August is here, and that means big fish time! July was a great month for fishing as we focused on fishing our stillwaters and streams. The East Walker and Hot Creek gave us some really great fish last month, and this was during the peak of the run-off. The Reservoirs (Bridgeport and Crowley) filled up at a phenomenal rate with Crowley just feet from the spillway this year. We haven’t seen the lake this high since 2006!
It has been a drier than normal summer as we really haven’t experienced much in the way of afternoon and evening thundershowers. Temperatures have been quite pleasant on most days with no excessive heat like previous years. Some light breezes have been coming up in the afternoons and keeping things pleasant.
This is the last month for most kids to get their foot in the door for fly fishing this summer as the return to school is closing in. We have had a fun July teaching all the youngsters and getting them on some great fish as they learn to cast and play fish on the fly rod. Crowley is now officially done with the live bait season, which translates into less boat traffic and crowds. It is a great time to get up here and get in on the stellar action this summer.
We have also been blessed by the absence of wildfire smoke so far this season. It has been many years since we have made it to the month of August without seeing any smoke blanketing the eastern sierra. We hope it continues to stay this way for the rest of the season.
With high snowpack years come lots of bugs. This includes the good and the bad ones, or rather biting and non-biting ones. The mosquitoes are terrible this year, and some areas are unfishable without bug spray. The Upper Owens makes the top of the list this year as swarms of mosquitoes and grasshoppers inhabit the area. Don’t let the bugs scare you away though, as the river has some epic dry fly fishing going on right now and flows are perfect. Hopper fishing throughout the day has never been better, and some bigger fish are in the mix. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, midges, and damselflies are all on the menu.
The East Walker River is also fishing great right now from sunrise to sundown. There is lots of bug activity right now, and though flows are on the higher side, there are plenty of good fishing areas along the river. Lots of perch fry are making their way out of the reservoir and into the river, so our Punk Perch patterns have been heavy hitters this month.
Bridgeport Reservoir has come to life after a one month delay. The fish are finally moving into the channels, but the weeds are also growing fast and access to the heads of the tributaries has been cut off unlike last year. The new kids on the block this year are a pretty decent showing of kokanee salmon. There are some pretty good sized ones being hooked here this season. Assassins, midges, and leeches have been producing some great fish!
Crowley Lake has really turned on as it does in July and August. The Sacramento Perch fry have hatched all over the lake and the fish are targeting them alongside the damselfly nymphs. Most of the fish have been caught tight to the bottom on midges and they have been climbing up the ladder to take damselfly, perch fry, and callibaetis imitations. Both our dark and light parallel and standard assassin patterns have been working well. Mixing it up with a punk perch over the weeds and in the channel in McGee Bay has also been an effective rig. Fish are still holding deep in the bay but also move in shallow throughout the day. Browns, rainbows, and cutthroat trout have all been joining the party this month and you can expect many more fish to work their way into shallower water as the perch fry seek refuge within the weed beds.
Hot Creek has been quite the gem lately and some big fish have been showing up throughout the area. The caddis and hopper hatch have been off the hook and some real hogs are coming out to take some high floating flies lately. There is still a decent amount of water moving through the creek and this month is going to be spectacular.
The San Joaquin River is still moving a lot of water through it, but we will see ideal conditions here in about a week’s time. We like to mix it up here with different light rigs, but a dry fly is pretty much all you need to fish the entire river. The wild fish here are quite aggressive and the resident golden trout population should do well this year with the higher water levels.
We have not been down to the Lower Owens much, but the flows have remained very consistent at 400 cfs. You will have higher flows below Line St, and the best times to fish here have been the early mornings and late evenings.
This month will be great, as we refer to it as one of the best months where all the different waters in the area will be fishing at their best. We hope you can all make it up at some point this season to experience the thrill of fly fishing. Our teams of experts are ready to get you out to the most productive waters and guide you to some great experiences that won’t be forgotten.
If you would like to book a trip with us, but don’t have the time to give us a call you can fill out a trip request form here and we will get back to you by email, phone, or text; whichever you prefer.
We have a fresh new look coming to our website this month that will be easy to navigate, be packed with useful information, and more of what everyone loves… more video content. You can check out our current webpage here.
Check out our selection of some of the best fly patterns in the area that can be purchased from our online store here.