The Upper Owens season is running later than usual becuase of the weather, but the bigs are coming

Tom Loe

Report Date:

The current release rate of 160 cfs is making some sections difficult to fish. Figure about half the normal runs are currently fishable. Water clarity is very good with a strong showing of BWO's, midges, & small caddis being the catalyst for some excellent dry fly action during the calm mid-day periods. You may need to use a couple AB shot to get twin bead heads down near the bottom, even in the slower pools. Numbers have been very good here; however the majority of the fish are small rainbows and browns running about 8 inches on average, although most of us men would say they are nearly a foot! There are big fish on the move and holding in the deeper pools, they are just a bitch to get down to under these flows in some runs.

We are about a month late this year due to the warm weather and very low lake level at Crowley which made it nearly impossible for the larger fish to migrate up for such a long distance in short water. Flashback PT's & Assassin birds nest #14-18, SJ worms and egg patterns, broken back tigers, olive crystal caddis #18-20 for nymphs. Streamer tugging has also been tough due to the high flows. The water is above the banks in some sections and trying to keep the fly down and near the undercuts is not possible for the majority of runs that are traditionally good this time of year. I used a dry/dry combo rig recently and crushed the fish on the surface with a #16 high vis para BWO & a #22 para Trico as the target fly. Flat out deadly! Look for "pods" of feeding fish and apply the three "P's" Position, Presentation, Performance. Good stuff here right now, wait until the flows back off for the bigs to become consistent.

Main Photo Above: The Halloween moon will get the browns migrating up the tributaries from Crowley Lake.
Photo # 1: Vico Rust tight to a fish while nymphing some "pillow water" Vico did a couple dozen on dry flies as well on the Upper Owens. (Note the flooded bank)
"Hey Tom, thanks for a great day of fishing! All the tips and instruction are very much appreciated, I feel like a better angler already. No worries on the Leroy Brown front, my man, just means I have to come back! Thanks again, great photos too."


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