A Sierra Drifters Fish Report for 10/12/17

Guided fly fishing trips for Crowley Lake, Grant & Silver Lakes, the San Joaquin, Upper and Middle Owens Rivers, East Walker River, McGee Creek, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Hot Creek, & the Gorge located near Mammoth and Bishop Ca. will give you opportunities to catch trophy rainbows and browns while being guided by expert fly fishing pros. Sierra Drifters guides utilize top of the line center console bay boats, drift boats, float tubes, and high quality fly fishing tackle to guide you on these blue ribbon trout waters.

 Quick Look Fish Report 10/12/17

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The first drift trip for the 2017 season has been logged and it was a good one. Flows remain too high for wading; however water clarity is good, and access by guided drift boat is fun and productive fishing streamers. Nighttime temperatures have been reaching freezing levels and early mornings are getting cold. Once the sun starts to climb in the sky, the weather has been beautiful for this time of year. These changing weather conditions have triggered the fish to go into full feeding mode. They have become very opportunistic feeders in rivers like the East Walker. Bridgeport Reservoir is experiencing similar conditions, and the fish are willing to hit most offerings. Upper Owens is holding fish in the deep pools. San Joaquin River is still accessible, but the Forest Service will close the road soon. Crowley Lake still producing some killer late season fish. 

We got flies! The hottest flies of the season are now back in stock. The amazing “Parallel Punk Perch”,  “Parallel Assassins” , “Level Leech”, & “Parallel Agent Orange” are the hottest flies on Crowley, and other fisheries. Go to our fly sales page and put these red hot patterns in your box.




 Crowley Lake 10/12/17

Fishing continues to shine here. The lake bite has been changing daily, but once the fish are located it has been very good. Small midges, leeches, assassins, and perch fry have all been on the menu for the fish. Large rainbows and cutthroats have been making a daily showing in the North Arm. The winds have been coming up in the afternoons and fish have been moving into the Owens River channel to feed. It can be an all day bite with some slow periods here and there. The quality of fish has been excellent.


Check out some recent catches from our clients here:

Tim Boyer got into some nice ones with his guide Tom Loe!

Tim displaying on of many rainbows from the day!

Chris Fulkerson with a nice cutty while fishing with Tom Loe!

Justin Anderson holds a nice cutthroat while on Tom Loe’s boat!


Chris with another fine specimen!

Darin Garcia fished with Jerry Gilpin and got this wide bodied brown trout!


Frank Stephano of Stephano’s Restaurant in Orange Co. fished with Doug Dolan and got this nice cutty!

David Cooke of Cooke Furniture fished with me and got a nice fat rainbow on a Punk Perch!

Phil Lindblom got his cutthroat on his outing with his friends and myself!

Mike Maloney is happy after getting this long cutty which fell victim to a perch fry pattern!

Russ Voge got his first trout on the fly rod. It was a super cutthroat! Fun times buddy!

Anthony Madonna fished with Two Bug Doug and scored a big cutty!

Dale Armstrong scored a heavy bellied cutthroat which also ate a “Punk Perch!”

Rick Weiland with an all head and shoulders rainbow!

Ricky Williams with a nice rainbow while fishing with Tom Loe!

Jerry Gilpin guided Nicolas Vanherweg to this nice ‘bow!

Gary Runnells Jr. is all smiles after boating this bad boy with T Loe!

Here’s Gary with another fine rainbow!


Mark’s Dad Ury Braun gets his too!

Monica Crockett is one happy lady after landing this cutty while fishing with Two Bug Doug!


Stephanie was not going to be outdone. She decided to go big or go home!

Stephanie was not settling for anything small that morning! Good job girl!






San Joaquin River 10/12/17

Flows cut in half since last report and now at 18 cfs. Still a ton of fun down here with a light weight rod and some dry flies. They may be closing the gate mid-month, so here’s your last chance to get in for some fun clear water fishing. #18 BWO’s and midge droppers are getting the job done.


Photo shot on 9/28/17!

Carrie Kamiya works a pool with a dry dropper!

Upper Owens River 10/12/17

River now at an excellent flow rate at 75 cfs.  Up slightly in flows now.  Nymphing in the deeper pools and runs seems best now. A few caddis flying around after the sun warms the water. Crystal eggs, SJ worms, midges, and Assassins are good bugs this time of year.




The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year around with special regulations. Seasonal closures, and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section.

