The Lower Owens, once again, has been very good to the persistent Fly Fisherman. Flows are down at their usual levels for this time of year of around 100cfs give or take 10cfs depending on where you are. Spotty dry fly hatches have been happening for some anglers in the bend right above their buddies! These have been larger Baetis Mayflies and can be replicated with a #16 or #18 BWO pattern (Blue Winged Olive). Some midges can be seen above the water but with limited response from the Trout. They seem to be liking Midges much more below the water recently. Green Caddis worms, or some types of Midge larvae fished under the waters surface have been a fish producer for most of the day. Tung Jig PT’s with a nicely tied Soft Hackle have been absolutely reliable for us fishing guides at STM on the Lower Owens River recently. The entire system has something to offer this time of year. You have to come up and try it for yourself to see exactly what I am talking about. Call the shop for more info. 760-873-0010
Lower Owens River fly fishing continues to be a very rewarding fly fishing experience for some of the most beautiful, and wild Brown Trout you will ever see. Flows are low and clear and wading is very easy to figure out. Mayflies make their appearance in the warmer parts of the day throughout the river system. If your lucky you will be in an are where the fish deem it worthy to rise to the surface and pluck the unsuspecting, sexually mature bugs from the surface. For bugs concentrate on, of course, Midges, Baetis, and Caddis .. in that order as well.. for now. Trace has been tying up some great Midge Larvae and Midge Emergers with a little shuck that have been downright fooling the fish. Green Caddis Worms, Emerging Caddis, and larger PT variations fish well above a small Midge or Baetis Emerger. RS2’s have also been a choice out of the box recently.
Good news! It looks as if us Lower Owens wild brown trout fans are going to get one more go around on the Lower Owens River here in Bishop this summer. I have received word that the Lower Owens is on its way down to 300cfs because of the additional runoff flowing into the Lower Owens river bed south of Bishop. Most of you know this is a great flow to fish the LO. Fish are out and moving around as well as the bugs. Czech nymphing works very well at these flows as you can get up on the fish more without being noticed. Also these flows are perfect for taking out my driftboat which I will be doing in the next few days. Be ready for more reports on this river as it is 340 cfs as I type this and should be around 300 in the next couple of days. For those of you who have had the opportunity to fish the Lower Owens in June at these flows, you know how great the fishing can be as the temps reach a perfect trout temperature of 50-57 degrees which turns on their metabolism converting them into bug eating machines. Water is clear and ready to fish with the very limited pressure the Lower O has received as of late due to the recent high flows. Stay Tuned….
Hot Creek is in rare condition as Mammoth Creek pours in shortly downstream of where Hot Creek flows from the Earth. Currently flowing at 228cfs Hot Creek is in full runoff for the moment and water his high and off color. But, at 11,000-14,000 fish per mile one can still hook fish! This runoff is no doubt good for the system, and when it is all said and done it will be interesting see the effects on the fish after experiencing all the new food getting flushed down the them. Streamers and bugs of the larger variety will still actually take fish here. Stayed tuned for another update in a few days.
The Lower Owens River has been raised to a very fast 547cfs of slightly off-color water. Fly fishing is tough at these conditons and access can be hard at best to find. On the other hand the water temps are up to a point to where the wild brown trout that reside there are very hungry. Foam lines and slower moving parts of the river are the places where you will find fish. Robo Pheasant Tails, Sparkle Trigger Nymphs, Prince Nymphs and RS2’s are getting eaten, all in sizes #16-20. Streamers on a heavy sink tip are also a method to take fish at these flows. We have been doing the best with darker coloured streamers recently.
The Lower Owens has stabilized at around 300 cfs of very fishy river. Water temps are in the prime zone to turn up a trouts metabolism = they have to eat a lot. Lots of holding water can be found at these flows, clarity is 90%. The drift boat is back out and I am loving it! Small baetis hatches come out early morning – afternoon but are not found on the entire river. you can find different holes and riffles where dries are being eaten during these times. Nymphing has been excellent! – Trigger nymphs, Sparkle Triggers (here at shop), Robo Pheasant Tails, PT’s, Hot wire princes, princes, and Ice Cream cone style midges are taking fish. All is sizes #16-18. I did see some Yellow Sallies out the other day so some #14’s in the PT styles have been working nicely. If these flows sustain these levels at this time of year the Lower Owens will continue to be a very dependable fly fishing destination. A+