Here is your Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 1-26-23. What a series of storms we had and they delivered as promised. Feet and feet of snow fell on the eastern sierra creating havoc in the region by causing road and highway closures and as well as avalanche risks. The issue wasn’t the amount of snow, but the frequency of the storms which left only a day in between to clean up and prepare for the next blizzard. This pattern caused a lot of delays where crews had to work around the clock to keep the roads clear. The Upper Owens River has been producing some trophy rainbow trout. Hot Creek has been fishing well and there isn’t a lot of fishing pressure currently. The Lower Owens drift boat fishing has been good, but the Wild Trout section has slowed way down. Another light storm, by sierra standards, is on the way and temperatures are going to plummet. As we experience extreme temperatures this winter, it becomes important to dress properly and not ignore the possibility of frostbite and hypothermia. We frequently experience sub-freezing temperatures in the mornings while fishing. Wind chill can be very dangerous, especially when wind comes in contact with exposed skin. Your body will rapidly lose heat at this point and numbness will set in. With just a 10 mph wind in sub-zero temperatures, the air temperature will become 20 degrees plus or minus colder. Frostbite chances increase for every 10 mph of wind speed from there. Be smart out there and conscious of what your body is telling you, as once your body temperature drops too low your brain can be affected and you may not realize you are slipping into hypothermia. This is especially important if you are fishing alone. Check out the 2 photos below of the Upper Owens River a week ago:
Upper Owens River trips have been spectacular. Not only are we catching some amazing trophy rainbow trout, but the scenery and isolation in the snow has been great. There’s nothing better than being ridden in by snowmobile to access some winter trophy trout fishing. The fish have really been moving around with the past storm activity and the cold temperatures. 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 140 cfs now. The river has come down and settled in with the end of the storms. Water clarity is coming back daily and some BWO mayflies have been emerging daily in the afternoons.
The drift boat sections have been fishing well and the wade sections have slowed down some. We are catching rainbow and brown trout fishing small streamers from the boat. 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.
Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 1-26-23.
Chris displays a colorful rainbow trout from the Upper Owens River while fishing with Two Bug Doug.
Two Bug Doug guided Vicki to some real hefty rainbow trout like this one.
Two Bug Doug guides Ron to some trophy rainbow trout.
Doug R. guided John to some large rainbow trout like this one.
Len fished with Doug R. and got this nice rainbow trout.
Vicki with a gigantic rainbow trout.
Another jumbo rainbow trout was landed by Vicki.
Hans guided Bill to some nice rainbow trout like this one.
Kelly fished with Devin and landed this nice rainbow trout.
David displays a colorful rainbow trout from the Upper Owens River while fishing with Devin.
Kelly with another hefty rainbow trout.
Rod fished with Doug R. and displays this nice rainbow trout.
Rod with another killer rainbow trout.
Rod and son Matt having a fun day with Doug R. on the Upper Owens River.
Matt fished with Doug R. and got this giant rainbow trout.
Birch was guided by Doug R. and landed this hog of a rainbow trout. Getting into the river on this day was a challenge, but fun!
Birch hooked up to a giant rainbow trout.
Benton Crossing road was closed for almost a week after the last storm.
Copious amounts of snow have fallen on the Upper Owens River.
Two Bug guided Rooney to this hefty rainbow trout.
Backus smoked this rainbow trout while fishing with Hans.
Bill fished with Hans and smashed this super girthy rainbow trout.