Lower Owens river rainbow trout caught on a fly

Lower Owens Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 6.12.24

The Bishop jewel, the Lower Owens River, flowing just outside of Bishop, CA has experienced massive flows recently but is now down to around a fishier flow of around 330 Cubic Feet/second (cfs). We are hearing a rumor that it may be this way for a decent while as repairs are needed far downstream. Of course the fish are taking advantage of this situation and using the lower pressures and flows to explore and become eating machines. We have noted more caddis activity in the area. Aggressive trout have been leaping and chasing caddis adults randomly in the river with some bends and back eddies more active then others. Most of the usual flies will lead to success on the Lower Owens currently. Peridons, Pheasant-Tails, Caddis Worms, Midges and other various attractor flies will find their way into a fishes mouth. Adult versions of Caddis, Mayflies and a few Midges are a good idea to have in the box as well in case of that top water activity beginning to happen right in front of you.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA at 760-873-0010 for more details or to book a guided trip.

Lower Owens Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 3.12.24

The Bishop fly fishing report for the Lower Owens River is nothing but great news! Flows are at absolute prime levels for wading and accessing the river while still retaining enough flow volume to let the wild trout move about the river freely.

Hatches have been tempting us here and there and have been mayflies. Look for this to happen mid-morning to around 12:30. Although not a river wide event one corner can be alive with trout actively eating on the surface with the next corner not seeing any surface activity. Fish classic mayfly patterns in sizes #16 through #18.

As usual the nymphing has been absolutely great. Fishing with an indicator or Euro Style is your option for a great day of wild trout to your net. Most may fly nymph imitations will work when presented correctly. It is the job of the fly angler to figure out how deep to get the Flies and how quickly and how long to appropriate one’s time in certain areas are the keys to success. Our favorite nymphs have been all sorts of paradons, Frenchies, pheasant tail patterns, some caddis worms, and a variety of midges. We have been fishing in sizes #14 through #18.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop at 760.873.0010 for more details or to book a guided tour.


Upper Owens River rainbow trout on a fly rod

Upper Owens Fly Fishing Report – Mammoth Lakes, CA – 2.12.24

The Upper Owens River, just below the town of Mammoth Lakes, CA has received a small blanket of snow which has drifted in a few lower areas but not made a significant impact on accessibility. Patches of grass and sagebrush remain, showing above the recent snowfall. In the morning the landscape is frozen solid and entry is relatively easy as most vehicles with ground clearance will have no problems. It looks like we have some above freezing temps on the way during the day which will make for slippery and gooey conditions as anglers advance on their afternoon departure from the banks of the Upper Owens.

The trout appear to be advancing up the river in better numbers recently. We have been finding a thriving and healthy population of very large trout this early February. They appear to be spread throughout the river system nicely. Appropriate your fishing time in the correct holding water, which will usually be the deepest and darkest parts of the river. This can also be a narrow section of the river where the banks tighten up to a darker slot of running water.

Flies can be a variety of spawning patterns or larger and smaller sized attractor nymphs in sizes #10-18. These can include; various San Juan Worm patterns, Pheasant Tail variations, Soft Hackles, Peridons and Midge patterns just to name a few. Most of the fish we see rising are very small trout trying to sneak in a quick bite, this is not why we come to the Upper Owens River. Streamers can also be a good choice to have along on a second rod. Fish the long seams and undercut banks to create a response. In a river this size this can be done with a sinking or floating fly line setup.

Overall the river is in great condition; with a very healthy big fish population and enough of a cloudy tint to hide us from the fish in this wide open area above and below the main Hot Creek confluence.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop at 760-873-0010 for more details on this dynamic fishery or to book a guided tour for a worthy fish!


@stm_fly_fishing on instagram

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 2.2.24

The Lower Owens fly fishing report has taken a turn for the better! Running at 150 cubic feet a second just outside of Bishop, CA this jewel of a stream is ready for all those who have been waiting for contact with some amazing wild trout.

Extremely easy wading compared to many other streams the bottom is very friendly to cautious wading anglers. Brushy? Yes it can be. This is all negated when you enter the riverbed and make your way along the river from shallow edge to shallow edge. As will all dynamic moving water ways you can get into trouble when not reading the river correctly as you make your way along either bank.

With the warmer weather temperatures, declining full moon, and a small storm on the horizon we have been seeing some mayfly activity on the water. Not a river-wide event yet we have been seeing risers in the usual foamy runs and holes where the fish prefer to stick their noses above the water. We sure expect to see these hatches progress into full on dry fly days as we transfer into February and March.

Attractor nymphs such as Peridons in various colors in #14-20 have continued to be the local stars of the river. Soft Hackles, Pheasant Tail variations and Caddis Worms have all been taking fish. Euro Nymphing and Indicator nymphing have both been effective methods of extracting trout from the Lower Owens River.

Call or Text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA at

Upper Owens Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 12.18.23

Just down the hill from Mammoth Lakes, CA, the notorious meadow stream of the Upper Owens, flowing through the long valley caldera is doing what it does best; supplying fly anglers will very large sized fish. Water is flowing well and very clear above and below the Hot Creek confluence. The very large Crowley Lake trout have made their way up the river and can now be found throughout the entire system in decent numbers. Fishing the deepest and darkest places, as well as riffles and deep runs could possibly produce an unforgettable experience with a trout of a lifetime. Access has been open and traction is good. Although, right now we are getting some precipitation so we will update this in the next couple of days. The large trout of the Upper Owens like to eat many different patterns; usually something along the line of steelhead patterns, attractor nymphs, and even micro mayfly patterns. We find ourselves trying out more patterns than usual on the Upper Owens, changing out flies often. Crowds can be anywhere from nobody to slightly annoying. There really is no rhyme or reason or a way to predict how many people turn out for the day. The storm hitting today could possibly move these big guys around or even better, bring more in! Stay tuned!

