Water Conditions: Good
Flows are 80 cfs as of 12/29
The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only. Below the bridge is artificial barbless and closes 11/15.
The flows are up because DWP is running about 30+ cfs through the tunnel from Grant Lake. 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
ALERT: if you're going to fish in temperatures close to or below 0 degrees DO NOT take the fish out of the water! Their eyes and gills can freeze very quickly! Once again the parking is at the bridge. It's possible you might be able to drive upstream with a high clearance 4wd but it would be a very risky and most likely very expensive adventure, especially with warmer temperatures expected. When the weather warms up you might be able to drive in while it's still firm but later in the day it will become very sloppy and you might not be able to get out! Whether it's the extreme low temperatures or the fish have moved up into the ranches to spawn but fishing has slowed way down. Well maybe we got the answer. Air temperatures went back up and the fishing improved. Now we'll see how the fishing is with this storm cycle. The next couple of days the storms are predicted to be warmer with rain on the Owens but later in the weekend it should turn to all snow. The Baetis appear to be done for the year so midges are the only hatches going on right now. Besides midge imitations it's almost all attractor patterns from here until later in the winter.
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 | Z Wing Real Midge #22-26
NYMPHS: Zebra Midge #16-22 | Copper John #14-16 | B/H Pheasant tail #14-18 | Bling Midge #22-24 | San Juan worms assorted colors | Birds Nest Natural #16-20 | Prince Nymph #12-18 | Egg Patterns #12-16
STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White or Olive #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16 | Baby Fat Minnow |
EURO Streamers: GD UV P/Jig White #12 | Kaslar M/G/S Olive #12