Golden Trout Guiding Co. Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report – March 28

Im going to keep this report short and simple as we are experiencing the 2nd and closely approaching largest season of snow and rain EVER on the Eastern Sierra. No one anticipated this massive amount of water and although we are all grateful it has greatly effected the immediate state of Fly Fishing on the Eastern Sierra. I know all of us giving accurate reports sound like a broken record but right now, most roads are closed and most of the waters are blown out. On a positive note, going into season opener (Last Sat of April) we will see the highest, coldest and healthiest flows we have seen in 50 years. We run the risk of intense flooding of our local rivers and streams if summer turns on hot and early, anticipate high flows going all the way into fall. That doesn’t necessarily mean bad fly fishing, it just means learning how to fly fish in high fast water. Due to anticipated high flows Golden Trout Guiding Co. has decided to purchase a 16.5 ft Tracker Pro Guide Deep V fishing boat for Crowley Lake. Crowley Lake is going to be full, cold, and ready to rock for the first time in 5 years. It is too early to give an accurate prediction of spring conditions on our local rivers, and tributaries but we will know shortly! Hang tight y’all we are literally in survival mode up here, especially at higher elevations. We are currently booking for the 2023 Crowley Lake Season (May-Nov 15th) reach out to line up a guided trip today, who doesn’t want to hook up on the biggest and baddest rainbows, browns, and cutthroat trout CA has to offer!? Bobber Down!

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Angler Creg Phares releasing one of the many trophy Brown Trout found in Crowley Lake.

Due to conditions and recent river road closures we have rescheduled our Spring Clinic into May! We now have 4 positions left available for our 2 day Immersive clinic. Learn how to build a solid foundation for your future angling adventures in a fun, safe and educative environment. This clinic is geared toward beginner>intermediate anglers. Reach out to reserve your position today! Book Now

Lower Owens River; The Lower Owens is flowing at around 400 CFS and is slowly starting to clean up. I have started to fish the river again, mostly with big streamers and heavy nymphs. Catching fish is few and far between as all the water has moved everything around. If things continue to clean up I will start guiding on the Lower soon, even with high flows catching wild browns and rainbows is possible. We have just a few smaller predicted storms in the future but mostly sunshine and rising temps. I have seen large hatches of our seasonal spring Grannom Caddis is moving in, keep your eyes out for top water action mid day and lasting into the evening going into April. The Lower Owens has limited accessibility as of now, the river can be accessed from Five Bridges Rd. and East Line Street. Chalk Bluff Rd. is CLOSED and will remain closed for the foreseeable future until the washout’s can be repaired. Be careful while wading and walking the bank as major collapses are happening. I recommend bringing the 5 or 6 weight to cast bigger bait fish patterns, wolly buggers, matukas, and articulated flies, get em deep! While nymphing I would be fishing a two bug rig with heavy tungsten headed flies under a bobber to target trout. Good luck out there and let me know of any reports or observations you might have made if you fish the Lower Owens. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Banks collapsing from the heavy flows on the Lower Owens, walk the bank with extreme caution.

Grannom Caddis a sign that spring is coming! Time to tie up some caddis.

Central Gorge; The Central Gorge is closed as of now, I am not sure when they will open access into the canyon section. Please respect DWP closures, they are there for a reason, the central gorge can be a very dangerous location especially under extreme circumstances like we are facing now. I will let you all know as soon as access is available.

Upper Owens/Hot Creek; Benton Crossing Rd. is closed at the Green Church and 395 exit. I have received word from a reliable source that they are doing their best to have the road open by next week! Again I will keep you all posted. Hot Creek is reachable if you want to put in a ling hike in snowshoes. Please don’t park your car in a bad position to hike in, use your common sense. Patience my friends! The time will come and I think we are close.

Bishop Canal; The bishop canal that runs behind town is THE SPOT to have any sort of productive day fly fishing. Flows are perfect for indicator fishing, running a dry dropper, or targeting top water eats during the warmer parts of the day. The canal is clearing up but off colored just enough to not spook all the fish away. I had a pretty darn good day out there last week, getting rainbows and browns to rise for my size 18 caddis, and feed on my size 18 (Perdigons) in various sizes and colors. Easiest access to the canal is off of E Line Street, or directly behind vons where bishop creek intersects with the canal. Not the most scenic fly fishing for the Eastern Sierra, but by far the most productive.

Thanks for stopping by for our Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report. I want to give a special thanks to all of my clients who have been flexible over this last month in moving around dates to make it work for everyone. It has been a real challenge, but Im grateful for you all and cant wait to get out on the water asap.

-Luke Kinney (Owner)

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Luke Kinney, Owner and Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide.

(From Golden Trout Guiding Co.)

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