Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5/8/24

Here’s your Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5-8-24. The general trout season is well underway now. The past few days have brought wind, some snow over the last weekend, and cooler temperatures. Going into the coming days, we can expect to see drier conditions with a nice warm up coming next week. There is the possibility for a slight chance of precipitation, but chances look low for now. Crowley Lake had a good start to the season. The fish are spread out around the lake for now. Lots of water made it tough for shore anglers, but boat anglers seemed to do much better. Cooler temperatures have kept the spring run-off at low flows, but next weeks warm up should start to ramp up water intake. The Lower Owens River is now at 524 cfs, as the LADWP starts making room for the coming snowmelt. Not very good fishing at these flows and we can expect to see them come up higher as we slide into the summer season. Hot Creek flows are still on the lower side. The Interpretive Site seems to be fishing a little better than the canyon section. Small Midges and afternoon mayflies are getting takes right now. Bridgeport Reservoir and the East Walker River are fishing very well. The reservoir seems to be a few weeks ahead of Crowley for bug hatches. Large swarms of midges and callibaetis mayflies are already present here. Midges and Light Assassins have been taking some nice fish recently. The East Walker River is flowing at 260 cfs as of this report. Get here early if you go, as it has been crowded. Fish are spread all over the river at these flows. The San Joaquin River is flowing at 215 cfs due to cooler temperatures. The Upper Owens River has been good below the Benton Crossing Bridge for smaller rainbows, and the cutthroat trout have finally made it into the river. We still have some dates available for Eagle Lake. We will be there for the entire month of June. Check out our video on Eagle Lake here: https://youtu.be/wYFTcWtA914?si=Ig9LBALKZSWrOHmP

Upper Owens River flows are steady at 81 cfs. The cutthroat trout have yet to show themselves in the river. Smaller rainbows and browns seem to be the norm right now, but that may change any day now if we get some of the larger cutthroat moving in. Smaller nymphs and mid-day dry fly action has been decent. Roads are dry and clear in most areas for easy vehicle access. Best nymphs have been Pheasant Tails in sized #16 -18, Copper Johns, Bead Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, SD Crawlers in Red, #16 San Juan Worms, and various midges in #14 -20..

Hot Creek has some good fishing in the Interpretive Site and you can get some nice fish in the canyon section if you hit the deeper pools and runs. The flows will look lower down in the canyon and seem deeper in the Interpretive Site especially around the pools. 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 and running at 524 cfs. Expect them to increase from here. Fishing will be very tough and limited going into the summer months. We won’t be doing any fishing here until the flows stabilize and lower some.

Bridgeport Reservoir is off to a great start. Lots of aquatic activity has the fish on the feed. Even windy conditions are not keeping the fish from feeding here. Rainbow Pt. and the Buckeye Bay and the East Walker Channel all have fish around them. Midges and Callibaetis imitations have been working best. Most of the fish can be had in 10 – 14′ of water. Our Light Assassins, Copper Tigers and SD Chironomidges have been putting the hurt on some nice fish here.

East Walker River has been fishing very well. Water is very clear right now as it usually is at the beginning of the season. Flows are currently running at 260 cfs. This allows the fish to spread out throughout the entire river. Angling pressure has been heavy, especially on the weekends. Fish are currently taking midge patterns off the surface as well as Trico mayflies. Other successful fly patterns have been #16 midge patterns, San Juan Worms, Crawdads, #18-20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, and #18 Copper Johns.

Crowley Lake was off to a slow start for fly fishers, but it has been picking up daily. Fish can be found from as shallow as 11′ out to 22′. The larger fish seem to be frequenting McGee Bay. It has not been much of what I would call a steady bite by any means, but day to day seems to be different. Some days you get in that good window of multiple grabs in a couple of hours and other days you are working for them. Midges are the mainstay for the fish right now, as is usually the case in the early season. McGee, Hilton and the Six Bays seem to have the best fishing currently.

Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5-8-24.

A hooded smiling fly fisherman holding a giant rainbow trout in a boat on Bridgeport Reservoir.

Randy fished with Doug R. and bagged this nice rainbow trout on Bridgeport Reservoir.

A vile of midge pupa from a recently caught and released trout on Bridgeport Reservoir.

Check out what came out of the stomach of one of the trout on Bridgeport Reservoir; midge pupa.

A smiling angler with a wide brim hat holding a large brown trout on the East Walker River.

Patrick shows off his stellar brown trout from the East Walker River while fishing with Doug R.

A lady fly fisherwoman wearing camouflage holding a giant rainbow trout in a boat on Bridgeport Reservoir.

Breauna shows off a beast of a rainbow trout while fishing with Doug R. on Bridgeport Reservoir.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a giant rainbow trout in a boat on Bridgeport Reservoir.


A smiling fly fisherman holding a giant brown trout in a boat on Bridgeport Reservoir.

Brian displays a beautiful brown trout while fishing with Doug R. on Bridgeport Reservoir.

A calibaetis mayfly on the fingers of a hand on Bridgeport Reservoir.

A typical callibaetis mayfly from Bridgeport Reservoir.

AA smiling fly fisherman holding a giant rainbow trout in a boat on Bridgeport Reservoir.

A fly fisherman hooked up to a trout on Bridgeport Reservoir while fishing from a boat.

Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 5-8-24.

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 11-29-23:

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