Hello Fellow Anglers,
A quick look ahead for the Eastern Sierra weather and fishing forecast: After a pretty wet weekend it looks like we will dry out and warm up again with some gusty afternoon winds forecasted for most of the wind prone areas. Over the weekend the Mammoth area and vicinity received a nice dose of rain with 1-2” of precipitation for most of the area near the mountains less as you moved east a nice break from the unseasonably warm weather we had been experiencing for the past 10 days. Fishing wise for the Mammoth region it has been fair to good depending on location. Some streams on the eastern slope are experiencing runoff like Hot Creek, McGee Creek, Convict, Rock Creek, Rush Creek and Lee Vining Creek are at or near there seasonal normal flow. This is a great thing as it hasn’t happened in quite some time. We should see stream flows slowly decrease as the runoff peaked last weekend with the rain and very warm weather. The snowpack for the 15/16 seasons in the Mono county area (Mammoth northward) was about normal this season with close to 400” of snow total at Mammoth Mountain. The LADWP snow pack sensors peaked at Mammoth Pass with 38” of water in the snowpack as of April 1s. This will have area lakes and streams in much better shape throughout the summer in the surrounding area and backcountry. All but the highest lakes have iced out or are partially open , the major Sierra passes are all opened (Hwy 89 Monitor Pass) 108 (Sonora Pass) and the 120 (Tioga Pass). They may close if the threat of weather warrants. It is always a good idea to check before departing (1 800-Gas –Road) as the weather can change this time of year and the passes can closes. The high country is opening up and the Devils Postpile should be opening next weekend on June 17th. Don’t forget there is a mandatory shuttle bus that operates 7 days a week until mid-September!
Fishing wise: things should start to improve as the weather stabilizes, streams flows recede and the water temps begins to warmup. Most of the Lahontan Cutthroats spawning in the Crowley Tributaries have returned back to Crowley lake, The East Walker river flows are up and some large fish have been caught but it’s not a numbers game you will need to put your time in and cover a fair amount of area to be rewarded, Crowley lake the world class fishery has been very tough for over 2 weeks hopefully things will improve and the daphnia hatch will end and the midges and damsel flies will start to hatch in numbers. There are plenty of fish in Crowley they just haven’t wanted to play lately! The Lower Owens river has been fair to good with numerous wild brown trout 8-14” spread out throughout the catch and release area. Current flows on out of Pleasant Valley Reservoir are holding at 200 CFS. Hatch wise on the Lower Owens River near the wild trout section Trico’s, Beatis, and Caddis emerging at certain times of the day. The Upper Owens River has been only fair with Ca DFW stocking the lower sections of river from the bridge to the monument with some smaller wild fish in the area above the bridge to the private property. The crowds have mellowed on the upper section as there are no more large spawning Cutthroats in the system to draw in the masses. The Mammoth Lakes Basin has been stocked and will receive both state and private stocking throughout the summer with some trophy size fish already have been planted in Mary and Twin Lakes. The Middle fork of the San Joaquin River should open by next weekend flows will be a little high so use cautions as all the runoff and snow melt had the river flowing at 450 CFS or higher. Remember to use good fishing etiquette and give your fellow anglers some room. A good saying: if in doubt spread out. Don’t “high hole” or “low hole” your fellow angler. Communicating with your fellow angler is key (find out where they are going) will go a long way!
Safe & memorable adventures, Harry
OPEN YEAR ROUND
June 14, 2016 –
Hot Creek is experiencing run off conditions currently with flows near or at seasonal norms. This is the best water levels in the last 3 years. There are more stations to fish and the general health of the stream is better we just need some fish; the fish that are left from 4 years of drought have been concentrated in the deeper locations of the streams. With the increase water levels some may start to spread out into the riffles and pockets between the weeds. Look for those areas with structure or pockets behind the boulders. Standard procedure: good short drifts, lighter tippet and smaller flies get the job done. Make sure and check your fly as trout don’t like any slime or salad. Remember no wading please! Hatch wise: Midges, Scuds, SJ worms, Beatis, Caddis hatching in the PM. Migrating on the windless morning. Make sure to keep the fish in the water not many left of what was once an 11K-13K per mile fishery. The fishery needs all the help it can get!
June 14, 2016 –
Resent bouts of very warm weather then rain and lightening have hamper fishing a bit over the last 10 days. Sounds like it might be a breezy week ahead looking at the forecast but that might be what the lake needs to change the current fishing situation. The lake level is on the rise as LADWP is retaining water with the influx of runoff over the last two weeks, looks like about a 1” rise in the lake level every two days. The lake is around 80-85% about 15 ft from general high water mark. The surface water temperatures are in the low 60s. Clarity is still good, looks like first signs of algae growth starting in a few locations just the little green dots nothing to worry about. Fishing has been pretty poor throughout the lake for the fly guys over the last 10 days seems like the guys trolling lures have done the best lately. The larger concentrations of fish are in depths greater than 20-30ft some fish moving on the ledges and weed lines when their feeding from 13-18ft of water. It is defiantly worth moving around to try and find some active fish. Hatch wise, the Midges have been pretty weak since the Memorial weekend, Lake has been plagued with the dreaded Daphnia hatch the little multiple cell organism that can swarm the water by the billions and the fish will feed on the swarming colonies of microorganisms. Fish size has been very good and the fish haven’t missed many meals over the course of the winter months. Things can only improve from this point!
