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May 16th Fish'n Conditions

Capt. Tom Loe
May 16, 2014
Eastern Sierras - Freshwater Fishing Report

Spring time is here in the Sierras, and the fly fishing on the Middle Owens & Upper Owens Rivers, Hot Creek, & Crowley Lake are very good. The spring fishing period around Mammoth and Bishop is 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.

The heat is on. It was over 90 today on the Middle Owens. Look for some hot fishing to to go along with the high air temps. Light to moderate winds also in the forecast for a change. Flows dropping a tad on the Middle Owens, save for a bump up on the Bishop Creek. Upper Owens still ripping, fish'n is good despite high flows. Ranchers are flooding the fields so there is a bunch of stagnant water & hence…Mosquitoes. McGee has increased numbers of cuttys recently. Crowley turning on for fly fishers this week. East Walker still running low; however flows are up over 50cfs currently. Hot Creek getting some weed issues, good bite on the open water. Another shot of cold air is forecast for the beginning of next week & some gusty winds at times before and after the front.

Big numbers have slowed the last few drifts, but it is still good on drift boat trips with some nice fish in the mix. Some issues with free floating weeds from irrigation canals, increased flows on the Bishop Creek, etc…Flows currently 216cfs out of PV Reservoir. 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. There are also some good numbers of damsel and dragon flies hovering here. Using the nymph stages is a good call while fishing streamers. 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.

Crowley Lake 5/16/14

Chironomids emerge consistently when you have a high pressure. The warm weather has got the fish on the chew here. Some nice fish are showing up more consistently as the water warms and weather improves. McGee Bay had a nice push of fish recently in 10-12 feet. Some nice browns in the mix. The usual early season spots have fish. Hilton, Sandy, Sometimes Bay, Alligator Pt., & Crooked Creek. Depth to target is 9-13 feet. Sacramento Perch are already staging on the sand in some areas, so you will get "drive- bys" from them. Gillies #18/20, crystal emergers & pupa #18/20. Broken back tiger & zebra midges) good when you have some texture on the surface. Tiger & zebra midges #14/18 also good choices for the lower or larva imitation.

Bridgeport Reservoir 5/16/14

Jeffery at the Bridgeport Marina is still putting out his rental boats and it is paying off for those fishing the Bridge. He reports the "catching" has really picked up for numbers and size since they have had warmer weather and less wind. He also observes huge midge hatches and rolling fish most days this week. I suggest trolling streamers around the drop-off from the dam to the launch ramp. He saw fish in 3-4 feet of water cruising the mud flats recently. Lake has been heavily planted recently. Fish here early friends, fall may be tough.

Upper Owens River 5/16/14

Cuttthroats are here in force right now. 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 feet friends, you will get better 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! Make sure you wear a wading belt if you have waders on. The UO is ripping right now and is very deep and swift in some places. Bring a staff along to cross.

McGee Creek/Hilton Creek 5/16/14

Some increasing numbers fish moving into the lower sections, primarily cutty's. It is now worth the hike friends! Drifting attractor patterns like SJ worms & crystal eggs are good calls. Dry/dropper bead head rigs using a stimulator, hi-vis para BWO, or caddis as the upper, and an olive crystal caddis or midge larva pattern as the dropper can be deadly. Broken back midges, assassins birds nest, and flashback PT's should also be in your box if you plan on the 30 minute hike to the promised land.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir/The Gorge 5/16/14

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 (5/16/14)

Weeds are becoming an issue in some sections very early I am sad to report. Very good caddis & mayfly activity occurring daily during during warm spells. 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 (5/16/14)

Hopefully the water will continue to come up here. Flows currently at 53cfs. Fishing has been so-so at best. The EW is facing some tough times this season, go easy on them friends.

Alpine Lakes 5/16/14

When the weather gets nice the HEAVILY PLANTED alpine lakes in June and Mammoth are beginning to pay off. Lake Mary Road now open. Still some rotten ice/snow above 8500 feet on some lakes, and may have light snow accumulations beginning of next week. 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!

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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