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/Snow Conditions 11/29/19
Winter has arrived with a wallop! A good sized winter storm rolled in bringing rain to most of California and a solid start to the winter snowpack. Reports from around the area range from 54″ at Mammoth Mountain to a foot around the Crowley Lake area. With more snow in the forecast, we will be accessing the Upper Owens River by snowmobile very early this year which is great news. The big rainbows are in and will continue to move up river. Hot Creek still fishing well in both sections, although you may have to start getting creative to get into the canyon section from here on out. The Interpretive Site is still accessible by vehicle. The Lower Owens River is fishing as good as it has in the last few years. Drift boat access is open all along the river now. East Walker fish concentrating in the deepest water available. If you’re looking for a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer for that special fly fisher, we have gift certificates available. These can be purchased for the amount of your choice and used toward any of our trips. There is no expiration date on them.
A skier making his way through fresh powder on Mammoth Mountain from this weekends storm!
Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
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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.
Closed until April 25, 2020.
Lower Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 11/29/19
Flows have finally come down to the perfect level for fall and the coming winter. Water clarity is improving daily and the fishing has been great from our drift boats. All areas of the river are looking good and some bigger browns and rainbows have been showing up daily. We have been sending streamer patterns downstream and retrieving them back to the boat on sink tip lines. As the water gets lower, more fish are concentrating in the larger and deeper pools. Work the undercuts and eddy pools along the edges as well, as these are great holding spots for trout this time of year. We are now in full operation down here, so call or text us at 760-935-4250 or fill out one of our trip requests here.
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
The Lower Owens River post storm!
Doug Dolan got out after the storm and got Ken Southwick out for some good fishing! Nice rainbow trout!
The White Mountains got covered this weekend!
John Meulmester diplays a sweet brown trout while on the last stop of the day!
Mike Burke got this nice rainbow trout on the first stop of the day!
Bob Jorgenson fished with Devin Preston and got this nice rainbow trout!
Hot Creek 11/29/19
Egg patterns starting to do the trick as the weather cools and the fall spawners kick into winter mode. Even the non-fall or spring spawners will gladly take a slow drifted egg pattern this time of year. Get them on the bottom and bouncing along slowly. Smaller midge patterns and mayfly patterns also getting takes. Fish are still spread out throughout both sections of the creek.
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.
Dawn Stoecker got some nice fish like this rainbow trout!
Upper Owens River 11/29/19
The snow has come, and with it come the larger rainbow and brown trout as they continue to make a push up river. The snowmobiles will be making a landing here now with the coming storms. Access by vehicle starts to get iffy at this point as the ruts and trenches begin to fill up with snow. Beware of the warmer days when the snow melts as the mud can get soft and make it hard to drive through. Water is cold, so get those imitations right in front of their noses. Water is clear so have a stealthy approach and don’t get too close to these larger fish while casting. Lots of smaller sized fish in the mix as well. Look for fish sipping small midges in the eddies.
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, Kiwi Flash and Flamingo Otter Eggs.
Hans guided Eric Hamme to this fat rainbow trout!
Jeff Hudson scored this beautiful rainbow trout!
And another one from the same place!
Here’s Jeff with a tank of a rainbow trout!
The brown trout are even coming out to play!
Doug Dolan guided Nathan Garrison and Katherine Knowlton to some sweet rainbow trout!
Check out the rainbow trout Katherine got!
Larry Rhodes fished with Doug Dolan and got this wild rainbow trout!
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 11/29/19
Flows are now down to winter release rates in the 20 cfs range. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of water to cover along the river. Most of the fish will be piled up in the deepest pools. Egg patterns can be very effective now and through the winter months.
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.
Two Bug put Jeff Ottman on this sweet rainbow trout!
Devin guided Chris Finch to some nice ones including this fat rainbow trout!
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), Bridgeport Reservoir RV Park , Stroud’s Tackle in San Diego, & Malibu Fish’N Tackle in Thousand Oaks, and Fly and Field Outfitters; Bend, OR.