June 14, 2016 –
The flows on the East Walker River are still holding at or near 240cfs about normal for this time of year. The great news is the levels on the Bridgeport Reservoir are still rising currently the level is creeping up towards the end of the airport runway still a ways to go but higher than it has been in 3 years. The general health of the stream has dramatically improved with the increased water. The river is in better shape but the effects of the last 4 years are still apparent in the overall trout populations. There are still some great opportunities, just don’t set your standards to how it fished pre-drought. 1 to 4 fish are about average but some very nice Brown trout still live there. With the reservoir much higher than in recent years the fish will have a much better chance over the summer months and hopefully CADFW will supplement the stream in the near future. Best results will be fishing small nymphs in the deeper slots, hole and pockets wading is defiantly more difficult at these flow a wading staff is recommended. Midges and Mayflies plus some caddis are in the mix. What’s hatching depends on time of day and location. The river has less slime as you get past the bridge. It’s defiantly worth dragging some streamers to cover water in search of one of those large carnivorous fish.
June 14, 2016 –
Flows have increased dramatically on both Convict and McGee Creeks, Most if not all the migrating spawning Lahontan Cutthroat that had been holding in the tributaries have returned to the lake so the crowds have vanished, It will be awhile before the conditions would warrant a walk down to the lower reaches of the creeks. Hopefully those fish that laid their eggs will produce the next generation of Cutthroats. They defiantly got hammered while trying to do their thing.
June 14, 2016 –
The Twin lakes, Lake Mary, Lake George are now ice free. There is still some snow around George. Some nice fish are being caught both the Mono County and CADFW are making routine scheduled plantings throughout the summer months in George, Mary, Mamie and Twin Lakes fishing should greatly improve as the water warms up and more fish are planted along with the bugs starting to hatch. Try a type III sinking line with a streamer sizes 14 -12 black and green in color and add a trailing smaller nymph, these should be effective. Make sure if you float tube you dress in layers as the water is still pretty chilly.
June 14, 2016 –
The fishing in the Pleasant Valley area on the Owens River throughout the wild trout sections remains good. There has been consistent action for the wild Brown trout from 8-14. Look for the ledges, slower seams and riffles with some structure are the best areas to target. Flows are holding at a very fishable level (currently at 200cfs being released at the base of Pleasant Valley Reservoir), flows are near prefect for some sections still it a little difficult to move in the faster and deeper sections. Weather has been mild for the last few days but the forecast is calling for warmer temps getting back to the upper 80-and mid-90 in the coming days you can wet wade if you want. Use Midges and Mayflies in the morning to midafternoon, then some Caddis in the later afternoon hours. The patterns to focus on, should have a little flash in the fly, start with Midge patterns moving to Mayfly patterns around midday with your best results being nymph patterns. No sign of Yellow sallies or PMDs yet. The water is a little of color but still pretty clear Water temps have warmed up now holding in 60s as the weather was in the upper 90s for two weeks in the Bishop area and the water coming from the bottom of Crowley Lake has subsided for now, Most of the water coming into the Pleasant Valley Reservoir is run off from Pine and Rock creeks. Best action starting around 11am on word. A wading staff will come in handy with the current flows if you’re a little uncertain of your wading abilities. Make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen if the weather returns hot in the valley.
June 14, 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 on the Upper Owens River are up below the Hot Creek tributaries as the increase flow from come down Mammoth Creek from resent rains and snow melt. The water is off color from the Hot Creek tributaries to the mouth of Crowley Lake. The area above the Hot Creek Tributaries is clearer and cleaner. The lower section has a lot of loose moss floating and if your fly touches the bottom it will be cover in the green slime. The migrating Cutthroats have all returned to Crowley Lake so for the time being it’s a mixture of smaller wild fish and planted Rainbow that the state provides. Crowds have been fairly light now the big spawners are no longer present in the upper river. For three weeks in early May it was a junk show 10 cars at one parking area! The section below the Benton Crossing bridge is on a stocking schedule and can have some pools kegged up with fish but once the word goes out they get pounded. Weather has been wet the last few days and some flood irrigating has been occurring so use cautions if it looks wet in areas the mud can be nasty. With recent rains and flood irrigating and the warmer weather the Mosquitoes will be out it’s a good idea to have your bug spray with you. It is still best to carry a shovel in your vehicle just in case your encounter some mud. The overall fishing conditions should improve as the stocking will enhance the number and the fish start to move up in to the pools looking for some sanctuary from the bait section on the lower river.