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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 5/23/19

Ok winter, you are free to go now. Spring has been trying to break through, and when it does it gets really nice here, weather and fishing. We have been having some bang up days on Crowley Lake when the bugs start to pop off the mud bottom. The fish are still cruising at all levels of the water column and some nice rainbows, browns, and cutthroat have been showing their faces. Hot Creek has also been fishing well with small midges, especially our copper tiger midge which seems to be the star of the show lately there. McGee Creek is finally accepting spring run cutthroat and they are beginning to pool up and starting to spread out in the shallows. Upper Owens is running at 75 cfs and a few cutts are starting to move in here. Middle Owens stable for some time now but still a little on the slow side here. East Walker River flows down again to 340 cfs, which will improve fishing here. A few fish being caught here but some very large ones. McGee Creek has the cutthroat in it now!


Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on McGee Creek near Mammoth Lakes, CA for trophy rainbow, brown, & cutthroat trout.

Ron Ortiz is back on the attack and worked hard to fool this beauty!


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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.

Crowley Lake 5/23/19

It has continued to be very good here. The browns we have been getting are all solid fish and very fat this season. Talk about some hard pulling trout that want nothing to do with the surface and do everything they can to reach the bottom of the lake while hanging on a fly rod. It’s always a real kick in the pants to get into these guys in the early season. The fish have been cruising consistently in all levels of the water column. Staying of the fish all day means changing depths and sometimes moving from deep to shallow or vice versa. #18 Broken Back Copper Tiger, #18 Broken Back Dark Tiger, #18 Broken Back Zebra, #18 Broken Back Gillie, #12 Level Crystal Leech, and #18 Gillie Dark and Light Chironomid Pupa have been the hot flies this week.

Brady Bouwhuis fished with Doug Dolan and scored some nice ones!

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes, CA for trophy rainbow, brown, & cutthroat trout.

Tom Martin fished with Doug Dolan and got into some great ones too!

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes, CA for trophy rainbow, brown, & cutthroat trout.

Jerry took AJ Ortega and dad Art out for some good action!

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes, CA for trophy rainbow, brown, & cutthroat trout.

Here’s Art with a standard Crowley hard pulling brown!

Sierra Drifters guides fly fishers on Crowley Lake near Mammoth Lakes, CA for trophy rainbow, brown, & cutthroat trout.

Cliff Miller made the trek from Vegas to check out the action on Crowley!

Brian Olney fished with Jerry and scored this nice ‘bow!

Dave Ingram while on a trip with Jerry won the battle with this one!

Andy Rafkin fished with Jerry and got a nice chunk ‘bow!

Hanzo got Steve Thorlton out on the lake and they did well!

Matt Bogust had an epic day with big numbers!

John Cookson of “Hey Chumbucket” with a stellar rainbow!

Bryan Silvey fished with Doug Dolan and banged out some nice fish!

Bryan with another nice one!

Rick Gerads hit this nice bow on a cool day!

Craig Stringer with a hefty cutthroat!

Jenny Rodricks with a nice Mother’s Day brown!

Van Bush with a great morning rainbow!

Skylar Stanton fished with Doug Dolan and scored this great brown!

Shaun Loughlin also fished with Doug Dolan and got some great ones too!


Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 5/23/19

Flows are remaining stable at 400 cfs here. It’s been a little slower here lately. This level is still too high for wading in the wild trout section, but fishing the slower water and the edges can yield some takes. Smaller nymphs with some flash in them are a good call with plenty of weight to get your bugs down. Look for some afternoon hatches on all sections of the river.  When the mayfly hatch is happening, try switching to our #16 Punk Perch and Crystal Leech just prior to and after the peak of the hatch. 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.

Upper Owens River 5/23/19

A few cutthroat showing up in the lowest sections of the river. It’ll get real fun here soon when the pods of cutts start to make their run here.  Smaller flies are best currently like #16-18 Copper Tiger Midges both long and short, #16-18 Gillie Dark and Light, #16-20 FB Pheasant Tails and Tungsten Pheasant Tails, and #14 SD Crawlers in red and brown still getting bit. Use caution when driving in the mud bogs.


Hot Creek 5/23/19

The flows have slowed down for a bit with the cooler weather. It is really good and fun fishing here. Spring can be some of the best days on the crrek. Finding the good holding areas for the majority of trout is the key. Water temps will start to warm back up with some coming high pressure. If you are nymphing go small in the canyon in the I- site area. Best flies this week have been #20-22 Para midges,  #16-18 BWO’s, , and Otter eggs and SD Crawlers in red. #18 Gold FB Pheasant tails are also hot.

7 year old Casey Martin is all smiles as she hooked not 1 but 2 rainbows in one cast!

Julie Tinker tried fly fishing for her first time and scored this HC special while fishing with Doug Dolan!

This is a year around fishery with special regs in place. We walk and wade guide here.*Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, Hans Grotewold, and Devin Preston are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

East Walker River 5/23/19 

Flows have dropped to 340 cfs and this is great news. Some big fish have been seen in a net here but it had been slower overall while the flows were up. With the new drop in water levels fishing should get back to a good status especially after the weather warms again next week. Fish are holding in the softer sections and tailouts of the deeper pools. Make sure you are getting your flies down near the bottom to get into the big ones.  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. 

Steve Thorlton fished with Hanzo and they had an epic battle to get this one to the net!

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…. Doug Rodricks, Sierra Drifters Guide Service

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