Upper Owens River Report

The Trout Fitter Staff

Report Date:


Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions:  Good

Flows are  59 cfs as of 9/23

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

Luckily as temperatures drop Hot Creek water is becoming beneficial. We are now seeing the water temperatures in the low to mid 60's all the way down to the lake. This helps trigger the fish in Crowley to move up into colder, cleaner water of the river. We're already seeing some lake fish all the way up into the private ranches with more to follow. There is a temperature gauge on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge. If you're not familiar with it, to get to the upper most branch of Hot Creek, go through the first drive through gate on the main road and immediately turn left. The confluence is between the first and second walk-thru gates.

The Tricos are starting to fade but the BWO hatch has just started back up and the fish are getting interested. The Trico emergence is still around 6-8 for the female emergence and 9-10 for the spinner fall. Don't forget that the fish will eat drowned Trico spinners well after the egg laying. As they drift downstream they will hold their attention long after the spinner fall ends. A few BWO have started hatching, even though there aren't a lot the nymph patterns are starting to work midday. The caddis are fading but the midges are around forever. Midday the Hoppers are almost done, the fish are seriously wise to them and won't eat them unless it's windy. Stop using them as a fly and think of them as an indicator. That way when you do get a take you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Lake fish are a little skittish when they first enter the river and also completely ignorant to the food sources so don't be afraid to throw perch fry and #14-18 midge imitations, their comfort food. The most effective technique is nymphing with an attractor pattern with a small midge or mayfly nymph trailing.

That 1/2 moth 1/2 caddis white insect you see zig zagging close to the water is an aquatic moth. Not much is known about their life cycle, but you may have run across the larval form and not even known it. If you get hung up on the bottom and what you bring up looks like a small, ragged leaf, turn it over. If there's a line of organic matter down the middle that's the moth larva.

DF&G calls it the 4th of July run. With the temperatures getting warmer in Crowley and the algae growing the 12" - 20" browns have moved into the river and are throughout the system. Once in the system they will stay until spawning late fall to early winter.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24 | Hi-Vis Baetis #22-24 | Foam Back Dun BWO #16-18 | Parachute Frankenhopper #6-8

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | B/H Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 |Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Black Beauty #22 |  | Chamois Caddis #14-18 |  S&M Nymph #18-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | Tungsten Olive Mic Drop #16-18

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

More Reports

The Trout Fitter Reports
for Friday, September 24th
Hot Creek: Hot Creek Fishing Report
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens River Report
East Walker River (CA): East Walker River Report
The Trout Fitter Reports
for Wednesday, September 15th
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 Report


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