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.

East Walker River Fly Fishing

East Walker River Fly Fishing Report : Bridgeport, CA – 12.1.23

Closed until season opens 2024. The East Walker is experiencing its new regulations and has been closed the last couple of weeks. Flows were good for fishing this year and the residents of the East Walker were happy to actually see some real water flowing through the river channel. As for now we will hope the fish have a happy and prosperous winter without the constant pressure of fisherman from both the Tahoe and Eastern Sierra side.

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

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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.

Mammoth Lake Fishing

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 5.23.23

The Upper Owens River fly fishing report has changed a good amount since last time. Between here and Mammoth Lakes the snow has melted and created sloppy, and muddy conditions which have taken over the area as expected. Be very careful if you drive in there for an exploratory fishing trip. Flows are high, as in around 100cfs of semi dirty water. As usual the confluence below Hot Creek gives us the dirtier water as Hot Creek spews in sediment and mud from the field is crosses to arrive at the Upper O. The famed cutthroat trout seem to have not have entered the Upper Owens system quite yet. There is still some large lingering rainbows here in there that are either staying for a while or on their way back to Crowley lake. www.sierratroutmagnet.com

Give us a call @760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 for more info or to book a private guided trip for individuals or groups .

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beautiful brown trout held above the flowing water of the Owens River

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 5.23.23

The Owens River fishing on the Lower Owens River, near Bishop California, is at a standstill as it continues at a flow in between 700-800cfs (cubic feet per second) this is usually what we witness during the height of runoff. We have to expect it to go even higher once we sustain 95-100 degree days in Bishop. It takes very hot weather down low to let us know its melting off in the high country. The Lower Owens could be a totally different river after this is all said and done as it is a natural occurrence in nature that can wipe the river bottom clean of silt and debris. This will expose more riverbed rock which give shelter and life to more insects and in turn a more nutrient river river system to support more and bigger trout! Weather forecast shows this happening within the next few weeks as we are already experiencing 80-90 degree temperatures daily here in the Eastern Sierra.

Upper Owens river near Mammoth Lakes California lined with snow

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing : Mammoth Lakes CA – 4.11.23

The Upper Owens had been closed with a sign right at the intersection of 395 for most of the month of March. As of a few days ago the sign was moved down to within a mile of the Benton Crossing Bridge a few days ago. Snow is still at a see it to believe it level with the tops of the fence posts hardly visible through the top layer of snow. Access is possible with a good walk in or a difficult snowmobile ride. We expect this to change soon as temperatures are rising and snow will be melting very soon. Historically this time of year we see some Mayfly action even though the banks are snow covered. Small Baetis will start to appear on the edges of the river and stick out like a June bug in buttermilk against the white snowy banks. The large trout of the river can respond to these bugs on the surface in certain areas of the river. But, we know that they are definitely eating the nymphs under the waters surface!

Upper Owens River Rainbow. Mammoth Lakes California
Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 2.24.23

The Lower Owens River fly fishing report is not exactly quite what it was at this time last year. Fishing was just starting to heat up just a few days ago, then a quick storm system decided to swoop down and turn us into a world of white here in Bishop. The Eastern Sierra is getting pounded with snow and wind as we speak.

Even though the LADWP gauge shows over 3000 cfs of river flow, the actual number is much lower than this. Although still a good flow the river was very recently turned up to the high 200’s in flow pushing the total volume up in the wild trout section to an estimated 275 cfs up in the wild trout section of the river. At these flows the Lower Owens River is still a very fishy place and wading is still very possible when correct entrance and crossing points are accessed.

The wild trout of the LO prefer these flows as the volume of food that flows down compared to a lower river volume is much higher. This current volume also provides the fish with many different types and options of comfortable holding water. This spreads their population out more while letting them relax a little as all the trout are not now only found in the largest and deepest holes of the river.

At these lower temperatures we see mostly Midge and Mayfly aquatic insects on the move during the winter periods of the Lower Owens River. Indicator nymph rigs and euro style nymph rigs are both very effective in this current state of the river. Water clarity is 90%, flashier patterns and a small direct representation of a midge or mayfly function well as a combination. We recommend 4 and 5x leader and tippet which works well most of the time on the LO. Both of these techniques work well when you are fishing a Euro or Indicator setup. A small amount of dry fly action was happening before today hit. Midges and Baetis patterns were being consumed on the surface in slower running sections of the river. Sometime in the middle part of next week we look for surface activity to resume. Stay tuned for more to come as this amazing year rolls out in front of us

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Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA for more information or to book a guided trip 760.873.0010 or text 661.364.6981 for more details.

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fishing owens river bishop

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop, CA – 2.7.23

The Lower Owens patiently flows right outside of Bishop, California with an abundance of bends, runs, riffles and drop offs, this river is the jewel of the Eastern Sierra for fly anglers and photographers alike. Water temps are roughly between 39-42 degrees depending of time of day and location tested. Flows have bumped since the last storms up to around 130cfs of cool sierra water even though the LADWP guage shows 3000+cfs. The colder, long period of weather has made it a little tougher to get out there and have those double-digit days. But the lovely picturesque trout of the Lower Owens can still be caught by the diligent and patient angler. Small pods of rising fish are noted throughout the system, eating midges and small beatis, these fish have been appearing without rhyme or reason in any section of the river. The only answer to this is to be out there on the banks of the river mid-day while keeping keeping an eye out for slower moving foam lined water. Smaller nymphs have been doing the trick, not too small as some people believe, sizes of flies in the #16 -20 range are as small as we need to go. Caddis on the bigger side and baetis and midges smaller. Some slightly warmer weather will definitely move some fish around and stir up the bug life as well as the appetites of the resident trout of the Lower Owens River.

Call the STM Fly Shop in Bishop CA at 760.873.0010 or text 661.364.6981 for more details or to book a guided tour.

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Bishop fly fishing guide

Upper Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth Lakes, CA – 1.8.23

The Upper Owens flows through Long Valley caldera right below the famous resort town of Mammoth Lakes, California. This time of year it can show those anglers that are so fortunate to arrive on her snowy banks the fly fishing experience of a lifetime! To make a long story short, a number of storms have hit the Long Valley and Upper Owens areas the last couple of weeks, with the storms happening it gives the big trout a signal to head up the Upper Owens up and out of Crowley Lake. This makes the snowy journey for the angler arriving to the Upper Owens more worthwhile than the previous month, thus making a great start to the fishing season of 2023! The only downside to this is the amount of snow can make access a bit tricky. Access is limited to snow shoes and snowmobiles, or the angler that is willing to post-hole his way up the river in the deep snow. Of course, these fish come up to spawn future generations of our beloved creatures so we make sure not to ever cast to any fish that are obviously sitting over a spawning red in shallow water. Find your quarry in the deepest and darkest parts of the river system, these are the ones that are fair game and ready to eat a fly! Below the bridge is closed, so make sure you head upstream with the proper flies to have success on the Upper O. Give us a call as we have the means to get you upstream to show the experience of a lifetime on this unique fishery. As long as not too much snow falls!

Give us a call at our Bishop Fly Shop location at 760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 for more details or to book fly fishing adventure. We can accommodate small groups or personal fly fishing adventures. Give us a call!

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