times by clients, where in the sierra is my favorite place to fish. My answer never really changes, as I enjoy fishing all areas where trout live. In short though, I really like to fish where the big fish are biting.

When I first discovered indicator nymphing on Crowley Lake in my 20’s, I was absolutely blown away, not only by the quality of fish that lived in the lake, but at the method that was used to catch them with a fly rod. I couldn’t believe that I had missed out on this awesome fly fishing method through the prior years of my fishing life. To this day, I still get a huge rush out of watching that little colorful ball get pulled under the water. 

Although you only have a split second to react and set that hook before the fish spits the fly out, there is always a rush of thoughts in my head between the actual hook set and connecting with a fish. One of those thoughts is, “Could this be my trout of a lifetime?” It was this constant thought and excitement that had fueled my passion for fishing from an early age and still continues to even today. 

I believe that keeping an open mind about fly fishing opens the door to learning for all of us. Even though many of us have been doing this for years, the learning will never stop. If it ever does for me, that is the day I will stop guiding and fishing. Picking up new techniques and gaining new knowledge about trout behavior makes us better anglers, which in turn equals more fun on the water. 

We have started drift trips again on the Lower Owens River, and all of the runs are now accessible with the flows continuing to drop. The Wild Trout section is also at wadable levels now. There is some good nymph fishing to be had along this section as the fish start to move into different sections of the river and take up holding areas for the fall and winter months. 

In the drift boat sections the water is slowly starting to clear and we have been catching some wild browns here. Streamers have been the best method from the drift boat, and some of the pools are holding better numbers of fish than others. This should change in the coming weeks as the fish will also start to settle along different river sections. 

The Upper Owens River is also ready for the fall and winter fish to start moving up from the lake shortly. You will find a few of them here and there, but the bulk of the fish will start to enter in the coming weeks as the water temperatures begin to get colder. Once again, the snowmobiles are ready for action, but we will be driving in with our vehicles until then. 

Crowley Lake continues to fish well through the fall, with mixed fish sizes of all species on the feed. Midges have been king this time of year, as the weeds have dried up and the remaining smaller fry have been consumed. Some larger fish are still feeding on the larger juvenile perch, so streamer patterns can get you that bigger fish now. There is plenty of time left to fish the lake by boat and get connected with these fall fish. You can request a booking here to get out with one of our team members on the lake or any other open water of your choosing that we guide on.

Hot Creek is getting primed for fall and winter and we may see some of the larger browns start to move into shallower water soon. These are stunning fish with amazing coloration this time of year. The East Walker River had a short rise in flows over the last few days, but it has come back down to fall flows. Still pretty good fishing here in the deeper pools and you can expect the bigger fish to be looking for some larger meals. 

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Sierra Drifters Reports
for Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
: Sierra Drifters: Fish N' Conditions
East Walker River (CA): Fish Are Moving into Deeper Water
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens is Still Running High
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Upper Owens Has Been Good For Nymphing
Crowley Lake: Both Ends of The Lake Have Been Producing Great Numbers