Flows on the Upper Owens have reduced which means the fish are in the deeper pools and runs

Tom Loe

Report Date:


There is a decent migration of rainbows up from Crowley occurring now with some of these babies in the 24 inch class. I am seeing a few nice browns; however not nearly the population I anticipated earlier this summer. Crowley has the most browns I have seen in many years, so I expected this fall to be huge for spawning browns in the Upper Owens. It's still on the early side, and we have not had an extended cold snap yet, so I remain optimistic we will see "bad Leroy brown" in numbers soon. With Crowley Lake being so low we are once again faced with poor water communication between the lake and the spawning grounds due to a shallow and wide river inlet. Hopper/stimulator and a dropper bead head PT, Assassin, broken back midge, or crystal caddis nymphs are good calls on many sections. Have a SJ worm or egg patterns handy if you get a cold day with no chance of surface activity. Hit the deeper pools and work the "dark water" along the cut banks. There are some really large rainbows holding in these areas now. Swinging a streamer in from an upstream vantage point can also be productive this time of year-Loebergs and Punk Perch are my go to flies with a light sinking tip.

The section from the Benton Bridge downstream to the CDFW monument will close October first to ALL fishing.

Pictured Above: These migratory rainbows are the gems of the Sierra in my opinion. Sung showing off his trophy bow here
Photo #1: Dan Dolan is the brother of Two Bug Doug and he shows that good fly fisherman run in the family. Nice one Dan.
Photo #2: Fish like this are common on the Upper O right now. Kanti got into them on his guide trip with us.

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