Lower Owens River Report

The Trout Fitter Staff

Report Date:


Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are 573 cfs as of 5/16

There is Gorge access to the middle and upper power plants as well as the reservoir. 

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: ????????

Reports are still going up - I'll try to check check back in the next few days.

I'm going to leave the rest of the report up for the time being, but with the huge jump in flows and lots of other options to fish now, I'm getting zero reports.

The Grannom caddis are done but there are plenty of other hatches to be excited about. Midges are available all day, the Craneflies are hatching midmorning, and BWOs are coming off sometime midday. Mid to late afternoon they will be eating egg-laying caddis, so alternate dead drift presentation with skittering and skating your dry flies!

The BWO hatch has been 11 - 2 or so with an emphasis on 1-2. The nymphing has been very consistent and dry fly action is picking up. The mayflies have gotten a little smaller at #18-20. A note about dry fly fishing: Because the hatches are so varied, it's important to understand the "rise form" and the type of water the fish are rising in. Today (by 12) there were aggressive rises in the main current seams, while the slow foamy backwaters primarily had subtle "sippy" takes, so focus on emerging BWOs around the main current and spent midges in the backwaters. The BWO emergence ended around 1:30, but the fish continued to feed in the slow backwaters until after 3; Just another example of hatches varying up and down the river, but also in different water types within a small area. Another good sign is that there are just enough stonefly adults around that using #6-8 stonefly adult patterns instead of an indicator can be very effective. 

The subsurface is a veritable smorgasbord. Several different species of mayflies, caddis, black flies, midgeas, and stoneflies are present. Bigger flies have been working better than the smaller pattern; # 10-16 Perdigons and stonefly patterns seem to be doing best. 

A few things I've seen - The banks are very unstable and walking has gotten a lot better but be very careful around the high banks. Weed and brush overgrowth is prolific.

DRIES: MIDGE-Stillborn Midge #20-22  | Griffith's Gnat #22-24 | CDC Transition midge #20-22 | No Mercy Midge #18-24 | Boroff F/Homie #20, 24  MAYFLY- Para CDC Baetis #16-22 | Para Adams #14-22  Hi-Vis Baetis #18-22  CADDIS- Millers C/Cad Olive and Tan#14-16 | RL Stimulator Yellow #14-16 | Elk Hair Caddis #14-16 STONEFLY- Chernobyl Ant #6-8

NYMPH:  Pheasant Tail #14-22 | Hares Ear #16-22 |Perdigon #10-14 | Zebra Midge #18-22 |Weiss BP light or dark #18-20 | Bottom Roller Phsyco Rhyco #10-14 | Chamois caddis #16-20 | TB Millers +1 Lt #16-18  | Tungsten Sally #16-18 | Iron Sally #18 | HDA Fav. Variant #12-16 | 

STREAMERS: Wooly Bugger Olive & Black #10-12 | Mini Sculpin Olive & Black #10-12

Guides Hint: Lesson learned the hard way, don't ignore the fish rising in the shallow water on the inside of the bends. They're usually a lot bigger than you thought.

More Reports

The Trout Fitter Reports
for Monday, May 27th
The Trout Fitter Reports
for Saturday, May 18th
Hot Creek: Flows are up another 20 cfs
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley):  Water clarity coming out of Hot Creek has gotten worse
Owens River - Lower: Lower Owens River Fishing Report
East Walker River (CA): East Walker River


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