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 8/10/18
Smoke and scorching temperatures have been the norm for most of the state this summer season. We have been lucky to have comfortable temperatures and moderate smokey conditions compared to some places. The air quality has improved drastically here over the last week and the fishing conditions for most areas has been fine. Bridgeport Reservoir has a mix of fish sizes currently and the inside of the Buckeye Channel is starting to get weeded up. There is still plenty of room to fish in the channel as the creek gets further into the reservoir. The East Walker River water temps have been warm which has slowed down the fishing here some. It’s best to hit it here in the mornings and late afternoons. Cooler nighttime temperatures have arrived now, which should bring the water temps back to more comfortable conditions for the trout. The San Joaquin River is fishing well for wild trout taking dry flies and small nymphs. Getting away from the campgrounds is best as fishing pressure can be high there. Hot Creek has been decent at the Interpretive Center and in the canyon. Choosing the right flies can make or break your day here. Upper Owens River good for numbers below the bridge and cleaner water above the bridge has been holding the occasional larger fish. Crowley Lake has fish working the perch fry hard over the weeds in all areas of the lake. Selecting a good perch fry imitation has been the key to success here the past week. The Middle Owens River flows are very high and will be for an extended period as Crowley Lake begins to drop its level quickly.
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Sierra Drifters is a guide service based near Mammoth Lakes, CA. There is no retail shop to visit.
Crowley Lake 8/10/18
The quality of fish continues to be great here. Not as hot and heavy on the numbers as it has been due to fish feeding over the weed tops in deeper water and focusing on perch fry. The callibaetis are still hatching in solid numbers.
A typical late generation callibaetis!
The fish that are eating midges are still being caught inside the river and creek channels in McGee Bay and the Owens arm. Mornings have been pretty good and as the afternoons approach it tends to slow some until the wind kicks up and spurs the bite again. McGee Bay seems to be the opposite, as it can be slower in the mornings and then build into a better bite as the afternoon approaches. Sandy Point looking very good, conditions-wise, as the lowering waterline exposes the weed edge. Lots of fish cruising and hanging tight to the wall here.
Flock of pelicans cruising the weed lines and feeding on defenseless perch fry!
Crooked Creek loaded with fish in deeper water. Good mix of smalls and bigs here. Slow stripping perch fry imitations over the weeds in most areas can draw strikes from hungry trout when the indicator fishing slows and the fish are rolling on the surface. Midges, Assassins, and Punk Perch have been good flies recently.
Check out some of our recent catches here:
Kit Wertz is back in the swing of fly fishing after a break! She did well on some nice ones!
A little guide assistance is needed in getting the youngsters’ photo taken with their doubles. Here’s Cole and Keely with their second double for the day!
Fred Haase showed the fish no mercy during a hot bite in the Bay!
Mike Morris fished with Jerry and scored this sweet rainbow out of the channel!
Ian Campbell is back and hot on the fish again while fishing with Tom!
Tom and Tom Flanagan fished with Tom and caught this nice ‘bow!
Stephen Wong fished with Tom and did well on some nice rainbows!
Action shot of Stephen with a rainbow getting some serious air!
Chris Basso guided long time friend and client Tom Driskill to some real beasts!
Check out this brown with a face every mother can love!
Tom’s wife Mary Ann got into some serious fish too while fishing with Chris!
Jerry does the holding honors for Hank Neufeld! That’s one happy kid!
Tom Makimoto fished with Jerry for a prize of a rainbow!
Jerry took Colin Huissman out to score some cuttys!
Ian Campbell again with a wide eyed ‘bow!
Ian sporting the latest fashion from Crowley Lake, a rainbow!
And, he couldn’t just be happy with the north arm fish! Here’s one from McGee Bay!
Frank Carlsen fished with Tom and got into his usual big fish!
I had the pleasure of guiding Ed De La Billiere, who flew in from overseas “England” to get into the Eastern Sierra’s finest!
Check out this male which fell victim to one of our Light Assassin patterns!
Stacey Hammond joined her husband Jeff and myself on Crowley Lake for the first time. She did quite well!
