upper owens river below mammoth lakes carves though a snow covered meadow with mountians in the background.

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 11.28.22

Just a few steps down the mountain from Mammoth Lakes, California, the Upper Owens River has reached its yearly apex as the trophy trout from Crowley Lake make their way upstream. Spending energy in order to throw a broadcast spawn to the fittest female trout around and continue their legacies. Water is low and clear at 80cfs give or take a few. Fish have been migrating into the Upper Owens since early October this year. Without any more major storms to bump up the flows the water remains clear and low. This, of course, makes it very difficult to find and effectively fish to these big bad dudes without them sensing your presence. Pressure can be good or bad on any given day, lots of people are stopping to fish around the bridge so make a decision from there. Access is limited to a snowy wonderland as some are taking snowmobiles in, some drive in a short way and then walk. Although there is some dry fly action on the Upper Owens it will usually limit you to the smaller fish in the river. Nymphs and streamers will get you down to offer something worthwhile to these jumbo sized trout. Various attractor, and more natural nymph and streamer patterns placed correctly by the cautious angler can result in the trout of the year! Stay tuned for more updated details as more storms are forecasted later in the week which could turn conditions in a different direction.

young man holds a fish above the Lower Owens water near Bishop california

Lower Owens Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 9.22.22

The wild trout waters of the Lower Owens River have seen its water levels fluctuating up and down recently. Flowing at a very fishy flow of 155cfs with cooler nights, dropping water temperatures, and lots of bug activity, the local Bishop, California stream is fishing consistently well. Caddis are noted over the water with random hatches of Baetis floating in the air above the river. Small rises can be seen throughout the river system throughout the day. These are mostly random attacks on the recently hatched bugs and no real rhyme or reason to their methods. A dry fly purist can have some success if he sticks the fly in likely spots throughout the day, and stays attentive to the trouts behavior. Euro nymphing and good old indicator nymphing methods take most of the fish right now on the Lower Owens River. Peridons, pheasant tail nymphs, caddis emergers and caddis worms, various soft hackles, frenchies, and various midge larvae imitations are taking fish right now. Fish these in sizes #14-#18. For dry flies we can fish patterns similar to; Elk Hair Caddis, Stallcup Caddis, Para Adams, Purple Haze, Beetles, Ants, and other similar atrractors can be worth a toss out. Streamers? Always worth a try! Fishing is definitely picking upon the Lower Owens River, right outside of Bishop, California.

large rainbow trout in the water headshot below mammoth lakes ca on upper owens

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes Fishing Report – 9.18.22

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.

large brown trout on crowley lake held by an angler in a float tube below mammoth lakes ca

Crowley Lake Fly Fishing Report – Mammoth Lakes, Ca – 5.10.22

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

Caddis action on the Dry Fly

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 3.18.22

HATCHES ARE HAPPENING! Flowing just outside of Bishop, California the Lower Owens river continues its descent to lower elevations at a low winter flow of right around 90cfs. The big news here is hatches are happening! This weekend we had the good fortune of being on the water during a mayfly hatch up high and a thick caddis down low. The fish were ignoring them in some places and completely devouring them on the surface in other areas of the Lower. BWO patterns of most types were doing the damage on the surface. (Parachute BWO’s, Naturals, cut-wings ect.) Most in sizes #16-18. Before the hatch goes off in the morning hours the Euro and Indicator nymphing is very productive, making for an unforgettable day on the water. (Perdions, P. Tails, Soft hackles, spilt cases, ect.) all in sizes #14-20. Wind can be a factor some days but rarely lasts all day and usually dies off if one lasts through it. Out of the spot wind places can also be found deep in in the river corridor. This spring appears to be considering giving us an amazing dry fly season! Stay tuned and come up to Bishop to experience some amazing fishing for wild trout!

Contact the STM Fly Shop in Bishop for more details or to book a guided trip. 760-873-0010 or text at 661-364-6981.

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large rainbow trout from Upper Owens River in the snow

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 1.25.22

A quick video update from last week we did on the Upper Owens River for the Backcast; conditions hold pretty much the same as the snow remains along the banks with big fish in the water. Fish are moving around but they generally find the larger and darker runs and holes to reside in for longer periods of time. San Juan worm & egg variations, Peridons, PT,s, and Balanced leeches are just a few flies we have been offering to the bulky fish of the Upper Owens with great success. Give the shop a call for more information and stay tuned; we are up there the next couple of days as well.

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Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop CA @ 760-873-0010 for more details on how to fish this amazing area

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a beautiful winter scene with the Lower Owens River and the Sierras covered in snow in the background. Near Bishop California

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 1.11.22

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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in front of a snowy mammoth mountain a fly angler hold a very large rainbow trout over the upper owens river

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 12.9.21

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!

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 12.1.21

The magical stream of the Eastern Sierra, the Lower Owens River, right outside of Bishop, California has been doing what it does best; Producing some of the wildest and cleanest trout you will ever find! Flows are down to the very low standard winter flows of around 85cfs. This allows for easy wading and access to the river. On most sections you can stay in the river to get around. Hatches of very light colored mayflies come off around noon with some great response from the trout of the Lower. Small Cahill and BWO patterns get the job done for this top water session. In the mornings the nymphing is the way to go. Small Peridons, Pheasant Tail variations, Midges, and Caddis patterns will all take fish for you. Definitely experiment with these combinations on certain days to unlock what the trout of the Lower Owens prefer while your on the water.

Give the STM Fly Shop a call at 760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 for more details or to book a guided trip.

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fat rainbow held above the Owens River near Mammoth Lakes

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 11.2.21

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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