Sierra Drifters Fish N' Conditions

Doug Rodricks

Report Date:

I guess “summer” was saving the warm days for the high country until August. Usually by this time, we are starting to cool down from the heat of July, but everything seems to be a month or so behind this season. A spot of afternoon thundershowers rolled through in specific locations, while others remained on the hot and dry side. Crowley Lake continues to improve as the bulk of the trout have glued themselves to the weed lines and mud bottoms in search of high protein meals. Upper Owens River continues to fish well with a variety of dry flies and nymphs. Great numbers of fish are plugged in the river now. Hot Creek continues its good fishing streak with good top water action in the mornings and nymphing producing well later in the day. The canyon section is beginning to weed up. East Walker River conditions look great with some fish being taken on dry flies and nymphs. It is day to day here with some good bites and some slow days as well. Middle Owens River is on the rise as Crowley Lake starts to plunge in depth.

Crowley Lake

Find the weeds, and you’ve found the fish. They are still spread out in McGee Bay and the North arm of the lake. Sandy Point has some fish working the food lines (weed walls) too! A large amount of fish have been stocked by Hot Creek Hatchery recently and a lot of these little rascals have made their way to the coves and bays after escaping “death by pelican” at the marina. The lake is now dropping at a fast rate and more weeds are being exposed and reaching the surface. You will observe fish rolling above the weed tops, in the channels, and along the edges as they unleash their non-stop attack on the perch fry. Midges have also been working exceptionally well at times, despite the lack of the standard sizes we usually see. You can get into an all day bite if positioned right throughout the day. Afternoon winds have been coming up on some days and “improving the bite”.

Best Flies: Parallel Assassin Dark and Light – 16; Assassin Dark and Light – 16; Parallel Punk Perch Dark and Light – 14, 16; Broken Back Dark Zebra Midge- 16; Crystal Tiger Midge Long -18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge – 18; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge – 18; Crystal Midge Pupa Black – 20; Crystal Caddis Larva Olive Copper – 18; Punk Perch Dark and Light – 14, 16; Damsel Nymph Dark and Light; Flashback Pheasant Tail Tungsten Black Head – 14, 16, 18.

Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area)

Flows bumping up fast as Crowley Lake begins to drop. 547 cfs as of report time.  Fishing will start to slow down here until water levels stabilize again.

Hot Creek

Not much has changed here, as fishing continues to shine. Lots of good dry fly action throughout the day, with heavy emphasis in the mornings. Nymphing when the fish fall from the surface down to the mud has been very productive. Best Flies: Flashback PT’s #16-#20, Tricos Spinners #20-22, SD Crawlers in Red #14, Copper Tiger Midges #18-20, and #18 Assassin Dark.

Upper Owens River

Still a lot of grasshoppers all over the place. Windy conditions make for some great dry fly action. Find a good hopper pattern to match the hatch and it’s game on! Mayfly patterns and caddis have also been getting a lot of good fish here. There are some larger fish in the river this summer due to the abundance of food and the flooded banks around the mouth going into Crowley Lake. Best Flies: Stimulator – 12, 14, 16; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge – 16,18; B100FB – 14, 16, 18, 20; Spruce a bu dark and light; Loeberg Mallard Silver; Loeberg Guinea Silver, Crystal Midge Pupa Black – 18; Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper – 16, 18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge – 14,16,18.

This is a year around fishery with special regs in place. We walk and wade guide here.*Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, Hans Grotewold, and Devin Preston are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

East Walker River/Bridgeport Reservoir

Flows have come down slightly to 315 cfs level. Smaller nymphs and streamer patterns are getting looks from some bigger fish. The slower water on the edges of the faster moving stuff has been the key. Get those flies down to the fish this time of year with enough weight. Bridgeport Reservoir has been good in the channel where the weed growth is minimal. The weeds have choked up a lot of the inside channels this season as the high water has changed conditions up this year. Best Flies: B100FB – 18, 20; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge -16; Crystal Zebra Midge – 16, 18; Punk Perch Light and Dark – 14, 16; Parallel Punk Perch Light and Dark; Crystal Leech – 12, 14, 16; Agent Orange 12, 14, 16; Parallel Agent Orange – 14.

More Reports

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Thursday, August 29th, 2019
East Walker River (CA): Flows Have Come Down Slighty
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Lots of Grasshoppers All Over
Hot Creek: Fishing Continues To Shine
Owens River - Middle: Flows Are Bumping Up Fast
Crowley Lake: Find The Weeds And You'll Find The Fish
Sierra Drifters Reports
for Monday, August 19th, 2019


Fly Fishing Reports is the newest member of the SportfishingReportsTM Network of fish reports, boats, landings, guides, locations and more. We open our doors to the Fly Fishing outdoor enthusiasts who have a passion for the sport.