With warmer temperatures getting the fish actively feeding, the fishing switched gears from opening weekend slower bites to wide open at times. The high pressure mornings produced some fairly good sized midge hatches on Crowley Lake and the fish responded well. The lake has been the best game in town for fly fishing. Water temps quickly warmed up as the cold fronts left the eastern sierra. Snow run-off has started in the late mornings and afternoons and is adding some discoloration to Hot Creek and the Upper Owens River. The East Walker River has plunged to very low flows as of this report, but fishing was decent just prior to the plunge in the deepest water. Lower Owens River is on the rise!
The East Walker is running at 35 cfs now, and only the deepest of pools are holding fish. Lots of anglers have been fishing here this past week, but waiting for higher flow rates is now recommended. These flows are still considered low for spring and once they increase, the fish will start to spread out and open up the river to more productive fishing areas. The deep pools are holding most of the fish for now, and drag free drifts with common mayfly, caddis nymphs, midges, and various worm patterns are working. If you are looking for some of the real bruisers in deep water, try throwing crawdad imitations in reddish colors.
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 still no cutthroat signs yet in the river and stained conditions are persisting as long as the warm weather continues. It’s a coin toss on whether or not the cutties will show up this year, as the past few years have been a let down. Cooler mornings are the best fishing times currently and standard patterns like SJ Worms, Pheasant tails, midges, and assassins and leeches are working now.
Crowley Lake has turned around and given up some beautiful fish of all species. Fish are in shallower water (9′) than usual this year, which is not typical for high water years. Fish seem to be feeding over the mud bottoms and short weed growth bottoms. Midges like our #16 SD Chironomidge, #16 – 20 Copper Tiger Midge, #18 Gillie Dark, #16-20 Zebra Midge, #16 Assassin Dark and Light, #16 Parallel Assassin Dark and Light, #18 Mud Candy, #16 Blood Midge, and Broken Back Copper and Dark Tiger Midge have been very effective. A decent showing of Sacramento Perch have also been mixing it up with the trout. Winds have been coming up strong in the late mornings/afternoons, but the fish still seem to feed.
Lower Owens River flows continue to rise and fishing has slowed down here. We may look to fish here again if the flow stabilize this spring, but for now we are focusing our efforts on the more productive waters above.
Jim and Allen fished with Doug Rodricks and scored this pair of beautiful cutthroat and brown trout on Crowley Lake.
Devin guided Mark to this nice brown trout on Crowley Lake.
Jerry guided Yuriko to some real monsters like this cutthroat trout on Crowley Lake.
Yuriko with another nice cutthroat trout from Crowley Lake.
Doug Rodricks guided Jim to a healthy rainbow trout on the East Walker.
The midges are here and providing good food for the trout on Crowley Lake.
Doug R. guided Bill to a fun morning on Crowley lake to get some fish like this nice brown trout.
Jerry guided Ron to some nice ones like this large cutthroat trout on Crowley Lake.
Ron with another nice cutthroat trout on Crowley Lake.
Two Bug Doug got Mark on some good fish on Crowley Lake like this cutthroat trout.
Mark’s brother Leo was in on the action too with this cutthroat trout.
Doug R. got Mikey on this cutthroat trout from Crowley Lake.
Joe had an epic day with Doug Rodricks on Crowley Lake and got some nice ones like this cutthroat trout.
Jerry guided Peter to some nice ones like this large rainbow trout on Crowley Lake.
Callie fished with Two Bug Doug and scored this sweet cutthroat trout on Crowley Lake.
Doug R. got Justin on some solid fish like this brown trout from Crowley Lake.
Justin with another beefy rainbow trout.
Check out Nico’s awesome possum brown that Two Bug Doug guided him to on the East Walker River.
Lori fished with Devin and put the hurt to some major fish like this rainbow trout.
Lori and Bob scored multiple doubles like this pair of rainbows on Crowley Lake with Devin.
Bob with another nice rainbow trout from Crowley Lake.
Lori again with another slug rainbow trout from Crowley Lake.