High Flows and Low Visibility

Owens River - Lower - Bishop, CA (Inyo County)

by The Trout Fitter Staff

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Poor


Water temperatures have dropped from upper 40's to lower 40's over the last week.  

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Poor

ALERT, ALERT due to very high flows coming out of Pine Creek and Rock Creek the Lower Owens is chocolate with a maximum visibility of 1-3 inches. Check out the new pictures at the top of the fish report.

The Lower Owens has been crowded but the weather may have thinned the herd.  Even with the water temperature dropping the fishing was still decent but with today's downpour we'll just have to see. I will be doing some exploring tomorrow so by the afternoon I'll have a little more info. The water temperature dropped the best fishing to more like 1-2. the Early to midmorning is all midges with an occasional Cranefly, especially the further downstream you go. By 1 the midday baetis hatch has begun, every time I announce the demise of the Baetis hatch it rises up from the dead to make a liar out of me. The best dry fly fishing has been from 1- 1:30 and it can vary greatly depending where you are at so don't stay in one spot if you're not seeing hatching bugs.

Since the surface action is spread out carrying 2 rods has a big upside. Another reason for 2 rods, the surface action can be happening in short spurts. The fish will rise heavily for about 5-10 minutes and then shut down for 30 minutes, only to give you another frantic 5-10 again. On top of that because of winter conditions the fishing varies greatly day, one day it's great the next day not so much. The fish are starting to adjust to the changes in hatches and water temperatures with the colder water temperatures the deeper slower pools are starting to produce and especially in the tailouts for dry fly action. Now that the water is getting colder, you'll start finding leeches on the fish. This is quite normal, when the water gets cold enough the fish start resting on the bottom.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Extended Body BWO #18-22 | Stillborn Midge #20-22  | Giffith's Gnat #22-24 |CDC Transition midge #20-22  CDC Baetis #22-24 | No Mercy Midge #18-24 | Boroff F/Homie #20, 24

NYMPH:  Pheasant Tail #14-18 | Caddis Cased #12 | Zebra Midge #18-22 |Weiss BP light or dark #18-20 | Bottom Roller Phsyco Rhyco #10-14 | Pearl & Orange #16 |Chamois caddis #16-20 | TB Millers +1 Lt #16-18  | Lexi Girdle Bug Tan/Black #6 | HDA Fav. Variant #12-16

STREAMERS: Wooly Bugger Olive & Black #10-12 | Mini Sculpin Olive & Black #10-12

Guides Hint: Lesson learned the hard way, don't ignore the fish rising in the shallow water on the inside of the bends. They're usually a lot bigger than you thought.

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More Reports

Flow Rates and Water Conditions Water Conditions: Fair, showing 9 cfs as of 1/9 Remember, these are the flows just below Highway 395...... Read More

The Trout Fitter Reports
for Thursday, December 29th, 2022

Hot Creek: Water Conditions Are Good
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Flows are 80 cfs as of 12/29
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens River Report