Another good shot of snow hit the region bringing up the snowpack and making snowmobiling a necessity to access the Upper Owens River and Hot Creek. It was a good break up from the dry period that was hanging around lately and we are now back to high pressure with not much in the forecast for snowfall again until next month. Each storm has brought with it more rainbows into the Upper Owens river and we have been seeing some really good fishing days out here. We have had a lot of inquiries about the access to Hot Creek and it is an assess and go type situation. We have seen many vehicles already stuck trying to make it out on Whitmore Rd. thinking that the snow was drivable. This is a common occurrence we witness every winter due to the deception of a level dirt road. Many times vehicles end up with their tires stuck in snowdrifts and ruts. It is better to be safe if you are unsure. The fishing has been good for those making their way into Hot Creek in both the canyon and Interpretive Center areas. Good midge hatches in the mornings with the high pressure. The East Walker River has been giving up some nice fish too. It has been quiet here for angling pressure lately, and is a great escape from the crowds. Middle Owens River has been decent with solid BWO hatches coming off mid-day. We have been hooking a fair amount of wild browns recently in the slower pools.
Middle Owens River (Bishop Area)
The river is holding at 88 cfs. A bit of tanen coloration from the last rain storm here.This has come up a bit which is good for watering the river to move the fish around a little. With flows at their winter release rates for the past couple of months, it has become easier to locate bigger pods of fish. Some nice wild browns have been making a showing in the slower pools around the bends in the river. Streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-a-bu’s, Punk Perch, and Agent Orange have been fooling some nice fish recently. We can fish up to 3 anglers per boat and offer half day trips (4.5 – 5 hours) or full day trips (7 hours) to meet your needs.
Upper Owens River
We have been snowmobiling into this area now and are able to access all areas of the river with ease. Another 6″ of snow has fallen here since last report. This is reducing the amount of anglers on the water and taking more pressure off of the fish. Some new rainbows have made their way up river. The section from the Benton Crossing Bridge down to the fishing monument is now closed. Flows are now at 87 cfs. Crystal eggs, #14-16 San Juan worm red, #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Parallel Assassin Dark and Light, and #16 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge getting the most bites!
Flows now at 7 cfs. A change in tactics has been called for but small nymph and egg rigs have been getting the fish to bite here. Midges and mayflies have been showing up daily. Larger size trout have been keying in more on nymphs, strymphs, and worm and egg patterns. It can get crowded here while the weather is mild so finding a good spot on the creek can pay off. #18 mayflies, #18-22 midges, #20 Brassies, and egg and SD worm patterns have been getting some serious looks and takes from the resident trout.
East Walker River
Not a lot of angling pressure here and the fishing has been good. Still going pretty solid here in the deepest sections of the river. Flows down to 20 cfs but knowing where to fish can yield some real solid fish right now. The fish tend to concentrate in the deepest water this time of year as frigid temperatures and low water have them seeking out slightly warmer water. Lots of juvenile perch have been washing through the pipe and stacking up below the dam area. A good mixed bag of fish sizes are biting on properly presented flies. Target the deepest pools and runs and you can be rewarded with some real beauties. #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal have been great patterns to hang. #18 flashback hare’s ears, #18wd 40’s, and SJ worms also working well.
Lots of fish moving in tighter to the beach. Good opportunity now for fly fisherman.Water temperatures have now reached the 52 degree mark and the big cutthroat trout have moved in shallow. We have been seeing fish to 14.5 lbs with some even pushing the 20lb mark. Popcorn Beatles, Midnight Cowboys,#12 Copper and Black Tiger Midges, Parallel Assassins, and Spruce-a-bu’s working well. Call for more info.