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA for more details or to book a guided trip. 760-873-0010

@stm_fly_fishing on instagram to see more photos of amazing Owens River trout.


Lower Owens Fly Fishing Report : Bishop CA – 12.18.23

The Bishop, CA Lower Owens fly fishing report was amazing in November until they raised the water to difficult fishing levels. Now, we are finally seeing some reduction in these unusual winter flows which we have not seen before due to the incredible surplus of water from the amazing winter we experienced last year. Flows are currently at 320 cubic feet per second and are poised to drop more very soon with a 50 cubic feet per second drop this morning . The Lower Owens has experienced very little pressure this year after the big rain in March that raised all water levels in California and took us out of our drought problems. This volume of water allowed the trout of the Lower Owens to grow to sizes we have not seen in a few years. Check out the shop instagram @stm_fly_fishing to see some recent impressive examples of recent trout from the river. As the sun warms the area in the mid-morning hours Mayflies can be seen floating on the water with some decent responses from the wild trout. This is not River wide and can be seen in one area with the bend around the corner not seeing any surface activity. As the river continues to reduce flows to more comfortable wading and fishing levels we could see one of the most amazing years to date on the Lower Owens River.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, California for more details or to book a guided tour. 760-873-0010

@stm_fly_fishing on instagram to see what the river and area offers


Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing

Upper Owens Fly Fishing report : Mammoth Lakes CA – 7.25.23

Mammoth Lakes sits just above the fly fishing legend of a river, the Upper Owens. The vast volcanic field surrounding the Upper Owens has grown some reasonably tall grass with the heat and wet field, resulting in various shades of yellows and greens for the time being. The Upper Owens Riverbed is wide enough for this not to be a casting issue for the fly angler. Flows are substantially higher above Hot Creek confluence. Check out this LADWP link https://wsoweb.ladwp.com/Aqueduct/realtime/lvrealtime.htm Of course water will be much clearer and more manageable above the Confluence at this time, as you can see the flows are almost double below. We haven’t quite seen the hopper population burst out of control yet like we are wishing for, but we are still hopeful that this is going to happen. As for now, fish it with attractor nymphs, lots of attractor dry fly patterns, and a variety of streamers. Hatches are inconsistent but can pop up in any part of the river with no rhyme or reason. Crowds have not been an issue as of late and some days we will not see a soul for an hour or two. Water Clarity is improving and we appear to be on the downside of the severe runoff.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop at 760.873.0010 for more details or to book a guided tour.

Lower Owens River near Bishop California in runoff phase

Lower Owens Fly Fishing Report : Bishop CA – 4.11.23

The Lower Owens River is already experiencing an extreme high flow of around 730cfs for around the last two weeks. We usually never see a flow like this until the height of the runoff. For now we have to wait and see how quickly the weather will produce the runoff and put the water back into the cycle of life. Even though the water is running clear it is extremely fast and dangerous. With flows at these levels we can possibly see some extreme flows at peak runoff at above 1000cfs! We do, however have other options at the momemt.

Large Rainbow Trout held over the cold water on a snowy landscape near mammoth lakes california on the upper owens river

Upper Owens Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 2.8.23

Upper Owens fly fishing report for Mammoth Lakes California. The Upper Owens is not far from the year around resort town of Mammoth Lakes, CA. Meandering through Long Valley Caldera, void of trees or shrubbery, the Upper Owens is worth it based on it amazing scenery alone. As you can imagine, after all the snow Mammoth Lakes received the banks of the Upper Owens river are snow covered with some deep drifts over its vast meadows.

Access, for the moment is limited to; cross country skies, snow shoes, and snowmobiles. The last round of storms has pushed a fresh run of very fresh and large trout up from the famous Crowley Lake. This indeed places it worthwhile for any angler to navigate her snowy banks in search of the trout of a lifetime from a smaller river. Its no secret the fish are found in the deepest and darkest of places of the curves, riffles and runs of the Upper O.

A good variety of flies can be fished down to these beasts from large San Juan Worms to smaller Midge patterns, Rubber Legs to Pheasant tails and Soft hackles and a little of everything in between. Sometimes a bright colored bead or a hint of flashy spawning colors can help induce a strike on slower days. Streamers fished down and deep disappearing down into dark waters can provoke an unforgettable hook-up. We mostly utilize darker colors for tugging our streamers. Streamer fishing with a fly rod ends up being a lot more work and requires patience and precise casting along with an understanding of what your presentation is doing while down in the water. But the payoff of the strong tug is a heart stopping experience!

Large Rainbow held by tail on the Upper Owens river near Mammoth Lakes California

Upper Owens Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 4.19.21

The Upper Owens River flowing just below Mammoth Lakes is flowing at around 50-60cfs of very low and cool sierra water. Crowds have been anywhere from annoying to nobody depending on the day and time you choose, sometimes we are surprised either way. Water is a bit off colour below Hot Creek confluence and stained a bit above at this time. Random attacks of violence on bugs can been seen by fish of all sizes, this is very hard to predict for casting and presenting while these fish seem not to hit the same area consistently. Big fish are still in the system and are usually staying down deep and out of sight. The Upper Owens is in a transition phase as temperatures are warming up for springtime allowing the fish to return to Crowley Lake to spend another summer eating protein and adding mass to their bodies. A population of large fish are still residing in the deepest and darkest holes of the river. We look forward to the late spring and summer Hopper fishing that we have enjoyed these last few years and hope to see enough moisture via rainfall to sustain this all summer. Fish attractor patterns with some more realistic impressions down below. Streamers you ask? Yes, always!

Check out @stm_fly_fishing on instagram to see recent catches

Call or text the Fly Shop at 661-364-6981

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