Hello fellow anglers,
The summer season is flying by only a month away and it will be fall. There are plenty of great fishing opportunities in the Eastern Sierras both in Inyo and Mono county area’s contrary to many people’s belief as California has received plenty of bad press regarding the drought with daily pictures on the national news. It was a wetter than normal May/June and beginning of July in the area so some relief to the area from the super dry winter of 2014/15 now its late summer and were in a dry southwest flow and no thunder storm activity is in the forecast. The yellow rabbit brush is blooming in the high desert for those with allergies you might want to avoid hiking through the flowery shrub. The views leading up to the mountains are contrasts of brown and green went it not obscured by the haze of wildfire smoke from the western slope of the sierras about 80 miles to the south west from the Rough fire burning in or near Kings Canyon. Considering all the factors the fishing remains pretty darn good. As California and the west in general we remain in the grips of a fourth year of drought and now the weather has turned very warm and breezy and all the grasses and shrubs that grew extensively during the wet late spring and early summer have dried and the fire danger has become critical! Use extreme caution and care if camping as fires are only permitted in designated campgrounds there is no backcountry camp fires permitted only camp stoves to cook with. The truth some areas in California are having huge wildland fires and recreations is nonexistent in those areas. In Mono and Inyo County we have been lucky and only affected by some smoke and haze and a medium size fire to the north of Mammoth between June Lake and Lee Vining called the Walker fire and no structures have been lost and containment is progressing daily and recreation in the area has only been limited to a few campground closures near Lee Vining.All things considered we are doing quite well. As throughout the west coast there are huge wild land fires burning. In Oregon you most stop fishing at 2pm for trout, salmon or steelhead due to the high water temps and stress on the fish on most of Oregon streams there are some rivers and streams exempt. Washington State has streams that are closed due to low water and high temps and their having an extremely catastrophic wildfire season. A big Thank You to all the fire fighter throughout the west battling to protect the people, communities, structures and our national forests in this difficult and severer fire season. Let’s hope Mother Nature provides them with some much needed relief soon!
It is that time of year where the temperature can swing 30-40 degrees with lows in the upper 30s/40s and highs in the 70-80s in the Mammoth and Crowley area. Bishop can still have the big swing but lows in the 50-60 highs in the 90-100s. Make sure you have sun screen and light weight clothing plenty of water with you. Most of the area streams you can wet wade and be comfortable. Water temps in the mid to upper 60s. Road to the Devils Postpile and Reds Meadow now open and a mandatory shuttle is required if planning to drive down to the red’s Meadow area after 7 am. All major sierra passes are currently open 120, 108, 89. It is always a good idea to check before leaving on a trip. Last week The 120 closed for a few days due to the Walker fire south of Lee Vinning. Theses highway passes can be impacted by summer rainstorms early/late season snow storms or wildfires and will close without warning for the public’s safety.
All area stream flows are well below their historic seasonal averages for this time of year. All streams are fishable some flowing in their late fall conditions already. The rains helped early but it has been dry and windy for the last 3 weeks. There is plenty of chat about El Nino and all the indicators are looking good but it’s no slam dunk and El Niño is not a forecast but a ocean and atmospheric phenomenon in the eastern pacific near the equator with a shift in the trade winds and a warming of the seas surface temperatures that can have both positive and negative effects on the west coasts weather patterns and by no means a guarantee we will have a wet winter. All we can do for now is continue conserving water and wait and see what Fall/Winter brings.
If you plan to fish the area, Crowley Lake has started to wake up after an abnormally slow mid July and first week of August. Remember the regulations changed as of August 1, No bait fishing on Crowley through Nov 15th only artificial flies and lure and the barbs must be pinched. The Lower Owens below Pleasant Valley Reservoir continues to fish well and has the best water conditions in general with flows holding at 100 cfs this could change at any time as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could increase the out flow from Crowley lake and Pleasant Valley Dams but for now it’s a great flow to enjoy the fishery especially this time of year almost unheard of. One thing you will need to deal with if you fish down there will be the heat by midday it can be hitting the century mark but it feels fantastic to wet wade with light weight pants and neoprene socks and your wading shoes.
Hatch Wise: Trico’s, Pmds, Caddis and some smaller stoneflies on the San Joaquin. Crowley Lake the larger Lake midges starting to make a return and the Damsel nymph continue to migrating to hatch. The perch fry are swimming in and along the weed beds at Crowley Lake. Hot Creek and the Upper/Lower Owens both May flies, Caddis most days Trico spinner fall in the morning, PMDs mid day, caddis in the afternoon into the evening along with male Trico’s duns. Still not a bad idea to have some bug repellent with you as some places the mosquitoes are still around mostly in the evening. Its and awesome time of year too be in the high country as kids return to school and the area becomes less busy and the weather is still great for camping!
All the major highway passes are open . Always check the road conditions before planning a crossing, as weather can change the pass status this time of year. Dial 1-800-gas-road for updates before departing if you believe weather might be an issue.
Check out the photo gallery Video of the week YouTube, also facebook Mammoth fly fishing adventures!
Safe Adventures, Harry
OPEN YEAR ROUND
August 21, 2015 –
The song remains the same! Low flows and the weeds are prevalent choking out some areas great for the fish bad for the angler. On some days it’s a little crowded due to limited spots to fish with the current condition. There are about 10 -12 stations to fish, fish are 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 any salad. Remember no wading please! Hatch wise: Trico’s Spinner fall mid morning, PMDs Midday. Caddis emergence in the mid to late afternoon into the evening, migrating caddis and egg laying caddis when the wind is not blowing generally best to see them is early/mid morning and late evening.
