A Fish Report for 4/8/15
Capt. Tom Loe
April 11, 2015
Eastern Sierras - Freshwater Fishing Report
Fly fishing the year around waters of the Upper and Middle Owens Rivers, Pleasant Valley Reservoir, & Hot Creek, located near Mammoth and Bishop Ca. will give you opportunities to catch trophy rainbows and browns while being guided by expert fly fishing pros. Sierra Drifters guides use top of the line drift boats, and fly fishing tackle to guide you on these blue ribbon trout waters.
Quick look fish report 4/8/15
The upper elevations received 4-12″ of snow. It has pretty much melted off along Hwy.395, and the Upper Owens already. Check out the video I did 4/8/15 on the UO by clicking on the Facebook link on this page. Flows are at 140cfs. currently, go elsewhere. Middle Owens has good conditions with stable flows at 120cfs. Good weather forecast until next week. Hot Creek access fine, weeds still the issue here. Pleasant Valley Reservoir remains very low at 4377′. Hydro power generation is occurring intermittently. East Walker still hurting for increased flows.
Upper Owens River 4/8/15
Blown out, flows at 140cfs. Muddy, debris filled water currently. The LADWP is now pulling what little water is left in Grant lake to help fill Crowley. Party is over for a while here. I expect flows to back off greatly by opener on 4/25/15 and be as low, or lower than this winter. Pictures of clients holding all those beautiful Crowley Steelhead taken prior to the huge flow increase.
Special angling regs in effect. Open year around upstream from the Benton Crossing Bridge. Closed from the Bridge downstream to Crowley Lake until next season.
With flows at 140cfs the current conditions are not favorable for fly fishers. Water is off color, and full of debris & weeds. I expect them to drop substantially prior to opening day on 4/25/15. These flushing flows will actually improve the stream bed habitat, and gouge out the pools making them deeper.
Middle Owens River (Bishop area) 4/8/15
Drifting has been fair/good with water temps well above average. Flows have been stable at 120cfs for a while. We are still hitting some scattered trophy rainbows on streamers. Fish are in a late spring/early summer feeding pattern due to the above average air/water temps. Afternoons can slow down after the hatches. Use smaller streamers like the original Drifters Punk Perch to fool the trout. The P.P. is a "strymph" pattern. It can be fished as a streamer, or nymph that imitates a small baitfish, or a caddis nymph in the pupal stage. I am seeing some little golden stoneflies, dragon/damsel fly adults on the warmer days. "Catching" has been good from the footbridge at PV Campground downstream to the Five Bridges Crossing. Pale Morning Dun mayflies (PMD's), & spring caddis are now emerging. #16 high wing, long tail adult mayfly profiles will get grabs on the surface. Deer, or elk hair delta wings, with natural colored bodies for the adult caddis. Nymphing with tandem rigs-properly weighted will get you into fish before the hatch. I suggest you use Flashback PT's, Assassin birds nest, broken back midges, tiger midges, small gillies, crystal emergers, or chironomid pupa, olive crystal zebras, & caddis larvae (to imitate caddis larva & rock worms) below an Under-cator. You can use dry/dropper bead head rigs for the warmer days working the tailouts of larger pools, & riffles. Have some high vis para BWO's, or hi-vis caddis for the uppers, & keep them dressed with desiccant to suspend your bead head nymphs. Stimulators are perfect stonefly imitations, & in smaller sizes are good calls for larger adult caddis profiles. Guided drift boat trips are a great vehicle to reach the secluded, and less fished areas of the river. We have been logging good numbers of planted & holdover rainbows recently. We predominantly fish streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-A-Bu's, Punk Perch, Agent Orange, and Crystal Vanderleeches. Using a light sinking tip line we position the boat upstream from the target water, casting about 35 feet down towards larger pools. We then insert the rod tips below the surface to get the streamers down without using excessive weight. Stripping the line in an erratic series of short and long pulls imitates the swimming motion of injured baitfish. The "dip & strip" technique is a fun way to get into numbers and large rainbows that hold in the lower sections of the river well below the wild trout section. Check out my "be the fly" video by clicking on the videos link at the top of the page to see how we do it.
