Upper Owens fishing these days is incredible, getting there is another story

Tom Loe

Report Date:


We have had some incredible days up here recently. This may not be everyone's cup of tea as you will be fishing in freezing conditions much of the time and hiking in snow can be difficult and tiring. The side roads are not passable with a vehicle at this time, you will get stuck if you attempt to drive in off the main access road. The trails along the fence and river are well defined and packed down currently, this could change with new snow accumulation. Nymphing with flashback PT's, birds nest, crystal midges, SJ worms, & egg imitations will all get grabs with redundant drifts. The takes are very light and the fish will not move far from their holds to hit a fly. Keep your rigs on the bottom and have patience. Just about the time you think there is nothing and you want to move; give it another 20 casts. This persistence will pay off. The fish are podded, not all the water you are accustomed to finding them in will hold fish during winter conditions. 90% of these migratory fish will hold in 5% of the water- covering a bunch of water is essential to your success. We take extra care in resuscitating when taking pictures of these awesome rainbows. It is vital that you keep the gills COMPLETELY submerged while removing your flies and reviving these rainbows when air temps are below the freezing point. Let the fish revive for a couple minutes prior to removing it from the water for a picture. Keep their heads pointed into the current and out of the silt and ice.

Above Photo;Eric Smith with a gorgeous snow bow he caught with us recently
Photo #1:Eric with another Upper Owens blimp
Photo #2:Eric did very well, wouldn't you agree?
Photo #3:"Had a great day yesterday fishing! Doug put me on some very nice fish and the upper Owens is just a really cool place to be! What an incredible day! Terribly cold....but we survived! At one point we were talking about how nice it had gotten and I checked my phone and the temp was up to 7 degrees! Great improvement from the -14 degree starting temp! I have never tried fishing in below zero temperatures....I might have a sickness! Doug worked his tail off like usual and it was another great trip! I really appreciate the hard work and expertise that your guide service provides. The bottom of my waders were so frozen I couldn't get them off until I got to Bishop and they thawed out."
Photo #4:Robin Johnson had a dream day as well on the Upper Owens. This buck was magnificent.
Photo #5:Eat your heart out guys, this gal can fish!
Photo #6:"Thanks Tom for an awesome day on the Upper Owens. An experience I will never forget!"
Photo #7:We have the war wagons ready to take you in to these incredible fish
Photo #8:
Photo #9:
Photo #10:
Photo #11:
Photo #12:
Photo #13:

More Reports

Vehicle access is now very limited on the Upper Owens, but fishing is excellent!!!
Owens River

Tom Loe

Report Date:

Vehicle access is now very limited on the UO due to recent storms. You will find 1-2 feet along......

Read More


Fly Fishing Reports is the newest member of the SportfishingReportsTM Network of fish reports, boats, landings, guides, locations and more. We open our doors to the Fly Fishing outdoor enthusiasts who have a passion for the sport.