Water Conditions: Fair
Flows are 49 cfs as of 8/23
The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only.
The reason why the flows in 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
The water below Hot Creek has gotten dirtier but above Hot Creek It's still clean.
Even though it's a slow hopper year the fish are starting to eat the imitations a little better. Fishing isn't great but if you work at it you should be able to pick up some fish and the lack of pressure is a big plus. We are starting to see some lake fish up above Benton Crossing and the rain seems to have helped with that. Also the hatchery fish are starting to move up above the bridge and they are naturalizing nicely. 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 and large Caddis (#14-16) all morning. They have stocked below the bridge and they are healthy, feisty and are starting to get a clue about what real food is. Water temperature wise: above Hot Creek 60-65 all day/ upper Hot Creek confluence down to the bridge mid to upper 60's. Below the bridge keep track, below 68 is okay but if it gets warmer move upstream.
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. 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.
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 | Z Wing Real Midge #22-26 | CDC Spring Creek Hopper Tan #14-16 | Para Hopper #10-14 | Elk Hair Caddis #12-16
NYMPHS: Zebra Midge #16-22 | 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 | Birds Nest Natural #16-20
STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White or Olive #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16