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.

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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wild brown trout is held up in front of an agler on the Lower Owens River outside of Bishop, CA

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 5.12.22

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.

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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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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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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Call or text the Fly Shop at 661-364-6981

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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