Flow Rates and Water Conditions
Water Conditions: Good
Flows are 119 cfs as of 11/18
The stretch of river below Benton Crossing Road to Crowley Lake is closed to fishing until next season.
The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only.
Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good
There are definitely more lake run fish in the river now. Don't be too patient, if you don't get grabs fairly quickly keep moving. BUT, if you have a habit of walking up to a pool and staring down into it looking for fish don't expect to get anything over 8". Unlike resident fish the lake fish have no allegiance to one spot so not only will they not necessarily stick around until you're gone but after a couple of these experiences their jaws will lock shut.
The Tricos are starting to fade but the fish are still eating them, the downside being they're #24-26. The Trico emergence is still around 6-8 for the female emergence and 9-10 for the spinner fall. BWO hatches are getting better, and it coincides with the micro caddis emergence, starting between 11 and 12. There are a lot of smaller fish that will only feed on the surface and we even got grabs on a #8 Frankenhopper as an indicator. The Lake fish are a little skittish when they first enter the river and completely ignorant to the food sources so don't be afraid to throw perch fry, #14-18 midge imitations and large attractor nymphs, their comfort food. Just remember, the longer the fish are in the river the more educated and pickier they become. The most effective technique is nymphing with an attractor pattern and 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. When the temperatures get 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.
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. You can tell fall is here because instead of 97-112 temperature range of summer it's all the way down to 94-107 degrees, a good rule of thumb is fish below Hot Creek in the morning and above later in the day. 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.
DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24 | Hi-Vis Baetis #22-24 | Foam Back Dun BWO #16-18 | Para Caddis #22 | Brooks Caddis #22-24
NYMPHS: Zebra Midge #16-22 | B/H Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 | Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Black Beauty #22 | S&M Nymph #18-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | Tungsten Olive Mic Drop #16-18 | San Juan worms assorted colors
STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White or Olive #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16