Spring is finally here, and winter seemed to fly by for us who fish the eastern sierra daily. We had kind of a weak winter this year, but some spring storms may add to the snowpack in the higher elevations. We can use any additional water at this point and you never know what mother nature may throw our way. Most “open through winter” fishing zones are dry and easy to navigate by vehicle now. Some new regulation changes have taken place for this year which will affect the Upper Owens and McGee Creek for fishing times this spring. Most areas are fishing very well on the Upper and Lower Owens and Hot Creek. The CDFW has implemented a new system that is going to work out very well for you smart phone savvy anglers. They have posted signs in the more frequented areas with QR Scanner codes to be scanned. Once scanned, your phone will pull up a map, showing where you are standing and thus revealing the regulations for that specific area. Hats off to them for utilizing today’s technology to help simplify this information.
The East Walker is now closed until the general season fishing opener in April and will now be closed to winter fishing.
Hot Creek is still fishing well and the afternoon hatches have been the highlight of the day. The fish are now taking interest in smaller nymphs, and the midge hatches are going all day. There is some runoff during the warmer days as we get into the afternoons. Dry fly hatches have been very fun with BWO’s being the main protein source and some caddis now showing up. Access is still walk in the canyon section.
The Upper Owens River is still fishing well for large migratory rainbow trout. There are still some quality fish to be had, but they are spreading out more along the river with slightly higher flows this time of year. You will find the fish now scattered throughout the river from Long Years down to the Benton Crossing Bridge. Water clarity will be stained in some areas due to the run off entering the river. Fishing along the undercut banks and deeper pools are giving up some nice fish for those fishing assassins in dark and light, san juan worms, copper tiger midges, pheasant tails, and egg patterns.
The Lower Owens River is also fishing well especially prior to and during the mayfly hatch. Look for the hatch to last a couple hours between noon and 2 pm. When the fish go back down to feed on nymphs the same patterns that are working on the Upper Owens are working here. Scale down the sizes to #18 -20 and it is game on.
Mike fished with Doug Rodricks and got this super rainbow trout.
Kurt fished with Doug Rodricks and scored a good rainbow trout.
Ashley fished the Lower Owens River with Hans Grotewold and got this excellent brown trout.
Chris fished with Doug Rodricks on the Lower Owens River and got this solid rainbow trout.
Bill is back on the scene while fishing with Hans Grotewold for this hefty rainbow trout.
Bill with another nice rainbow trout.
And Bill with another great rainbow trout.
Hans got Blake and Taylor out for some good rainbow trout action.
Here’s Taylor with another nice rainbow trout.
Check out Blake’s awesome rainbow trout.
And Blake with another jumbo rainbow trout.
Taylor and Blake with another good rainbow trout.
Doug Rodricks guided Elias to some solid rainbow trout like this.
Elias with another huge rainbow trout.
Elias with a pig buck rainbow trout.
Mike fished with Two Bug Doug and got this super rainbow trout.
Glen fished with Hans Grotewold for this amazing rainbow trout.
Glen with an amazing painted rainbow trout.
Mike fished with Doug Dolan and got this bright rainbow trout.
Here’s Dave and Michah with a nice rainbow trout while fishing with Hans.
Dave with another solid rainbow trout.
Dave with another killer rainbow trout.
Doug Dolan got Mike on some nice ones like this long rainbow trout.
Ed also fished with Two Bug Doug and got this super rainbow trout.
Micah fished with Hans for this nice rainbow trout.
Michah with another strong rainbow trout.
Scott was guided by Two Bug Doug to this hog rainbow trout.