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!

fishing owens river bishop

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 2.7.23

The Lower Owens patiently flows right outside of Bishop, California with an abundance of bends, runs, riffles and drop offs, this river is the jewel of the Eastern Sierra for fly anglers and photographers alike. Water temps are roughly between 39-42 degrees depending of time of day and location tested. Flows have bumped since the last storms up to around 130cfs of cool sierra water even though the LADWP guage shows 3000+cfs. The colder, long period of weather has made it a little tougher to get out there and have those double-digit days. But the lovely picturesque trout of the Lower Owens can still be caught by the diligent and patient angler. Small pods of rising fish are noted throughout the system, eating midges and small beatis, these fish have been appearing without rhyme or reason in any section of the river. The only answer to this is to be out there on the banks of the river mid-day while keeping keeping an eye out for slower moving foam lined water. Smaller nymphs have been doing the trick, not too small as some people believe, sizes of flies in the #16 -20 range are as small as we need to go. Caddis on the bigger side and baetis and midges smaller. Some slightly warmer weather will definitely move some fish around and stir up the bug life as well as the appetites of the resident trout of the Lower Owens River.

Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop CA at 760.873.0010 or text 661.364.6981 for more details or to book a guided tour.

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Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 1.8.23

The Upper Owens flows through Long Valley caldera right below the famous resort town of Mammoth Lakes, California. This time of year it can show those anglers that are so fortunate to arrive on her snowy banks the fly fishing experience of a lifetime! To make a long story short, a number of storms have hit the Long Valley and Upper Owens areas the last couple of weeks, with the storms happening it gives the big trout a signal to head up the Upper Owens up and out of Crowley Lake. This makes the snowy journey for the angler arriving to the Upper Owens more worthwhile than the previous month, thus making a great start to the fishing season of 2023! The only downside to this is the amount of snow can make access a bit tricky. Access is limited to snow shoes and snowmobiles, or the angler that is willing to post-hole his way up the river in the deep snow. Of course, these fish come up to spawn future generations of our beloved creatures so we make sure not to ever cast to any fish that are obviously sitting over a spawning red in shallow water. Find your quarry in the deepest and darkest parts of the river system, these are the ones that are fair game and ready to eat a fly! Below the bridge is closed, so make sure you head upstream with the proper flies to have success on the Upper O. Give us a call as we have the means to get you upstream to show the experience of a lifetime on this unique fishery. As long as not too much snow falls!

Give us a call at our Bishop Fly Shop location at 760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 for more details or to book fly fishing adventure. We can accommodate small groups or personal fly fishing adventures. Give us a call!

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large brown trout held above the water of the Upper Owens.

Lower Owens Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 12.14.22

Bishops dream stream, the Lower Owens River continues to be the go-to river for the traditional fly fisherman here in the Eastern Sierra of Californa. Continuing to flow at its low winter rate of around 80-90 cubic feet per second the Lower Owens water is very clear and at its most accessible point of the year which makes it very easy to enter and wade. Water temperatures are around 40 degrees and fish are feeding well! The Mayfly hatch continues to happen more or less around noon causing extreme elation to the dedicated fly fisherman. This hatch of BWO insects can vary depending on the weather that each day presents. The hatch can prompt trout of the Lower Owens to rise throughout the entire river or only in certain bends or slow foam lines. River access is good and the banks of the river have dried up nicely after the rain this past weekend. Crowds have been minimal and upon choosing the right spots we have the river to ourselves most days. Nymphing correctly with or without and indicator (euro style) can be very successful when time is allocated properly in the correct parts of the Lower Owens River. Mayflies and Midges seem to be the majority of whats on the feed list for the wild fish of the Lower O. Fish these patterns in nymph form before the hatch and switch over when you see trout breaking the surface for the adult mayflies. Sizes #14 -#18 will cover most situation for both the mayflies and midges at this time.

Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, California at 760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 to book a guided tour or for more information

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two girls hold up a large rainbow trout on the lower owens river in summertime

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 7.2.22

The Lower Owens, running strongly just outside of Bishop, has been pumped up to a very healthy flow of around 220cfs of cool sierra water. Clarity is slightly tea colored and perfect to give the wild trout and angler a little bit of extra cover from each other. Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Mayflies can be seen on certain days making for an exciting top-water experience. Wading, is a bit more difficult but easily doable when making the proper decisions while in the water . Nymphing has been the game early with the hope of some top-water action tempting us every day. Flashy patterns under the water have been attracting the fish to our hooks in these light runoff flow rates. Fish the flies I mentioned on top in their nymph and larvae forms under the water for success here. The Lower Owens River is a wild river consisting mostly of a variety of wild and savage fish in sizes ranging from 6″ – 18″. Down below town where the river becomes a bit more silty stocked trout are dumped in. Streamers are also getting some good attention when fished correctly. Do not try a sinking line in this small river to fish streamers appropriately, we use a long leader with a weighted streamer to fish across the various currents of the Lower Owens. Peridons, Stoneflies, and Mayfly patters both wet and dry are taking fish everyday out on the Lower Owens River.

