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May 1st Fish'n Conditions

Capt. Tom Loe
May 1, 2014
Eastern Sierras - Freshwater Fishing Report

April 30th 2014

Spring time is here in the Sierras, and the fly fishing on the Middle Owens, Hot Creek, & Pleasant Valley Reservoir are very good. The spring fishing period around Mammoth and Bishop can be as good as it gets with mild weather and near perfect water conditions for fly fishing. Guided drift boat trips on the Middle Owens are kicking out some really large rainbows with steady dry fly action in the wading sections.

Super nice weather all over the Sierra today. Fish on the chew in most of the quality fisheries. Upper Owens has some big cutts moving up, you will have to deal with the weeds to get them. Crowley good for numbers-most are shakers, but 1/4 are slammers. You can get a Crowley Grand Slam easily right now. Getting toasty in the Owens Valley with near 90 forecast this week. Flows stable, good caddis and PMD action, drifting is great. Alpine regions starting to gel, bigs are munching streamers.

Middle Owens River 4/30/14

Flows have come down a tad (210cfs) & this improved the conditions a bunch after a week of higher releases. Take advantage of these low flows for a drift trip this May. It has been very good. Look for continued caddis and pale morning dun mayfly hatches. I suggest you have some hi-vis elk caddis & para mayflies #14/18. Theses are adults and good choices for surface action. Have a good selection of mayfly and caddis nymphs. Olive crystal caddis larva, olive zebras, assassin bird's nest, flashback PT's, money! Streamers like Loebergs & Spruce-A-Bu's are how we consistently get the huge trout you see posted. You will need a heavy sinking tip line like the one Rio makes. 150/200 grain, 24 foot streamer tips are good for current flows & you can use them in lakes as well. Check out my guide tips link at the top of the page and scroll down to "dip & strip". This technique is the key to getting the bigs in the Sierra on streamers. The fire on 4/19/14 was between the Hwy. 6 Bridge near Laws, & Five Bridges Road. It was a large/wind driven fire, and destroyed a lot of habitat along the river.

Crowley Lake 4/30/14

Barometer goes up…Under-cators go down! Nice weather recently & forecast to hold for a few days. Good numbers with browns & bows showing steady. Fish are smaller on average this spring, but in good shape. The usual early season spots have fish. Hilton, Sandy, Sometimes Bay, Alligator Pt. Depth to target is 9-12 feet. Sacramento Perch are already staging on the sand in some areas, so you will get plenty of "drive- bys" from them. Gillies #18/20, crystal emergers & pupa #18/20. Broken back tiger & zebra midges (copper heads) slammed them in the chop according to former "Lord of the fly" Cary Kutzke. Tiger & zebra midges #14/18 also good choices for the lower or larva imitation. Warm weather forecast for the next week & this will really get them on the chew. We have expert Crowley guides open with the best charter boats around if you need some help.

Bridgeport Reservoir 4/27/14

My hat is tipped to Jeffery Wenger who runs the marina at Bridgeport. He was the one responsible for grading the launch ramp that allowed nearly 60 boats to launch for opening weekend. High fives to you sheep boy, ya done a good thing buddy! Low water levels this spring has all but an unimproved ramp at the "bath tub" for access. It worked out well thanks to Jeffery, and some big boats splashed so they could fish. The weather was tough and fishing was respective to the conditions. Numbers were down, but those that got into them had some slugs & larger than average fish. I suggest you go to the Bridge early this season, fall may be iffy.

Upper Owens River 4/30/14

There are some fish beginning to show in the slower sections. Definite improvement here the last few days. Flows have stabilized but remain high at 200cfs. You will need plenty of weight to get those SJ worms, egg patterns, flashback PT's, Assassin bird's nest, broken back midges, crystal olive caddis & zebra larva patterns near the bottom. Lengthen your standard nymphing leaders 2-3 friends, you will get results! I prefer to use a clear or yellow Under-cator on moving water as they are less conspicuous. The pink & orange work better on the still waters like Crowley and Bridgeport. Streamers like Loebergs, Punk Perch, Crystal Leeches, & Agent Orange will also get takes when used with a light to medium sinking tip line. As it warms up this week we may see some off colored water and floating weed due to run-off. Keep your bugs clean every cast!

