Welcome to my Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing Report! I have been a bit behind on getting this recent report done as I have been guiding a lot. We are heading into summer and the amount of water we are receiving is well needed yet unfortunately making our local rivers extremely challenging to fly fish. We are in peak snowmelt and rivers are predicted to stay high until mid July at least. Right now is a still-water fly fishing game, float tubing lakes and ponds for trout, bass and carp are all great options. I have been primarily guiding on Crowley Lake, and also guiding on the local ponds and canals for largemouth bass. I am a big fan of throwing streamers and sight fishing, now is a great time to do both. Give me a call to line up a guided trip, summer is just around the corner.
-Luke Kinney (Owner, Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide)
Phone- (858) 750 9820
Email- [email protected]
Lower Owens– Same story on the Lower Owens river, high and blown out. The Wild Trout Section (Chalk Bluff Rd.) remains closed to car access and is flowing around 750 CFS over-running the bank in many areas. Below Bishop the Lower Owens is flowing around 1500 CFS. I do not recommend fishing the Lower Owens not only for the challenges of targeting trout but for your own personal safety. Things are warming up down in Bishop and water temps are already in the mid 60’s and will eventually be too warm to fly fish. Best to wait until fall for flows to come down and water temps too cool to start fishing the Lower Owens again. Im already dreaming of casting BWO’s and Caddis late October/November as Im sure most of you are as well.
Bishop Canal– The Bishop Canal that runs behind town has been decent for trout fishing, and when exploring the canal further south of town you might find yourself getting into some solid Largemouth Bass and if your lucky the occasional Small Mouth. When fishing the canal behind town for trout I recommend Euro Nymphing with two to three heavier tungsten headed flies. Czech Nymphs, Perdigons, Prince Nymphs, and Flash Back Pheasant Tail’s are all productive flies. Getting down deep enough in the higher flows are the challenge. Adding split shot will help get your flies down deep to where the trout are feeding. There are only a few sections where the trout fishing is decent and the word is out so getting them to yourself might be challenging. Best time to hit the water is early morning till around 11am and then again from 5pm-Sunset. I am only guiding for trophy Carp and Bass on the canals and fishing streamers with a short 10-12lb leader. If you haven’t sight fished for Carp on the fly I highly recommend the experience, as it will challenge even the best of anglers. Bass are easier to target but put up a great fight and explode on a well presented streamer. Olive leeches, wolly buggers, and large prince nymphs are all great bass flies. For carp you can try similar flies or various cray fish patterns. (Come at me Cray Fish) is a personal favorite! To line up a Bass or Carp hunt on the fly give me a call Id love to get after them with you.
Although Carp are invasive and get a lot of hate, they are an awesome species to target and have earned the well deserved title “Poor Mans Bone Fish”. Im a big fan, and spend a good amount of time chasing them down. Give me a call to put together a sight fishing carp trip.
Bishop Creek– Bishop Creek is raging right now with flows between 140-300 CFS. Finding fishable water is near to impossible. I would target the lakes at higher elevation once accessible. I will keep you posted on Bishop Creek, for now Its dangerous and blown out.
Crowley Lake– Crowley Lake continues to fish well! The lake is slowly rising and will hopefully fill up to capacity as we go into summer. Fish are holding up deep and we are fishing between 25-35 ft with specialized deep water nymphing set ups. I have been guiding 3-5 days a week on Crowley and figuring out where the fish are holding. You can absolutely get into some quality trout in shallower water but if you’re looking for numbers you gotta get down deep at least for now. Having a guide on the lake is beneficial and will help you get into the action as the fish are constantly moving between areas and knowing where they are is a big part of the game. Im running all midges at this point as the hatch has been prolific during the right conditions with the bite heating up from 8am-11am. My top fly is the (Albino Wino) size 16, and the (Copper Tiger) size 16. Tying your own variations of these midges is always fun, most importantly is getting them visible and in the range of the fish. I am currently booking Crowley Lake through now-August. My weekends fill up quickly so If your a weekend warrior I would reach out sooner then later. I have more weekdays available which is a fantastic time to get on the lake as there are way less anglers on the water. We are having a blast getting after trophy rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout everyday on the Lake. In the last week alone we’ve hooked up on multiple fish in the 23-25 inch range. It’s good fun, and perfect for all level of anglers. I can guide two people on my boat. Give me a call to line up a guided still water fly fishing trip on Crowley Lake.
Upper Owens/McGee Creek– Both the Upper Owens and McGee creek have come up in flows over the last few days making them difficult to fly fish but not impossible. Anglers have been catching fish on both of these streams with heavy nymph rigs or streamers. Crossing McGee creek is probably not the best idea as of now and falling in the water would not be good. Wade with extreme caution, better yet fish it from the bank. I would be fishing these rivers with multiple flies and weight under a large airlock indicator making sure it can hold the weight of your flies altogether. Covering water will be key to hooking up. Do not expect to be hooking up with a lot of fish, your doing well if you manage a 1-3 fish to the net. As far as flies I would recommend Hares Ears (Size 16) Prince Nymph (Size 14-16) Perdigon (Size 16-18) Wolly Bugger, black or olive (Size 10-12) Leeches, black or olive (Size 10-14). Be safe out there especially while hiking along McGee as it’s a long way back to the car.
East Walker River– The mighty E Walker is coming in at 1200 CFS. Way too high to consider fly fishing. We are crossing our fingers for a late summer/early fall drop of flows. We will be guiding E Walker as soon as it gets below 300 CFS. Stay Tuned.