Fall is in full swing in the Eastern Sierra. The trees are turning colors, the trout are starting their fall spawning runs and caddis and mayflies are hatching. Temperatures during the day are perfect. Still wearing my shorts! Trout are feeding and taking nymphs and dries most of the day throughout the Eastern Sierra.
Water flows are at their lowest and the trout are spooky. A stealthy approach is needed to catch the wild brown trout in the creek. Using a Tenkara rod is a fun way to fish Rock Creek. The drawback is that you will spook trout because you are so close to the trout. The trout continue to take Adams Parachutes, elk hair caddis, and Royal Wulff’s.
Fall colors in the canyon greet fly fishers as you drive up to your favorite fly fishing hole. Low water levels is making the fishing tough as the trout have few places to hide. A stealth approach is required to fool these wary trout. Fishing dries flies 20 to 40 feet Infront of me is how I get a stealthy approach. I hate sneaking. Particularly on my hands and knees. For fly fishers willing to crawl or sneak into the holes you will catch wild brown and brook trout.
Lower Owens River:
Wild Trout Section:
This has been my most productive spot to be fly fishing in the Eastern Sierra. Weekend crowds mean if you’re not on the water early you will not have first pick of the spots you want to fish. Nymphing with quilldigons, bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs, Frenchies, hot spot pheasant tail nymphs under an indicator or Euro nymphing is producing lots of juvenile trout and the occasional 10 to 12 inch trout. The trout are feeding on nymphs all day long.
Fly fishing on Hot Creek continues to be tough. Gray caddis in the morning are getting the fish to come to surface and feed. I’m using X-caddis, elk hair caddis and partridge spent caddis with gray bodies in size 20 to catch a few trout. Surface activity is over by noon.
Toughest place to fish in the Eastern Sierra right now. Fully mature weed beds and reduced flows is making it tough to get a drag free drift in the canyon section of Hot Creek. For the hearty anglers willing to work hard for a few trout nymphing in between the weeds and in the open pools will produce a few trout. Be prepared to hang up on almost every cast. I’m fishing with bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs, olive quilldigons, midges, and scuds.
Upper Owens River:
Above Benton Crossing Bridge:
Fishing for trophy trout has been tough as the fish in the river have been there for a while and have been fly fished over by everyone including me. The river needs a new batch of trophy trout to enter the system and offer fly fishers the chance at new trophy trout. I’m Euro nymphing this section with stoner nymphs and green/gold wire Prince nymphs tied on jig hooks in size 12. For those that tie flies the stoner nymph fly tying video is on my YouTube channel Sierra Bright Dot. Juvenile trout are taking Adams parachutes, elk hair caddis, bead head flash back pheasant tails, and bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears. These fish are offering fly fishers a few trout to catch.
Below Benton Crossing Bridge:
Below Benton Crossing Bridge is now open to fishing through November 15 with a two fish 18 inches or bigger limit and artificial lures or flies. This is a great section to fish in the evenings. It seems the trout like to travel up the river under low light conditions. The fish are moving through this area so successful fly fishers need to be moving looking for trophy trout in the deep holes, runs and cutbanks. These trout do not stay in this section very long. They are on the move trying to get up river to their spawning grounds.
Bishop Creek Canal:
Behind the Ford Dealer:
This area is getting a lot of fishing pressure. There are wild brown trout that are taking nymphs fished under an indicator or with the Euro rig. I’m fishing with olive quilldigons, stoner nymphs, green/gold Prince nymphs, bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs, Prince nymphs, hot spot pheasant tail nymphs, frenchies, and gold ribbed hare’s ears. Fishing has been good all day long.
(From Fred Rowe at Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service)