A Fish Report for 7/11/18

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 7/11/18

Weather changes are on the horizon for the eastern sierra. The monsoon has returned, bringing afternoon thunderstorms, and with it dry lightning fire watch warnings. This pattern will continue for the next 7 days and add a slight cooling to the area. For those of you in southern California, unfortunately the sweltering heat will remain in place with high humidity for the next couple of weeks. This is as great a time as ever to escape the oven like temperatures and make a fishing trip up with family and friends. The fishing has been absolutely fantastic with our lakes still stealing the show. Crowley Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir have been holding steady for monster trout taking our flies daily and putting “HUGE” smiles on many anglers’ faces. The shallow water fishing is the best it can be now period! The East Walker River flows are stable and fishing the big fish holding areas has been productive. The June Lakes in the loop have been producing some big fish and some nice cutthroat have been coming out of Gull Lake. The Mammoth Lakes in the basin have been decent to great depending on the lake. Fishing along the drop offs and transition areas has been best. Hot Creek has remained excellent with surface action steady throughout the morning and afternoons. The Middle Owens River down in flows above Bishop Creek, but hot weather and warm nights keeping water temperatures a bit on the uncomfortable side for feeding trout.



***We are currently updating, and improving some pages on the website. There may be temporary issues as we work on the site. You can always contact us at 760-935-4250, or email at driftfish1@gmail.com. 

Sierra Drifters is a guide service based near Mammoth Lakes, CA. There is no retail shop to visit.

Crowley Lake 7/11/18

 The lake has gone into full speed fish catching mode if you know where to set up and what flies to hang. Fish are spread out all over McGee Bay in varying depths. There are some major concentrations of big fish in some small areas, and if you can get on one of these spots you will experience some “EPIC” catching of big fish in the range of 19-23″. The North Arm of the lake is also loaded with trout feeding on callibaetis and damselflies in short water. Midges have been on the menu early and can go well into the afternoons. Hundreds of thousands of chironomid swarms have been littering the shoreline daily.

An early morning midge swarm!


#18-20 zebra midges, gillies, and #16-18 copper tiger midges have been best. Switching to our Assassin dark and light and Parallel Assassin dark and light in #14-16 later in the day have been good calls. These are must have flies for this lake that can be purchased by clicking on our fly sales tab at the top. Hundreds of fish have flooded the flats, short weed beds, and the main channel. Hooking big fish in shallow water is no joke, meaning if you are late on your hookset or do not let these fish run in time they will smoke your gear. You can minimize the loss of flies, indicators, and leader by setting the hook properly and rigging up your leaders for short water correctly. Come out with us on our premier fishing platforms for a few hours or a full day and we will show you the way. Our guides have perfected techniques and teaching methods that will get you hooking and landing large trout with a fly rod in no time whether you are completely new to fly fishing or a seasoned angler!

These two anglers had never fly fished before spending a day with us. They managed to hook and land multiple fish over 20″ in length with ease after receiving professional instruction from our guide team!


Check out some of our recent catches here:



Rick Otto fished with Master Guide Tom Loe and scored this nice brown!


Sierra Drifter’s regular Mitchell “Blood Mitch” Kelly scored some real beasts while out with Tom Loe!


Mitch’s daughter Madison has shown her face a few times on here as well. Here she displays a large and powerful rainbow anyone would be proud of!


Madison’s brother Thomas Kelly got in on the action as well with this fat and chunky brown trout! 


Jerry Gilpin took Matt Bickel and family out for a fun day with some hot fishing!


Here’s Matt and his brother Ben with a sweet double on two different species. A brown and a rainbow!


Long time SD guide Phil Therrien had the pleasure of taking out Alex Capehart and his son Ben. The two had a wonderful day of catching on the lake!

Phil gives his “thumb of approval” while Ben displays his nice catch!


Al Taylor and Bill “Doc” Sutherling put the hurt on the fish this day. These two left them biting and couldn’t take their eyes away from their strike indicators for a second! They experienced a wide open bite on large trout all morning!

Bill with another fine rainbow!


Leo Komonchak got this beast on a recent outing with me. Finally a fish that stuck, right Leo?


Brett Edmondson made his annual trip to the lake with me and managed this nice rainbow!


Kaleb Manes landed some nice ones including this stellar cutthroat!


Rob Brown decided to change gears from rock climbing and give his body a rest. I think the trout had a different plan in mind as there was no rest for the weary that morning!


Angela Carter got some of her nicest trout ever alongside Rob! This cutthroat decided to show for the camera and she was absolutely thrilled!


Two Bug Doug put Valerie Hamilton from New Mexico on some quality fish. Check out the sleekness of this shiny rainbow!

Jay Poore (background) fishes with us frequently. He figured it was time to get his boys on some of Crowley’s finest. Two Bug Doug did the guiding. Ben and Jim Poore showing off their double!


Jim with another quality rainbow!


Mazi Sarahang fished with Doug Dolan and got this great rainbow!








Bridgeport Reservoir 7/11/18 



Just as good here as its sister lake. The creek channels are where it is at. Multiple large models are biting here along the channel, its edges and over the shallower weed beds. The lake has been fishing better than it has in over 6 years and some mega number days on large fish can be had here.  #14-16 Level Crystal Leeches, #14-16 Assassins Light, #12-18 Copper Tiger Midges, Parallel Punk Perch, and Zebra midges have been go to patterns.

Check out some of our recent catches here:

Tom Loe hit Bridgeport Reservoir for a couple of days with the Maguires. Here is Sergey with a beast of a rainbow!

Father Jim Maguire with a bicep curling class brown trout!

Middle Owens River (Bishop Area) 7/11/18

Flows have dropped here recently at 211 cfs, but hot weather has put the fish in the deeper pools to cool off. Try fishing the riffles in the evenings and mornings and then going deep with nymphs and streamers mid-day. Flows should increase here as Crowley Lake drops soon. We will resume drift boating in the fall when the water levels drop and the air temperatures start to cool again.

Middle Owens River in its current conditions!



Upper Owens River 7/11/18

Pretty good fishing in the pools, riffles, and undercut banks for school sized trout. Mayflies, Caddis, midges, and Hoppers have been fun to cast to these little guys. The occasional larger fish can be found mixed in and surprise you. Water levels have dropped and warmed here, so better fishing is being had above the Hot Creek confluence.

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.


San Joaquin River 7/11/18

Flows now at 77 cfs. Very fishable now upstream and downstream from the bridge. Dry fly and dry/dropper combos producing best. Keep your flies floating high and they will get hammered 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.

*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 7/11/18

 Throw any decent hopper imitation along the bank edges and in the riffles and get ready to set that hook. Hot Creek has made a fantastic come back and it’s on a steady pace to returning to the fishery it once was. 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. 

Don Berry wanted to kill a morning on the creek and got into some great numbers with dry flies!


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 7/11/18 

Flows now down to very fishable levels at 212 cfs. Mornings have been good in the riffles and faster water. Looks for pockets behind the rocks in the upper sections to single out that large brown or rainbow. 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. 

The East Walker is looking good!

Take a look at this brownzilla that Rick Viole managed after a 22 minute battle! Doug Dolan was on the net and the guidance on this one!

Martin Loessner with a “pig” of brown!






Grant/Silver Lakes 7/11/18

Bigger fish have been showing around both lakes. Warmer water has put more trout on the feed and they are responding well to nymphs and streamers. There have been some good evening hatches with fish sipping midges and mosquitos on the surface. Try 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.