Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 7/31/23


Here’s your Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 7-31-23. Some changes have taken place as of last report. Mainly, water flows are finally beginning to level off, meaning we will not be seeing any increase in flows due to snowmelt from here on out. This is not to say that the moving waters are not cold and treacherous for wading, as they can still pose a risk in the higher elevations as well as the lower ones. The higher temperatures we experienced for most of July are now settling down a bit too. Crowley Lake is filling quickly and fish have been hanging out around the freestone creek channels where the food has been plenty and the water temperatures suit them. The Upper Owens, Hot Creek, and San Joaquin Rivers are now starting to look a lot better for fishing and we are seeing some decent hatches daily. The East Walker River is still on the high side and Bridgeport Reservoir is filling with some decent fishing opportunities abound. The lakes basin in Mammoth is now open along with the road to the San Joaquin River.

Crowley Lake is really shaping up currently. Fish have piled into McGee Bay as they seek out food and cooler water. Fish can be found out deep in the 26′ range and as shallow as 3 to 4′. A quality sonar unit with a good transducer really helps now to locate fish as some areas are holding better concentrations of fish than others. You will observe fish taking full advantage of the many damselfly nymphs swimming in the bay as well as the Sacramento Perch fry. The weed lines, channels, and even open water have all been producing quality trout. There are quite a bit of smaller 8 – 10″ browns and cutthroat in the mix as well, but the larger fish are holding with them. Midges, damselfly nymphs, Assassins, Flash Back Pheasant tails, and Leeches have all been producing..

Upper Owens River Flows are settling some now and have dropped quite a bit since last report. Tossing hoppers and ants can help you locate trout here, while nymphing can get you into some better quality fish. It’s still a bit swampy in some locations and be sure to have the mosquito repellant handy. The section below the bridge will change regulations to 2 fish over 18″ and artificials only starting August 1st..

Hot Creek has also come down in flows and the water is clear. Look for some dry fly action to start picking up in the afternoons and evenings. Nymphs fished deep will get takes. Flies to use: Loebergs, Black Wooly Buggers, Spruce-a-bu’s, 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 flowing at 344 cfs. Temperatures during the day are hanging in the 90’s down here. The road into Pleasant Valley Campground remains closed. Early mornings and late evenings are best but it is best fished from a boat at these flows.

East Walker River flows are high at 570 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. You’ll have to locate some slow pocket water. Heavier flies like Crawdads and Rubber Legs are good choices.

San Joaquin River flows have settled in at 300 cfs and are now dropping. Still on the high side here, but it is now fishable. Nymphing seems to be producing better than dry flies, but this will change as the flows lower as we get into August.

Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 7-31-23.

Thanks for reading our Eastern Sierra Fishing Report 7-31-23.

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 7-12-23:

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

Purchase our flies and other fly fishing items

Check out our great summer Sierra Drifters T-shirts and Hats