Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Report – September 16, 2022

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We are starting to have fall like weather in the Eastern Sierra. It will not be long when the trees will be turning colors. Experienced the first cool morning when I came back from my southern California PowerPoint presentation tour. Fall spawning trout are starting to show up in some of the creeks and rivers of the Eastern Sierra. Mayflies and caddis are providing most of the action in the area. I’m still checking water temperatures in a few Eastern Sierra waters like Crowley Lake, lower and upper Owens River, and Bishop Creek Canal. Water temperatures over 70 degrees, fly fishers should not be catch and release fly fishing.

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Fall colors are just starting to pop in the upper elevations of the Eastern Sierra like Weir Pond on south fork of Bishop Creek.

Freestone Streams:
Rock Creek:

Early mornings are finally cold. Don’t need to show up early to fish Rock Creek. Mid-morning fishing with Adams Parachute and gold ribbed hare’s ears is a fun way to spend a morning on the creek. Water flows are starting to recede as we head into Fall. As water flows drop the trout are getting spookier and require fly fishers to make a stealthy approach on the trout.

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The slow flat pool sections of Rock Creek are tough to fish as the wild brown trout are very spooky.

Bishop Creek
South Fork:

It’s cold enough to be wearing a sweatshirt first thing in the morning. Weir Pond on the south fork of Bishop Creek is full of wild brown trout and brook trout. These trout are taking both dries and nymphs. The fish are spooky in the area of Weir Pond, but in the creek above and below the pond It’s easier to fish as the trout are feeding opportunistically and not spooky.

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Jason Fleenor from Murrieta is hooked up on a wild brook trout in the run of south fork Bishop Creek directly above Weir Pond.

Lower Owens River:
Wild Trout Section:

Flows are continuing to drop as they decrease from the flushing flows in the Owens River Gorge. The flows are down to 225 CFS and when they get to 200 CFS or less the fishing and wading will pick up. I like the flows around 200 CFS. It provides deeper holes and runs which protects the wild brown trout from predation from animals and birds from above. I’m fishing the Euro rig in this water with olive burlap caddis, stoner nymphs, bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears, and Butano nymphs. I’m still monitoring water temperatures and am not fly fishing when the water temperature gets above 70 degrees.

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Stream side vegetation of tulles and willows makes it hard to fish from the banks.

Hot Creek:
Interpretive Site:

Caddis activity is providing most of the action at the interpretive site. By mid-morning throwing a foam hopper is producing a few trout. The decreased water flows and the increase weed bed growth is making fly fishing tough on the creek. Fly fishing the deeper holes and the slots between the weeds is were to work your flies. Fly fishing here is tough!

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Low water and increased weed beds makes it very tough to fly fish in Hot Creek Canyon.

Hot Creek:
Canyon Section:

Fly fishing in the canyon is for the brave and expert fly fisher. There is very little open water for fly fishers to properly drift their flies. Size 20 gray caddis patterns like spent partridge caddis, X-caddis, and elk hair caddis are producing a few wild trout. Nymphing in these conditions is tough, but for fly fishers willing to work their nymphs in and around the weed beds there are a few trout willing to take nymph patterns.

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Early morning trio mayfly hatches have been fun to fish during the spinner fall for juvenile rainbow and brown trout on the upper Owens River.

Upper Owens River:
Above Benton Crossing Bridge:

Early morning trico mayflies and caddis hatches are getting the juvenile trout to come to the surface to feed. The trico spinner fall has been producing the best action in the mornings. After the spinner fall the trout start feeding on the caddis. There are a few trophy trout starting to show up in the river system as fall spawning trout start their migration. For the trophy trout I like to Euro nymph with size 12 stoner nymphs and size 12 green/gold wire Prince nymphs. These are my two most productive trophy trout flies.

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Early morning trico mayfly hatches have been sporadic at best on Bishop Creek Canal. 

Bishop Creek Canal:
Behind the Ford Dealer:

Euro nymphing mid-morning has been producing stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. I’m using size 12 stoner nymphs and two tone green/gold wire Prince nymphs. The trico hatch has been sporadic at best. Water flows have been fluctuating and this has slowed down the bite.

(From Fred Rowe at Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service)

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