The Lower Owens River fly fishing report is not exactly quite what it was at this time last year. Fishing was just starting to heat up just a few days ago, then a quick storm system decided to swoop down and turn us into a world of white here in Bishop. The Eastern Sierra is getting pounded with snow and wind as we speak.
Even though the LADWP gauge shows over 3000 cfs of river flow, the actual number is much lower than this. Although still a good flow the river was very recently turned up to the high 200’s in flow pushing the total volume up in the wild trout section to an estimated 275 cfs up in the wild trout section of the river. At these flows the Lower Owens River is still a very fishy place and wading is still very possible when correct entrance and crossing points are accessed.
The wild trout of the LO prefer these flows as the volume of food that flows down compared to a lower river volume is much higher. This current volume also provides the fish with many different types and options of comfortable holding water. This spreads their population out more while letting them relax a little as all the trout are not now only found in the largest and deepest holes of the river.
At these lower temperatures we see mostly Midge and Mayfly aquatic insects on the move during the winter periods of the Lower Owens River. Indicator nymph rigs and euro style nymph rigs are both very effective in this current state of the river. Water clarity is 90%, flashier patterns and a small direct representation of a midge or mayfly function well as a combination. We recommend 4 and 5x leader and tippet which works well most of the time on the LO. Both of these techniques work well when you are fishing a Euro or Indicator setup. A small amount of dry fly action was happening before today hit. Midges and Baetis patterns were being consumed on the surface in slower running sections of the river. Sometime in the middle part of next week we look for surface activity to resume. Stay tuned for more to come as this amazing year rolls out in front of us
Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA for more information or to book a guided trip 760.873.0010 or text 661.364.6981 for more details.
@stm_fly_fishing on instagram