McGee Creek/Hilton Creek 4/30/14

Some rainbows & cutts moving in but still very skinny. Water conditions good-as it warms look for rising flows and off colored water soon. We should see some increased migration with the warmer temps next week.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir:

Power generation is now occurring intermittently. It is difficult to time your fishing here due to continued maintenance. Find some softer water in the transition section between the lake and inlet stream with fish feeding in the suds, it can be deeper at times depending on the rez level and may require an Under-cator instead of a dry fly to get those nymphs down. Tubing is best under current conditions using Loebergs, Punk Perch, Agent Orange, & crystal leeches. Use a full or heavy sinking tip line. Still water nymphing Crowley style can also get you into numbers along the drop-offs. Use Broken back midges like gillies and tigers, crystal emergers, and pupa patterns are good calls as upper flies on a tandem rig. Stick to tigers and zebras as the lower flies.

The Gorge: LADWP is doing extensive work & testing on valves and hydro electric plants, & this is why we are seeing such abnormal & fluctuating flows in this fishery. It may be this way for sometime. Flows here will vary between 35cfs and 200cfs on a daily basis.

Hot Creek (4/30/14)

Some off colored/rising water next week. Very good caddis & mayfly activity occurring daily during this warm spell. The small spring caddis are like candy to these wild fish and you will enjoy the best snap during this hatch. #18/20 hi-vis elk hair imitations will suffice, try some crystal olive caddis larva patterns for nymphs. San Juan Worms and egg patterns are good choices for spring conditions on the crick. Dry dropper rigs using para midge or hi-vis para BWO or blue wing olive adult patterns #14-18 as an upper, while dropping a broken back zebra or tiger midge, assassin bird's nest, or crystal olive caddis/zebra larva pattern will get you into fish in the slots between the weeds. Lengthen your leaders to ten feet here, 5X is a good tippet size. The deeper pools can be fished with weighted attractors like SJ worms and egg patterns hung beneath an Under-cator. A hot rig is an olive or light Punk Perch as your upper fly with an assassin or PT as a dropper. You may also "swing cast" the Punk across the deeper slots and pools for a shot at one of the bigs that hunker along the weed lines or in the gut of the larger holes. Use the yellow, or clear for short water nymphing. Midge cluster, or para midge adults in the #20-24 range are hot flies for surface action. BWO adults fished high in the suds #16/18 also good calls afternoon when the baetis start to emerge. Access remains good as of 2/26/14 however the forecast calls for some snow to hit on the weekend.

*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.

East Walker River (4/30/14)

Flows up to 33cfs. Fishing has been s0-so at best. The EW is facing some tough times this season, go easy on them friends.
Alpine Lakes 4/30/14

Weather improved a bunch and all those HEAVILY PLANTED alpine lakes in June and Mammoth are beginning to pay off. Streamers like Spruce-A-Bu's, Agent Orange, Loebergs, & Crystal Leeches used with a heavy sinking tip, or full sinking line will get you into them. Fish deeper than normal 15-20 feet, and work the steep ledges or deeper sections near the inlets.

I am happy to announce that the we will have a fully stocked fly box and Under-cators in Reagan's Sporting Goods in Bishop! The Drifters fly box will carry all the guide tested patterns you see on the fish report including patterns for Pyramid Lake, Eagle Lake, Lake Almanor, & other great trout fisheries in the west. This is a great shop with knowledgeable and super friendly people that is open daily 7-5 during the winter. They are located on Main St. with easy access and parking. This store has everything you need for fishing, hunting, camping. They sell licenses too!

Pyramid Lake is well known for gigantic cutthroat trout like this one Chris Linkletter got recently. Still water nymphing and streamers can both get you into huge cutts in the late winter through spring. You can get flies & Under-cators for Pyramid right on the way up from S0-Cal by stopping at Reagan's in Bishop, or the Crowley General Store.

I have added a picture gallery to the website this year. You can click on it at the top of any page of this website. My apologies to any of our wonderful clients who have been with Sierra Drifters for the last seventeen seasons and do not have a picture posted. I just can't post the 30,000 pics we have taken! I will make an effort over time to post what I have. Click on the "gallery" button and do a search for your name, or scroll through the pages. You can double click on the picture to enlarge it once it is located.

Thanks for reading my report.
Be the fly….Tom Loe,
Sierra Drifters Guide Service

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