Hello fellow anglers,

Well, summer is fading into fall. You can see the change. The crowds have disappeared and we are into what the locals call the shoulder season. For many, this is the best time of year to enjoy the high country. The first signs of fall are showing as the leaves in the higher elevations have begun to change, the early season bird migration is under way, and the weather has begun to cool off as the days grow shorter.

On the fishing front, the good news is flows on both the upper/ lower Owens River. Flows on the Lower Owens below Pleasant Valley dam have dropped and are holding stable at 138 CFS. Flows on the Upper Owens have increased to 67 CFS above the Hot Creek confluence. The Lower Owens fishery below PV Dam was out of commission for a majority of the summer due to the high volume of water being exported southward. On the Upper Owens LADWP is letting some water out of the tunnel via Grant Lake, sources say. Sounds like 4000 acre feet will be slowly released. This is welcome news for the drought affected Upper Owens River and fishery just in time for the fall migration of fish out of Crowley Lake. Crowley Lake is producing some very nice fish and the trophy season is in full swing on the north end of the lake. I am sure you can find Fish in other places, but the bulk of the pressure has be on the north end of the Lake. The fish on Crowley Lake have been ranging from 12- 25”. Most other fisheries are fishing fair, look for the conditions to improve throughout the area as the weather cools off and water temps fall. I did hear that Grant Lake, in the June lake loop, was fishing well with large wild fish, if you’re looking for an alternate spot from Crowley Lake.

Weather-wise, a cool down will began this week with rain and possibly snow in the highest elevations of the high country on Tuesday night, Sept 13th. Those traveling in the backcountry should be prepared for changing conditions. Keep an eye on the forecast right now as it is showing a 20-30 % chance for showers. As we look ahead, the weather will see-saw back and forth as we transition into fall. Fall arrives Sept 22 as daylight hours will equal night hours. At this time, no major weather is predicted; just a chance at some showers, the area cools down the first half of the week and then a warming trend starting Friday. Look for lows in the Long Valley area in the low 40s to mid-30s and highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s this week and for the Bishop area 40-and 50s for lows and highs in the 70 and 80s. One last note, the rabbit brush is blooming. It is a yellow flowery shrub and if you’re affected by this allergen be prepared! It’s a good idea to check the road conditions if you’re using 120, 108 or 89 this time of year, as the roads can be subject to closures if weather poses a threat of snow (1-800-Gas- Road).

Safe & memorable adventures, Harry

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

hot-creek18[1]

September 13th, 2016 –
No real changes here! Low flows and prevalent weeds are choking out many areas, which is great for the fish and bad for the angler. There are about 8-10 stations to fish, what fish there are seem kegged up in those spots. Look for the deeper lies and areas that have some structure or pockets behind the weeds. Standard procedure good short drifts, lighter tippet and smaller flies get the job done. Make sure and check your fly as they don’t like the salad. Remember no wading please! Hatch wise, Trico’s Spinner fall. The caddis emergence is in the midafternoon into the evening, migrating caddis and egg laying caddis when the wind is not blowing. Side note: DFW did electro shocking a few weeks back on a few sections of stream to compile data to make a determination on current fish populations and their finding confirmed most everyone’s knowledge that there are very few fish in the stream. From a 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 Rainbows in the 3-6” range found in the sampling. Sounds like more data will be compiled this fall and hopefully some recommendations to help the fishery will be approved.

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[toggle title=”San Joaquin”]san-joaquin2[1]

September 13th, 2016 –
The road is open! An entrance fee is required, but the shuttle is no longer required, and you may drive your vehicle into the valley. Flows are low. The best water to fish is the area towards the falls and the deeper runs and pools. The current flow at the measuring station is near 10cfs. Some campgrounds will close as we move into fall. Check with the Visitors Center for latest update on campsites. The fishing has been fair but the water levels are a factor look for the bigger pools and slower water, log jams and overhanging bushes to hold the fish. California Department of Fish and Wildlife has planted fish in some of the campgrounds. If you want wild fish, hike away from the campground. The areas from lower Rainbow Falls to the Upper Rainbow Falls and above the upper fall to Devils Postpile and above Agnew Meadows hold plenty of wild fish. Small to medium size dry flies like 14-16 Adams, Humpies, and Stimulators with a small beadhead dropper will get the job done.

