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!

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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.

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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

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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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East Walker river fly fishing

East Walker Fly Fishing Report : Bridgeport, CA – 10.10.23

The Bridgeport area East Walker River fishing report is finally worth taking a look at. Flows have settled down from 1000+ cubic feet per second discharge a few months ago to a new October 2023 flow of 207 cubic feet per second. Fishing on the East Walker has been picking up to a good status with the chance of a trophy trout still in the cards. These appropriate flows, along with recent solid fishing, and legendary river status, bring crowds of anglers from the Tahoe areas, as well as the usual traffic from the Mammoth and Bishop side. The East Walker can be crowded at times. The flows are ideal for the fish and angler alike. Adequate flows allow the fish to roam freely allowing them to thrive and consume the protein the East Walker is known to produce. Large streamers patterns are always on the true East Walker anglers mind; Crawdad patterns, Zonker type rabbit strip streamers, and Clouser Minnows are only a few suggestions. Small midge, caddis, and mayfly patterns will always take fish here when fished appropriately. Don’t be afraid of trying larger nymph patterns here as well! The East Walker has about one month left of being open. We could see some amazing fish coming from her Nevada destined waters in that time.

Call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop, CA at 760.873.0010 for more details or to book a guided trip on this amazing water.

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Lower Owens River Fly Fishing

Lower Owens River Fly Fishing Report : Bishop CA – 9.17.23

The Owens fly fishing report on the Lower Owens River just outside the outdoor town has been shaping up very nicely. The high flows this summer have done no damage to the river leaving it in great condition with great fish numbers. The entire system seems to be fishing well even though the water was recently raised back up to around 400 CFS. We don’t look for this to last long as cooler temperatures are coming in the High Country to freeze everything up and subsequently drop the flows to a slightly more comfortable fishing level. More rainbows have been noted near the dam, as you go downriver you find yourself in complete wild brown trout territory with random rainbows coming to the net here and there. As always this river is extremely easy to access and wading is always a pleasure. As usual Dry Fly action is noted here and there but is not river wide or any specific time. Euro style high stick nymphing or good old indicator nymphing absolutely guarantees the extra experienced fly anglers wild fish on the end of the line. We look for this fishery to improve dramatically in a very short time. We will also reap the benefits of the amazing flows that nature granted us this year.

call or text the STM Fly Shop in Bishop at 760.873.0010 for more details or to book a guided tour for individuals or groups.

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Lower Owens River Fishing Report
Crowley lake Fly Fishing angler holds a large fish over the boat on Crowley Lake

Crowley Lake Fly Fishing Report : Mammoth, California – 5.25.23

Crowley Lake fly fishing report for the famous Crowley Lake, just down the hill from Mammoth, CA has started off its season doing what it does best ; producing large and hard fighting trout! Browns, rainbows, and cutthroat are all on the menu on Crowley lake. Water elevation is still on the lower side as the LADWP is planning on massive runoff once temperatures sustain the 90’s to 100 degree zone. The trout have been pretty spread out from Hilton by to Six bays while fishing depths have been between 10-20′ deep. Of course , moving around the lake is key to finding a batch of will fish to make a successful day, on the other hand we have dropped anchor and not had to move all day whilst landing a variety of trout all day long. All sorts of flies have been bringing fish to the net, some larger sizes, and some smaller. Balanced leeches, buggers, and chironomids is sizes #12-16 have been successful for the start of the 2023 season.

Call the STM Fly Shop at 760-873-0010 or text 661-364-6981 for more details or to book a guided tour for individuals or groups.

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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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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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@stm_fly_fishing on Instagram

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