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Fish'N Conditions Updated December 6, 2011

Capt. Tom Loe
December 8, 2011
Eastern Sierras - Freshwater Fishing Report

Upper and Lower Owens Rivers: updated December 6th 2011
Every season is a little different but the fall of 2011 will be one I shall remember for a while. Typically fishing begins to slow down on both the Upper and Lower O, however this fall it has done exactly the opposite. Both sections are fishing at their best right now and if you do not mind cold morning air temperatures, the fishing will warm you up as soon as you get into some of the trophy fish we have been seeing on a regular basis recently.
Flows have dropped to very low releases on the Lower O (105cfs) as of this report. Wading is gravy combined with the pleasant weather the Owens Valley has been experiencing. I see a fair amount of BWO mayfly adults and midges emerging daily so don't put that dry shake or desiccant away just yet. Nymphing with smaller birds nest or pheasant tail patterns are good choices, as well as some #16-22 crystal midge patterns, or broken back flies like the dark zebra or tiger.
The guided drift trips have been excellent and a most pleasant surprise with consistent bigs showing on most drifts since the flows crashed in early December. Moderately weighted sinking tip lines used in conjunction with the "dip and strip" technique have been producing good numbers and the large rainbows shown on this report. I have been using my Spruce-A- Bu pattern for most of the day, with a change late afternoon at times to a Loeberg. Both flies are taking the bigs consistently in the deeper secluded pools.

Mark Thomas got a nice bow as well this day with Ken doing the net honors this time. The two had forty to net they caught and released on 12-5-11 while drifting with me.

Drifting is the best way to reach the bigs that hold in the more secluded sections of the Lower Owens.

Scott "big fish" Harrington fooled this gorgeous hen on the Upper Owens with me on 12-4-11. Nice one Scotty, tis good to be king ehhh?
The Upper Owens despite some very cold morning temps is still kicking out some great rainbows in the year around section above the Benton Bridge all the way to Longyears. Access to the area is very good and the roads are clear as of 12-7-11. We have been primarily nymphing this area using my Assassin birds nest, FB PT's, floating orange egg imitations, and broken back midges. You can get into these trophies by fishing streamers as well using a light sinking tip and positioning well upstream of your target water. Some fish are holding in the tail outs of the deeper runs and hiding under the cut banks and in the shadows. Approach like you are "hunting Whabbits" and you will get a better shot at hooking one of these behemoths.

Talk about a "dream day"! Dave Ackerman had to be pinched and convinced he was not dreaming after I netted a handful of twenty plus pigs on 12-4-11 for him. Way to be the fly Dave!!!

Dave with another….

And another….

And another…All caught on Assassin tandem nymph rigs, or with an egg as the dropper. Not a dream Davey, see you for some "snow bows" pal!
Pleasant Valley Reservoir
Good things happening here as the flows have crashed and the powerhouse is no longer flooding the inlet section to the reservoir proper. Hit the slower moving inlet area using a dry/dropper bead head combo. Crystal tigers and zebras, broken back midges, birds nest and pheasant tails # 16-20 are money right now. Some big browns and rainbows are also showing up here in addition to the numbers. The mayfly hatch goes off around noon give or take- depending on the morning lows each day. Have some Adams or BWO adults and a few para-midges for the emergences. Look for "pods" feeding in the suds or foam lines to position in a productive area from the service road above to save time before descending into the river channel. Tubing is also good form the launch ramp to the inlet. Full sinking lines and streamers in the #8-12 range are best. Stay along the drop-offs opposite the road side for more consistent action.

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