If there was ever a time to get some absolutely off- the-charts winter fishing it is now. The flows on the Lower Owens are perfect for wading and for drift boating. The daily bite is from about 9 am to 4 pm with the middle three hours from 11 to 2 producing record catches for everyone.
Whether fishing just below the dam at Pleasant Valley reservoir, along Chulk Bluff Road, along by the cement plant or anywhere from Highway 6 all the way to Line St. the reports are "phemom", daily. Pat Jaeger sent along these pics of recent drift boat trips with his clients.
Drifting is about the easiest and most fun way to fish in these parts. The big advantage to drifting the Lower O is access. So much of the river is lined both sides with brush that there are large sections of the river that only get fished by the occasional drift boat passing through. Besides access, fishing along in a drift boat is about as comfortable as it gets. I'll share my personal experience having Pat drift me and Chad last winter so you can get a taste.
First off, Pat launches the boat runs around and gets everything ready and Chad and I only have to put on our waders and step aboard like royalty. Pat navigates down stream a ways to the first stop.
Pat holds at the top of a pool and we throw streamers for awhile and put a couple in the net. Then, we cruise around the next bend and see a working fish along the bank. Brakes on, and Pat pulls the boat to the opposite side of the river and you take a few shots with dries. Refusal? Try this one. After a few fly changes and finally that perfect cast, game on. Between Chad and I taking turns at shots, nothing escaped . . see a fish, catch a fish. (Of course Pat was calling all the shots on fly selection.)
Another eighth of a mile and a nice sand bar appears. Out of the boat and we drag a few nymphs through the adjacent run - a couple more fish on. It was heaven - turn after turn produced another opportunity all day. I didn't want to stop for lunch. Whaddu say . . . Kent didn't want to stop for lunch??? 'Must of been good!
Now, you throw in the snow coverd Sierra for a backdrop and Jaeger's always unpredictable commentary, ranging from hysterical to satyrical to just plain goofy and Chad and I had a bucket-list day and we thought we were just going fishing.
Now is the time. The fishing is red hot on the Lower Owens and the weather ideal. Fish a coule days on your own and then treat yourself to a day drifting with Pat. Book early!