A Fish Report for 9/29/16

Guided fly fishing trips for Crowley Lake, Grant & Silver Lakes, the San Joaquin, Upper and Middle Owens Rivers, 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 9/29/16

Cooler weather on the way for the weekend. Middle Owens drift trips kicking out bigs. Flows have stabilized, running at 240cfs. This is on the high side for good wading conditions in the wild trout section. Crowley has been fantastic for quality recently. Newly planted fish providing big numbers somedays. North Arm consistent for still water nymphers using midge, & perch fry imitations. Upper Owens flows remain at the highest levels this year. 96cfs. is not a blow out; but you will experience tougher conditions in some sections. A wildfire has destroyed over 5000 acres, including some historic buildings on the old Alpers Ranch. The fire burned along Owens River road, & up into the Glass Mountains. Hot Creek getting some fish! Please message read below. East Walker River levels are not bad, & moving at 70-90 cfs. Bite has been slow here. Pleasant Valley Reservoir levels have dropped significantly, & are very low exposing much of the muddy shoreline. Small river section leading into the lake can be good with dry/dropper rigs. Alpine Lakes have good conditions. Get those full sinks, & larger streamers out for a shot at a large brown. 

Hey all, Great news!! After a lot of hard work, D.F.W. has decided to introduce over 6,000 diploid fish to Hot Creek this year and 12,000 per year over the next few years until we reach 6,000 fish per mile while doing an electroshock survey each year to see how the spawn is doing. The goal is to get this once incredible fishery back to what it once was.
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP MOVE THESE FISH ON OCTOBER 6th. If you have ever guided or enjoyed an afternoon of fishing on Hot Creek, You must help!!

This is very important to us all!! Please save the date and tell all of your friends! This is not one of those “Oh, I wish I could help but I am busy that day” deals. This is about the future of one of the most important fisheries in our area!!!. IT IS TIME TO GIVEBACK!! Time and place to be determined but probably 9AM at the paved parking area at the bottom of the lower public.
Please reply to this email to let me know you will be able to make it. If I don’t hear from you, I will probably call you, so sign up today and save the date!! The more help we have, the fewer trips we will have to make.
Thank you in advance and I look forward to seeing you on the 6th!

Kevin Peterson
Hot Creek Ranch
(760) 924-5637
kevin@hotcreekranch.com

It is not always possible to post all of our client pictures on this fish report page. I do my best to put them in our gallery. If we have previously posted your pictures on this page, you can always find them by going to the photo gallery and search for your name. 

 Crowley Lake 9/29/16

The North Arm has been exceptional while still water nymphing at times.  9-14 feet is the zone.  We are seeing a solid midge hatch during the high pressure periods. The sub-surface “mud lines” are in good water depths now.  The larger fish continue to hunt the perch fry; but with the increased midge activity, one can fish chironomid patterns with consistent results. The  aquatic weeds are protruding making the weed lines easy to identify. Tubers should be looking to troll some larger streamers, & perch fry/damsel nymphs along these weed lines. Hang your flies above a clean mud bottom in close proximity to a hard weed line for consistent action. The fish are primarily hunting the larva close to the bottom. Broken back midges, crystal zebra, or tiger midges (big ones), & leeches  are all good calls while fishing below an “sliding” Under-cator. If you see those midges popping, get out those gillies, broken back gillies, & crystal emergers. These imitate chironomid pupa, the stage prior to becoming a winged adult. My go to rig near the weeds has been an Assassin; or Drifters Punk Perch #14/16 as the upper, with a dark crystal tiger midge (#14), or broken back copper tiger (#16) as the larva pattern. Keep the tigers 6-12 inches off the deck. I have also been using twin Assassins; or a Punk Perch/Crystal Vandeleech with an Assassin dropper along the weeds. Keep them a foot or more above the bottom. The rookies have been planted in numbers, so treat them with care. You may get into lots of sub-catchable rainbows & browns in some areas like Hilton Bay, or Crooked Creek. ***Special angling regulations begin on 8/1/16 and will continue throughout the remainder of the season on Crowley. The entry gate to the marina opens at 7am instead of 6am now.

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Long time Drifter Joe “Smigey” Smigel got this blimp of a rainbow while fishing with Doug Dolan off North Landing on Crowley.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Bruce Davis stuck this nice cutthroat in the north end with Jerry Gilpin as his guide.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Frances Godwin got a big cutty for the day on his trip. Doug Dolan was hid guide.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Veteran Drifter Mark Vidovich got this slammer with Two Bug Doug.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Cooper Kessel showing off a rotund North Arm rainbow. Doug Dolan was his guide.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

The Manson gals, Julie & daughter Lindsay had a great day fishing midge patterns with guide Jerry Gilpin. Steve Manson nailed this quality rainbow for his best fish as well.
Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Check out the girth on this chunky cutty that Allen Houston caught & released with expert Crowley guide Jerry Gilpin. Still water nymphing with crystal tiger, & zebra midges below an Under-cator have been the hot ticket.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Veteran Drifter Paul Stimpfl hit this long, & lean cutthroat while fishing with guide “Gravey” Dave Carranza.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats. Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

Bob & Sarah Simpson spanked them with stand out Crowley guide Dave Carranza. Big cutthroat have been common fishing near the inlet to the Upper Owens on Crowley’s northern end.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats. Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on crowley lake near mammoth for trophy trout on large custom charter boats.

