Fall is here, and man, has the fishing been phenomenal in almost all locations! The Upper Owens, East Walker, Hot Creek, Crowley Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir and San Joaquin River have been producing big time. After some exceptional fall weather, the forecast going into the weekend is calling for some wind, colder temps, and possible snow. This should only improve fishing as it will start to put the fish into fall mode. Most inlets and creek channels are now loaded with fish as they begin to fatten up for the coming winter. Don’t be afraid to go with bigger patterns this time of year, as the trophy fish are on the hunt. The leaves on the trees in the upper elevations are already turning, and using flies with bright colors can produce that fish of a lifetime!
Fishing is off the hook here, as some of the best days of the season are upon us. Huge numbers of trout have packed themselves in the creek channels and flats of the mud to feed on anything and everything they can. Streamer fishing is going strong this time of year as the fish have a variety of different sized perch to choose from. We are seeing consistent steady action all day long, from morning until dark. The weed beds are still thick around the lake and should continue to hold till the end of the boat season this year with plenty of water still in the lake. All species of trout have now fallen into a thicker concentration in the shallow and deeper water areas. Midge hatches are on the rise and the algae has bloomed but has not been any kind of a bite killer this year!
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 are raging here again as the flood gates have opened up. Best to look elsewhere as it can be an unsafe condition here if you go in.
Excellent bite here with lots of bug activity. Conditions will change after the next cold front rolls through, but that just translates to finding what the fish want to eat. Switching to the right flies will keep you on the fish throughout the day. Fall is a great time for Hot Creek and big fish! We can show you how it is done here as we are one of the few guide services in the area that are Inyo National Forest Service permitted!
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
The river has been better than ever. Lots of fish and some really nice ones already in the river. Fish are starting to stack up at the mouth and in the channel in Crowley, as they prepare for the fall migration! Smaller nymphs and dry flies are getting the job done. There is still a healthy grasshopper population flying around, but this may deteriorate here soon with the coming cold front.
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.
East Walker River
The bigs have been coming out to play here as the river has settled into an excellent flow rate of 227 cfs. There are big fish showing up in all areas of the river. They are spread out from the dam all the way past the “mile section”. For those in “the know”, some of the usual hot spots are holding, big time! Use enough weight to get your offerings at the right depth, and don’t be afraid to adjust the indicator, weight combination, and flies frequently.
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.