Winter is on the horizon, and summer is behind us. Fall is my favorite time of the year to be on the waters in the Eastern Sierra fly fishing. Trophy trout are running up into the tributaries to spawn. Trout seem to know winter is coming and go on a feeding frenzy. I’m still monitoring water temperatures in the Owens Valley. Temperatures are favorable in the waters I’m monitoring. Be aware of several waters closing on Saturday October 1st to protect fall spawning trout. Nymphing is the most productive method of fly fishing the Eastern Sierra waters. There are still hatches of mayflies and caddis bringing trout to the surface.
Low water flows are typical of the creek this time of year. I’m fishing a dry and dropper in the creek. With the low flows I’m fishing nymphs with no weight or just a brass bead. The slow water pools are tough to fly fish without spooking the trout. Water with some gradient is where I’m fly fishing and hooking wild brown trout and brook trout. Fall brook trout in full spawning colors is one of my favorite trout to catch.
Fall colors of aspens is the perfect backdrop to fall fly fishing on Bishop Creek. I’m fishing the pocket water and pools with Adams parachutes and gold ribbed hare’s ears. I’m fly fishing high up in the creeks pursing areas that I know have good populations of brook trout. Catching brook trout in the fall is a tradition I look forward to!
Lower Owens River:
Wild Trout Section:
Flows are down to 150 CFS which is a perfect flow to fish the river. Hatches of small blue wing olives have the trout feeding on nymphs. I’m Euro nymphing the river with hot spot pheasant tail nymphs, frenchies, olive quilldigons, stoner nymphs, and Butano nymphs. Fishing has been steady all day for six to 12inch browns. Nymphing under an indicator is producing browns on bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs. Mid-week is empty of fly fishers, but weekends have been crowded.
Ova posting caddis are producing surface feeding trout that will take a size 20 gray caddis pattern. There are trico mayflies hatching and a small spinner fall. There are a few trout feeding on the tricos, but they have been ignoring my trico imitations. The caddis activity is over by 11:30 A.M. and the winds been coming up at about that time. There are grass hoppers in the grass adjacent to the creek. I’ve tried throwing hopper patterns but the fish have not been interested in them.
Fly fishers are still battling the weeds in the canyon. Nymphing is tough, but is the most productive method of fly fishing in the canyon. If you’re going to nymph you will hang up on the weeds. I’m using gray caddis emergers, bead head flash back pheasant tail nymph, and black AP nymphs.
Upper Owens River:
Above Benton Crossing Bridge:
It’s the beginning of trophy trout season on the upper Owens River. Euro nymphing is my preferred method for working nymphs down on the substrate in the deep pools, runs, and cutbanks. Rainbows and brown trout are in the river taking stoner nymphs, green/gold Prince nymphs, and gold ribbed hare’s ears. The trophy trout are spread out from Crowley Lake to Longyears. Successful anglers are moving around looking for trophy trout.
Bishop Creek Canal:
Behind the Ford Dealer:
There are still a lot of anglers fishing the canal. Nymphing with the Euro rig is producing wild brown trout and stocker rainbows. I’m using green/gold Princes nymphs, stoner nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs, and bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears. I’m fishing in the mornings and quitting by noon because the air temps are to hot.
(From Fred Rowe at Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Guide Service)