Upper Owens River Fishing Report

The Trout Fitter Staff

Report Date:


Water Conditions: Good

Flows are  55 cfs as of  5/20

Temperatures have stabilized but the water is still cold and with the snowmelt the water is off color, especially below Hot Creek.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

The water is now very dirty below the Hot Creeks (it braids out into 4 channels) and off color above. Yes, the Cutthroats are moving up but not in large numbers. If you like the idea of quality fishing with increasing numbers of fish there are some very important facts to consider. 1) Unlike the rainbows the cutthroat spawn below the ranches. 2) They also spawn later so they are actively moving up after opening day. Actively spawning fish are in the shallow tailouts between the holes so any fish in these areas should be left alone. You should also refrain from wading through these areas, try to stay at least knee deep and preferably waist deep to avoid crushing the eggs. One of the big problems is that fish hooked on the redds will quite often release their eggs/ sperm during the fight or while being released. If you're going to fish during those times the best place to fish is the drop-offs below the shallow tailouts. A lot of fish will be sitting there picking of the food dislodged by the spawners digging out the redds.

Not much new to report, a few Tricos early along with the midges in the morning. A mixture of small and larger mayflies with caddis midday and then caddis in the afternoon.  The fishing has definitely slowed so a lot of the fishermen have moved on to greener pastures making it a lot more peaceful. That and the river below the bridge has opened with good but vague reports about good nymphing and slow on dry flies.  The bite is getting earlier now so beat the crowds and get the first grabs. The resident fish have been keying into the mayflies and midges, so we suggest trailing a midge (#18-24) or mayfly (#16-22 )  behind an attractor nymph to keep the action rolling between each lake fish. There have been some sporadic hatches of larger mayflies coming off mid-day. On calm afternoons the dry fly fishing can be productive but be ready to throw size 18 through 22 dry flies. Streamer fishing has been OK.

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Parachute Extended Body BWO #18-22 | Elk Hair Caddis #20-22 | Para Caddis #16-22 | Missing Link #16-20

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 |Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Harrop's Surface Emerger #20-22 | Roza Pink Tag Jig #16d | Clearwater Emerger #18-20 | S&M Nymph #20-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | Jiggy Caddis #14-16 

STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White, Olive, or Brown #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16


More Reports

The Trout Fitter Reports
for Friday, May 14th
Hot Creek: Hot Creek Fishing Report
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Upper Owens River Report
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens River Report
East Walker River (CA): East Walker River Report


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