Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 7/16/21

A green meadow at sunset with a river running through it and purple skies.  

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We had a real heat wave like the rest of the state the past couple of weeks. This week we are getting some relief as temperatures get slightly cooler. Warmer than usual water temperatures for this time of year, have a lot of fish seeking out deeper water in most lakes. River fishing is limited due to low water but the Upper Owwens and Hot Creek are doing ok and giving up some decent dry fly fishing. The hoppers are out and are still very small, with most of the fish in the moving water keying on them mid-day. Caddis, mayflies, and midges are all on the menu currently, and various times of the day are providing opportunities for some fun and exciting dry fly fishing. Now that the days are longer, there has been heavy surface activity late into the evenings. While most fish are being found deeper on Crowley Lake, there are a lot on the surface feeding on damselfly nymphs and perch fry. The quality of fish here has been very good. Some wildfires have popped up in and around the area, with lightning and afternoon thundershowers bearing responsible for most of them.

Hot Creek has been pretty good with dry flies at different times of the day. Midges, tricos, and migrating caddis in the morning give way to nymphs and terrestrials later in the day. There are a few different hatch windows opening up, so having both a nymphing setup and a dry or dry/dropper rig ready to go is a good idea. Check out some of our new terrestrial and dry fly patterns here to match this hatch. The Interpretive Site and the canyon are both fishing equally well.

The Upper Owens River is now flowing at 59 cfs. This flow is not bad and the water has been very clear. Hot Creek Hatchery has resumed its fish planting schedule below the bridge and some of those fish have found their way up river. We have seen some larger fish in the 18″ plus range as well. Hoppers, caddis, mayflies, and stimulators have been very effective. Don’t overlook the late evening bite here, as most anglers are off the water, and the magic hour before dark can provide for some great opportunities.

Crowley Lake had most anglers running around the lake to find the best concentration of fish. Day to day conditions have been changing here. Fish are deep and fairly shallow at times. The midge hatch has fizzled for the size of chironomids we typically fish, so the trout are turning to perch fry, callibaetis nymphs, and damselfly nymphs. The algae bloom is starting to gain momentum now, and with water levels dropping, the weed lines will start to disappear faster than usual this year. Sacramento perch can be found all over the lake currently at various depths. Check out our new additions to our online fly shop. Click here for a look at some new flies, (terrestrials, nymphs, dry flies, stream side tools, split shot, leaders, etc) Best patterns have been the #16 – #18 SD Chironomidge, #16 – 20 Tungsten Zebra, #16 Midge Larva, #12 -18 Blood Midge, #14 -18 Grey Water, #16 – 20 Red Butt Midge Dark Head and Glass Head, #16 -20 Red Rib Midge Glass Head, #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 dropped to 220cfs which is still tough for wading. Scorching hot days in the Bishop area have set in now, and the best bite windows are early morning and late evening. 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 along the edges now.



A smiling fly fisherman holding a brown trout on a lake in a boat.

Michelle crushed the fish with Seth as her guide and got some real stand outs like this rainbow trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in a boat.

Two Bug Doug guided George to this nice cutthroat trout.

A youth girl with a blue UCLA hat holding a cutthroat trout from a lake on a boat.

Doug R guided Jesse to this chunky rainbow trout.

A lady angler with a red hat holding a brown trout in a boat on a lake.

Scott also fished with Doug R for this nice brown trout.

A young girl with blonde hair holding a trophy brown trout in a boat on a lake.

Jerry getting underway with clients to the hot spot for the day.

A black hooded fly fisheman with a camouflage jacket holding a brown trout.

Chris fished with Doug Dolan for a nice rainbow trout.

A fly fisherman standing in a river holding a cutthroat trout in spawning colors.

Seth put Linda on some good ones like this fat rainbow trout.

A fly fisherman standing in a river holding a cutthroat trout in spawning colors.

Two Bug got Blake on some nice ones like this sweet brown trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Kevin fished with Doug R for some nice ones like this rainbow trout.

A young girl with a grey hat holding a large cutthroat trout in a boat on a lake.

Steve got some nice ones with Seth like this hot brown trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in a boat.

Jake got some nice cutthroat trout like this one with Doug R.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in a boat.

Noah with a nice brown trout while fishing with Seth.

A fly fisheman holding a big rainbow trout in a boat on a lake.

Larry got some good ones with Doug R like this rainbow trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in a boat.

Ken got some good ones like this fat cutthroat trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Jerry guided Jill and Mike to some nice ones like this colorful brown trout.

A young girl with a grey hat holding a large cutthroat trout in a boat on a lake.

Devin guided young Luke to this chunky brown trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Zach also fished with Devin and is hooked up to a big one.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Zach with a nice brown trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in a boat.

Seth guided Kevin and Brett to some fun fishing which included this nice brown trout.

A fly fisherman standing in a river holding a cutthroat trout in spawning colors.

Dave fished with Jerry and scored with this shiny and colorful brown trout.

A lady angler with a grey hat holding a giant cutthroat trout in a boat on a lake.

Jakob fished with Seth and scored this nice rainbow trout.

A smiling fly fisherman holding a brown trout on a lake in a boat.

Shannon fished with Jerry for this nice rainbow trout.

A lady angler with a purple hooded jacket holding a cutthroat trout on a lake in stormy weather.

Jakob with an awesome rainbow trout while fishing with Two Bug Doug.

A masked fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Karl fished with Jerry for this hog rainbow trout.

A fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Hans got little Julia on some good ones like this awesome cutthroat trout.

Two men holding a long cutthroat trout on a lake.

Richard showing off a healthy rainbow trout while fishing with Seth.

A masked fly fisherman holding a rainbow trout on a lake in a boat.

Linda fished with Two Bug Doug and scored this fat rainbow trout.



Here are our flies which are working on the Upper and Lower Owens River, Crowley Lake, Hot Creek, and East Walker in addition to the above patterns listed in our report:

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; Parallel Assassin Light #14-16, Parallel Assassin Dark #16; Loeberg Mallard Silver Badger; Spuce a Bu Dark and Light

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