Happy Holidays Fellow Anglers,
Today marks the first day of winter and Mother Nature is starting to change her tune and the resent series of storms have improved the water situation for many parts of central and northern California. Here in our region the important snow pack has increased to near normal levels for this time of year and a another round of moisture is forecast for the area starting Friday with snow levels predicted to make it to the Long Valley and Crowley area with a foot or more possible below 7000 ft and upwards of 3ft at the resort levels. So it will most likely be a white Christmas!!!! If you’re traveling to the area I would strongly advise carrying a shovel and chains and some extra clothing just in case and keep a close eye on the forecast. Currently the main snow line is at 8000 ft but this could change rapidly and snow could accumulate in areas to 6000ft making dirt and secondary roads hazardous to travel and getting stuck could be and issue by late Saturday. For current Californian Highway information call 1-800 GAS- ROAD!
On the fishing front, the general trout season has closed as of Nov 16th and will reopen on Saturday April 29th 2017. The good news is there are still fisheries open in the area providing year round opportunities The East Walker, the Upper Owens River above the Benton Crossing Bridge to the private property line, The Gorge, the Owens River above and below the Pleasant Valley reservoir. The fishing in the area overall could be summed up as fair to good and really depends on the weather and where you’re fishing. Check us out on Facebook at Mammoth fly fishing adventures!
Wishing you the best this holiday season!
OPEN YEAR ROUND
December 21st, 2016 –
Conditions have improved on this fishery currently flowing at winter flows around 40 CFS. CADFW did electro shock the stream to compile data to make a determination on current fish populations and there finding confirmed most everyone’s knowledge that there are very few fish in the stream this fall. Historic population of around 12K fish per mile pre 2008 to around a 1k fish per mile currently. The good news was there were a fair number of juvenile Browns and Rainbow in the 3-6” range found in the sampling. After the data was compiled CADFW did supplement the stream with 6000 sub catchable fish both Browns and Rainbow capable of spawning when the reach maturity. Let’s hope we receive normal to above normal precipitations this winter so these fish have a good opportunity to grow and survive thus helping to revive this fishery back to its former self. A BIG THANK YOU to Kevin Petersen for his efforts in drawing the attention needed to get the biologist out to the fishery to assess the situation and to the volunteers that helped CADFW shuttle and plant these fish. I would recommend letting these fish grow a little before making this a fishing outing by next spring they should be ready to educate
December 21st, 2016 –
The road closed! Closed to fishing until April 29th. Look for the road to open just before 4th of July generally around the middle of June depending on snow pack. Late October rains pushed the flows over 2000cfs so the fishery and stream may look little and fish a little differently next year when it reopens.
December 21st, 2016 –
Water levels are low and in the winter flow category currently holding at 26 cfs. CAF&W has recently supplemented the fishery in an effort to boost population densities. These fish are planted at sub-catchable size with a little luck this winter and a return to normal or above normal precipitation these little guys will survive the long winter and help bring the fishery back to its glory. The last 5 years of drought have taken a big toll on this once famous fishery. Large fish are still present but their density is far and few between. Fishing the Nevada stretch might be a better bet this time of year.
December 21st, 2016 –
Current flow near 120 cfs and are near the winter flow category. Currently the gauge at the LADWP site is broken so estimating the flow, conditions are ideal for wading! Bug wise some mayflies around midday hatching along with plenty of midges this time of year. The wild brown trout are in the spawning mode. Their colors will be slightly darker and the yellow deep and rich. Remember the regulations change from the Pleasant Valley Dam to the wild trout sections consult the Ca Fish & Wildlife fishing regulations before wetting a line to void any issues. Target the areas below the riffles and the ledges and pools with the flows low the fish that aren’t spawning will be in those areas. The holiday period can be crowded down in the wild trout area the Lower Owens is a favorite this time of year as the weather can be perfect for winter fishing.
November 21st, 2016 –
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
The area below the Benton crossing bridge is closed until or after April 29th 2017. The section above the Benton Crossing Bridge to the private property line is open year round. Currently flows are low and clear with approximately 53 cfs above the Hot Creek tributaries to 98 cfs below the Hot Creek Tributaries. There are some Brown trout actively spawning and there is evidence of fish that have spawned and return to the lake already. Some larger fall and winter spawning Rainbows are present. The majority of larger fish are migratory fish coming out of Crowley Lake please handle these fish with care as these fish are producing the future generations of wild trout. Please avoid wading through the areas of bright gravel and depressions in the shallow riffles. This is where the wild fish spawn and lay their eggs. If you see fish paired up please let them BE! Tactics for taking these migratory fish can vary from dead drifting nymphs, to swung or stripped streamers, and the occasional dry fly fish if the weather is warm and the bugs are present( Caddis/Mayflies). Be prepared for crowds as the social media will spread the word fast and if the weather is mild you might see lots of cars and people. Currently the fish are spread out and can move daily. Be courteous of your fellow angler respect and promote good angling etiquette. If your fishing this area one should be prepared for a variety of conditions from mild in the 40s and 50s to artic cold with low in the single digits to – 5 if it’s that cold might be best to wait until it gets in the mid-20s because you will have icing issues with your line and rod and will be detrimental if you happen to hook a fish and bring it out of the water! The scenery and views are stunning this time of year. Enjoy