Welcome Fly Fishing Enthusiasts,
Wow! The weather in the Eastern Sierras lately has been unusually warm and dry. Still a great time to get out and enjoy the high country whether it be fishing, hiking or camping you just might want to avoid the middle part of the day!
The month of June was a warm one, and July continues the trend with heat and no moisture. Thunderstorms are possible in the coming days, but no major outbreak, and then it will dry out and cool off starting the first of August. If thunderstorms develop, take the necessary measures, as the wind can come up extremely fast from the out flow and down drafts along with lightening. With the current heat wave temperatures in the region will push well above normal by some 10-15 degrees. Along with the record setting temps the area is very dry so fire danger is extremely high make sure to follow and obey the fire restrictions that have been put in place by the USFS. If you’re not sure of the current fire restrictions, check the Inyo National Forest Service website. Although temperatures have been well above average, the nights are very pleasant and in some areas the temperatures have dipped into the upper 40s for a brief period in the early morning.
The fishing in the area has been fair in most locations with nothing really fishing over the top. Crowley Lake had a slow spell over the past 10 days, due to the full Moon and heavy algae, but seems to be making a return to more consistent fishing and the Regulations change on the lake as of August 1st. The middle Fork of the San Joaquin River by Red’s Meadow and Devils Postpile National Monument has shaped up and there are plenty of smaller wild Rainbows and Brown trout to present the dry fly to, along with a few planted CADFW Rainbows! The Backcountry wildflowers have peaked and the bugs are on the wane! One side note the Owens River below Pleasant Valley dam is now flowing at 470CFS making it virtually unfishable as there isn’t much area to wade with the current flows along with the very warm temperature Bishop is experiencing. The Mono County Tourism Commission and Town of Mammoth Lakes have funded a private company (Desert Lakes Hatchery out of Oregon) to stock some of the area lakes from Mammoth to Bridgeport with trophy size fish, much like Tim Alpers did in the past, along with the Ca Department of Fish and Wildlife so you could have a fish story to tell if you’re lucky and persistent
All the major highway passes remain open. Always check the road conditions before planning a crossing, as weather can change the pass status. Dial 1-800-gas-road for updates before departing if you believe weather might be an issue or if a fire breaks out. Let’s keep our finger crossed we don’t have any major wild fires this season. One less spark=one less wildfire.
Safe & memorable adventures, Harry
OPEN YEAR ROUND
July 30, 2016 –
Flows are below seasonal norm and the water clarity is good. Weed growth is dense yet still fishable with limited areas due to vast aquatic vegetation; hatches are good with trico spinner fall mid-morning along with good caddis migrations. There is a decent midday hatch of mayflies and the caddis emergence in the midafternoon. Crowds have been light. Fish the areas of deeper water and places void of weeds as many areas are a carpet of green. There are about 10 stations to fish, well placed casts and good short drifts might get it done. The wind can be a factor in the afternoons. CADFW Biologists are assessing current fish numbers and the impact the drought and predation has had on the fish population. Hopefully they will take action in the near future to lend a helping hand in aiding a return to better fish counts. Fingers crossed, but there is a protocol to follow as it is deemed a wild trout fishery.
July 30, 2016 –
The road is open and there is a mandatory shuttle required from 7am – 7pm! This gem of drive-in back country access is fishing well for small wild fish. There are some hatchery fish in the campground areas. River levels are dropping daily and becoming low. All campgrounds are open. You can find both dry fly and nymph taking fish, just look for the softer seams and pockets and near the trees lining the bank. Adams, Orange stimulators sizes 14-16 are getting action along with Bead head mayfly and stonefly nymphs sizes 14-16. Hatch wise there is a good gray drake hatch midmorning in the lower area and spinners in the evening. Caddis and small micro stones still a few large Golden stone buzzing around. Early morning, late afternoon and evening seem to be the best times!
July 30, 2016 –
The fishing on Crowley took a little hit the past 10 days but seems to be taking a turn for the better as we have moved away from the full moon and the first major algae bloom is on the wane . The weather has been very hot, nearing mid 90s and both southwest and southeast wind in the afternoon, cleaning out the McGee Bay area of the green algae. Lake level is on the decline as LADWP has started exporting water southward but levels are still much higher than previous years at this time. Water temps are in the upper 60s to low 70s on the surface as of July 26, 2016. The Lake was stocked recently with a bunch of 11-14” Rainbows, so smaller fish are in the mix with plenty of large trout holding and feeding in 16 – 23 ft. of water. Midge hatch has been pretty weak. Good showing of Damsel flies this season with the nymphs migrating and swimming to hatch. Look on your anchor lines and tubes as they crawl up and hatch and dry their wings. Perch fry are in the millions as the weed beds are very prolific. Trout are keying on both Damsels and Perch Fry along with some Calibeatis. Look for the midge to increase in the coming weeks but the trout might say why eat chicken when you can dine on steak.
July 30, 2016 –
Flows have dropped below historical norms for this fishery. Currently flows are holding at 140cfs. The water is starting to get some color from algae in the lake . There are opportunities to catch very large fish, but you will need to put your time in and cover some water. Warm water temps are present and fishing mid-day should be avoided to decrease any unnecessary stress on the fish. Please fish only early morning and late evening, if at all, with the current heat wave. Insect wise midges, mayfly, caddis are hatching at different times of the day with some fish working the surface. The deeper runs and pockets are the areas to target with both nymphs and streamers getting action.
July 30, 2016 –
All lakes continue to be planted in the Mammoth Lakes basin with the exception of Horseshoe as it is not stocked. Some lakes in the Basin have recently received trophy size fish along with the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife plantings. This is a good place to get away for a few hours, especially if you want to float tube, try Mamie or upper Twin and lower Twin as these are smaller lakes with good habitat. Try a Type 2/3 sinking line and a leech pattern in the weed free areas. A Doc Twin Lake special is a good pattern to start with, or fish first and last light if the lake glasses off in the evening using a floating line and a dry fly. A small Adams or midge patterns like a Sierra bright dot will get action.
July 30, 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
Flows are low, currently at approximately 50 cfs, and clarity is slightly stained below the Hot Creek tributaries. Mostly smaller wild fish along with planters. There are some opportunities, but fishing would be rated “fair”. Views are spectacular. Crowds are light. The area from the bridge to the private property is open year round and falls under special regulations. Make sure you read the regulations and know the sections before you cast a line. Check out CDFW’s new app for fishing regulations and avoid an expensive mistake.
Hatchwise Caddis, Trico with the spinner fall early to mid-morning and some PMDS. There are no real issues with flood irrigating at this time. The roads are dry with no mud issues. It’s a good idea to carry some bug spray with you, especially if fishing above the Benton crossing bridge, as the mosquitoes can be out in force if the wind is not blowing. Best to fish the morning as it can be a windy area in the afternoon.