We have been very lucky not to experience much in the way of wildfire smoke this summer. It was not until the past week that conditions got a little grey in the area. Most days the smoke is not bad at all, especially when the breeze or winds kick in around the afternoons and evenings. Fishing has really picked up on Crowley Lake, and Hot Creek and the Upper Owens have also been producing for nymphers and dry fly fishermen. Weather this week has been very pleasant with cooler nights bringing water temperatures back down to acceptable levels for the trout. Warmer weather is set to return next week, but forecasts are calling for dry conditions with not much precipitation in sight. With the kids back in school, crowds have really thinned out in the eastern sierra, and with fishing staying strong, this is a great time to get up here and enjoy the upcoming fall.
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 57 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 is fishing great going into our late summer months. The fish are combing the shallows and cleaning up on perch fry and the midges are back again as the new generation is emerging from the lake. You will still see fish on the chase for perch fry so this is the time of year where slow stripping perch fry patterns can be very good, especially on the breezy days. Most of the midges are in the #18-20 range with some larger ones in the mix. Mud bottoms are where most of the fish are now concentrated, and weed beds which are close by are also getting plenty of attention from trout. Our best flies as of late have been Dark and Light Assassins #14, 16 and Parallel Assassins Dark and Light #14, 16, Punk Perch Dark and Light #12, 14, 16 and Parallel Punk Perch in the same size and color. Click here for a look at some new flies, (terrestrials, nymphs, dry flies, stream side tools, split shot, leaders, etc) Best midege patterns to have on hand are #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 are hanging around 227cfs which is still tough for wading. Temps are still in the 90’s down here, so fishing the mornings and evenings are best. Caddis patterns can be productive as nymphs and dry flies. Try streamers on sink tip lines in the deeper pools.
Two Bug Doug guided Andy to this sweet cutthroat trout.
Kelly fished with Doug R. and landed this silvery rainbow trout on Crowley Lake.
Dan fished with Devin Preston for this fat rainbow trout.
Doug R. guided Ed to this nice Cutthroat trout.
Bruce caught this standout rainbow trout while fishing on Crowley Lake.
Parker pulls a solid brown out of shallow water along the weeds from Crowley Lake.
Two Bug Doug guided Nate to some nice ones like this awesome rainbow trout.