Fred Rowe’s Fly Fishing Report For 5-6-22

Fred Rowe

Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Report 05-06-2022
Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service
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I think it was a typical opener for me. On Saturday and Sunday morning I along with a number of guides and volunteers had 18 six to 12 year old’s that were taught fly fishing, fly tying, water safety, and entomology as part of Bishop City’s Park and Recreation Fish Camp. Saturday was a perfect day to be out and about on the waters of the Eastern Sierra with warm air temperatures and no wind. As perfect an opener day as you could ask for. Sunday and the winds of spring showed up and made it miserable to fly fish. The kids at the park prevailed over the wind with everyone catching at least one trout.

It depends on the day and where in the Eastern Sierra you are if the wind is blowing and how hard. Monday my clients and I got blown of the upper Owens River. We dropped down to the lower Owens River and there was no wind and it was hot with air temperature in the low 80’s. When I’m guiding, I fish the weather that we encounter for the day. When I’m fishing for myself, I only go out on the nice days, especially the days in spring when the wind is not blowing.

Sierra Lancaster from Bishop holding a rainbow trout that her father Richard Lancaster landed from Bishop Park Pond as part of Fish Camp.

Lower Owens River:
Wild Trout Section:
The flows have stabilized at 175 CFS. The water is off color and as the river flows increase so do the rivers ability to carry sediment. These are good levels to wade the river and work the riffles and pools that are holding trout. Pale morning dun mayflies and blue wing olive mayflies are the insects the trout are feeding on. I’m fishing with a size 16 bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears and size 18 bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs under an indicator. On the Euro rod I’m using a size 16 olive quilldigon, a size 12 stoner nymph, and a size 16 Butano nymph. There has been little dry fly activity as there is not enough insects hatching to bring the trout to the surface.

Paul Morrissey from Long Beach reaching out with the cast to get a drag free drift with his indicator rig on the lower Owens River.

Hot Creek:
Interpretive Site:
When the wind is not howling the trout are feeding on midges and blue wing olive mayflies. The trout are concentrating on the nymphs and not feeding on the hatching insects. It’s tough to work nymphs in the slow deep water. I’m fishing under a size 16 Adams parachute with 3 to 4 feet of 5X fluorocarbon tippet. I’m using size 18 to 22 midge pupae and midge nymph patterns in zebra and tiger coloration. A size 18 bead head flash back pheasant tail nymph fished middle of the day is fooling a few fish.

When the wind is not howling the canyon section of Hot Creek is producing wild brown trout to 18 inches on mayfly nymphs.

Hot Creek:
Canyon Section:
The canyon section of Hot Creek with its steeper gradient is easier to fish than the interpretive sight. I primarily fish nymphs under a dry fly. A size 18 or 20 bead head flash back pheasant tail nymph fished in the pockets created by rocks and weed beds is producing wild trout to 18 inches. If the hatch develops to the point that the trout are selectively feeding on the surface I will switch to a dry fly. Most days the hatch has not been strong enough for a good dry fly session. Consistent action with the nymphs is usually over by mid-afternoon.

Arnold Becker from Los Angeles is hooked up to a 12 inch rainbow trout that took a size 14 stoner nymph fished under an indicator.

Upper Owens River:
Above Benton Crossing Bridge:
The cutthroat trout have enter the upper Owens River system. The bulk of the run is below Benton Crossing Bridge as the cutthroats have just started their migration up the river to spawn. Fly fishers sight fishing to pods of cutthroats in the deep pools, runs and cutbanks are fooling a few fish. The stoner nymph, green/gold Prince nymph and a bead head flash back pheasant tail nymph are producing the trophy trout. The run will peak in the next week or two.

Home Street Middle School kids from the fishing club fishing off of a pontoon boat that Crowley Lake fish camp donated for our afternoon outing on Crowley Lake.

Crowley Lake:
I took out four Home Street Middle School fishing club students with teacher Jonathon Willy and fly fishing guide David Downs. The kids put to use the techniques they have been learning all school year. Fly fishing off of the north end of Sandy Point in 12 to 14 feet of water was the most productive spot for us. Tiger midges and zebra midges in size 18 were the productive flies. The midge bite is just getting started on the lake.

Eight four year old John McDonnell from Lafayette was able to fly fish for wild trout with the assistance of a chair.

Bishop Creek Canal:
Behind the Ford Dealer:
It did not take long for anglers to remove the bulk of the rainbow trout that California Fish and Wild Life planted in the canal. The wild brown trout are taking nymphs worked under an indicator or under a dry fly. Bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears and bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs are fooling wild brown trout to 12 inches. Fishing pressure has greatly increased with the general trout opener on April 30, 2022,

 

 

 

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