We are having some fun on the Upper Owens and it will continue to get better.

Owens River - CA

by Tom Loe

Numbers are increasing as fish begin to migrate upstream from Crowley. Brown trout are fall spawning fish and I have seen the best brown numbers for Crowley in quite a while. This is a strong indication of what may prove to be an epic fall and winter season on the Upper Owens. If you enjoy dry fly fishing with tiny mayflies, the Trico hatch is dominating this area currently and the fish are very active on these tiny rascals during the late morning period before the wind comes up. #20-22 adults will get plenty of looks, use a larger dry fly with 2-3 feet of tippet between the two patterns if you have trouble seeing the small point fly. Flows remain consistent at 65cfs with good water clarity and no weeds. Water temps are on the warm side, however it will not be long for a significant cooling trend as I am already seeing some morning frost at Drifters HQ here on McGee Creek-close to the Upper Owens. Wet wading remains comfortable after the sun comes up at this time. There are some large rainbows also showing up in the deeper pools. These fish are best fooled using flashback PT's, Assassin bird's nest, and broken back midge patterns #14-18. Dead drifts with, or without an Under-cator are necessary to to fool these trophy fish and one should always keep their shadow off your target water and a low profile along the banks if possible. Streamer fishing is also really picking up here and you will see small chubs and Sticklebacks along the edges. Loebergs, Spruce-a-Bu's, and Punk Perch patterns are good choices while casting a light sinking tip fly line along the under cuts and at the head of deeper pools and ox-bows.

I am very grateful to the SDFF members who participated in my first on the water advanced fly fishing clinic for the concept. We will be offering this type of seminar for groups of up to 6 people in the future at discounted rates and taylor it to your time frame. Please contact us if you are interested. The clinic covered rigging tandem nymph rigs with and without an indicator, dry dropper & dry/dry set ups, various special knots (this was a big part of the clinic and I was told it was very helpful), streamer rigging, reading water and positioning for nymhping, dry fly, and streamer fishing, hook setting methods, casting critique, entomology, & of course fighting and landing big trout!


Main Photo Above:Long time Drifter and good friend from the San Diego Fly Fishers Larry Sorenson got an "A" and passed with honors after doing an "on the water" advanced clinic with a handful of other SDFF members recently.
Photo #1:Dennis Marquardt tight to a big rainbow while using a twin Assassin rig after nymphing a deep hole on the Upper Owens
Photo #2:Paul Woolery tight to a hog on the Upper Owens. Good fish story on this one. I dumped this same fish earlier in the day while doing a nymphing demonstration for the SDFF advanced clinic. After a lengthy battle this big old hen gave Paul "the fin" as well. That's why they get so big on the Upper Owens!
Photo #3:Randy Arnott hit this trophy bow on a Loeberg streamer while doing the "dip & strip" on the Upper Owens thanks to guidance and the picture from long time Drifter Dave Kendrick. Nice job guys, Thank you!

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Fly and Field Outfitters LLC Reports
for Sunday, September 16th, 2012

San Joaquin River: As the weather turns cooler & the snow fields stop melting the San Joaquin River will get low
Owens River: Its time to start thinking about drifting the Lower Owens
Crowley Lake: Some "Hogs" are being taken at Lake Crowley

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