Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Drifters

by Doug Rodricks
(760) 935-4250

Wow, what an interesting last week here of fishing and weather. Our winter daytime weather just vanished last week, and we saw temperatures into the 70’s in Bishop, while the warmer parts of the state were in the 80’s. This warmer weather brought on some good aquatic insect hatches which brought a lot of trout to the surface to feed. 

Lodging is still unavailable in Inyo and Mono counties, so most of our clients have been using RV’s, or coming up for the day to fish and then driving back the same day. We will see a return to more seasonable weather this week as some colder fronts come through but still will not be bringing much snow with them.

Many of the fish on the Upper Owens River went back into feeding mode and were attacking more of the buggy patterns in addition to egg patterns. The smaller fish in the river went on an all-day feeding run on small midges, like one would see on Hot Creek typically. 

It was nice to have this great fishing weather in January, but unfortunately, this is not what we need for winter. With almost next to no measurable precipitation for the month of January and most of December, we are in dire need of water in the form of snow.

The Lower Owens River has continued to maintain an excellent level for drift boat fishing, and we continue to run trips on the river here. The Blue Wing Olive hatch is coming alive now and it will get better as the winter rolls on. Look for these hatches and some rising fish to follow around the early afternoons as the weather returns to winter temperatures again. Smaller streamers like these are working well when the fish are feeding below the surface in sizes 10 – 16.

The Upper Owens river has been great as the large rainbow trout continue to push into the river and pile up in the slower water. Our San Juan Worms and SD Crawlers have been doing well on these fish these last few weeks in addition to all of our egg colors. We have added some new colors to our Otter eggs. You can check them out here.

All roads are completely free of snow and ice for accessing all areas. We will not be needing any snowmobiles until we get a good base layer of snow on the ground. The ground will be frozen in the mornings but will soften up as the day starts to warm.

Hot Creek has been fishing well in the Interpretive Site and in the canyon. There are some decent insect hatches throughout the day. The micro midge hatch will go all day long, and all of the standard smaller patterns are getting the fish to bite. If you want to hone your dry fly fishing skills as well as nymphing skills, this is the place to do it. 

I hope you can join us for some great fishing this winter. You may have to get creative with the lodging, but we are still continuing to fish and get people on some truly nice ones. Fill out one of our trip request forms here to get started.

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More Reports

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

: Sierra Drifters Fish N' Conditions
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens is Remaining Steady With Flows That Have Stabilized
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): The Upper Owens Continues To Produce Large Trout

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