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.
Fishing Report 8/5/20
August is here anglers, and you know what that means. This is the time when all the trout food (live insects and small baitfish) come together all at the same time to give the eastern sierra trout the biggest buffet of the season. We have grasshoppers everywhere, midges, mayflies, caddis, leeches, perch fry, damselflies, and even smaller crustaceans that we do not typically imitate as fly anglers. This is absolutely one of the best times to be up here fishing, and this good fishing will last all the way through the month of October. The heat really set in last month and this month and there has been a lack of afternoon thundershowers as in previous years. Most areas are fishing very well right now and reports vary on some of the alpine lakes depending on who you talk to. Crowley Lake has not disappointed one bit, and now that we are fishing in shallow water it has been a load of fun to watch these large fish run out and away and tear line off of the fly reels. The perch fry are growing quickly, and the fish are really keying on them right now. The East Walker River has held a nice and even flow this summer and the wading is pretty easy. Water temperatures have come up some so some extra revival time and care is needed to ensure these fish stay healthy before releasing them. The dry fly fishing and nymphing on the Upper Owens River has been really fun. Flows are low and clear above the bridge and some sight fishing can be done at this time. Hot Creek is great with small dry flies and some larger hopper patterns now that their are more flying around the creek. This area can be challenging as the smaller bugs get harder to keep your eye on. The San Joaquin River is still fishing well. All you need here is a light weight rod and a small assortment of dry flies to keep you on the fish. We hope you can join us this month for some excellent fishing, and please stay safe and healthy out there.
It’s a great time for getting to the backcountry lakes!
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 8/5/20
The channels, weed lines, and open water are all holding fish right now. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings have been giving up some real nice fish. The smaller prey is growing in size daily, and the trout are on them. You will have to vary your depth with non-midge patterns this time of year, as the fish cruise at different levels looking for these tasty morsels.
The lake is in great shape this year.
It is a good time to really start mixing up the fly patterns now while the selection of the day will change from day to day or even hour to hour. Locate some fish with your sonar, figure out the their feeding pattern and you’ll be rewarded with some real nice cutthroat, brown, and rainbow trout. The lake will be dropping a bit faster than usual through the weekend, as LADWP will be flushing the Gorge to improve the fishing habitat. It is best to avoid this area during that time, to avoid the swift water that can be hazardous. We have been having the best luck with our #12-16 Parallel Punk Perch Dark and Light, #16 Parallel Assassin Light, #14-18 Assassin Dark, #16 Parallel Assassin Dark, #16-20 Crystal Copper Tiger Midge, #18-22 Crystal Tiger Midge Long, #18-22 Crystal Chironomid Emerger Black, #18-22 Gillie light and dark pupa, #14-16 Level Leech, and Damsel Nymph dark and Light.
6 year old Carson is fast learner. He bested this rainbow trout with some minor assistance.
11 year old Peter fished with Doug Dolan for this hot brown trout.
Mike fished with Doug Dolan and got this great brown trout.
Ryan scored this awesome cutthroat trout.
Connor with a nice cutthroat trout.
Joe with a fat rainbow trout.
Hector got a nice cutthroat trout.
Hector’s son Max is all smiles with this golden colored brown trout.
Max even got himself a nice cutthroat trout.
Tomas and dad Mark with a great double on rainbow and cutthroat trout.
A nice brown trout for Tomas too.
Michael sports a hefty rainbow trout.
Michael and son Xander with a double on rainbow and cutthroat trout.
Doug Dolan guided Robin to this nice rainbow trout.
Doug Dolan guided Hutchinson to this nice cutthroat trout.
Patrick nailed a nice brown trout at the buzzer.
Jake and Matt with a great double on brown and cutthroat trout.
Shawn Diamond fished with Doug Dolan for this nice rainbow trout.
Lower Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 8/5/20
Flows are really up and running this time of year and you need a lot of weight to get down to the fish in you are nymphing. The edges of the river will fish best with the current conditions. Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated as the heat is really cooking down here. Streamers can produce along the banks currently.
Best Flies: Spruce-a-Bu #8 Light and Dark, Loeberg #10 all colors, Agent Orange #8-10, Crystal Leech #8-10, Punk Park dark and light #8-12, Flashback PT #16-18, Copper Tiger Midge #18-20, San Juan Worm Brown #14, Crystal Caddis Larva #18
Hot Creek 8/5/20
Some great dry fly fishing has been taking place daily. As more grasshoppers start to mature, the fish are not overlooking them as they were last month. Don’t be timid about throwing some larger patterns that represent the hoppers. You many also have to go extremely small at times to imitate the tricos and micro midges. The mayfly nymphs are also incredibly tiny and the fish are keying in on them as they dislodge from the weeds.
Best Flies: Flashback PT’s #16-#20, Tricos Spinners #20-22, SD Crawlers in Red #14, Copper Tiger Midges #18-20, and #18 Assassin Dark, Tangerine Opaque, Kiwi Flash, and Apricot Flash Otter Eggs have been excellent.
San Joaquin River 8/5/20
The road to Red’s Meadow is now open, but the shuttles are not running. You can drive in, but you may have to get creative with parking as some or most of the campgrounds are still closed. Nonetheless, it is a short hike to the river where eager wild trout are waiting to ambush your dry fly presentation. It is all day action here with very little fishing pressure.
Chris fished with Hans and had an epic time catching fish like this wild brown trout.
The flows have been ideal for fishing.
One of the most picturesque rivers in our area.
Upper Owens River 8/5/20
Hoppers, hoppers, and did I mention hoppers? It’s crazy hopper time here as the fish just go crazy over these major food items. Sometimes your pattern doesn’t get more than a foot or two in the drift before they smack it. Have a variety of imitations on hand as they can become picky when the water is calm. They are looking for a close imitation and will get choosier as the month rolls on. When the wind kicks up, it is not as important and they become less picky as they have trouble identifying their floating food.
Best Flies: Stimulator – 12, 14, 16; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge – 16,18; B100FB – 14, 16, 18, 20; Spruce a bu dark and light; Loeberg Mallard Silver; Loeberg Guinea Silver, Crystal Midge Pupa Black – 18; Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper – 16, 18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge – 14,16,18, Tangerine Opaque, Tangerine Red Flash, Kiwi Flash and Flamingo Otter Eggs.
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 8/5/20
Flows have remained very stable for this time of year. Nymphing has been accounting for most of the catches, but some good midge hatches are taking place on the reservoir and they are flying down to the river to deposit their eggs. You will find some great dry fly action at times here when this happens. There is a good amount of water for wading and crossing in most areas of the river.
Best Flies: B100FB – 18, 20; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge -16; Crystal Zebra Midge – 16, 18; Punk Perch Light and Dark – 14, 16; Parallel Punk Perch Light and Dark; Crystal Leech – 12, 14, 16; Agent Orange 12, 14, 16; Parallel Agent Orange – 14, Spruce-a-bu Dark and Light, Eggs: Tangerine Red Flash, Dead Egg, Tangerine Opaque, Flamingo.
Be sure to check out our fine selection of the best fly patterns in the Eastern Sierra. Click on “fly sales” on the navigation bar above, hit “menu” first from a mobile device to access the navigation 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), Eagle Lake RV Park, Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park , Stroud’s Tackle in San Diego, and Fly and Field Outfitters; Bend, OR.