How’s is going everyone! Thanks for stopping by for the Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report. I have had a busy month guiding lots of new and experienced anglers into some beautiful fish, as well as teaching them new techniques and methods for fooling trout. We are in our prime season right now and would love to get on the water with you! Our trips are fun, educative, and immersive. All gear is included, all you need to show up with is youre CA fishing license. Wishing everyone tight lines, and happy holidays!
-Luke Kinney (Owner, Guide)
Lower Owens; The Lower Owens has been very consistent lately. Ive had some of the best top water days of the year just recently casting to pools of hungry heads rising for small mayflies. The hatch of primarily Blue Wing Olive and a few larger Pale Morning Dun seems to be kicking off like clock work around 11am lasting on and off until 3pm. The colder mornings meeting with the extreme temperature shift to mid day sun has been the perfect format for these prolonged hatches. Recommended dry flies on the Lower Owens, (Blue Wing Olive Size, 16-20) (Parachute Adams, Size 16-20) (Pale Morning Dun, Size 16-20) (Deer Hair Caddis, Size 16-20). Dry Droppers are working well in certain shallower run where trout are venerable, but nymphing the deeper holes near the bottom has been the most effective while sub surface fishing. The Current CFS is around 90 making almost all of the river wadable, and being able to reach remote areas to throw some flies. Great time to explore new sections of the Lower Owens, still use caution while adventuring on your own. Recommended nymphs (Prince Nymph, size 14-18) (Flashback Pheasant Tail, size 16-18) (olive or cream Duracell, Size 18-20) (Hares Ears, size 16-18) (Rainbow Warrior in blue or green, size 18-20) (Perdigon’s in olive, blue or black, size 18-20) . The word is out on the Lower Owens and weekend Crowds have been heavy on the wild trout section. Weekdays see minimal traffic, so if you can make it up during the week you’re likely to get whole sections by yourself. I know these waters intimately and would love to guide you into success on the Lower Owens, give me a call or email to line something up!
Central Gorge; The central gorge is still fishing well! The canyon section continues to produce wild browns and rainbows. The key to enjoying this section during winter is finding the SUN as certain areas of the canyon go into full shade towards the afternoon. The Lower Central Gorge stay’s exposed to the sun until 3pm. Stinging nettle that usually covers the banks is starting to die off as we go into winter and we continue to have cold nights, which makes more areas accessible for casting. Light weight rigs are the best down there a 7.5ft 3weight, with a dry dropper might be one of the best times you’ve ever had fishing a small creek down there. Im using a size 14 brown foam caddis to a size 18 baetis nymph or copper john, as my dry dropper rig. With the right amount of stealth and presentation most smaller dry’s up size 12 can get a fish to rise. When fishing a single dry Im fishing a size 18 purple haze. When the fish don’t want to come to the top to feed Ive been taking off my indicator and tight lining a single prince nymph size 16 to get strikes. The central gorge is a large area and can be overwhelming to know where to start. Having some local knowledge of this area is very beneficial, or hire a guide! 😉
Upper Owens; The Upper Owens has a nice influx of water with this recent snowmelt and a decent amount of big fish in the system. Im not seeing a ton of trophy tout throughout all the water, just a few holding in the typical holes where they usually are, but now is the time things start getting interesting! Last season around this time things got silly with how many trophy’s were moving into the system, so only time will tell but it’s safe to say the hunt it on. We had a decent storm a few weeks back which has turned into about a foot of hard packed snow. The road is drivable but with extreme caution as things start to melt out, getting stuck is a very real possibility. If we get another storm soon, it will be foot traffic only or snow mobiles. I like to snow shoe out there this time of year combining two activities that I enjoy. Everything below the bridge is CLOSED so fish above benton crossing road. All my fish are being caught subsurface while nymphing, primarily under an adjustable Indicator. Im running two flies down to 4lb fluorocarbon. You want to make sure to space your two flies at least 8-12 inches apart, so when hooking up with a big fish it doesn’t roll into your other flies. Recommended flies (Prince Nymph size, 14-18) (San Juan Worm in Pink, size 12-14) (Perdigon’s in various colors, size 16-20) (Rainbow Warrior in black, olive, or red, size 14-16) (Duracell in cream or olive, size 16-18). As far as streamers go I have had luck on a brown/red leech bugger. Or your classic black bugger size 10-14. When fishing streamers look for the big deep holes that don’t allow a proper drift while nymphing and let those flies get deep and swing! Nothing better than a streamer take. I use the 7ft. Orvis Poly Leader (Trout) intermediate sink tip to help get my flies deep. Its been quality over quantity on the Upper and Ive had a few fishless days this last few weeks so don’t get discouraged, you just need to find them! Hopefully more fish will start to fill up the system soon.