August 21, 2015 –
The road is open! Entrance fee required and a Mandatory shuttle is required if you plan to fish down there after 7am to 7pm before or after you can drive your vehicle down to the area. Flows are low and continue to drop and much lower than normal for this time of year. We could get some relief is we get some rain. Current flows are very low for this time of year best to fish the area towards the Rainbow Falls and Lower Falls. All campgrounds are currently open. The fishing has been fair to good but the water levels are a factor look for the bigger pools and slower water, log jams and overhanging bushes to hold the fish. CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife has planted fish in some of the Camp grounds if you want wild fish hike away from the campground the area from lower Rainbow fall to the Upper Rainbow falls and above the upper fall to Devils Postpile these areas hold plenty of wild fish. Medium/small size dry flies like 14/20s Adams, Humpies, and Stimulators with a small beadhead dropper will generally get the job done.
August, 21 2015 –
Crowley has awakened the fishing is good in areas the two end of the lake but with that it will also be crowded make sure and use good fishing and boat etiquette if you’re not in the spot don’t crowded the guy that is or if your leaving and area don’t leave a wake until your well clear of other anglers. Regulations Changed on August 1 to artificial barbless flies or lures no Bait and only 2 fish over 18 may be kept. Lake is higher than its been in the last four year for this time of year. Water temps holding around 66 to 70 depending on what part of the lake your fishing on the surface. Target the areas from 12-20 feet deep and along the weed lines. Damsel flies showing fish taking the nymphs, a few Callibaetis and perch fry present and a sporadic midge hatch. Overall Crowley is the place if you want to catch large trophy size trout. Target the areas near the weeds lines and in the bays look for fish crashing the surface. Some freshly planted rainbows for next season have recently been stocked and some massive trophy size Rainbows to 10lbs planted last months. It’s a mixed bag some days all Browns next day Cutts and Rainbows always in the mix.
August 21, 2015 –
Continued low flows. The flows can fluctuate from 25-40 cfs currently holding around 27 cfs . Fish concentrated in the deeper pools and lies. Better results below the bridge in the pocket water. Insect wise Midges, Caddis and Mayflies, Water Temps upper 60s low 70s. Pressure has been light for the most part. Best to fish early and late if you plan an outing. The water temps can be dangerously high by trout standards this time of year and the fish are stressed during high water temps might be a good idea to fish elsewhere during hot days. Relief should start in the coming weeks as the days are getting sorter and morning lows will fall into the upper 30-40s. Bridgeport Reservoir is very low. It has been awhile since the reservoir has been this low. The only place you can launch a boat is the bath tub closer to the dam and that might not be possible now. Best if you fish up there to take a float tube if you’re fishing the reservoir.
August 21, 2015 –
All basin lakes other than Horseshoe have been planted. There is some surface action early and late or if the wind isn’t blowing, The.Callibaetis.mayfly hatch on Twin Lakes midmorning is sporadic to nonexistent. Damsel flies hatching daily nymphs migrating to the shallows to hatch. Try a dry fly dropper in the morning and late evening. Try stripping streamer midday with a type 3 sinking line in the open water areas of Twin Lakes the Middle lake is pretty choked with weeds. Target the inlets and outlets or near the springs and deeper parts of the lake as the trout will migrate near theses areas during the warm months of summer. At Lake Mary try back near the stumps where the water goes from shallow to deep Middle to left if you’re looking at the boat dock on the back of the lake this if a good place to start. I went kayaking up there the other day and witnessed some nice fish working the surface.
August 21, 2015 –
Fishing remains steady. There has been some good action through the wild trout area. Decent hatches starting with Trico spinner fall around 7:30 – 8:30 PMDs Mayflies midday from 11 to 1 and some caddis emerging in the afternoon into the evening along with the male Trico duns at dark! Look for the shallower rifles and ledges and slower seems to be the best areas to target.. Flows holding at a fishable level 100cfs very uncommon for this time of year! Weather has been very warm lately high temps in the 100s. Morning lows 60s. Water temps on the rise holding near the mid to upper 60s if you walk through the Tule’s makes sure to be aware of ticks and if you have your dog with you better have them treated or inspected as they will be covered with them.
August 21, 2015 –
Flows are low currently running below normal for this time of year. The high flows that occurred during the spring were caused due to efforts to drop water levels on Grant Lake to makes some repairs to aqueduct system at the dam and upgrade the spillway. Current flows at present below Hot Creek confluences about 45 cfs don’t look for it to change anytime soon unless it rains a bunch. The area above the Bridge no algae problems for the area below the bridge stringy algae problems you will need to check your flies constantly. The Bridge to Crowley Lake is open under general trout regulations. The Bridge to private property and to 395 under special regulations. Water is slow low and clear approach the bank slowly as the fish are now spooky. CA dept fish & wildlife is planting on a regular schedule on some section of the river. Some Midges more Mayflies and Caddis activity mid-morning into the afternoon if the winds are clam. 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 some wild fish present some larger fish moving out of Crowley.
LONG VALLEY OVERVIEW – NORTHERN OWENS VALLEY OVERVIEW
*Provided by LADWP