Its time to start thinking about drifting the Lower Owens

Owens River - CA


by Tom Loe
9-16-2012
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Although the flows remain high for wading the wild trout section at 480 cfs. they have begun to drop and are currently down from 540 cfs which we saw all through August and early September. The Bishop Creek has also come down 20 cfs making the sections we drift below the confluence well below flood levels with good water clarity. The morning bite is best due to warm water temps as the sun gets higher most afternoons. The fish seek the shelter of the deeper pools and under cut banks making presentations with heavy sinking fly lines and extra split shot while nymphing difficult during the afternoons. Even if the flows remain high, I fully expect some excellent drift boat fishing soon as the water temps cool and the fish become more active for a longer duration during the day. There are abundant numbers of Tui Chub, Tahoe Sucker, Mosquito Fish, & stickleback fry present along the slack water and protected areas near the banks and artesian spring feeds. These small bait fish are food for the larger predatory browns and rainbows that we target with streamer patterns like the Loeberg and Punk Perch. Using the "dip & strip" method from the drift boat is a great way to get into numbers, and these trophy fish that hunt the small bait fish along the secluded and hard to reach areas of the LO. I am also observing good numbers of caddis, midge, & mayfly hatches during the cooler morning periods, with extended emergences on the cloudy afternoons so dry fly opportunities may also present themselves at times. The still mornings/afternoons will have the skeeters out and until it cools down here make sure you bring along the bug juice!

Main Photo Above:Scott McClintock tight to a leaping rainbow on a recent drift trip. The bloody battle for bragging rights between Todd the fireman, Paul the city manager, and Scott the sheriff ended in a draw with a lot of laughs between fish. One Scott McClintock tight to a leaping rainbow on a recent drift trip. The bloody battle for bragging rights between Todd the fireman, Paul the city manager, and Scott the sheriff ended in a draw with a lot of laughs and banter between fish . Fun day guys, Thanks.

If you would like to go fly fishing with Sierra Drifters give them a call at (760) 935 4250 and for more information visit their website www.sierradriters.com.



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8-21-2012
The afternoon thunderstorms continue to roll through the region bringing some significant rain to the upper elevations. A couple...... Read More