Richard Maya and Fred Haase rocked the fish on a good morning bite in McGee!
Jenny Franz with a solid rainbow out of the Bay!
Bridgeport Reservoir 8/10/18
The weeds are starting to choke up the creek channels so the areas to fish in are getting smaller. No shortage of fish here though, as this only concentrates the fish tighter. Assassins and Punk Perch hung under the indicators close to the weeds have been effective. Midges still working well over the mud bottoms. #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Assassins Light, #14-16 Parallel Punk Perch, #12-18 Copper Tiger Midges, and Zebra midges have been great and effective patterns.
Middle Owens River (Bishop Area) 8/10/18
Flows have come down some at 510 cfs. Still a bit high here for fishing. We are awaiting the flow drop as Crowley Lake continues to drop before we begin trips here again. Fish early mornings and evenings here if you go and use plenty of weight to get those flies down. Probably more effort than it’s worth at these current conditions.
Upper Owens River 8/10/18
The river has a good amount of catchable size rainbows all over, but more fish below the bridge. Flows at 111 cfs. A few larger than average sized trout in the deeper sections.Target the deeper pools and riffle water that leads into them and you can get into some fun action fishing small nymphs, dry/droppers, and small streamers. Look for rising fish in the mid-morning and later in the afternoons along the slower moving sections. The foam lines have been where it is at. Throwing stimulators and hopper patterns in the foam can entice fish to take on the surface.
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. We walk and wade guide here. During winter we will access the UO with snowmobiles.
Ali fished with Hanzo and had a fun morning on rainbows!
Henry Kim with a typical Upper Owens rainbow! Hanzo was his guide!
San Joaquin River 8/10/18
Flows now at 40 cfs. Cover some ground to hunt the wild fish willing to take a dry fly. Escaping the campground madness can get you some solitude and good action on fish. Dry fly and dry/dropper combos producing best. Keep your flies floating high and they will get looked at by most fish they pass over. A good mend in your line with little to no drag is all it takes. Give us a call if you would like us to get you into this area for some great dry fly fishing.
The SJ in its current flow state! Steve Brook had a great time fishing this river!
A beautiful wild brown from the gin clear waters of the SJ! Chris Kersting fished with Hanzo as his guide.
*Tom Loe, Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, and Hans Grotewold are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide San Joaquin River.
Hot Creek 8/10/18
Hoppers have been great during certain parts of the day. Some days they are on them, and others you have to change flies and figure it out. Fish small midges when you see the fish feeding below the surface. The bite can get tough at mid-day but you can keep the fish biting by matching the hatch. This program is great for half day trips in the mornings with no need for waders. We have had some fun and memorable days this summer getting our clients on some rising trout through the mornings. #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.
East Walker River 8/10/18
Flows now down to very fishable levels at 157 cfs. Warmer water has the fish spread out into the deeper sections. You’ll find cooler water the closer you get to the dam, and fishing in the deep sections can produce some nice fish. If you get here early enough, fish the shaded areas with midges and perch fry patterns. Use enough weight to get your offerings down to the fish. Crawdad patterns work great this time of year, along with #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal.
Matt Figel fished with Two Bug Doug and scored this East Walker hog!
Grant/Silver Lakes/Alpine Lakes 8/10/18
Good fishing hanging midges under an indicator above the weeds at Silver. A good sonar will give you an idea of where the best concentration of fish are. This time of year the creek and river inlets hold the most fish unless you plan to go very deep. They still bite as the breeze comes up and you can have some pretty good number days here. The weeds are now well established at the south end of Silver. Other alpine lakes may require longer leaders to get down to the fish but the setup is still the same. 9′ leaders with #18-20 paramidges and griffith’s gnats for the surface action. Go with small copper john’s , Pt’s , and midges when going subsurface or hung under an indicator.
We use our state of the art center console “fish magnets” to guide Grant & Silver Lakes.
Balanced patterns are the new rage for nymphing, & streamer fishing. Parallel Punk Perch has been the hottest fly on Crowley Lake recently. 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.