Eastern Sierra Fish'N Conditions 10/16

Jessica Ortiz with a great brown trout!

by Tom Loe

Fish’N Conditions
Cold mornings have now settled in as the norm for this fall season. Nighttime temperatures have reached freezing levels but you would never guess it from the warm sunny daytime temperatures. While some nights get down to 30 degrees or lower the daytime temperatures have remained warm and sunny in the mid 60’s. If you ask me, you couldn’t ask for more pleasant fall fishing conditions. The East Walker River is in prime shape now and this marks the beginning of our favorite time to fish here. Great fishing throughout the river now, drifting nymphs through the deep pools and runs. Hot Creek flows at fall/winter levels now with some nice afternoon hatches when the conditions are right. Upper Owens river starting to welcome some bigger rainbows into the tributary. Still some smaller fish willing to hit small streamers, nymphs, and dry flies. Crowley Lake continuing to be consistent through wind, rain, and bright sunny days. Some big fish and good numbers coming to the net recently. Middle Owens River on its way down in flows. Drift trips are within striking distance.

Crowley Lake
We’ve been experiencing some very consistent fishing here. Fish are ranging in size from 7″ up to 23″. Rainbows, browns, and cutthroat trout are all feeding heavily on the tiniest of midges and small mayflies. Setting up “on the spot” is crucial now to get rods bent. A good sonar that can pick up not only fish marks, but distinguish between fish size can really narrow down the search. Our assassin and leech patterns fished high off the bottom have been getting some real nice ones. The water level is dropping quickly and the weed beds are beginning to disappear. Larger bait fish imitations are now responsible for attracting some hogs. Playing around with fly depth is a good idea now as the feeding depth of the fish is different daily. #14-16 Parallel Assassin Dark and Assassin Dark, #14- 16 Level Crystal Leech and Crystal Leech, #18 Crystal Zebra and Crystal Tiger Midge Long, and #10 Loebergs have been hot flies.

Middle Owens River (Bishop Area)
Flows have started coming down recently. Current cfs is 563. We will be monitoring the flows here and are ready to pounce once the time is right. It shouldn’t be long now before our drift boats start splashing down.

Upper Owens River
Fish scattered above the bridge with better numbers below the campgrounds. The river has a good amount of catchable size rainbows all over, but more fish below the bridge.  Flows have increased to 115 cfs. A few larger than average sized trout in the deeper sections. Target the deeper pools and riffle water that leads into them and you can get into some fun action fishing small nymphs, dry/droppers, and small streamers. #18 Caddis patterns working well. Look for rising fish in the mid-morning and later in the afternoons along the slower moving sections. The foam lines have been where it is at. Throwing stimulators and hopper patterns in the foam can entice fish to take on the surface.

Hot Creek
Flows at 8 cfs now with weed growth prevalent. Latest rain and snow added a little bit more water here. Target the open lanes between them for the best success. Different day to day here as more weeds hit the surface and begin to choke up the open water. Dry fly fishing along the open stretches has been productive. Still fun with hoppers fished on a 9′ leader. #18 mayflies, #18-22 midges, #20 Brassies, and egg and SD worm patterns have been getting some serious looks and takes from the resident trout.

East Walker River
Flows  now at 108 cfs. Some good fishing now with the water temperatures dropping. Flows are down to very wadable and crossable levels. Seek out the deep runs and pools. Perch fry patterns stripped slowly back are a good call now. Crawdad patterns work great this time of year, along with #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal. #18 flashback hare’s ears, #18wd 40’s, and SJ worms also working well.

More Reports

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Saturday, October 6th, 2018

: Eastern Sierra Fish'N Conditions
Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report
Owens River - Middle: Currently cfs is 600
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): The Foam Lines Have Been Where it is at.
Hot Creek: Flows Up Slightly to 12 cfs
Walker River - East Fork (CA): Seek Out the Deep Runs and Pools

Sierra Drifters Reports
for Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

: Eastern Sierra Fish'N Conditions
Crowley Lake: Small Midges are Currently the Norm
Bridgeport Reservoir: Midges Still Working Well Over the Mud Bottoms!
Owens River - Section 3 - Upper (above Crowley): More Fish Below the Bridge
Hot Creek: Dry Fly Fishing Along the Open Stretches has Been Productive.
June Lake Loop: Some Bigger Model Fish are Starting to Show