Middle Owens River (Bishop Area) 10/12/17


The first drift trip for the 2017 season is on the books and it was a good one! Flows remain on the high side (450cfs); however the water clarity is great. Combine this with the warm air temps that are the norm for the Owens Valley in October, and we can expect favorable floats as the fall moves forward. Wading the wild trout section is still difficult at this release. There is limited water that can be safely fished along the banks in the upper reaches of the MO. 200cfs, & below is the sweet spot for wading. We will see strong caddis, trico’s, and PMD’s throughout the month of October. The chub fry are in the one inch range, and are present in large numbers hiding along the weeds in the pillow water. Streamers like Loebergs, & Spruce-A-Bu’s are solid imitations for these forage fish. Heavy sinking tip lines used in conjunction with our patented “dip & strip” technique will get you into some nice fish. Due to the high flows we are still encountering limited access to some of our beats. Heavily weighted nymph rigs fished in the slower sections, and shallower tail outs will get results. Use bead head patterns like Assassins, FB- PT’s, & hares ear profiles below an Under-Cator.


Mr. Chum Bucket himself, John Cookson had a good day getting into some nice rainbows like this broom tail that bit a Spruce-A-Bu streamer.

Hugh Hensley displaying his first drift boat fish he caught on a Loeberg streamer. Way to “be the fly” Hugh!

John Cookson gives the thumbs up for the first drift trip of 2017.

 This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream.

Hot Creek 10/12/17


Flows now at 19 cfs. Now back to more seasonal flow rates here.  Smaller nymphs still working with small indicators or dry flies used as attractors/indicators. A bit thin on fish in this area, but the yearly stocking program will continue and try and restore this section to what it once was.


This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.

*Tom Loe, Doug Rodricks, and Doug Dolan are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

The Gorge 10/12/17

Flows back to moderate releases once again. May be worth taking a look up here. Now at 119cfs. Try nymphing the deeper sections and fish dry dropper setups along the edges and foam lines.

Season open year around

 East Walker River 10/12/17

River now at 172 cfs. It has been holding at this level for a couple of weeks now.  The bigger fish have been showing up on a regular basis. They are feeling the temperature changes and stocking up on food before the winter arrives. Most areas can be safely crossed now and we have been seeing and catching much bigger fish on our recent outings here. Nymphing with weights in the faster water has been good and fishing to the drop off pools has yielded some hogs. Stoneflies, Rubberlegs, SJ worms, Copper Johns, and midges have all been good.  Book your trip here.

Check out the big browns Doug Dolan has been putting our clients on:

Sierra Drifter’s regular, Greg Roznowski with a monster brown!

Greg decided not to quit and to keep the large brown tradition alive throughout the day!


Another nice one from the EW river!

Bridgeport Reservoir 10/12/17

They are still showing up here pretty good in the channel. Find the clear channels with a good mud bottom between the weed lines. Hang assassins and punk perch with a midge dropper and it’s game on!

Mitch and Madison Kelly fished with Tom Loe and scored some real beasts!




Jurassic Pond 10/12/17


The bigs, or should I say, the behemoths are continuing to bite here. These are wild fish with some of the best colors you can imagine on a trout. Call or fill out one of our trip request forms here to get on the pond!

Check out some of the recent fish we’ve had the pleasure of netting:

Steve Fox holding one of his biggest trout ever alongside his buddy Chris Carlson!

Steve displaying another beauty with Theo Theodorakis!



Obviously, Steve just couldn’t get enough, but neither could the monster rainbows that cruise Jurassic Pond!







***New for 2017! I have limited quantities of some new patterns that will guarantee advantage in your quest for trophy trout. Balanced patterns are the new rage for nymphing, & streamer fishing. Parallel Punk Perch has been the hottest fly on Crowley Lake recently.  We have been guide testing these patterns for several years, & I can honestly say they are the most significant improvement in fly design in over a decade. They are truly superior to conventional fly designs. The flies ride “parallel”; or “level” to the bottom giving them a far more realistic profile. The jig style hook becomes more effective as it seldom gets snagged on the bottom, & sets efficiently in the fishes mouth. These flies are intended to fish as your bottom fly in a multi fly; or tandem rig. They are deadly fished solo as a streamer. Add these patterns to your quiver for all fisheries that you still water nymph; or cast streamers.   Click on “fly sales” on the nav bar above, hit “menu” first from a mobile device to access the nav bar.

You can pick up our flies & Under-cators at Reagan’s Sports in Bishop, the Crowley General Store (not at the lake), Ricks Sport Center in Mammoth (limited selection), Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park (currently closed for winter), Stroud’s Tackle in San Diego.

I have added a picture gallery to the website . Click on the “gallery” button and do a search for your name, or scroll through the pages. You can double click on the picture to enlarge it once it is located.

Thank you for visiting our website and checking out our report. Be the Fly…. Doug Rodricks, Sierra Drifters Guide Service.



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