Fish' N Conditions

Tom Loe

Report Date:

Happy summer to all! We made it through one of the best springs for stillwater fishing and it is really heating up now for trophy trout. The kids are out of school and the vacations have started. Many families are already recording their personal best record fish with us on Bridgeport and Crowley Lake. The longest day of the year has just passed as we make our transition into summer. We are starting to get a touch of wildfire smoke which has become typical for this time. Fishing is pretty close to “as good as it gets” status in both lakes. Our stillwater nymphing techniques combined with the abundance of food the lakes are providing have created the stage for some excellent fishing for some real monster trout. This is a great time to introduce your kids to the joys of fly fishing. We have perfected techniques and strategies to ensure success for youngsters in catching some of the most stunning trout in the Eastern Sierra. Come find out why Crowley Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir are held in such high regard as the best stillwater fisheries in Mono County. The East Walker River has come down once again to wadable levels and the fishing is starting to really pick up again. The San Joaquin River flows are also dropping daily and shaping up for some really great dry fly fishing. We are currently guiding this area and will continue to do so as flows allow. The Mammoth Lakes in the basin are also giving up some nice trout fishing damselfly patterns and small streamers along the edges and drop offs with sink tip and full sink lines. Hot Creek has been really fun with outstanding mayfly hatches starting in the morning and running throughout the day. Upper Owens river good for resident and hatchery rainbows and browns taking dry flies along the eddies and cut banks. The Middle Owens  is now at 490 cfs and blown out.  Expect possible higher flows here soon and look elswhere to fish, including the Wild Trout section.

Crowley Lake

 It has been big fish bonanza here on most days as the trout have moved onto the flats and the river and creek channels. The damselfly nymph hatch has really gotten going now, and you can observe large trout crashing on these little critters throughout the day. The algae has gotten thicker in some areas, and depending on the direction of the wind, you may get a good showing of it where you are fishing. The flies are staying clean currently in these conditions, but watch out for the jellyfish like blobs that gets pushed from the shallows. Good patterns have been our #16 Level Crystal Leech,#16 Parallel Assassin Light and Dark, #16 Parallel Punk Perch,  #18 Crystal Tiger Midge,  and Zebra Midge.

Bridgeport Reservoir

Pretty much the best you can get here on most days. Big fish showing up as they move into the channels to cool off and escape the rising lake temperatures. Fish are feeding heavily on callibaetis and damsels along the weed lines. Getting the boat in the right position is of great importance and changing depths as the fish move on and off the ledges will keep you in the bite all day. Afternoon winds have been coming up and our assassin patterns have kept the fish interested when the white caps are up.  #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Assassins Light, #12-18 Copper Tiger Midges, Parallel Punk Perch, and Zebra midges have been go to patterns.

Middle Owens River (Bishop Area)

Flows have come up and will get high here fast.  Bishop Creek has a lot of water coming down and this has made the areas below Line St. very difficult to fish until the river recedes some. It has become tough to fish on foot anywhere on the river currently. The previous winter’s growth along the banks has made it tough for walking and wading and that is why accessing this river by boat is the best way to fish here. We fish with sinking tip lines and streamer patterns to get our flies down to the fish. If we see a substantial decrease in flows we may start drifting here again, but in the meantime there are better fish catching opportunities.

Upper Owens River

Good dry fly fishing along the banks here. The hopper bite is just starting now and will get even better as the summer moves along. Go with Hoppers and Stimulators when the wind comes up. The eddies along the backsides of the deep pools around the slower bends have concentrated numbers of smaller fish willing to take a dry fly. Fish with egg patterns and nymphs along the undercut banks for some single larger model fish.

San Joaquin River

The road to Red’s Meadow is now open. USFS states they are closing the Devil’s Postpile campground this year to limit traffic. This will be good for fisherman and hikers and will leave more room along the river for fishing. Flows currently at 158 cfs and dropping  fast as the runoff has peaked. We will have a better report on this area soon as we make our first trips down here. If you’ve fished here in the past you know what a fun river this is with a dry fly rig and a light rod. These fish will hit almost any dry fly in the right size and one that is properly presented. They are beautiful wild fish with the occasional hatchery fish in the mix. Fish the slow pools and the pocket water and make sure to get your line mended well before your fly enters your target zone for success.

Hot Creek

Really fun time of year to be down here. Great time to sight fish for rainbows and browns throughout the day. Caddis have been coming off in the mornings, followed up by some great trico action. Midges coming through in the current throughout the day and lots of fish rising and taking properly presented dries. Fish the riffle sections with a 9′ leader and a dry/dry combo to see which one gets more looks. Egg patterns, PT’s, and midges fished in the deeper slots have been yielding some fat trout.

East Walker River

Flows have dropped here. 250 cfs as of report time. They have been here for a few days now, so running bugs through the riffles can produce some nice ones.Try fishing the slower deeper pools and slower moving areas of the river. Use plenty of weight to get your flies down and streamers pulled through the deeper sections can be effective. Crossing and wading may still be tough at the current flow rate. Lots of big fish spread out through the river.  

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