Hello Fellow Anglers,

The busy summer season should begin to wane as many schools have begun or will start shortly. Many consider the late summer and fall to be the best time of the year to fish the area. Good news on the waterfront as area streams are all at fishable levels, with one exception, the Owens River below Pleasant Valley Reservoir it is currently elevated running at 450Cfs. Flows will gradually increase in the coming days or week as Crowley Lake is nearing its maximum capacity and inspections on the plumbing infrastructure at the base of the dam and tunnel for exporting water southward has been completed!  The weather and temperature forecast for this week is calling for dry conditions and temperatures will be 5-7 degrees above normal until the weekend.  It’s been a relatively dry and breezy summer with temperatures running close to normal for most of the area. Thus far we have only had two episodes of thunderstorms resulting in some precipitation and lightening, so the monsoon season has been weak, and the moisture has been directed much further to the east this year.  Bishop will be in the 100s and Mammoth in the high 70s to low 80s with lows in Bishop in the upper 60s and Mammoth will in the upper 40s/50s. Great camping weather! Grant Lake, Crowley Lake, and Bridgeport Reservoir are at capacity or nearing peak capacity. A healthy snowpack still exists above 10,000 feet for this time of year and backpackers are having difficult navigating some high-country trails. Caution and good judgement are necessary as a slip could result in life threating consequences. All trans-sierra passes are currently open (Tioga Pass 120, Carson Pass 88, Sonora Pass108 and Monitor Pass 89) however, keep an eye if any wildfires start up on the west side as road closures could be a possibility. Call 1-800-GAS- ROAD for the latest on road closures and construction.        

Looking at local fishing conditions throughout the area, most area streams have dropped substantially from their peak flows in June and continue to recede daily with some just coming into their prime. There has been some good hopper fishing on a few of the area streams though I think the fish have seen about every variation of hopper pattern resulting in the fish becoming very selective and wary of the patterns. Crowley Lake has been more difficult lately but still some nice fish being landed. Both damsel flies and perch patterns have been effective lately. Most of the area lakes have been stocked by CADFW and by the Mono County Enhancement Program via the Desert Springs, Oregon fish hatchery providing trophy trout to select area waters. The middle fork of the San Joaquin, the crown jewel of drive-in backcountry fishing is nearing favorable fishing conditions.  A mandatory shuttle is in place from 7-7 daily. This is in an effort to limit vehicular traffic on the mountain road. Overall the fishing in the Eastern Sierras has been fair to good; the areas fishing well have had a fair amount of pressure.

Note***** With the abundance of water this year some areas the mosquitoes have are a factor so don’t leave home without a good proven repellent, as the first major hatch has occurred on both the upper/lower Owens River and adjacent areas. Best to wear long pants or waders and long sleeve shirts with tightly woven material or they will bite right through your clothing.

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[toggle title=”Hot Creek”] -OPEN YEAR ROUND

hot-creek18[1]

August 17th, 2019 –

Flows are currently holding at 70 cfs and dropping slightly daily. This runoff year has flushed the stream of all the silt and aquatic vegetation for the most part. The aquatic vegetation is starting to return in some sections giving the fish a place to hide under. Hatch-wise caddis, hoppers, tricos are the main stay and a few baetis. The crowds have been a factor; some days it’s super busy. The fish numbers are still slightly on the lean side but much improved from 3 years ago and they seem to pod up in certain sections of the stream. The existing fish are very healthy mostly 12-16” browns and rainbows with a smattering of larger specimens. I think the fish have seen about every hopper pattern there is! so switch sizes and colors until you get some looks, they know what a real hopper is! A good drag free drift tight to the bank will get the best results!

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[toggle title=”Middle Fork of San Joaquin, Devils Postpile, Reds Meadow Area”]san-joaquin2[1]

August 17th, 2019 –

A shuttle bus is mandatory between the hours of 7-7 until after Labor Day. Stream levels are approaching their prime, River levels are dropping daily currently holding at 100 cfs measured down near the Devils Postpile . The stream seems to be fishing differently in the campground areas with fewer fish and the stocking has been less than routine if nonexistent so any fish caught might end up on some camper griddle  It is best to seek the less traveled places for the better results. The afternoon is best as the water is warmest and the hatches are strongest. Have your insect repellent with you as some areas the mosquitoes and deerflies are still an issue but should improve from this point onward.

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[toggle title=”Crowley Lake”]

August 17th, 2019 –

Crowley Lake -OPEN

Remember the lake has entered the special regulation season with only artificial flies and lures allowed and your hooks’ barbs must be pinched and smooth. Best to read the regulations before wetting a line! The lake level is nearing capacity. Fishing was outstanding from the middle of July but the last week it seems to have slowed with more action from the clone variety fish up near the marina as recently planted brown, cutthroat and rainbow are congregated up near the marina section of the lake but starting to disperse and venture out . A variety of food sources are available. Midges, Perch fry ranging in size from, .25-1“ in length and plenty of Damsel fly nymphs along with some Calibeatis nymphs and snails. The moon phase is full and daphnia are again present this could be contributing to some of the weaker bite of late. Water temps on the surface ranging from the high to upper 60s to low 70s bottoms temps in the 60s. The algae bloom hasn’t been a real factor and moves around with the prevailing wind along with the floating weed rafts. The McGee Bay end of the lake is taking the bulk of the pressure right now from 18-27ft’ of water. It has been crowded on the weekends in the McGee end of the lake. The fish seem to be spreading out and hugging the weed lines and stream channels hunting down the schools of perch fry and damsels fly larvae migrating to hatch. You might break from the crowd and find better results. There is plenty of habitat for the fish as the lakes is close to peak capacity not at 2007 levels but close.