This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream.
Hot Creek 4/8/15
Spring through early summer are best period to fish the crick I believe. As the spring and summer roll on, conditions will only worsen in drought years. The weeds are beginning to grow earlier than usual making drifts tougher in the limited open water. Some good caddis/mayfly activity currently. High winged dark olive, or dun colored bodies #16/18 are good profiles for the BWO's. Keep them well dressed to ride high in the foam. PT's & bird's nest patterns are best for nymphs. Small parachute midge or mayfly patterns used with a 10 foot leader are best for surface presentations when the fish are on the midges/or clusters. There are a few sections that can be fished with a dry dropper nymph rig. Try my hi-vis caddis pattern, it works well here. Small dead drifted Punk Perch, broken back zebras, small gillies, egg patterns, SJ worms, scuds, flashback PT's, or assassin birds nest bead heads in #18 are good calls for the dropper. Size 18 or smaller crystal olive caddis larva or zebra midges are good calls as droppers.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.
*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.
East Walker River 4/4/15
Flows have dropped to 20cfs. Will be another tough year here I'm sorry to say.
This fishery is open year around with special regs in place.
West Walker River 4/4/15
Currently high, and off color due to run-off. May will be a good month to fish here.
Open year around along Hwy. 395 with special regulations during winter months.
Pleasant Valley Reservoir 4/4/15
The level is extremely low at 4375′. You will encounter deep sticky mud near the inlet so be careful when wading here. The small river section has been best for numbers of smaller rainbows, & browns-use dry/dropper bead head nymph combos here. Forget fishing the river, or inlet if the hydro station is ramped up. Power generation can occur anytime during the spring. Stimulators, hi-vis para BWO's, or hi-vis caddis may be used as the upper fly-use crystal olive caddis larva, flashback PT's, Assassins, broken back or crystal tiger & zebra midges as your dropper bead head nymph. Tubing has really picked up from the launch ramp, up to the inlet section. Streamers like Loebergs, Agent Orange, Crystal leeches, & Spruce-A-Bu's will get you into some nice browns, & larger bows in the rez proper. Use a full sinking, or heavy sink tip line to get down 10-15 feet quickly. You can also fish "Crowley midge style" in the rez near the drop-offs. Fish chironomid patterns below an Under-cator. Gillies, broken back midges, crystal emergers & pupa patterns. Tiger & zebra midges are always a solid choice for your larva pattern.
This fishery is open year around.
The Gorge 4/4/15
This fishery is not effected by flow increases on the Middle Owens, & is a great option if you get blown out in the WT section. Have those mayfly nymphs, PMD adults, & caddis adults handy. The spring caddis are coming off steady. This maybe the best dry fly fishery we have during the spring months. The Gorge could be classified as the true "tailwater" from Crowley Lake. The fish here are all wild browns with a large one going 16 inches. Moderate/difficult hiking is required to access the more secluded sections. Rock hopping and bush whacking can be expected. Dry/dropper bead head nymph combos work well in the deeper pools. Use PT's, Assassin birds nest, broken back midges, tiger midges, & crystal olive larva patterns as the nymphs. Hi-vis para BWO's, Stimulators, parachute midge adults, & elk caddis, & hi-vis caddis are good choices for your dry fly. Pack in water, have cleated wading boots and a stout staff. 2-4wt. rods are perfect for this water. Snakes may be out early!
A compromise/ final settlement has been reached between the LADWP & CDFW for the re-watering and enhancement of the middle & lower sections of the Gorge. The Upper section will now be managed as a Tui-Chub" sanctuary for perpetuity- with no additional water, or trout enhancement allowed. The Middle & lower sections will begin to see immediate improvements in flows, fish access ladders, and management as a wild trout fishery. Final Draft of Owens Gorge Stipulation11 20 14 Special thanks to Crowley local James Parker for keeping us informed on this complicated situation.
Season open year around
Thanks for reading my report.
Be the fly…Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
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