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[toggle title=”Crowley Lake”]

September 13th, 2016 –
Crowley has been good this past week as water temps have fallen and bug activity has increased. The good news is overall the lake is fishing better than it has for most of the season. The bad news is it is all in a confined area of the north arm or Owens inlet and Green banks area. You might see a boat or two on the McGee end of the lake. It’s no secret where the fish are as you might see 20 boats along with a hefty number of float tubes on the weekend in the North landing area. The rapid draw down of the lake level has stabilized for now, although still on a slow decline. The water temps on the surface are currently holding near 63-65 degree mark depending on what area you’re fishing . Remember the Regulations changed on August 1 to artificial barbless flies or lures, no bait and only 2 fish over 18” may be kept. The lake is higher than it has been in the last four years, for this time of year. Weed lines are still defined but on the decline. Target the areas from 8-15ft along the weed lines and out on the long flats; Moving in and out on a daily pattern. A few Damsels are still hatching and fish are taking the nymphs, with some Callibaetis in the mix and perch fry present along with a much stronger midge hatch. The fish have also been keying on the small snails that are everywhere. Overall, Crowley remains the place if you want to target large trophy size trout. There are plenty of freshly planted rainbows and browns both CADFW and High Desert Hatchery have been planting hefty quantities of sub catchable fish for next season. It has been a mixed bag with the majority of larger fish lately being Cutthroat and Rainbows in the north end. Larger fish in the 20-24” range are hooked daily if you’re dialed in!

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

September 13th, 2016 –
The flows have fluctuated from 80 -120 cfs currently and moving to the low fall flows as the alfalfa watering season draws to a close in Nevada, where most of the water is used for downstream irrigation . There seems to be better results below the bridge in the pocket water and deeper runs. Big fish are still present but not prevalent in the Miracle mile, you will need to work to reap the rewards on the river. Insect wise Midges, Caddis and Mayflies, Water Temps mid 60s upper 60s.. Pressure has been light for the most part. Best to fish early and late, if you plan an outing, the days are getting shorter and morning lows have fallen into the 40s helping to bring down the lake water temps that flow into the river. Bridgeport Reservoir is about 65% full. The Lake level is nearing lasts year’s high water mark. The only place you can launch a boat is the bath tub closer to the dam as the public ramp is now high and dry.

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

September 13th, 2016 –
Regulations have changed on the lower portions of the Owens below the monument to artificial barbless flies or lures. Remember to take a look at regulations as they will change as we move into October. Both Convict and McGee creeks are currently running very low and gin clear. Try a Hopper and dropper if you give it a shot. Fish are spooky, so approach the stream with some stealth and you will find some larger fish present. Can be a good place to hike and get away. You never know what you will encounter, sometimes it’s worth the hike, other times it’s a bust.

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

September 13th, 2016 –
All basin lakes other than Horseshoe continue to be planted. There are plenty of hold-over fish from the summer planting and the crowds have thinned. Look for some fish to start to head for the inlets and outlets; Brookies and Browns as we move into fall. There is some surface action early and late or if the wind isn’t blowing. Try a dry fly dropper in the morning and late evening. Try stripping streamer midday with a type 3 sinking line. Target the inlets and outlets or near the springs as the trout will migrate near these areas during the warm months of summer.

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[toggle title=”Lower Owens”]OPEN YEAR ROUND

September 13th, 2016 –
Good news, flows have stabilized at 138 cfs which is perfect for wading. The fish and bugs have started to adjust to the flows. With the weather cooling in the Bishop area it’s worth an outing down there. Bug wise some mayflies both early and midday hatching Trico’s and Beatis, along with Midges and caddis. The Browns will start their pre spawn gorging in the next month, moving into more spawning behavior in the later fall. Their colors will darken as we approach Oct. Remember the regulations will change from the Pleasant Valley Dam to the wild trout sections as we move into the fall season, so make sure you check before wetting a line.

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

September 13th, 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 have increased in the last few days, now running more normal for this time Current flows at present below Hot Creek confluences about 76 CFS. Some much needed relief has occurred as the rumor has come true water is now being diverted from Grant Lake via the East Portal entering in on the river on the private property well above Crowley Lake. Possibly 4000 acre feet from Grant Lake will slowly be released over the fall flows out of the tunnel went from 12 CFS to 38 CFS. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. The water may be off color for a few days as the increased flows pick up silt and debris on both areas above and below the bridge. The Bridge to Crowley Lake is open under general trout regulations and will change Oct 1. The Bridge to private property and to 395 is under special regulations and from the monument to Crowley Lake. It is best to read the regulations before wetting a line. Water is slow, low and clear so approach the bank slowly as the fish are now spooky. California Department of Fish and Wildlife is planting on a regular schedule on some sections of the river. Some Midges more Mayflies and Caddis activity mid-morning into the afternoon if the winds are clam. If the water is low and warm enough, the fish key on the dry fly. If you cover enough water you will find pods of fish, mostly planter, but some wild fish present. Lots of hopper in the grass and in areas the fish have been keying on them.

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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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