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[toggle title=”East Walker”] -OPEN YEAR ROUND

August 17th, 2019 –

The East Walker is currently flowing at 330 it has been holding at this level since the 20th of July so still running a little high or above the average for this time of year but vary fishable. The weather is warm in the Bridgeport area highs in the 90s lows in the upper 40s the water quality is good just slightly stained and water temps seem to be staying in the mid to upper 60s. The fishing is best early and late and midday it might be a little tough with the current weather. Hatch wise midges, caddis, tricos damselflies, crayfish and some baitfish. These patterns all stimulating some action. The mosquitoes are still a factor in areas so it is best to carry some repellent and be safe than sorry. I would suggest a wading staff if your fishing any of the faster pocket water.

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[toggle title=”Crowley Tributaries”]mcgeecreek[1]

August 17th, 2019 –

Crowley Tribs, Convict, McGee, Hilton and Crooked Creeks -OPEN

All are open. It is best to read the regulations before wetting a line as some fall under special regulations at certain times of the year or are closed year-round. The area of Crooked Creek from the gauging station on the west side of Highway 395 to Crowley Lake is closed year-round as is the Rock Creek diversion ditch! Water levels continue to drop. Lots of hoppers, no millions of hoppers present in some of the fields adjacent to some of the tributaries another year of the hopper.

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[toggle title=”Mammoth Lakes Basin”]lakes-basin14[1]

August 17th, 2019 –

Mammoth Lakes Basin -Partially Open

All lakes in the basin excluding Horseshoe have been stocked and there are reports of some good size fish being caught. Remember it’s best to fish early and late as parking can be an issue and the lakes are busy with lots of other water activities on the weekends until after Labor Day. Plenty of great float tubing in the lakes basin and the views are outstanding. There is some surface action generally early and late, mid-day it is best to use a sinking line and a streamer or small bead head PT or Hares Ear and strip or troll. Streamers black, brown and olive are generally good colors to fish sizes 12-8s. Nymph wise sizes 16s-14s trailing your streamer about 15-18” apart.

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[toggle title=”Lower Owens”] -OPEN YEAR ROUND + Some sections fall under special regulations

August 17th, 2019 –

Flows would be considered high! Currently flows holding at 450 cfs. I would expect the flows to come up to the 500 cfs range later in the month it is still fishable but difficult. It wouldn’t be my first choice after 10am as the weather is hot in Bishop and wading is difficult at this level. Best to fish if flows retreat to below 400 cfs! The late fall, winter and spring are best time to target this fishery.

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[toggle title=”Upper Owens”]Section ABOVE Bridge – OPEN YEAR ROUND
owens-river41[1]

August 17th, 2019 –

Section ABOVE Bridge to Private property: – OPEN YEAR ROUND Under Special Regulations
Section below the Bridge to the Monument: – OPEN
From the Monument to Crowley Lake: – OPEN Under Special Regulations

Flows are good! The Flows above the Hot Creek tributaries are 100 cfs and below the bridge holding at 160 cfs. A mix of small juvenile fish and a few larger resident and migratory browns and rainbow in the upper reaches along with some planted hatchery fish that migrate up from below the Benton Crossing bridge. River bottom has been scoured out nicely creating plenty of good habitat for the insects. The East Portal tunnel devirting water from the Mono lake Basin is adding 50cfs to the system currently! Conditions have improved and there are plenty of Hopper around but like Hot Creek the fish have seen about every Hopper pattern so make the takes count as you might not get a second chance. Hatches: hoppers, caddis and mayflies. The fish will have an easy time migrating up out of the lake this season as it is flooded up to the last fence on the lower river currently. A reminder that the Monument to the lake falls under special regulations, so it is best to read the regulations before wetting a line and know where the monument is! .
Use caution if flood irrigating is in progress as the ground can be soft and getting stuck is a possibility. Make sure you have insect repellent as the mosquitoes can be bad in the upper river.

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*Provided by LADWP
[button link=”http://wsoweb.ladwp.com/Aqueduct/realtime/lvrealtime.htm” style=”tick” text=”dark” window=”yes”]LONG VALLEY WATER FLOW OVERVIEW[/button]
[button link=”http://wsoweb.ladwp.com/Aqueduct/realtime/norealtime.htm” style=”tick” text=”dark” window=”yes”]NORTHERN OWENS VALLEY WATER FLOW OVERVIEW[/button]
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