Upper Owens River Report

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

by Trout Creek Outfitters
(530) 563-5119

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows have dropped to 68 cfs as of 1/9

The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only. Below the bridge is artificial barbless and closes 11/15.

DWP has cut the flows through the tunnel from Grant Lake  back to 12.8 cfs. The reason why the flows in the Owens don't go up and down much is that it is common for Deadman Creek to go underground up above 395 during drought years.

The water gets dirtier and has more debris the further downstream you go.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair

 Once again the parking is at the bridge. With the storms we've been getting if you decide to drive upstream it will be much safer, you probably won't get your back tires off the pavement. Whether it's the extreme low temperatures or the fish have moved up into the ranches to spawn but fishing has slowed way down. Well, we are in the storms now and when I get more information I'll pass it along. So much for the rain, just snow and lots of it. 395 is closed until at least Tuesday morning. The Baetis appear to be done for the year so midges are the only hatches going on right now. Besides midge imitations it's almost all attractor patterns from here until later in the winter.

 ALERT: if you're going to fish in temperatures close to or below 0 degrees DO NOT take the fish out of the water! Their eyes and gills can freeze very quickly!

It's good to remember that there aren't a lot of "resident" fish in the Upper Owens, it's basically a nursery for Crowley Lake and as they get bigger most of them will move down to the lake. The fish that haven't gone to the lake yet tend to be pickier because it's their natural environment. So much for the temperature gage, it lost its funding and has been shut down. Scratch that, it may be shut down but it's still functional. There was a temperature gage on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge. Right now, the water temperature ranges between the low 80s and high 90s.  If you're not familiar with it, to get to the upper most branch of Hot Creek, go through the first drive through gate on the main road and immediately turn left. The confluence is between the first and second walk-thru gates.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24 | CDC Transition Midge #20-24 |  Z Wing Real Midge #22-26 

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | Copper John #14-16 | B/H Pheasant tail #14-18 | Bling Midge #22-24 | San Juan worms assorted colors | Birds Nest Natural #16-20 | Prince Nymph #12-18 | Egg Patterns #12-16

STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White or Olive #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16 | Baby Fat Minnow |

EURO Streamers: GD UV P/Jig White #12 | Kaslar M/G/S Olive #12

If you would like to go fishing with us please check out our website Trout Creek Outfitters.com or call (530) 563-5119.

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