Beware of spawning fish out there!

Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley) - Eastern Sierra, CA (Mono County)

by Jim Elias

Flows at 49CFS - Water is dirty below the confluence - 55 degrees at 10am

Rod Size:  #5-#6 Weights

Tippet Size: 3-4X 

Leader: Euro/Czech Leader, 7.5ft-9ft 3-4X

Best Techniques: Dry Dropper, Euro Nymphing, Streamers, Indicator Nymphing

Dry Flies: Parachute Adams Gray #16-18, Griffith's Gnat #18-22, Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Parachute Caddis #16-18, JuJu Emerger #18, CDC Baetis Emerger #18, CDC Baetis DUN #16-18, Gray RS2 #16-18

Nymphs: Perdigons, Frenchies, Red Copper John #14-16, Prince Nymph #14-16, Black Bird's Nest #14-16, Egg patterns, San Juan Worms, 

Streamers:  Honestly it doesn't matter much. Short sinking tips are working best swung through the undercuts or down across the deeper runs. 


The water is continuing to warm, the flows are stable since 15cfs of it are coming from West Portal and the rest is coming from the actual spring. I have a feeling much of the river below the confluence will be low, warm and weedy for the rest of the summer. With little flow to blow out the silt that's gathered the last several seasons holes that were once 5-6ft deep are barely 2ft deep right now. With this in mind, the spawning cutthroat will make their moves in the very early mornings and late evenings when they have their best chance at survival. There are fish on redds so keep an eye out and wade across only when you need to and in the deeper water. Bug activity has mainly been Midges early morning and Caddis in the afternoons. Mayflies have been more sporadic, and considering how low and poop colored the water down below the confluence is, I'm not surprised one bit. Stick to the deeper bends for your best shot either under a small strike indicator or running the euro rig. I usually need to run through a few bugs before I can convince one of them to eat, so be persistent. The water isn't super deep in most spots so they'll be very easy to find, just keep moving. 

Fish Mammoth Guides Services is located in Mammoth Lakes, CA (Mono County). Fishing Guide, Jim Elias, can take you fishing on Crowley Lake, Upper Owens, Lower Owens and East Walker River. To book your guided fishing trip with Jim Elias please all him at (760) 582-2195 and for more information please visit his WEBSITE..

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