Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for July 19, 2024





Fishing Report


The Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report is brought to you by Fred Rowe owner of Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service Fred has been guiding the Eastern Sierra since 1982.

Here is this week’s fly fishing report:

Weather is a major function of Eastern Sierra fly fishing. Fall weather is finally here and is bringing a change to Eastern Sierra waters. With cooling daytime temperatures and a decrease in daytime light, streams are cooling and trout and getting more energetic about feeding. This is my favorite time of the year to be out fly fishing in the Eastern Sierra. Trophy trout are being caught in the lakes and streams as the brown trout and rainbow trout begin their annual spawning migration.

On the lower Owens River Wild Trout Section Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is sending water south at a rate of 375 CFS in the lower Owens River. This is a rate of flow too high for safely wading the river. Under 300 CFS is a wadable flow. For the few hardy anglers fly fishing from the banks, nymphing is producing wild brown trout up to 16 inches. Euro nymphing techniques is the most productive method on the lower Owens River right now. Fluorocarbon leaders and the right fly weight will get your offering down to the fish. Size 12 to 16 stoner nymphs, olive burlap caddis, gold ribbed hare’s ears, Butano nymphs, quilldigons, and perdigons are fooling the trout.

At Hot Creek interpretive site morning hatches of trico may flies, caddis and blue wing olive may flies are providing surface action for fly fishers. The trico hatch comes off first sometime before 9:00 A.M. Followed by the caddis hatch and ends late morning with the blue wing olive hatch. Fishing size 24 trico spinners, size 20 gray partridge spent caddis, and size 20 blue wing olive parachutes are fooling the selective trout. Fly selection is only half the formula on this section of Hot Creek. Proper presentation with light tippets of 6X or 7X tied onto 12 foot tapered leaders is needed to fool the wary brown and rainbow trout of the interpretive site of Hot Creek.

Below Hot Creek Ranch is the canyon section of Hot Creek which is open to the public. The trico mayfly hatch is hard to fish in the faster water sections of Hot Creek Canyon. The slower sections right below Hot Creek Ranch offer good fishing in the mornings. Caddis and blue wing olive mayflies offer consistent fly fishing action all morning. Size 20 gray caddis patterns like the partridge spent caddis, parachute caddis and X-caddis are fooling trout. By 10:00 A.M. the blue wing olive mayfly hatch is in full swing and floating a size 20 blue wing olive parachute on a drag free drift will produce lots of wild trout. I use a dry and dry method in the canyon when I’m using small dry flies in sizes 20 to 24. I use a size 16 Adams parachute as my indicator fly and attach the tiny dry fly on three feet of 6X tippet attached to the bend of the Adams. This allows the fly fisher to find the smaller fly on the creeks surface. When I lose sight of the small dry fly, I set the hook on any rise within three feet of my indicator fly.

Fly fishing on the upper Owens River above Benton Crossing Bridge is just starting to produce
trophy trout that are migrating into the upper Owens River from Crowley Lake. Nymphing and pulling streamers through the deep pools and runs is producing a few trophy trout. Successful fly fishers are covering lots of ground to find the pockets of trophy trout that are in the river right now. I’m using stoner nymphs and green/gold Prince nymphs on size 12 jig hooks on my Euro nymph rig to fool the trophy trout. This run of trophy trout will peak in mid-winter.

The upper Owens River flows into Crowley Lake where float tubers and boaters nymphing with midges and balanced leeches are connecting with trophy trout. The trout are in nine to 12 feet of water from North Landing – Layton Springs to the Owens River mouth. Patterning the trout every day requires carrying a variety of colors of midges in your fly box. Zebra midges, tiger midges, Albino Barron’s and blood midges are the tried and true patterns. Sometimes the trout are looking for something other than the standard patterns. Try all your midge patterns tell you find one the trout like. Balanced punk perch are working and should be placed above a pair of midges on your leader.

Bishop Creek Canal located behind the Ford Dealer off of HWY 6 is an in town water worthy of fly fishing. This is a great place for beginners and advanced fly fishers. Early mornings are cold on the canal and warm up quickly once the sun peaks out. The trico hatch is starting to fade away. There is still a short time window of opportunity where the trout are keying in on the trico spinner fall. Mid-morning the fish are feeding on a size 16 Adams parachute and are taking a size 16 bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ear three feet under the Adams on 5X tippet. Mid-day is hot and a good time to head up in elevation looking for a cooler place to fish. For determined fly fishers throwing a hopper in the middle of the afternoon will produce a few trout.

This fly fishing report has been brought to you by Fred Rowe of Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service. Sierra Bright Dot is on Facebook and Instagram.

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