Sierra Bright Dot Fly Fishing Report – September 9, 2022

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The heat wave continues, but it’s supposed to break this weekend. We might even get some rain particularly in the higher altitudes. Flushing flows in the gorge are over, but the lower Owens continues to flow above safe wading at 325 CFS. Volunteer hoot owl restrictions are still in effect. A hoot owl is a voluntary stopping of catch and release fly fishing when water temperature exceed 70 degrees.

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Every day I’m on the water I pick up any all trash that I see around the water I’m fly fishing. This is from Bishop Creek Canal.

Bishop markets its self as the little town with the big back yard. If visitors and locals will not clean up after themselves than I will. I found a Rite Aid bag out along one of the streams and now use it to collect the trash I pick up. I empty the bag twice a week or every other week depending on how much trash I pick up. I pick up everything from little too big.

Freestone Streams:
Rock Creek:

This heat wave warming up California has me searching out cool waters of high country creeks. Rock Creek is the perfect spot to fish in the afternoon when other favorite spots get too warm to safely practice catch and release fly fishing. Dry and a dropper is my preferred method to fish the creek. I recommend fly fishing with your favorite dry fly and nymph. For me my favorite dry flies for opportunistic feeding trout is an Adams Parachute, elk hair caddis, or a Royal Wulff. I fish these in size 14 or 16. For the nymphs I like bead head flash back gold ribbed hare’s ears, bead head flash back pheasant tail nymphs, and bead head Prince nymphs in size 16 or 18.

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Working a dry and dropper in sections that have some gradient to them is producing more fish than the flat slow water sections of Rock Creek.

Bishop Creek
South Fork:

Lots of pan sized browns and brook trout are hanging out in Weir Pond happy to take a dry fly or a nymph. After playing around with these trout I like to work my way down stream and find a pull out to park my truck at that has few if any anglers fishing the creek. I like to work my way up stream fishing the pools and pocket water that is holding rainbows and browns. I’m fishing a dry and dropper rig in this area.

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Jared Rogers from Palm Springs missed several brook trout before being able to land this wild brown trout on a size 16 Adams Parachute.

Lower Owens River:
Wild Trout Section:

I would check the DWP site at for up to the minute flows. Right now the flows are at 325 CFS and slowly coming down. I’m waiting until the flows get to 200 CFS before I start fly fishing it again. If these hot temperatures persist, I will be fly fishing early and getting off the water by noon for the safety of the trout in the lower Owens River.

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I’m waiting for the lower Owens River flows to drop back down to wadable levels of 200 CFS or less.

Hot Creek:
Interpretive Site:

Low water and weed beds that are fully mature are making fly fishing on Hot Creek tough. The interpretive site has some open water areas that the fly fisher can get their fly to drift through. Trico mayfly hatches in the morning have been consistent. I’m fishing the female trico parachute and the trico spinner pattern. After the trico hatch look for hatches of blue wing olive mayflies, and gray caddis. The hatches are over by noon.

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Because the weed beds are at full majority it is tough to find a spot you can drift you flies through in Hot Creek Canyon.

Hot Creek:
Canyon Section:

Fly fishing in the canyon section is tough. There is little open water areas for fly fishers to drift their flies. Weeds are thick and everywhere. Trico mayflies in the morning followed by gray caddis are providing action for fly fishers fishing on the surface. Nymph fly fishers willing to put up with getting tangled in the weeds are pulling out a few fish if they are covering lots of water to find the few places, they can get their flies down to the trout.

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The Tenkara rod and a size 24 trico spinner fooled this wild brown trout from the upper Owens River.

Upper Owens River:
Above Benton Crossing Bridge:

Trico mayflies are hatching in the mornings. Morning temperatures are cool and the trout are feeding once the air temperature gets up into the 70s. There is a caddis hatch after the trico hatch. By noon the insect activity comes to a standstill. I’ve been quitting by noon and heading home or heading up high to fish one of the cooler creeks like Convict Creek or Rock Creek. I’m seeing a few trophy trout that are starting to migrate up into the upper Owens River system.

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City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have been dredging Bishop Creek and Bishop Creek Canal East of Hwy 6.

Bishop Creek Canal:
Behind the Ford Dealer:

City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have been dredging Bishop Creek and Bishop Creek Canal East of Hwy 6 behind the Ford Dealership. This has effected the trico hatch. There is a trico hatch in the mornings, it’s just a few trico mayflies hatching here and there. I’m producing most of my fish on the Euro rig fishing with Butano nymphs, stoner nymphs, and two tone wire green/gold Prince nymphs. Bishop Creek Canal is under a voluntary hoot owl restriction. Fly fishers practicing catch and release fly fishing should be off the water when temperature exceed 70 degrees.

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

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