Hot weather hit the state hard this past couple of weeks. Areas like the coast were even seeing record temps including here in the high country. Afternoon thundershowers are returning to the area which will help cool things down, including water temperatures. Nighttime temps are dropping which will contribute to cooler water on Crowley and other lakes in the area. It has been an on and off kind of game on Crowley Lake with some days giving up some great fishing and others being a little tougher to get bites. Flows on the Lower Owens have ramped up to the 300 cfs level and Hot Creek and the Upper Owens are holding fish in the deeper areas until the water cools off.
Crowley Lake’s perch fry buffet is now alive and kicking for the trout but midges are accounting for more fish currently. You will observe fish in various parts of the lake coming to the surface to ambush small perch. McGee and Green Banks have been the most productive areas. Most of the fish we are getting are all excellent quality ranging from 18 – 23″ in length. All species are taking advantage of the high protein available to them in the shallow water. Best patterns have been #16 -20 SD Chironomidge, #16 – 18 Puff O’ Smoke, Dark Assassin # 14 -16 in parallel and regular, #14 – 18 Mud Candy, #16 -18 Blood Midge, #16 -18 Copper Tiger Midge, #16 -18 Crystal Tiger Midge Long, #18 -20 Gillie Dark and Light, and Tungsten Zebra Midge # 16 – 20.
Hot Creek flows are in low mode with lots of weeds now in the canyon. Dry flies have been productive along with smaller flies hung as a dropper. A straight dry fly will keep weeds off your line and will be easier to cast. If you can imitate extremely small midge emergers you can fool some of the subsurface feeders. Scuds are great this time of year, along with annelids and midges. #18 Crystal Scud, #16 SJ Worm in Red and Brown, #18 Flashback Hare’s Ear, SD Crawler Red or Brown, and #18 -20 Flashback Pheasant Tails have been working well.
Lower Owens River flows have risen to 300 cfs. Wading will be tough at this rate, and the early and late parts of the day are still the best fishing times as the weather is very hot here in Inyo County. Smaller nymphs like #18 – 20 Flashback Pheasant Tails, #20 Serendipity Black and Red, #18 – 20 Tungsten Zebra Midge, #20 – 22 Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper, #20 Red Rib Midge Glass and Dark Head, #18 -20 Crystal Caddis Olive Dubbed Black and Crystal Caddis Olive Larva Black have been catching trout here.