Upper Owens River Report

The Trout Fitter Staff

Report Date:


Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions:  Fair

Flows are 49 cfs as of 6/17

The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only.

The reason why the flows on the Owens don't go up and down much is that it is common for Deadman Creek to go underground up above 395 during drought years.

The water gets dirtier and has more debris the further downstream you go.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

Good news, it appears that the early season "slime weed migration" is over. Above the bridge the micro caddis(#26-28), midges and Trico female emergence starts around 7 with the Trico spinner fall starting around 9. Don't be afraid to fish spinner patterns until after 12, there will be spinners drifting far after they actually finish egg laying. Mid morning into the afternoon there's a sparse PMD emergence along with the Yellow Sallies. Caddis are out all day long. If you want technical now's the time, size 26 emerging caddis across 4-5 different current seams can test the best. It's one thing to pick off migratory fish with attractors, something else to con fish keying on specific food.

It's good to remember that there aren't a lot of "resident" fish in the Upper Owens, it's basically a nursery for Crowley Lake and as they get bigger most of them will move down to the lake. The fish that haven't gone to the lake yet tend to be pickier because it's their natural environment. Right now they are getting more active as their metabolism picks up with the water warming so look for insect activity, especially the Baetis and some caddis. Mayflies are the more dominate #16-20 and the PMDs are starting to emerge.  As the water warms up the resident fish are getting more active, they will not be as interested in the attractor flies and they definitely require better presentations than the migratory fish do.

So much for the temperature gage, it lost its funding and has been shut down. Scratch that, it may be shut down but it's still functional. There was a temperature gage on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge. Right now the water temperature ranges between the low 80s and high 90s.  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.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24 | CDC Transition Midge #20-24 | Extended PMD #16-18 | Tan Stimulators #14-16 | Beck's Sulphur Emerger #16-20 | CDC Emerger Baetis #24 (for the caddis) | Parachute Caddis Grey #22 |

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | B/H Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 | PMD Duster #14-16 | B/H Pheasant tail #14-18 |  Mop Fly assorted colors #10-16 | Bling Midge #22-24 | Tungsten Olive Mic Drop #16-18 | San Juan worms assorted colors | Egg Patterns assorted colors | Birds Nest Natural #16-20

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 Thursday, June 23rd
The Trout Fitter Reports
for Friday, June 10th
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): Upper Owens River Report
Owens River - Lower: Up high is a little bit off color
East Walker River (CA): The flows are up near normal, for now


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