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 1/14/20
A dry spell of wet weather the last week for the high country has left access to all open rivers and creeks wide open. We have been taking advantage of the great fishing and easy access on all of our winter fisheries. Some winter weather in the forecast ahead should freshen things up. Fishing continues to be great on the Upper Owens, Lower Owens, and Hot Creek. The Upper O has some big rainbows all up and down the river with no snow on the ground at this time. Drive in access is still clear. The Lower Owens has been good with smaller streamers with the clear water. The BWO hatch is not quite prolific just yet, but the coming weeks should yield some bigger concentrations for the trout to feed on. Hot Creek is great for dry fly fishing and egg patterns or smaller nymphs fished sub-surface. You can have an all day bite here with the right bugs! The East Walker River has fish in the deep spots, and the fishing pressure has been very light here.
A sundowner shot from the Sierra Drifters HQ!
Browns and rainbows are on the ticket for the Lower Owens River drift trips!
A Great Blue Heron is a typical sight on most days on the river!
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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.
Lower Owens River/Wild Trout Section (Bishop Area) 1/14/20
The flows continue to be stable down here and the water is crystal clear, or as clear as this river gets. The last few days had the fish relocating to the softest water in shallow and sandy banks. It made for a tough bite and some spooky trout, but they have since resettled in their normal winter holds. Smaller streamer patterns with minimal flash have been working best on the bright and sunny days, then switching to dark colors on cloudy days has been the key. Lots of fish have been holding tight to the bottom, so getting those flies down makes all the difference. We have been enjoying some windless days of 50 degree weather and not seeing another angler on most days!
Todd Swanson fished with Doug Dolan and landed a great rainbow trout!
Mike Titgemeyer fished with Doug D. and displays this hot colored brown trout.
Rich Jorski got into a few good ones including this rainbow trout! We had perfect weather that day Rich!
Chris Kemp lives to fish! Check out this rainbow trout at the end of the day he fooled. Fun day out there Chris.
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
Hot Creek 1/14/20
Be stealthy and make sure there is zero drag on those dry flies. It’s an all day midge hatch in small sizes. Get the perfect drift without any drag on it and you will be rewarded. Egg patterns fished along the bottom in the deep transitions are getting grabs. Remember to set those hooks in the direction that your indicator is traveling for a solid hook set. Some of the larger rainbows are on the look out for eggs that drift in front of their faces. Match the hatch as best as possible with micro dry fly patterns. Find the right one and its game on with some challenging dry fly fishing.
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.
Upper Owens River 1/14/20
We have still seen more than one vehicle stuck in the snow and mud here on occasion. The snow is gone here, but still a bit patchy in places. It has gotten muddy now with the melt, so take caution on where you drive. Straying off the driven paths is not recommended, and getting out of your vehicle and surveying the area may save you from getting stuck. The usual winter spots are holding some really nice rainbows right now, and the fish keep moving into the river. We have snow in the forecast again, so you can bet on some more fish moving up river and filling up some of the holes. Cover all areas of the river to get into these fish consistently and make sure your drift is perfect. Mixing it up with your fly selection can keep you on the fish. Getting the right drift in the right spot is still king, so leave no stone unturned!
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.
Two Bug Doug got Mike Titgemeyer out for some great action with fish like this fine rainbow trout!
Todd Swanson was on the same trip and the ripped some lip with this rainbow trout!
Mikey with another fat rainbow trout. This one looks to be smiling too!
Todd’s tanker rainbow trout!
Kim Jenkins bested this torpedo rainbow trout while fishing with Doug Dolan!
16 year old Ryker hammered some good ones on a wind blown day like this nice rainbow trout!
Louis Kaup flew out from Colorado to fish with daughter Shelly and husband Joe Manas! They wanted to see just how big these river rainbow trout get!
Hanzo got Kevin Botsford and Danny Reaume out for a bang up day. Nice double hook up on rainbow trout!
Danny displays a fat 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 1/14/20
There has not been much pressure here this month at all. The fishing is good if you can get into the right pools and throw the right bugs. The fish are definitely opportunistic this time of year, and as they lay corralled up in big numbers they remain very competitive. Work the main pools and you could be rewarded with some monster fish!
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.
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.