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

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beautiful brown trout held above the flowing water of the Owens River

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 10.25.21

The jewel of Bishop, the Lower Owens River, is now flowing at a prefect flow of right around 150cfs at the time of this report. The LADWP held up to their word of the higher flows until just recently. At this current flow rate the Lower Owens is absolutely perfect for both wading and floating. Hatches can be seen generally around mid-morning throughout the river system. Fish are just now starting to look up and give us fly fisherman some long awaited Lower Owens River top water action! An unusual amount of Rainbow Trout can be found in the upper sections of the river while down below is almost pure wild Brown Trout. The entire river holds fish and one must only read the water to find where to present their hand tied offerings. We are getting some much needed rain with snow in the high country as we speak. Stay tuned for more reports as an exciting new season begins!

Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, Ca at 750-873-0010 for more details or to book a guided trip. Or text 661-364-6981 to book.

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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!

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large trout head in a rubber net with a wooden frame

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 4.7.2021

Flowing just outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA, The Upper Owens river remains one of the most beautiful fly fishing destinations in the country. Water is low and a bit more clear above the Hot Creek confluence, with the water having a small off colour haze below the creeks main entry point. Temperatures in the valley have ramped up here this last week, which leads us to think of the soon to come runoff which will bring the river up to a faster flowing status. This can be good or bad for the fishing. Yet, always good for the fish. Right now the large fish are still throughout the entire system and have now had some time in these deeper holes, runs, and riffles. These large and wise Crowley Trout have now seen relentless flies passed in front of them. Now, you need not only to find and fool the trout, you must do it better than all fisherman before you that tried their skills on these legendary fish. Attractor nymphs, Jig-Nymphs, Non- traditional SJ worms, and small midges and mayflies will give you a good shot at these fish. Some random bug attacks on the surface do take place. But do not get to excited about it! There is no rhyme or reason to why or when they decide to come up, but it sure is exciting! A well versed streamer fisherman can also have a great day on this water. A long leader with a heavy fly or a sink tip will fish best in this smaller river. We look for a different run of fish to enter this spring as some leave back to Crowley Lake.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop @ 661 364 6981 for more details or to book a guided fly fishing trip

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Beautiful tail and fins of a brown trout over the lower owens river

Lower Owens River Fishing Reports : Bishop, CA – 4.5.2021

The Lower Owens River just outside of Bishop, CA has been more or less fishing great since my last report, not much changed. Flows have remained at the very low 80 cfs level… until now! We have a movement of up to 100 cfs of perfect sierra water to allow a larger volume of food to flow down to our scaly and wild friends. Wading remains very comfortable and pleasant. In the past few days our little buddies the Yellow Sallie Stoneflies have been spotted climbing around the banks and flying over the river. This movement allows us to step up the size of our offerings as well as looking for even more splashy surface eating habits as these larger insects enter the water. We are still witnessing Caddis and Mayfly action throughout the day in the usual parts of the river in the early afternoon and beyond. Euro style, Tenkara, and good old indicator style fishing is super effective as usual. Reading the water is key as success is determined by time appropriation and where you choose to present your nymphs.

Call or text the the STM Fly Shop @ 661 364 6981 for more information or to book a guided trip.

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a fly fisherman stands in the Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes CA, some snow is around and melting

Upper Owens Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 2.23.21

The Upper Owens River blanket of snow that fell a few weeks ago has slowly been melting away. This has made for a hard packed ground in the morning hours that turns into a slippery clay mess just after noon. Be careful driving in and out of here! The fishing has not changed much since my last writing. Big fish are still found throughout the system and in the right time and place dreams come true. Don’t expect to walk away with numbers of individual fish but instead wondering how many pounds did that fish weigh! Fish the deepest and darkest pools, runs, and riffles. Try to find fresh water that has not been combed over that previous day. Remember, every hit missed here could of been one, if not the biggest Rainbow Trout of your life.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop for more information or to book a guided trip on our Eastern Sierra waters @ 661 364 6981

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