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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 Conditions 10/10/19

After another cooler period with wind and some cooler temperatures, we are looking ahead to another warm up and dry weather for the coming weeks. We have been staying busy this fall as our happy customers come up to fish during their favorite time of year in the eastern sierra. The aspen trees in the high elevations have started dropping their leaves already as the couple of cold snaps we’ve had got them going early. There are still plenty of fall colors to see though, as most of the trees at middle elevations are still turning color. Most areas are in full fall mode now with water levels settling down and colder water temperatures moving the fish toward the tributaries. Plenty of weeds are still providing an abundance of food for the trout in Crowley Lake, and all species are hitting the buffet this month. Upper Owens River and Hot Creek are now showing signs of fish getting ready to transition into autumn mode. Some really nice fish are being caught on most of our fly patterns used. Different areas are requiring different flies, so changing up your bugs is key. Give us a shout if you need some recommendations on what flies are working best where, as this does change weekly. The East Walker River is starting to clear up again, and the water temperatures have dropped. Some nice fish are being caught in the mile section and below the bridge. McGee Creek is also showing some fish throughout the area. Egg patterns are starting to shine this month as the fish work their way up the creek. The Lower Owens River still pushing 700 cfs as Crowley drops a little each day. Not quite fishable yet but we are monitoring the flows here closely for our chance to drop the drift boats in. The snowmobiles are being uncovered from the summer storage locations and rigging of our dog sled trailers has begun. We are getting ready for the coming winter and hoping for another epic snow year!

Some frosty mornings left a bit of ice on the boats!

Despite the cold nights, the daytime temps have been beautiful!

The calm before on the (wind) storms!


We have a new contact email address so please make a note of this:

***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

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 10/10/19

It’s a very consistent bite here, but locations have been changing from week to week. Water temperatures are dropping quickly, as the cold nights begin to push the warm water to the lake bottom. The weed beds are here to stay this year, which has provided everlasting shelter for the vulnerable perch fry and callibaetis mayflies. Midges fished under the indicator have been our most successful methods this month. Varying your depth and colors will keep you on the fish throughout the day. Some fish will only bite if you have the right position on them with your boat or float tube. The 7 – 16′ depth has been the best for most locations. There are still fish in McGee Bay, but most of our fishing has taken place at the north end of the lake.

 Best Flies: Parallel Assassin Dark and Light – 16; Assassin Dark and Light – 16; Parallel Punk Perch Dark and Light – 14, 16; Broken Back Dark Zebra Midge- 16; Crystal Tiger Midge Long -18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge – 18; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge – 18; Crystal Midge Pupa Black – 20; Crystal Caddis Larva Olive Copper – 18; Punk Perch Dark and Light – 14, 16; Damsel Nymph Dark and Light; Flashback Pheasant Tail Tungsten Black Head – 14, 16, 18.

Cayden Telleson shows how it is done with back to back monster cutthroat trout!

Cayden with another fine cutthroat trout!

Denny Smithgall is no stranger to the fish gallery. He fished with Devin for this killer brown trout!

Denny with a beautiful cutthroat trout!

Denny Smithgall and Peter Beucke had a killer day!

Peter with an gigantic Crowley Lake rainbow trout!

John and Carol Dipoma following in their son’s footsteps with a double rainbow and cutthroat trout!

Here’s John with a nice brown trout!

Elsa Flores and Steve Welsh got some good ones while fishing with Doug Dolan. A big rainbow and cutthroat trout!

Vince Castle is back sporting a hot brown trout! We had to get this one up close to show off those magnificent spots!

David Paradis shows off a great brown trout!

Chuck Pickard with an awesome brown trout!

Phil got Dan Maloney out for this sweet brown trout!

Scott McConnell fished with Jerry and scored some nice rainbow trout!

John Garoutte fished with Doug Dolan and diplays a hot rainbow trout!

Our own “Uncle Phil” gives the bite on Crowley Lake two thumbs up!

Threes a crowd in this net with all three species. Rainbow, Brown, and Cutthroat trout!



Middle Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 10/10/19

Flows are raging here again as the flood gates have opened up. Best to look elsewhere as it can be an unsafe condition here if you go in.



Hot Creek 10/10/19

Winter is coming according to the fish. The grasshoppers are now gone, and the fish are more dependent now on aquatic insects and baitfish. Eggs are coming back into style this fall in various colors. Dry dropper rigs fished under the cut banks have also been producing some quality fish.

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.

Brain Okane fished with Hans for this rainbow trout!

Here’s his son Patrick with a H.C. special rainbow trout!

Betsy Osborn fished with Hans and got into some nice ones like this quality rainbow trout! 




Upper Owens River 10/10/19

Find the deep pools and find the fish. Fish are moving in from Crowley, and the slower eddies are holding some medium sized models. Water is very clear, so stay back down stream, away and out of sight from your targets. They can spot you very easily this time of year, and you will get into more fish by taking the stealthy approach. Dragging eggs on the bottom with a SJ Worm on top has been a great combo. We may see some really nice fish move in by November this year.

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.

Doug Dolan put Corey Johnston on this fat rainbow trout!

Mark Adams also fished with Doug Dolan for this big 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 10/10/19

The river has dropped some more today, thus concentrating more fish in deeper water. Work the deep slow pools well, as they are holding some good numbers right now. The cold snap will definitely put some larger models on the bite in the next few days. Don’t get complacent went it comes to adjusting your indicator and how much weight you are using. There are times when the fish won’t touch your flies if they aren’t close enough to the bottom. Cover suspected fish holding zones thoroughly, as some of the bigs want your flies right in front of their faces. Medium size streamers are great flies to pull through the lanes and pools currently.

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.

Mike Del Pero fished with Devin Preston and scored this East Walker fish of the month! Congrats to both Devin and Mike for this one!

Another trophy rainbow trout for Mike!


 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.

Thank you for visiting our website and checking out our report. Please feel free to explore our sight by clicking on any of the links at the top of this page.  Be the Fly…. Doug and Jenny Rodricks, Sierra Drifters Guide Service

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