Here is your Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 1-10-23. Snow, snow, snow! That’s the pattern for now with storm after storm waiting their turn to drop serious amounts of snow and rain to the entire state. The atmospheric rivers are running through like freight trains dropping tons of moisture and unfortunately causing some serious flooding issues and landslides for other parts of California. Of course this means plenty of water for the summer months in the sierra, but we still need lots more to catch up to years of drought. The Upper Owens River is now seeing more fish move in with the new storms and snowmobile access is good. Driving in is not recommended as I’ve already witnessed a few vehicles getting stuck in the snow. Hot Creek is fishing great right now for those willing to make the trek in. With the recent rains there has been some swelling and discoloration, but this will clear up once the weather stabilizes. The Lower Owens River has come up with the recent rains and is completely discolored. A few more days to drain the banks and the water will return it to fishable conditions.
Upper Owens River Access to the river is strictly walk in as there is no driving in, at least any real distances. The January run of rainbows has begun now as we witness more areas of the river starting to fill up with large rainbow trout. Some brown trout are still holding in the river and are being caught in the same areas as the rainbows. The standard egg patterns, assassins, pheasant tails, and leeches are doing the job on these fish. We are snowmobiling clients in, which is giving us access to all areas of the river. The fish are ranging from 20 – 24″ in length and are in pristine shape. Flies that are best currently are #14 – 16 Level Crystal Leech, #14 – 16 Dark Assassin, #14 – 16 Hare’s Ear Gray, Tungsten Squirmy Worm in all colors, SD Crawler Red, #14 San Juan Worm, # 14 Flashback Pheasant Tail, and Rubber Legs. You can purchase these patterns and more here.
Hot Creek You will have to walk in to access both the Interpretive Site and the canyon sections. Mornings have been icy cold, so 6am starts are not necessary here. Remember that smaller dry flies that we tend to fish in the winter months are usually small patterns which require a good dry fly floatant to keep your presentations looking real to the fish. You can purchase our line of High and Dry floatants here. We find this brand to be some of the best we have used. Flies to use: Egg patterns, SJ worms #14 – 16, #18 Blood Midge, #18 – 20 Tungsten Zebra, #20 Bead Prince Nymph Tungsten, Broken Black and Blue Midge, #18 -20 Crystal Caddis Larva Green Black, #18 – 20 Crystal Copper Zebra Midge, #18 Flashback Hare’s Ear, #22 -24 Griffith’s Gnat, #20 Serendipity Black.
Lower Owens River flows are up to 135 cfs now. The river is blown out some and off color, so we will wait to fish here until it settles down again. If you do fish here, try the edges of the river with slow water. We have been drifting in the lower sections and targeting the deep pools along the river with good success. Wade access in the wild trout section is getting a little trickier now, but you can have a big number fish day with some real standout trophy trout making a showing when things start to settle. Smaller nymphs like #18 – 20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, #20 Serendipity Black and Red, #18 – 20 Tungsten Zebra Midge, #20 – 22 Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper, #20 Red Rib Midge Glass and Dark Head, #18 -20 Crystal Caddis Olive Dubbed Black and Crystal Caddis Olive Larva Black have been catching trout here.
Eagle Lake has been getting a lot of moisture from the recent storms and we will be heading back here for the month of June for guided boat trips. If you have never had the chance to fish Eagle Lake, it is a memory maker for sure. Large Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout in good numbers are caught here, and these are some of the best fighting trout the state has to offer. The scenery is also amazing around this mountain lake and we will be taking bookings around mid-February.
Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 1-10-23.
Cathy displays a colorful rainbow trout from the Upper Owens River while fishing with Two Bug Doug.
Doug R. guided Grant to this hefty rainbow trout.
Grant with another nice rainbow trout.
Two Bug Doug guided Jim to some large rainbow trout like this one.
Jim with another piggy rainbow trout.
Pat fished with Doug R. and got this giant rainbow trout.
Noel was guided by Two Bug Doug and landed this hog of a rainbow trout.
Two Bug Doug guided Chris to some nice rainbow trout like this one.
Jake also fished with Two Bug and landed this nice rainbow trout.