Sierra Drifters Guide Service
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.
Fish’N Conditions 2/16/19
A steady feed of winter storms continues to move through California. We are getting that in the form of snow here in the eastern sierra and it has turned out to be a “real winter”. These have been very cold storms as of late, which have brought with them some excellent powder conditions for skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers to play in. This current snowpack is setting the stage for an excellent summer for all waters in the high country. Being that it is only mid-February, and there are more major storms lined up, the run-off at this point will be high for the early portion of the general trout season. Places like the San Joaquin River will be fishing best by late July to August. Crowley Lake is almost at capacity now, and the LADWP will have no choice but to start releasing water in the future. The Middle Owens River will see an increase in flows once this happens, but for now the river has remained at typical winter levels. The afternoon BWO hatch has been solid when the skies are overcast around the noon to 2pm period, and the streamer of choice here has been the Spruce-a-bu for the larger fish. We have experienced some sub-zero temperatures on the Upper Owens which has kept us out of here on some days due to heavy ice coming down the river. The fishing has been solid here, and the extremely light fishing pressure this past week has renewed the bite along the entire river. Forecasters are calling for another cold week ahead for most of the state. The East Walker River was on fire last week and should continue to fish well once our next cold snap passes. Nymphs, eggs, and streamers have been accounting for some large trout here. Access to Hot Creek is now walk in only and there have been some great midge hatches throughout the day and a good mayfly hatch in the afternoons.
McGee Mountian after last week’s storm!
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Sierra Drifters is a guide service based near Mammoth Lakes, CA. There is no retail shop to visit, but our time tested fly patterns are available to purchase at select locations and online here on our website. Click here to view our entire selection of flies.
Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 2/16/19
The river is holding around the 86 cfs mark. The latest storms have left some puddles of water along the access roads leading to the river, so care must be taken when moving through these areas. Some nice and steady Baetis hatches have been taking place around the 12:30 – 2pm window. Fishing seems to pick up from this point on, using dry flies fished in the softer sections and pulling smaller streamers like our #16 punk perch light and darks through the same areas. Our Spruce-a- bu streamers in both light and dark have been fooling some larger fish. Bishop creek has been adding a little more water to the river above Line Street and the water is a bit clearer up above. The wild trout section below Pleasant Valley Reservoir has been producing some decent wild browns. Smaller nymphs in the mornings and decent mayfly patterns during the afternoons have made for some fun fishing. Best flies for these area have been #10 Loebergs in all colors, #8 Spruce-a-bus in light and dark, #16 Punk Perch, #14 Crystal Leech, #18 Assassin Light, #16 San Juan Worm Red, #18 Blue Winged Olive, #22 Parachute Midge, #18 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge, and #18 Crystal Caddis Larva Olive Dubbed-Black.
Leo Blasius displays a Middle Owens rainbow while on a recent drift trip!
Leo with another one. This time a wild brown!
Middle Owens access road from last week’s storm!
Upper Owens River 2/16/19
It has been very cold here in the last week with plenty of snow on the ground for running the snowmobiles but tough access for 4-wheel vehicles to get in. Most have been parking at the bridge and walking in, but keep in mind there is now about 2-3 feet of snow all along the river, so it can be a tough trek. The fish are moving around with all the storm activity recently, so they can be heavy in specific pools and lighter in others. We have seen quite a few females in the river this year which is good news for the new generations of these wild rainbows. 6mm Otter Eggs in Tangerine Opaque, Kiwi Flash, Dead Egg, and Apricot, #14-16 San Juan worm red and Bead San Juan Worm red, #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Parallel Assassin Dark and Light, and #16 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge are lighting up the fish!
Nate Cuomo fished with Doug Dolan and slayed this huge male!
Nate with another nice fish!
Nate’s buddy Yong Kim got into them as well on the same trip with Doug Dolan!
Another nice rainbow here!
Nancy Illian scored some nice ones including this birthday rainbow!
Husband Jim got in on the action as well!
These two got into multiple snow ‘bows that day!
Nancy was super excited and had the best big fish day of her life!
The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year-round with special regulations. Seasonal closures and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section. We are currently accessing the river by snowmobile.
Hot Creek 2/16/19
Walk in access only here and this isn’t going to change anytime soon as storm after storm hits the region. Great midge fishing in the mornings and into the day. There’s been a great window for throwing dry flies (BWO’s) during the afternoons as the trout are really keying in on them. There has also been a shortage of angling pressure here too, so fishing has been quite good. Otter eggs have been accounting for some bigger fish in the deeper runs. #18 BWO’s, #18-22 Parachute midges, and Otter eggs and SD Crawlers have been getting some serious looks and takes from the resident trout.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place. We walk and wade guide here.*Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, and Hans Grotewold are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.
East Walker River 2/16/19
This place has really taken off with the bigs going on the chew. They are stacking up big time in the deeper pools and once the weather jumps up in temps a few degrees it should be epic. Otter eggs in all colors, #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal have been great patterns to hang. SJ worms and Drifters’ Crawlers also working well.
Pyramid Lake 2/5/19
Some big boys and girls have been coming to shore this week and the winter storms have been bringing more fish closer the beach. Anglers are seeing quite a few fish in the 3-6lb mark with some standout 19lbers in the mix. Give us a call if you are interested in fishing this area as we have dates available for the remainder of the month.
Balanced patterns are the new rage for nymphing, & streamer fishing. 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, & Malibu Fish’N Tackle in Thousand Oaks.
Thank you for visiting our website and checking out our report. Be the Fly…. Tom Loe, Sierra Drifters Guide Service
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