The Otto girls did well with guide Jerry Gilpin. Johanna (upper) & Lynnae getting into some great fish in the north end.

Upper Owens River 9/29/16

A recent wildfire has destroyed, & scarred thousands of acres along the Owens River Road, the old Alpers Ranch, & some sections of the Glass Mountains. Some historic buildings have been burned at the ranch. The Owens River frontage road is closed at Big Springs. The LADWP is pulling water from Grant Lake & increasing flows. They have doubled from the 40 cfs. that has been flowing for nearly a year to 96cfs. After the turbidity decreases, & the fish adjust, conditions will be great. Added water will assist the fall run of browns, & rainbows if the flows continue at this release for a while. The bigs will begin to migrate upstream in October. Conditions are poor downstream from the Benton Bridge due to heavy aquatic weed growth. Upstream from the bridge special regulations apply, & the conditions are better above the confluence of Hot Creek inlets. Grasshopper activity slowing down. Use a stimulator with a bead head nymph like an Assassin, FB PT, olive crystal caddis; or olive zebra midge as a dropper. You will also see a decent caddis hatch, although I have not seen a great surface charge in a few trips here. Hi-vis caddis adult patterns used with a dropper can also get grabs. The water levels are very low above HC, & the irrigation canal inlets. You will find most of the planted rainbows, and wild browns in the deepest pools and pockets. There are a few nicer rainbows hanging around that are best fooled by attractor patterns like the “Drifters Crawler” and crystal eggs. 

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.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on the Upper Owens near Mammoth for trophy cutthroat trout.

Ian Campbell got this one on a well executed drift off the “far side” with some nice mends. These planted rainbows make up most of the catchable trout population this time of year on the Upper Owens. Those that “run the bait gauntlet”  below the Benton Bridge will move upstream and begin to get some nice color.

Middle Owens River (Bishop area) 9/29/16

The bigs are on the prowl thanks to some brood fish being planted. Drift boat trips are consistently landing some trophy rainbows using the “dip & strip” method of streamer fishing. Flows continue to trend up once again, & are running at 240cfs. Great for drifting; however wading/crossing the wild trout section will become more difficult at this release. Caddis activity will remain solid through late October, with Trico mayflies showing when it begins to cool down in the Owens Valley. I would not hesitate to book a drift trip this fall as I believe the “catching” will be very good early on. Chub & sucker fry will be the primary target for the bigs, so have a selection of streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-A-Bu’s, and Punk Perch with a moderate sinking tip line. Good nymphs to have are Assassins, flash back pheasant tails, Drifters Crawlers, olive crystal caddis, olive dubbed caddis, and broken back tiger/zebra midges.

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

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Owens River with drift boats Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Owens River with drift boats

Mikey Montero had an amazing day on his float with Drifters senior guide Doug Rodricks. Mike got into a slug of bigs using Spruce-A-Bu and Loeberg streamers with a moderate sinking tip line.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Owens River with drift boats

Ron Ortiz was wise to drift the Mighty Mo early this year. He was rewarded with a fantastic day doing the “dip & strip” using Loebergs, Punk Perch, & Spruce-A-Bu’s on Doug Rodricks drift boat.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Owens River with drift boats

Ron Ortiz nailed several big rainbows on his drift with Doug Rodricks.

Hot Creek 9/29/16

Hey all, Great news!! After a lot of hard work, D.F.W. has decided to introduce over 6,000 diploid fish to Hot Creek this year and 12,000 per year over the next few years until we reach 6,000 fish per mile while doing an electroshock survey each year to see how the spawn is doing. The goal is to get this once incredible fishery back to what it once was.
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP MOVE THESE FISH ON OCTOBER 6th. If you have ever guided or enjoyed an afternoon of fishing on Hot Creek, You must help!!

This is very important to us all!! Please save the date and tell all of your friends! This is not one of those “Oh, I wish I could help but I am busy that day” deals. This is about the future of one of the most important fisheries in our area!!!. IT IS TIME TO GIVEBACK!! Time and place to be determined but probably 9AM at the paved parking area at the bottom of the lower public.
Please reply to this email to let me know you will be able to make it. If I don’t hear from you, I will probably call you, so sign up today and save the date!! The more help we have, the fewer trips we will have to make.
Thank you in advance and I look forward to seeing you on the 6th!

Kevin Peterson
Hot Creek Ranch
(760) 924-5637
kevin@hotcreekranch.com

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

*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir 9/29/16

The reservoir level has really dropped recently. This will expose large areas of sticky mud that can be tricky to walk on.  The small river section can kick out some good numbers of hold over trout. Flows have dropped, & this fertile little river can be really fun if you work the harder to reach brush areas accessible when the powerhouse is not generating. I like dry/dropper combos like Stimulators, hi-vis mayfly, or caddis as the upper. Use smaller Assassins, FB PT’s, or crystal tiger midges as the nymphs.

