Getting through the month of May has brought some warm and sunny weather with high pressure days, but also some minor cold fronts accompanied by wind and a little rain. The highest elevations in the sierra have received a dusting of snow. Most snowfall at this time of year does not stick around and quickly melts off. Fishing has been very good in most locations. Crowley Lake has been very good for all species of trout in shallower water than usual. Solid midge hatches have been making for some amazing fishing on trout to 23″. The inlets are starting to show sign of cutthroat trout now, and runoff is starting to take effect on most freestone creeks and rivers. East Walker flows have come up a bit and will hopefully rise another 50 cfs to get some fish to start moving out to deeper water. The Upper Owens River is off color below the bridge, and the cutts are making their way upstream. Lower Owens River is holding at the 270 cfs range.
The East Walker is running at 99 cfs now, creating a bit more real estate for the trout. Some larger fish are being caught on bigger streamers and crawdads. #16-18 various Midges, #16-18 Prince Nymphs, Rubber Legs, and Squirmy Worms in all colors have also been producing.
Hot Creek can fish well in the first few hours of the morning. Late mornings and into the afternoon will now show some stained water and slow down the hatches some as Mammoth Creek brings in cold snow melt. Smaller caddis larva patterns, SJ Worms, and midges, assassins light, and Pheasant tails can get you into fish.
The Upper Owens River has a few cutthroat now showing throughout the river. They are in one spot one day and in another the next. Please do not fish to the cutthroat that run in a pair as they are established on their redds and have already started the spawn. The pods of fish that are vying for position are the ones that will bite your flies. Be careful to keep an eye out for lighter colored depressions in the gravel as these are holding eggs and fry that are very fragile, so please take extreme care if you are crossing or wading here.
Crowley Lake has been excellent for fishing in water from 12 – 16′. Enormous midge hatches during the warmer days have continued to grow, and some unsettled weather patterns have brought some wind and precipitation at times but it has not shut off the bite. The fish are hungry and feeding heavily on midges in the 16 – 22 size range. Weed growth has already started on the bottom and the sandy areas between them are giving up some terrific fish. Best patterns have been the #16 – #18 SD Chironomidge, #16 – 20 Tungsten Zebra, #18 Gillie Light and Dark, #16 – 20 Copper Tiger midge, #16 Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge, #14 – 16 Blood Midge, and #16 -18 Mud Candy.
Lower Owens River flows have stabilized at the 275 range which has made it good for fishing now. Warmer days in the Bishop area have set in now, but wading at this flow is tough with all the brush on the banks. There has been an explosion of ticks down here, so take care not to let your pets run around on the banks and make sure to check yourself after walking around here. Fish are spreading out and holding in the pools and in the riffle water now.
The San Joaquin River access is still closed to vehicle access but Caltrans is making good progress in clearing the road. We may get an earlier season here than normal due to the lighter snowpack and earlier run-off. We will let you know when access is open.
Kayla fished with Doug Rodricks and got some nice ones like this cutthroat trout from Crowley Lake.
Dave got on some nice fish like this rainbow trout from Crowley Lake with Doug Rodricks.
Doug R. guided Shane to some good fish like this healthy rainbow trout on Crowley Lake.
Jerry guided Michael to some sweet fish like this Crowley Lake cutthroat trout.
Doug Rodricks guided John on Crowley Lake to some good rainbow trout like this one.
Robert slayed the trout on Crowley Lake with Doug R. Here’s a standout brown trout.
Bob and Kerry with a pair of nice trout from Crowley Lake.
The dynamic duo on a double hook up on rainbow trout.
Check out this pig of a Crowley Lake rainbow trout caught by Ray while fishing with Doug R.
Seth put Jay on this awesome brown trout out of Crowley Lake.
Jay’s wife Peggy got into the action with this stellar rainbow trout with Seth.
Doug R. guided Glen to this strong brown trout from Crowley Lake.
Hans somehow pulled off this double on cutthroat trout for Steve and guide dog Lacey while guiding on Crowley Lake.
Jerry guided Luke and his son Lukas to some great fish like this stunning rainbow trout from Crowley Lake.
Kayla with another monster fish, this time a rainbow trout from Crowley Lake.
Laurie was guided by Seth to some nice fish like this cutthroat trout on Crowley Lake.