I had the wonderful opportunity to spend Veteran’s Day fly fishing on Hot Creek Ranch. I can’t think of a more peaceful way to spend the day reflecting on this great nation of ours, and the sacrifices countless Americans and their family members have made for our incredible country. Hot Creek Ranch is a private water in Mono County – traditionalist dry fly only – and a very beautiful place. Spending a day on the water is something I can do only because of the actions of our vets. Never lose sight of the big picture. There is more to life than fly fishing and casting Thomas Bouyants, and I am humbled and thankful beyond words of proper recognition for those who have served our country. Thank you, vets.
As for what I experienced at “The Ranch…” I got a late start to the day. My COVID booster shot wiped me out the day before, and I didn’t get on the water till 11AM. When I showed up, there was already a plethora of major bug activity. I saw smaller caddis flying around. They were the equivalent of a size 20 or 22 per fly selection. Swarms of tiny midge clouds were everywhere. The spinner fall started around the lunch hour. The dry fly action was good, as long as my fly selection and drift were natural in presentation. The fly of the morning for me was a size-26 Parachute Adams. I witnessed several trout feeding on emergers, and this fly seems to do the trick when I watch feeding behavior like that. The dry fly action dropped off about 1PM. Hot Creek Ranch is dry fly only. I’d destroy those fish with wet flies, but that’s part of why its fish counts are so high because the fish feeding below the surface get a rest from wet flies. Hot Creek Ranch is private waters, but you can pay to stay there and fish there. Information can be found at: http://www.hotcreekranch.com/index.html
The Ranch manager Kevin Peterson runs a world-class resort. Every dry fly fisher in the world should experience it at least once.
The public sections of the Interpretative Site and the Canyon are fishing well. The same bug hatches mentioned above are happening on the public waters also. Generally, the middle of the morning to early afternoon is the best time for dry flies. When the wind picks up, start fishing wet flies. Scuds, midges, and PT’s are all great options.
The Lower Owens River is money right now. Flows are low and the fishing is dynamic. I am hearing nothing but great reports about it. Standard flies like Green Rock Worms and Zug Bugs are gonna hook fish. I intend to fish it this Sunday for the first time this season, and can offer a first-hand report for next week. But, anglers have tons of positive things to report about fishing around Bishop right now.
The traditional season closes on Monday. The 15th of November is when several fisheries in the Eastern Sierra legally close for the season. So, if you are after some lake fishing, this weekend is your final hurrah.
Have a fun weekend out there. The weather looks great. And, thank a vet next time you come across one. I salute each and every one of them.
That’s your short and sweet fish report for this week. There are too many fisheries to list. Chris Leonard will be giving us our weekly fish report, and will mix it up every week talking about different places to get fishy. Chris Leonard guides for Kittredge Sports
in Mammoth Lakes.
Have fun. Be safe. Go get ’em!
Chris Leonard is a longstanding teacher at Mammoth High School, and experienced fly fishing guide. He guides both rivers and lakes in the Eastern Sierra. His understanding of teaching and fly fishing makes him a choice guide in the region.