Golden Trout Guiding Co. Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report – November 8

Winter is coming!

Thanks for stopping by for your Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report. October was an amazing month of fly fishing. We had some incredible hatches of mayflies and caddis, and now we are moving into the cold season where nymphing, streamer fishing, and trophy hunting is the main game. There is still opportunity for the dry fly enthusiast, but focusing on your subsurface game will give you more opportunities. I am currently booking for November-January. Whether you want to set up a trophy hunt, or learn how to fly fish from square one we got you covered. Call (858) 750 9820 to line up a guided trip, or email me directly [email protected]. I hope you all are doing well and getting your lines wet. If you have any specific questions on the fishing report, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

-Luke Kinney


Eastern Sierra Fall Fly Fishing Clinic 2022 was awesome!

I want to thank all of the anglers who participated in our Eastern Sierra Fall Fly Fishing Clinic. We covered a lot of topics and water over two full days, it was awesome to see everyone in the group improve on their skills and knowledge. Here’s some photos from the weekend, we learned about aquatic entomology, matching the hatch, dry fly presentation, casting lessons, nymphing styles and streamer fishing. It flew by too quick! We are planning on having more clinics and programs in the future, and we will keep you all posted on those events. Special thanks to Sage to Summit for letting us use your space for our presentations in the morning, and Mac’s Sporting Goods for supporting our company and serving anglers on the Eastern Sierra for over 40 years. Until next time!

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Head Guide, Rob Hrabik teaching on day two (Nymphing Techniques and Strategies)

2020 Endorsed FFGuide

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Roger Backler with a beautiful Lower Owens wild brown trout, caught on the Euro Rod.

Lower Owens; The Lower Owens is flowing at 80 CFS. This means most of the river is accessible to wading, even with lower flows use caution while navigating. I have had some of my best days on the Lower Owens this year both on dry flies and nymphs. We have multiple storm fronts moving in currently cooling the water down and pushing the fish into deeper holes and runs. With the colder weather the trout will save energy by settling deeper in the water columns in the morning and by mid day when things warm up start moving up to feed for more venerable bugs near the surface. The best time to fish the Lower Owens has been around 10am-3pm. From five bridges road to pleasant valley reservoir (Wild Trout Section) wild browns and rainbows are eager to take a well presented fly. As far as dry flies Ive been fishing a (size 18 blue wing olive with a para post) almost exclusively. My other go to dry fly is a (size 16-18 olive foam caddis). I prefer the foam caddis as it sits higher in the water column, and I don’t have to re-apply float every 10 cast. Dry Fly fishing is slowing down with this colder weather, and my most productive days are spent nymphing covering as much water as possible. I have been absolutely crushing it with a (size 18 pheasant tail jig duracell) heres a link if you want to order a few https://ascentflyfishing.com/tungsten-jig-duracell/ these are great quality flies! Ive also been doing well on (size 16-18 perdigons, olive, or blue). Mid day is producing well with soft hackles as well (size 16-18 cdc flashback pheasant tail). When in doubt Midge it out, (size 16-18 Zebra Midge Olive, Purple, Black).


Central Gorge; The central gorge (canyon section) has been fishing very well both on top water and subsurface. My go to set up has been a dry dropper with a caddis (size 14) to a small baetis nymph or midge (size 18-20) Winter gets COLD in the canyon section so targeting sunlight is a great idea while fishing down there. I recommend between 10am-3pm being the best time to explore the canyon. The stinging nettle is still very present but as winter moves in it will start to die off from the banks. The north inner gorge has been producing lots of beautiful wild browns and rainbows from 8-18 inches if you know where to look. Getting off the beaten path can lead to some of your best days on the Eastern Sierra. Use caution while navigating the canyon, loose rocks, steep cliffs, and a long walk out are all challenges to face. Small Caddis and Mayflies on a warmer day should get most of those trout to rise. Landing one in the tight conditions is a whole other story. I enjoy taking anglers on guided trips in these remote areas, reach out if you want to set up a guided trip for the central gorge. Now is the time!

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Fishing an untouched section of water in the Central Gorge with a dry dropper.

Upper Owens; The Upper Owens is currently getting dumped on with snow as these large storms pass through. This is both good and bad for the river as things might be blown out for a few days after the storm but will push migrating trophy trout into the system from Crowley Lake. I have already been seeing and catching fish from 18-26 inches on the Upper, and its only getting better. We are headed into snow-bow season fishing for Crowley Steel as locals like to say. This is my busiest time of year with anglers hoping to land a trout of a lifetime, and most likely their own personal best. Going into winter the road usually gets shut down with snow and rain so hiking far distances will get you into the action. I take anglers out in snowshoes for full days hunting trophy trout and it is an amazing experience, an ocean of white snow, mammoth crest in the back ground, and large healthy trout looking to battle. The best way to target these fish is to either nymph under an indicator or tight line/euro nymph every bit of water possible. Ive been doing well on prince nymphs (size12-16) perdigons of various colors (size 16-18) san juan gummy worm’s in pink (size 10-14) and streamers. Right now my favorite streamer to fish the Upper Owens with is a White Zonker (size 8-12) Not sure what the road conditions will be like after this storm but its safe to say its time to get those hiking legs ready for the season. To book a guided trip on the Upper Owens for trophy trout give me a call (858) 750 9820 and well put something together if availability allows. I would reach out sooner then later……

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Stephen Woj with an incredible trophy Buck caught last year in December on the Upper Owens. One of the best fish from the season. Who’s Ready for some of this!?

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Tony Estrada making it happen on the Upper Owens! He landed multiple fish throughout the day.

Hot Creek; This storm is good news for the world famous Hot Creek, and will bring some new cold water into the system raising the CFS level. Like the Upper Owens Hot Creek might need some time to settle after this new snow and storm. Nice hatches of small baetis (Mayflies) are happening throughout the mid morning to afternoon, with most of the feeding being subsurface this time of year. I recommend a dry dropper for Hot Creek if you plan on coming up. My go to set up has been a parachute adam’s (size 14) to an olive zebra midge (size 18-20). It might be quite a hike getting into the canyon section after a fresh dumping of snow so move with caution and check road conditions before entering. Beautiful time of year to fish Hot Creek. Hopefully we will continue to get more storms, which will only benefit this tributary in the long run. So far off to a good start.

(From Golden Trout Guiding Co.)

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