The Upper Owens, right below the outdoor paradise of Mammoth Lakes, CA, has had a challenging time this last summer with the low flow rate and extremely hot weather it has experienced the last few weeks. The hoppers really never happened as in years past, and not as many large fish remained in the system throughout the summer months. Only now, with the cooler temperatures arriving, with storms on the way are we looking up to the Upper Owens river to see what surprises will appear in her deepest holes on their way up from Crowley Lake. We have seen the giants of Crowely Lake arrive as soon as late September and as late as mid-November into December. Whatever the case the Upper Owens still remains one of the most unique and picturesque settings a fly angler can visit. Stay tuned for an update here as we will be on top of the Upper Owens Situation as the fall season rolls on prompting the large fish of Crowley to swim upstream.
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
The Lower Owens River, just outside of Bishop, California is flowing at a healthy rate of around 175 cubic feet a second of wadable river as of May 12. This is a much needed flow rate of water that brings vital food and life to the wild brown and bainbow coloured residents of the Lower Owens river system. Hatches of Mayflies and Caddis have been happening sporadically throughout the last month, basically following the waves of cold and hot weather the Eastern Sierras have been experiencing. Out when its warm, and down as the cooler weather hits. Right now we are coming out of a nice cold spell and looking forward to the warmer weather forecasted this weekend. Nymphs and streamers have been taking fish everyday while the hatches are held up during the colder and windy weather. Peridons, Jig flies, Midges, and the like have been taking fish consistently. Fish these patterns in sizes #14-20. Come in to the shop to see some of the patterns we tie up and use locally. As the warmer weather rolls in we expect to see topwater action with; Stoneflies, Caddis, and Mayflies.
Crowley lake, right below Mammoth Lakes has started off by showing us some amazing Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat trout right off the start. Recently it has not been necessary to be in super deep water as we have been having success at around 12-15ft. We are thankful for this as some years we are fishing a 20″ leader which does not make casting fun. Most of the well known fishing areas are producing fish of all sizes and colours. Only the North Arm has been less successful recently but can change daily. The normal offerings of different colours and types of Chironomids has been taking lots of good sized fish! Fish these in sizes around #14-18. Most people have been grouping up around McGee bay with some good fish being brought to the net. This does not mean you have to head strait there to join the boat crew. Try some other more well known spots, this will result in less but bigger fish at times. Perch have been around to give you a tug, you know when you hook them as there run is much less spectacular. Be ready for a possible personal best Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, or a spectactular Cutthroat Trout.
Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop California for more details or to book a trip on this amazing fishery. (760)-873-0010
The Lower Owens River flows right outside of Bishop California, just a holler and a few stones throw from the STM Fly Shop; this stream has been an absolute Jewel these past few weeks. Flows are down to around to 100cfs of clear and cool water making for some very healthy trout! The usual suspects have been taking fish for those who know how to fish the Lower Owens properly. Mayflies, Caddis, and, of course Midges have been on the menu recently. A stomach sample yesterday confirmed this. Pick your holes wisely, as well as the amount of time you spend in them, this will be key to your success. Mid-morning to early afternoon will be your hot time here to be on the water. Don’t take a break to have a big lunch, this will cut into your quality fishing time! Dry fly action? Yes! Although some days it seems to be much heavier than others. Right around noon you can possibly be in an exciting bubbly hatch and some days you might not even see a fishes head pierce the surface. But, one thing is for sure! They are eating under the water everyday. Peridon patterns, green caddis worms, and all sorts of midge patterns have been taking fish consistently. We hope for even more dry fly activity as the weather warms and the trout of the Lower Owens metabolism forces them to eat even more!
Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop @ 760-873-0010 for more details or to book a guided fly fishing trip.
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Three stones throw from Mammoth Lakes, CA, the notorious meadow stream of the Long Valley caldera, the Upper Owens is doing what it does best; supplying fly anglers will very large sized fish. Water is flowing well and very clear. The very large Crowley Lake trout have made their way up the river and can now be found throughout the entire system. 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!
The Upper Owens river, just below Mammoth Lakes, is dumping into Crowley lake at an even flow rate of right around 120cfs. Hot Creek adds a few cubic feet/second while the East Portal adds 72cfs. These are pretty good flows for the Upper Owens and it has allowed a few large fish to make their way up the river and into our nets. At these flow rates we see the larger trout making their way up the river. These behemoths are not only found in the deeper and darker places but throughout the river system, they will also be in the riffles, foam lines, and some undercut banks. River access is still good as the dusting of snow Long Valley received did not last long. Smaller, average sized fish can be found here and there in the slower holding areas. Some dry fly action can be found with these sparky little resident fish on Baetis and Caddis patterns. But, for the big guys we have to go down under deep to place our offerings right in front of their large faces. Nymphs and streamers are the answer here. Attractors such as; Wolly Buggers, Zonkers, Pistol Petes, and any of your favorite streamer patterns have a chance here. Nymphs such as; SJ Worms of many varieties, PT and Prince nymphs, Peridons, large Midge patterns and similar ties will entice fish here. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with any variations of these patterns. Now, we wait and see as to what nature will bring in the way of precipitation which drastically changes what happens this season on the Upper Owens River.
Call the STM Fly Shop at 760-873-0010 for more details or to book a guided trip in the Eastern Sierra. Text 661-364-6981
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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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The Upper Owens River continues running at a low flow of around 58cfs. Nothing super excitingly new to report here except the fact that the nights are much cooler and soon we will be able to cast our hand tied flies into a hole with the possibility of hooking into a trout that will completely test every fly fishing skill you have. These trout could also possibly be the largest freshwater fish you will hook in your life! For the last few years we have experienced the presence of some very large Crowley trout; Rainbows, Browns, and Lahonton Cutthroat trout will all be making their way up the river to spend the winter season in the amazing and scenic waters of the Upper Owens making nothing short of a fly fishing paradise for us fly anglers. For now, the river is still worth fishing as we get reports from personal experience, and through the shop of random large fish who have decided to take up residence in the Upper O all year long!
Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop for more details or to book a trip on this unique opportunity. 760 873 0010
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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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