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 12/12/18
A daily view from the Middle Owens River!
Our snow machines are ready to rock and have been getting clients to some nice fish!
Forecast looking dry for the week with a slight chance of snow for the weekend, but nothing major. Temperatures remain cold at night, with warming reaching its peak around noon. Still some snow on the Upper Owens with most areas accessible. The cold nights and daytime temperatures have gotten the snowbow party started with some really nice rainbows and browns making their move into the river. The snowmobile rigs have been doing some work, as have the guides maneuvering them. Hot Creek experiencing a good micro-midge hatch after the frost melts off. Still great dry and dropper action being had here. East Walker holding steady at its winter release with the big fish continuing to bite here. Deeper pools are where it has been at. Middle Owens steady most days with some slow periods at times. Dropping every few day in flows and now starting to really clear up.
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Christmas is just around the corner and we are excited to see what Santa brings us this year. Many of you have probably already put in for that new rod and reel, waders, fishing vest, etc. We have gift certificates available that can be purchased for half of full days of guided fishing for that special angler this holiday season. These have no expiration date and make for great stocking stuffers or an under the Christmas tree slider. Contact us to purchase or click on the “Fly Fishing Santa” in the right hand column above.
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Sierra Drifters is a guide service based near Mammoth Lakes, CA. There is no retail shop to visit.
Middle Owens River (Bishop Area) 12/12/18
The hatches around noon are coming off daily now. Some good sized Blue Wing Olive mayflies are putting on a show and some fish are responding to them. We are seeing rising fish working the soft foam lines in the afternoons along the bends of the river. The river flows have dropped lower since last report and the water clarity is getting better. The new BWO generations have been emerging daily around the 12-2 window on most days. Streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-a-bu’s, and Punk Perch have been fooling some nice fish recently. We can fish up to 3 anglers per boat and offer half day trips (4.5 – 5 hours) or full day trips (7 hours) to meet your needs.
I had the honor of guiding and assisting Bob McKenzie with this fish. Bob is a mere 90 years young and still going at it!
While snow and colder weather are the norm for the upper elevations, it is fun in the sun style fishing down here!
Tyler Haakana fished with Devin and had a great day netting some nice ones!
Gavin Lennig fished with Two Bug Doug and got this nice rainbow!
Michael Vietti with one of his big fish from the day with Devin doing the holding honors!
Two Bug Doug got Jim Frankenfield out for some Middle O action and he got this sweet rainbow!
Upper Owens River 12/12/18
With very cold nights and lower flows, some larger rainbows and browns have moved up river. They are not concentrated in one area yet as they have really been on the move from day to day. Mornings have been extremely cold this past week, but the afternoon temperatures have been warming things up nicely. You will observe smaller fish taking small midges after the chill subsides in the mornings. Another solid storm should lay the foundation for the snowmobile rigs to navigate around on. The section from the Benton Crossing Bridge down to the fishing monument is now closed. Flows are now at 86 cfs. Crystal eggs, #14-16 San Juan worm red, #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Parallel Assassin Dark and Light, and #16 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge getting the most bites!
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 walk and wade guide here. During winter we will access the UO with snowmobiles.
Gary Limjap spent the day with Two Bug Doug and pulled out a nice one!
Doug Henry got into some winter steel with this rainbow while fishing with Two Bug!
Check out this epic winter brown caught by Chris Denning while fishing with Two Bug!
Hanzo got Hailey Barrett on this chunky monkey rainbow!
Mark Stonich fished with Hanzo and got into them too!
Here’s another nice ‘bow for Mark!
And Mark’s action shot of the battle!
Jerry Lin fished with Doug Dolan and scored good rainbows!
Jerry with another prize ‘bow!
John Burdick got in on the action too with Doug Dolan!
Alex Brown got some with Doug Dolan as he displays his trophy catch!
John with another perfect specimen!
Hot Creek 12/12/18
Flows now at 6 cfs as the cold has really slowed the runoff. Midges, mayflies, and a few caddis have been showing up daily. The newly planted fish have been taking advantage of the micro midge hatch all day. Larger size trout have been keying in more on nymphs, strymphs, and worm and egg patterns. It can get crowded here while the weather is mild so finding a good spot on the creek can pay off. #18 mayflies, #18-22 midges, #20 Brassies, and egg and SD worm patterns 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.*Tom Loe, Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, and Hans Grotewold are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.
Mike Lennig fished with his son Gavin and Doug Dolan to score a nice Hot Creek rainbow!
Gavin managed some nice ones too!
Thomas Kelly displays a stellar egg eating rainbow as his dad Mitch displays a proud smile!
Jeff Hudson got into some all day action on the creek. He is all smiles and so is the fish!
East Walker River 12/12/18
The river received a good amount of snow as well. This normally puts the fish on a solid bite if your timing is right. The fish tend to concentrate in the deepest water this time of year as frigid temperatures and low water have them seeking out slightly warmer water. Lots of juvenile perch have been washing through the pipe and stacking up below the dam area. A good mixed bag of fish sizes are biting on properly presented flies. Target the deepest pools and runs and you can be rewarded with some real beauties. #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. #18 flashback hare’s ears, #18wd 40’s, and SJ worms also working well.
A snowy morning on the river with great fishing being had!
Steve Duich scored some nice ones like this rainbow!
He also got into the browns!
Scott Pressley also connected with some nice browns too!
Ron Ortiz stuck a more than beefy rainbow early in the morning on the EW! His mission was to catch that fish of a lifetime. Mission accomplished!
Pyramid Lake 12/12/18
Lots of fish moving in tighter to the beach. Good opportunity now for fly fisherman.Water temperatures have now reached the 52 degree mark and the big cutthroat trout have moved in shallow. We have been seeing fish to 14.5 lbs with some even pushing the 20lb mark. Popcorn Beatles, Midnight Cowboys,#12 Copper and Black Tiger Midges, Parallel Assassins, and Spruce-a-bu’s working well. Call for more info.
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
Sierra Drifters Guide Service © is trademarked & copyright issued May 4th 2013. No part of this website may be reproduced, duplicated, or distributed without direct consent from Tom Loe.