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.

trout hooked near Mammoth lakes CA on the upper Owens river

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes CA – 6.10.24

The fly fishing report on the Upper Owens River has been very consistent. Flowing in between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop CA, this river is always a pleasure to visit. We did have a decent run of cutthroat trout recently, but they are now hard to find and are being replaced by Brown and Rainbow Trout entering the system. Flows are still within fly fishing limits and out trips have been going very well on the Upper O. Expect to fish a mixture of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers if you wish. The bigger fish, of course, will be caught under the waters surface. Small hatches of Mayflies and Caddis can randomly be seen here in there in pretty much all parts of the river. Standard patterns will do the trick here. Flashy attractor nymphs are also ideal to have in the fly box. Peridons, Pheasant Tails variations, Hares ears, and all sorts of Midges will do trick. Fish these in sizes #14-18 for the best chance at success. Dry flies patterns can be : Elk Hair Caddis or similar, Adams, BWO patterns, and various attractors will do the trick. Fish these in sizes #14-18 as well. Streamers can be anything you feel like throwing into the deeper and darker holes. Stay tuned for hopper season to hopefully come shortly!

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

rainbow trout of the lower owens river

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop CA – 5.1.24

The fly fishing report for the Bishop area including the Lower Owens River is experiencing its stage spring time runoff as of this last weekend. Flows have been pumped up rather quickly to a high stage of 471 feet per second. Water is running almost clear and fast! This is absolutely normal throughout the west as May and June can be typically considered high water months throughout the west and is considered very healthy for the Owens river system. Spots can still be found to fish for the experienced Lower Owens angler. Before that we were enjoying the fruits of the astronomical water year we experienced last year with healthy, wild, and very large trout! With the snow pack lower than an average year, we believe this amount of runoff should not last long. Of course, that could all change if storms continue to roll through dropping precipitation in the mountains of California.

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

@stm_fly_fishing on instagram


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


large rainbow held above flowing waters

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 10.10.23

The Upper Owens River just below the famous town of Mammoth Lakes, CA has dropped to a very fish worthy flow of around 75 cubic feet per second. Remember, the Upper Owens river has turned to hooks without barbs of any sort below and above the bridge. With the great flows above and below hot creek we have seen some improved fishing in the obvious deeper and darker trout holding areas. Some small localized Mayfly hatches can be found here and there throughout the river system. Trout rising to these top-water treats make for some good distractions on a slower day, although these fish are usually the smaller inhabitants of the river. We haven’t seen a huge influx of the larger Crowley lake residents head up the river yet. We also have not seen any heavy storms or changes in weather yet that is worthy of driving these fish up the Upper Owens yet either. Temperatures are close to freezing at night so only a few terrestrial insects (hoppers) are seen here and there. Water below the Hot Creek confluence is very clear most days but can be affected by changes in Hot Creek conditions. Above the confluence is a clear river as usual for this time of year. Start with basic patterns here for the rising fish #16-20 (quills, parachutes, Adams) and a combination of attractor nymphs, spawning colored patterns, and various mayfly and midge patterns.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA for more details or a guided fly fishing trip. 760.873.0010


@stm_fly_fishing on instagram

Upper Owens River fly fishing !

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing : Mammoth Lakes CA – 9.22.23

The Upper Owens River fly fishing report is getting better and better as flows are now down to a manageable 75 cubic feet a second. Below the Hot Creek confluence we are looking more at around 100 cubic feet a second. Water is clearing up nicely and as usual, above Hot Creek one can find some clearer and lower water conditions depending on the weather and recent storm activity.

Hatches are coming off here and there with Caddis and Baetis (Blue Winged Olive) patterns being the staple dries in the Upper Owens River box. These are usually isolated events at this point, nevertheless its always worthwhile to be ready for some surface activity.

As the nights get cooler with the onset of fall water temps lowering we will see the large trout we all dream of making their way up from Crowley Lake. Streamers of all sorts will be a very good option at this point and are actually not fished enough on the Upper Owens, as most fly anglers opt for spawning style patterns fished below an indicator that the fish see often.

Not extremely flashy but solid Wooly Buggers, Rabbit strip style streamers, Sculpins, and Zonker patterns are all styles of streamers that will take fish on this piece of water. As for nymphs we will be fishing various types of San Juan Worms, Peridons, Pheasant Tails, Prince nymphs, and various patterns we tie here in the shop.

We always are happily anticipating this time of year as its hard to find a river this small with such large fish anywhere in the realm of trout fishing. We are definitely extremely lucky to have this quality fishery right here in the Eastern Sierra just over 30 minutes from the STM Fly Shop.

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