Hello Fellow Anglers,
For those wondering how conditions are in the Eastern Sierras, the runoff hasn’t affected the area streams negatively YET and the major reservoirs in the area are making room for the above average snow pack. Some 50 inches of water still remains locked up in the high country. Runoff conditions should change around the middle to third week in May when the sun angle and night time low retreat above freezing for longer periods, or if there is any rain the real runoff will begin. Sometimes the runoff starts early in May, but when you get a hard freeze it takes a few days to start melting again. This is what happened 5 days ago. By late May we will see the streams in the area become more “bank full” for at least 3-4 weeks. Some may become much tougher to fish, while others will still be fishable but not like they are now. It would be wise to get your stream fishing in now for a few weeks; then it might be time to hit the lakes and do a little still water fishing as there may be a period where it’s the only real game. It was a big winter by standards but much less than 2017, which was the wettest in recent times where some streams were in runoff flows well into late July or early August. This year runoff will not be as severe, but will impact most of the western states: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, and parts of Montana. Remember it is best to check the stream flows before embarking on your adventures as flows can change overnight. LADWP and USGS have most of the stream and reservoirs in the area graphed charted and monitored.
Currently fishing in the area rates 5.5 out of 10 and crowds remain relatively light mid-week and obviously increase on the weekends. Hot Creek and the Crowley tributaries all have opportunities and the East Walker is fishing for those willing to put the time in to figure out the puzzle; some very large fish have been produced. The lower Owens is fishable at this time but flows remain on the high side at 372 CFS, down from 650 CFS 10 days ago. Crowley has been hit and miss with weather being the issue some days. Bridgeport Reservoir has been producing big trout.
The weather is calling for an increasing chance of thunderstorms leading into next week so one should be prepared with rain gear. Lightening is possible, so if you’re boating and you hear the roar get off the lake and seek shelter. Strong out flow winds can accompany these storm so be prepared to move if you see one in the distance. Bring you rain gear, sun screen, and bug repellent as the mosquitoes season is about to start or is in progress depending on the elevation.
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-OPEN YEAR ROUND
May 9th, 2019 –
Flows are inching up and the clarity is off. Still bugs hatching, but not a lot of action on the surface. The best results are those fishing the nymph. It’s a mixed bag size-wise, but for the most part 10”- 14”. Those skilled in the art of fishing subsurface have been doing well. Scuds, worm patterns and nymphs with a little flash working best. The clarity can change throughout the day and peak water temps are later in the day now that more water is come down Mammoth Creek. Best times to target 10-2pm it has been busy down there on weekends. Remember to you good fishing etiquette.
May 9th, 2019 –
The Road to Devils Postpile is closed! The road leading up and down is still covered in a deep blanket of snow that is slowly melting. There has been no real firm word from the USFS on when they plan to open the road. It will really depend on Mother Nature and how much work will be necessary to make repairs. Between the “normal” heavy winter and the spring runoff it is possible this has negatively impacted the roads integrity. There could also be downed trees. My best guess is the road will open just before the 4th of July.
May 9th, 2019 –
Crowley Lake -OPEN
Fishing remains spotty for the most part! One day it’s on and the next day it’s slow. The fish are spread out and feeding up on the shelves, then they retreat and move on. Look in McGee Bay East shore up to Sandy, Green Banks, Christmas Bay, Leighton Springs, and Alligator Point in 15 -20Ft of water. Water temps are on the rise. Lake Level seems to be steady for the meantime, holding at 6767.9 elevation with maybe a slight decline of an inch every 4 days. This will change rapidly once the runoff starts; look for the lake to rise rapidly late May through June. Best guess it will come up 12 to 14 ft. Midges are hatching so try larvae and pupa patterns; try hanging a leech pattern also. The Perch are on the grab!
