The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 12/3/2017
FLOW DROP ALERT! Looks like we are finally seeing a game changing drop on the Middle Owens around Bishop. This will improve the drifting, & wading conditions significantly. Solid BWO hatches are currently moving the fish into the foam during mid-day, so keep some #18 mayfly patterns handy for this short but sweet emergence. Streamer fishing from the drift boat is also getting some of the trophy rainbows to come out and play. Upper Owens has been spotty at times as the fish are moving to and from the gravel pockets, into the deeper pools. The warmer weather has water temps elevated for this time of year. A potent cold front will move through the region and drop air temps to seasonal norms. Combine this with the full moon, and we should see a good push of migratory Crowley Steelhead move up into the deeper pools this week. East Walker is fishing well for early December. Flows remain high enough to keep the fish spread out in some of the larger riffles, & not just in the deeper holes. This may change due to sub-zero air temps forecast here for the beginning of the week. Pleasant Valley Reservoir is steady for tubers fishing streamers near the inlet, & launch ramp sections. The river section down from the powerhouse is primed for some solid action now that the flows are dropping. Upper Gorge is also providing some fun using dry/dropper rigs in the deeper pockets. Good place to escape the crowds. Hot Creek is flowing very nicely this winter, & has been giving up a few nicer fish. Be extra gentle with the rookie trout that have been recently planted please.
Season Closed until April 28, 2018. See ya next season!
Water conditions continue to be good on the UO. Flows remain high enough to keep the migratory fish spread out through the entire year around section. Targeting the deeper pools and undercut banks have given up some truly quality fish. You will observe smaller resident trout see rising on tiny midge clusters throughout the warmer days, rising in the eddies, and slower moving water sections. The big fish have been tight to the bottom and on the move every few days. Angling pressure is understandably high here due to good vehicle access. Covering a bunch of water is the key to getting some "Crowley Steelhead" to bite. Most attractor patterns, including our Crystal Eggs, have been accounting for most of our trophy catches out here, switching up; or adding a second fly like a "Drifters Crawler", "Crystal Leech", or "Assassin", to your rig can be the catalyst to get these bigs to bite. We have developed specialized nymphing techniques that will give you advantage, & insure you get to dance with some of these extraordinary rainbows. Give us a call, & we will put some special arrows in your angling quiver!
The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year around with special regulations. Seasonal closures, and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section.
Middle Owens River/PVR/Wild Trout section (Bishop Area):
FLOW DROP ALERT! The release rates are finally lowering to fishable levels. Still a tad on the high side for wading the wild trout section; but trending downward currently. Solid baetis "blue winged olive" hatches are coming off daily; so keep those #18 mayfly patterns handy for this emergence. The trout truly focus on this cold weather mayfly. You will also observe some fish sipping midge clusters in the softer water, & larger pools/eddies. Recent drift boat trips incorporating our "dip & strip" method of fishing streamers like Loebergs, & Spruce-A-Bu's with heavy sinking tip lines have been getting clients on some memorable rainbows. This is the time of year when the larger trout prey on the abundant chub, & sucker fry that are hiding in the pillow water along the reeds, & willows. The mighty MO is is great shape this winter and primed for some fantastic fishing.
This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream.
Flows are very good for early winter, & water conditions are great. No snow or ice present at this time in the canyon. Smaller nymphs like Assassins and FB PT's still working with small indicators or dry flies (high vis BWO's) used as attractors/indicators. Solid BWO hatches will come off throughout the winter. CDFW planted thousands of juvenille trout recently. Hopefully these fish will survive the winter, and we will see a large increase in fish counts for next summer. There are some really beautiful fish holding in the deeper pools and runs; but don't expect a huge numbers day on the holdover fish.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.
Flows have dropped here. Now at 34.8 cfs. A good place to go and get away from angling pressure. The bite kicks into high gear during the BWO hatch mid-day. Use lighter weight rods here with a mayfly adult or go with a dry/dropper combination. Our Parachute hi-vis BWO is an excellent pattern as your dry. FB PT's, Assassins, & small midge emergers are good calls for the dropper nymph.
Season open year around.
Pleasant Valley Reservoir:
Still water addicts can get their fix here all winter. This fishery is planted all winter, & can provide some excellent fly fishing opportunities from a float tube; or near the inlet section that feeds the reservoir proper. Full sinking lines fished along the steep shoreline drop-offs using patterns like Loebergs, Crystal Leeches, Parallel Punk Perch, Parallel Agent Orange, & Spruce-A-Bu's are good calls for "freeze tubers" during the winter. Locals call PVR "little Crowley" as fly fishers in the know will use still water nymphing techniques to score big numbers during periods of stable water levels. Set your "Under-Cators" to suspend those broken back midges, crystal tiger/zebra midges, gillies, & Assassins around the 12-14 foot depth. The inlet section is historically the most consistent section to fish. This diverse fishery also allows you to move into the short river section that feeds the lake. Looking much like the East Walker, this short; but sweet section has plenty of pocket water and riffles that hold holdover rainbows and browns that move into the heavy brush during periods of lower flows. Dry/dropper rigs using para hi-vis BWO's, Stimulators, and hi-vis caddis patterns as your upper; with crystal tiger midges, crystal olive caddis larva, & assassins as a nymph. The transition area that dumps into the lake has slower moving/deeper water that requires the use of an Under-Cator, or longer dropper off your dry. This is perhaps the most fertile area of the lake, & competent roll casters can enjoy huge days here while making extended drifts in the foam lines. The trout will concentrate here to feed on the abundant chironomid, & mayfly that come off throughout the cooler months. Keep this fishery in mind if the weather gets nasty in the higher elevations.
East Walker River:
We have been licking our chops for higher flows in early winter! Flows here are now at 50 cfs. which is high enough to keep the fish spread out in the larger riffle water during water weather. This place has not stopped giving up fish. These rascals have been eager to take flies as they get ready for the approaching winter. Go with 4X tippets in the faster water sections and you can get away with 5X in the slower water. Redundant drifts can produce some real beasts, and some pools and runs are holding good numbers of fish. Best flies have been Parallel Assassins, Crystal Eggs, #20 Serendipity, Drifters Crawlers, Crawdads in Olive and Tan, #16 Punk Perch and Parallel Punk Perch, Level Crystal Leeches, #20 Brassie, and #18-20 Copper John's in original and dark green.
This fishery is open year around below the Bridgeport Reservoir dam to Nevada State line. Open year around in Nevada also.
The reservoir is now closed until 4/28/18.