The Upper Owens is going through its seasonal changing as the days warm up while the grass greens up and the flowers boom. Flowing just below Mammoth Lakes, California, the Upper Owens is always a fishery to keep in mind when visiting the Eastern Sierra of California. The majority of the larger winter specimens have returned to the lake for the season. You can now find them by fishing Crowley lake. As for now there is a few Cutthroat that have moved up the river. These fish can bee seen paired up in shallow water. DO NOT FISH TO THESE SPAWNERS! There is no sport in it. If you fish it, try for the predatory fish that can be found in the deeper holes and runs a riffles. Nymphs and Streamers are pretty much the game here. Attractor patterns, Midges, PTs, and Peridons have been doing the job here. Some fish eggs and SJ worms with success as well. Random dry fly action can be found throughout the system. We hope the Hopper season is going to be wide open this year as the fish of the Upper Owens put on substantial weight eating these terrestrial snacks.
A fair amount of Fly Anglers have been calling the shop and asking what is actually open for fishing due to the temporary closures and the smoke. For the last couple of days we have seen A good amount of smoke settled in that has not moved much and seems to be lingering in the valley, it’s not awful but annoying. We expect it to move around any day now. It is a nuisance but not a fishing game-changer, you cannot see the mountains but the fishing is still unaffected and very good with the filtered sun.
All the usual Fisheries are open except for the ones in the closed national forest. We still have:
- Lower Owens River
-Upper Owens River
-Pleasant Valley Reservoir and mid river
- Bishop Creek
So yes, there is smoke, but if you really want to get out and fish it is not stopping you! We have been running scheduled guided trips as normal. Give the shop a call for more info 760-873-0010 or text 661 364 6981.
- Check us out on Instagram for more amazing photos and up to date content @stm_fly_fishing
- Sierra Trout Magnet Fly Shop and Guide Service on Facebook
The mighty Lower Owens River near Bishop, CA continues to flow, for us fly fisherman, far to high at nearly 600 cfs. This must drop soon as we wonder where the water continues to come from to support these crazy flows. For now, we will imagine how the trout deep in the water columns are taking advantage of the larger food volume. Putting on weight for the winter months….
Hoppers! Do I really need to say anything else on this report!? The grassy fields of the Upper Owens River near Mammoth Lakes, California have been full of the leaping insects, and the resident Trout have been taking full advantage of the situation. No doubt putting on some serious yearly mass for the seasons ahead. Windy days? Yes! We love them! In this case many hoppers are blown into the water this making themselves available to feeding trout. All sections of the river have been fishing well. Flows are clear and cool and very manageable at around 65cfs. Normal bug activity is also noted in seams and foam lines. Nymphing various attractor nymphs as usual is very effective. Crowds have been here and there but usually one can find a place to call their own for the time they are on the edge of the unique Upper Owens River just down from Mammoth Lakes.
The Upper Owens has undergone a few changes since my last report. Weather has changed in the direction of winter, dropping the temperatures around the Mammoth Lakes area extending down to the grassy plains of the Upper Owens River. Hoppers can still be seen, but numbers are diminishing during the coldness of the nights. However, after eating the leggy creatures for a solid few months it seems that they still hold some residual memory of the big insects. The Upper Owens trout will still come up and eat a hopper for the time being, during the warmer parts of the day. Some of the anticipated big boys coming out of the lake have been spotted in the deeper holes of the river. We will have to see what this year holds as these this spectacular run of fish swims up the Upper Owens from Crowley Lake from now and forward. Stay tuned!
Temps have dropped yet a little more on the grassy banks of the Upper Owens River with the addition of more precipitation in the Mammoth Lakes area after some threatening storms. Some runoff flowed down Hot Creek making the water below the confluence cloudy for a couple of days. The water above the confluence area took on a tea stained red hue while remaining clear. This has now subsided and clearer flows have resumed. The river is now in perfect condition with flows as clear as any angler would desire. This, of course give the fish the advantage as they can see us coming a mile away on the treeless banks of the Upper Owens. The BIG Trout are indeed moving in! They have moved up and are peppered throughout the system. A Fly Angler only needs to take some time explore the deeper parts of the Upper O too find these world class Trout. Right now we are seeing mostly Rainbows as normal, but there is are more Brown Trout and we can see some Rainbows with Cutthroat trout genes as well. Fish the normal suggested flies; Large attractor Nymphs, Small Midges , Eggs, Worms ect.. Streamers always will take fish here but need to be fished in a proper manner in this spring creek type stream . Stay tuned for much more to come from the awesome waters of the Upper Owens River while Fly Fishing this winter.
Crowley Lake has been our addiction the last month and is fishing excellent recently! Possibly the best it’s fished in years. The fish seem to be on the chew at all times of the day and have been in the bays where the tributaries let cold water come in near the North arm and western edges. Large Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat trout have been showing themselves regularly in 6 to 13 feet of water. With the perch fry feeding session about to start Crowley lake trout have been taking many large Chironomid patterns a foot or so off the bottom and the bite can go on and off throughout the day but rarely quits. Stay tuned for more posts from us as the perch fry turn on the trial and the really big fish start to show themselves in Crowley. These photos were all taken within the last week with a few taken just yesterday.