May 9th, 2019 –
The flows remain steady for the time being, holding at just over 300 CFS with Bridgeport Reservoir making some room for storage. The reservoir is holding water to the airport runway well above the private upper boat ramp for those that like launching there. The runoff will surely fill the lake to capacity and a larger release will most likely be necessary down the road later in the month. The fishing on the East Walker is rewarding for those who are persistent, and have the skills to make the drift in the higher flows, as you need to cover more water. The water temperature continues to warm but is still on the cooler side. The fish are spread out after being held captive during the low flows of winter where it was 30CFS and is now running 10 times the winter flow. The water clarity is good with minimal weed growth. There is some algae on the rocks in the slower water. Hatch-wise there are midges and mayflies and a few caddis but predominately it seems to be the mayflies. A few fish rise but very sporadically and inconsistently for the most part. Haven’t seen many bait fish up near the dam yet, but I’m sure that will change. The number of crayfish isn’t like two years ago but there’s evidence they’re around. The river is still holding true trophies. Those trophy fish might tangle with you and landing them might be a different story, but if you are willing to put in the time the story will be a good one. Generally the fish range from 14” -17” (and some much bigger) with both Rainbow and Browns. Wading at the current flows is still manageable but a wading stick will help in the more boulder filled runs. There are a few opportunities to take a fish on the surface but the nymph and streamer seem to be more productive methods! Nymphing is still the 1# method; nothing new for those who fish the Walker regularly. Currently, there is still the opportunity to fish both the California side and the Nevada side if you choose. Flows on the Nevada side in the Rosachi section are still doable. You can get your Nevada license on line at https://nevada.licensing.kalkomey.com/
May 9th, 2019 –
Crowley Tribs, Convict, McGee, Hilton and Crooked Creeks -OPEN
All are at fishable flows with both resident and migratory fish present. There are a few caddis and mayflies. It’s way too early for the hopper thing but hopefully it will be another epic season of hopper fishing. Flows will start to increase in the coming days and clarity will decrease a little but still fishable unless it rains then all bets are off. There are migratory fish both Rainbow and Cutthroat entering and exiting the system. Be careful where you wade as the wild fish have spawned or are spawning. In the shallow depressions in the riffles are the trout nests or (Redds). If you see fish paired up, please leave them be and let them create future generations of wild trout.
May 9th, 2019 –
Mammoth Lakes Basin -Partially Open
Road is open up to Twin Lakes and Tamarack lodge. It closed beyond that. Twin Lakes is breaking up and has a fair amount of open water but not yet completely free of ice. Upper lakes have open water at the inlet and outlet but still snow and ice covered and will be sometime before they are completely thawed out. My best guess near Memorial day before anything happen up that way. Road still isn’t plowed past the gate leading up to Lake Mary.
Tight lines and successful outings!
May 9th, 2019 –
Flows out of the Pleasant Valley Reservoir are currently holding at 372 CFS. This flow is fishable but wading is challenging. Clarity will change as Rock Creek and Pine Creek will dirty up and the reservoir water will be a little off color. Flows should hold for a while as the aqueduct system to the South is taking water in from runoff and Crowley Lake will start retaining water with limited outflow. Hatch wise caddis, mayflies, and little yellow sally stone flies will match the hatch! As flows have dropped you might have some opportunities on the surface. Look for the fish to hold where there is some relief from the current or on the ledges and drop offs. It will take a fair amount of weight to get you fly down and a little more distance from your fly to your indicator. Always best to check the flows before you embark on your journey. Once flows reach over 400 CFS you might want to reconsider you options. Also read your regulations as there are different sections that fall under special regulations i.e. the wild trout section falls under barbless artificial flies or lures no bait.
May 9th, 2019 –
Section ABOVE Bridge to Private property: – OPEN YEAR ROUND Under Special Regulations
Section below the Bridge to the Monument: – CLOSED TILL MEMORIAL WEEKEND
From the Monument to Crowley Lake: – OPEN Under Special Regulations
Open upstream from the bridge to the private property. This section is open year round and falls under special regulations. Read your regulations and understand them as a ticket can be very costly. Basically it artificial barbless flies or lures; No Bait! The area from the Monument to Crowley Lake falls under special regulations also. From below the bridge to the Monument remains closed until Memorial weekend. Water levels are on the increase; flows below the Hot Creek tributaries near 160 CFS and flows above near 80 CFS. About 10 CFS coming out of the tunnel (East portal) and water clarity decreased below the Hot Creek Tributaries and clearer above. Hatch wise: a few midges, caddis and beatis. Some fish are rising, but as flows increase and the water temperatures retreat the fish will feed subsurface primarily. There are migratory fish, with both Rainbow and Cutthroat entering and exiting the system. Be careful where you wade as the wild fish have spawned or are spawning. In the shallow depressions in the riffles are the trout nests or (Redds). If you see fish paired up, please leave them be and let them create future generations of wild trout. You might want to carry some bug repellent as the mosquitoes are already hatching.