Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5/16/23


Here’s your Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5-16-23. You can stick a fork in winter, as spring has finally arrived in the eastern sierra. We may still get the random snow flurry or winter storm, as in previous years a little snow even in June is not unheard of. For now however, spring weather has been reaching into the 70’s in Long Valley and Crowley Lake is ice free and back to its usual scene. Fishing started on the slow side and is taking a little time to pick up, but we are picking away at the browns, rainbows and cutthroats on the lake. Midges and Leeches have been getting them. Most of the rivers are flowing high now, with the Lower Owens at 750 cfs and the East Walker at a raging 1030 cfs, and with warm weather in the forecast, we can expect to see the some water come down in force from the mountains and blow out the creeks shortly. A few cutthroat have been spotted in the Crowley Lake tributaries, but not a whole lot moving in just yet, as everything seems to be a few weeks behind schedule. Upper Twin Lakes in Bridgeport has been producing the big browns. Eagle Lake is primed and ready for the opener in a couple of weeks. We got our summer wear back in stock. Check out our fine selection of Sierra Drifters Hats.

Upper Owens River The river is snow free, but mud puddles and soft ground still pose a hazard to vehicles. Water clarity is off-color but water conditions look great for the incoming cutthroat trout out of Crowley Lake..

Hot Creek With the warmer weather, the water color turns brownish and fast by late morning early afternoon. Not much of a hatch with the colder water flowing into the creek, so finding calmer pockets and sticking with nymphs has been the way. 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 is blown out at 750cfs. We will not driftboat it at this flow nor will we wade it. This flow will continue or even increase as the spring progresses. We are writing it off here until the fall or the river stabilizes at a consistent flow rate.

East Walker River flows are high at 1030 cfs. Going to be a tough go if you fish here, but it can be done. Lots of weight to get those flies down is the key and be mindful of your safety. As we get into spring heavier flies like Crawdads and Rubber Legs are good choices.

Pyramid Lake cutthroat are coming out of the spawn. They are readjusting to feed mode again, but the bigs are out there. Most of the fish are being caught in 5 to 10′ of water. A combination of stripping streamers and indicator fishing has been the most productive. Smaller midges fished under the indicator in the #16 – 18 range have been best.

Eagle Lake is getting the water now and the lake is rising. Pine Creek has been flowing stronger than it has in years, which is good news for the lake and the fish. We still have dates available for those wanting to fish the incredible fishery for the month of June. We are now taking bookings for May 31st – July 1st. Check out our Eagle Lake page for more information. For some moving picture action of Eagle Lake take a look at our videos.

Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5-16-23.

A fly fisherman on a boat on a lake with a large rainbow trout.

Richard fished with Doug R. and scored his first fly caught rainbow trout.

A fly fisherman on a boat on a lake with a large brown trout.

Jeff also fished with Doug R. and got this fatty brown trout.

A fly fisheman on a river with clear water.

Mike got into a few nice wild brown trout in the Gorge while fishing with Doug R.

A fly fisherman on a boat on a lake with a large brown trout.

Ken fished with Doug R. and the put the hurt on some nice brown trout on Crowley Lake.

A fly fisherman on a boat on a lake with a large rainbow trout.

Ken with a nice Crowley Lake rainbow trout.

A fly fisherman fighting a nice trout from Crowley Lake.

Ken stayed bent for most of the day.

A fly fisherman on a boat on a lake with a large rainbow trout.

Ken with another solid brown trout.

A river flowing through the Owens River Gorge.

The Owens River Gorge is in good shape.

A fly fisherman in the Owens River Gorge with a wild brown trout.

Mike displays a typical Owens River Gorge brown trout.

Click here to check out our entire fly fishing trout videos collection on our YouTube Channel. Please “Like” and “Subscribe” when you get there.

Here are our flies which are working on the Upper Owens, Lower Owens River, East Walker River and Hot Creek in addition to the above patterns listed in our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 4-7-23:

SD Chironomidge #16, Para Midge #20, 22, Puff O’ Smoke #16, Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge #18, 20; Assassin Light #18; Assassin Dark #18; Crystal Hi-Vis Parachute Blue Wing Olive #18; Crystal Tiger Midge Long #18, 20; Crystal Midge Pupa Copper #18, 20; Gillie Chironomid Pupa Dark and Light #18, 20, 22,Otter Eggs in all colors, Bead Head San Juan Worm Red And Brown #14, 16; Squirmy Worm Tungsten purple, pink, and red; Parallel Assassin Light #14-16, Parallel Assassin Dark #16; Loeberg Mallard Silver Badger; Spruce a Bu Dark and Light

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