This fishery is open year around.

The Gorge 9/29/16

Prime time now hat it is cooling down some in the Owens Valley.Flows are great at 52cfs. Use caddis adults, Hi-vis caddis, or para hi-vis mayflies as your upper fly. Good dropper nymphs  are # 18 Assassin nymphs, or FB PT’s. Cooler temps improving conditions. Good call during weekends, or holidays.

Season open year around

The GorgeLooking down into Middle Gorge from the “rim”. Lots of riffles and pocket water opportunities. 

Bridgeport Reservoir 9/29/16

Fly fishers are reporting slow fishing. 

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th.

East Walker River 9/29/16

There remain issues with aquatic weeds in the slower sections. Water levels fluctuating between 70-90cfs.  Focus on the deeper pockets & pools. The slower runs are choked with weed.  Attractor patterns like Drifters Crawlers, & SJ worms can get the bigs to move. Strong caddis, midge, mayfly, & damsel fly hatches are going off. Try larger Assassins, FB PT’s. and damsel nymphs. Hi-vis caddis, and hoppers are targets for surface feeders.  Lob some Loebergs, Punk Perch, or damsel nymph streamers for a shot at bad LeRoy brown during low light periods.  

This fishery is open year around below the Bridgeport Reservoir dam to Nevada State line. Open year a in Nevada also.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers to trophy brown trout on the East Walker River near Bridgeport Ca.

Check this trophy brownie out that Matt Figel bested while being guided by Two Bug Doug Dolan. Great fish guys, congrats.

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers to trophy brown trout on the East Walker River near Bridgeport Ca.

Our great friend and long time Drifter Ronnie Guidone nailed this big rainbow on a “wicked worm” tied by Doug Dolan.

West Walker River 9/29/16

Water levels are low, with fish holding in the deeper pools and runs. Pikel Meadows, or Chris Flats sections are receiving regular plants. A deadly rig for this area is a dry/dropper using Stimulators, or hi-vis caddis and mayfly imitations as the upper fly. Tie on bead head tiger midges, Assassins, or FB PT’s as your nymph about 2-4 feet below the dry.

 

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th in some sections, open year around along HWY 395. Check regulations for specific info. 

San Joaquin River 9/29/16

Water levels low, with most riffles too shallow to fish. I like to fish hi-vis mayfly; or caddis patterns with a bead head dropper nymph like an Assassin, FB PT, or tiger midge. The deeper riffles are best fished with high riding dries like stimulators, parachute ant patterns, foam beetles, & attractor adults. I suggest you have a stout wading staff even though the flows are down. You can drive in without the shuttle until the  snow falls enough to close the NFS gate.

*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th. Access is prone to weather/road closures, & may not allow entry during open periods of the season.

Jurassic Pond 9/29/16

Beautiful Jurassic Pond is a private trophy trout fishery that is exclusively guided by Sierra Drifters pros. It is situated near McGee Creek, and overlooks Crowley Lake. We fish with streamers, nymphs, & dry flies during warmer periods. You will not find larger trout anywhere in the Eastern Sierra. If you want a dance with a twenty pound rainbow, or double digit brown-this is the best private fishery in the region. Summer session are booking fast. Contact us for availability please.

This is private water, and access is by permission from Tom Loe of Sierra Drifters Guide Service.

Monster trout caught on Jurassic Pond near mammoth for fly fishers being guided by sierra drifters

Talk about a great Fathers Day gift! Tom Kretschmar got this thirty inch beast that his Steve is holding. Congrats Tommy!

Monster trout caught on Jurassic Pond near mammoth for fly fishers being guided by sierra drifters

Congrats to Rob Souza for taming this beast. This beast catapulted out of the water a few times, and ripped line into backing. We measured this giant at thirty two inches on the button. Esteemed weight of twenty two pounds. Rob crushed the fish on JP. High fives buddy.

Monster trout caught on Jurassic Pond near mammoth for fly fishers being guided by sierra drifters

All bow to the king! Vic Davis got bad Leroy Brown while nymphing the inlet to Jurassic Pond. You won’t find browns like this anywhere else. Sorry Deeann, he got you this time!

Alpine Lakes 9/29/16

Fall comes earlier at higher elevations, & this can be the trigger to get some larger browns on the bite. Tubers trolling streamers with full sinking lines can get into some larger fish while targeting drop-offs, inlets, & structure. Agent Orange, Crystal Leeches, Loebergs, Spruce-A-Bu’s, and Punk Perch patterns are good calls to use along drop-offs, structures like submerged stumps, and near inlets. Try dry dropper rigs using hi-vis mayfly patterns as your indicator/dry fly while suspending a small midge, Killa-baetis or Assassin nymph below it 2-3 feet during low light periods. The wild brookies and browns can be fooled using this technique during the warmer summer months.

These fisheries open the last Saturday in April & close November 15th. Weather related closures may prohibit access during otherwise open periods of the trout season.

You can pick up my 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, & Malibu Fish’n Tackle in Thousand Oaks.

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.

Thanks for reading my report.  be the fly….Tom Loe, Sierra Drifters Guide Service

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