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Hello Fellow Anglers,

Well the hot temperatures for most of the summer have moderated to more seasonal norms for this time of year! I’m sure after all the information is compiled, it will be another record breaking summer for temperatures throughout the West. The cool down comes just in time for the holiday weekend. The hazy and smoke that’s plagued the area for the last two months has faded as the fire crews have gotten the upper hand on most of the fires for now. Send out a thank you to the fire fighters for all their efforts this relentless, hot and dry fire season. Crossing our fingers the worst is past us. Make sure your fire aware, safe and compliant. One more busy weekend and then we head into 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 with some of the wind protected areas seeing morning lows in the upper 30s and low 40s.

On the fishing front there is good news as the water temps are starting to fall; flows on the Lower Owens below Pleasant Valley dam have dropped and are holding stable at 275 CFS. Flows on the Upper Owens have been steady for about a month holding a 124 CFS above the Hot Creek confluence. On the upper Owens below the confluence the flows are holding at 160cfs. The Lower Owens fishery below PV Dam was out shape for the last 5-6 weeks due to the high volume of water being exported southward. Crowley Lake is producing some very nice fish and the trophy season has begun. 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.

The rabbit brush is blooming; It is a yellow flowery shrub and if you’re affected by this allergen be prepared!

It’s always 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 or wild fires pose a threat (1-800-Gas- Road).

Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.

Check us out on Facebook at Mammoth Fly Fishing Adventures!

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

hot-creek18[1]

September 1st, 2018 –

No real changes here! Low flows and prevalent weeds are choking out some of the areas, which is great for the fish and bad for the angler. Flows are holding near 40 cfs which is near normal for this time of year. There are still stations to fish, short areas in the deeper pools and behind many are the floating rafts of weeds. Standard procedure is 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 females in the morning and Males in the evening. The caddis emergence is in the midafternoon into the evening, migrating caddis and egg laying caddis when the wind is not blowing in the morning. Hoppers still around but starting to fade as temperatures fall.

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[toggle title=”Middle Fork of San Joaquin, Devils Postpile, Reds Meadow Area”]san-joaquin2[1]

September 1st, 2018 –

The road is open! An entrance fee is required. The shuttles will run through the weekend and holiday. Flows are pretty 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 20cfs. 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 them. 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! Better hatches in the late afternoon and evening. Side note: This year the road to Devils Postpile will close early. USFS will close the road for the season at noon on Oct 9th to make much needed repairs to the road!

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September 1st, 2018 –

Crowley Lake -OPEN

Crowley has been good the past few weeks. The water temps have started falling lately as the nights have cooled off and the midge activity has been increasing. Plenty of perch fry in the mix! Most of the action is still confined to the inlets and channels. The rapid draw down of the lake level should stabilize in the coming weeks. The water temps on the surface are currently holding near the upper 60s to low 70s depending on your location. 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 still pretty full but has dropped 4-5 ft. in the last 6 weeks. The Weed lines are becoming fairly well defined. Target the areas from 8-15ft along the weed lines and Channels; Fish moving in and out on a daily pattern. A few Damsels are still hatching and fish are taking the nymphs, there are still some Callibaetis in the mix and perch fry present along with a much stronger midge hatch. Overall, Crowley remains the place if you want to target large trophy size trout. There are plenty of freshly planted rainbows and browns and Cutthroat by CADFW. The Crowley Lake Fish Camp has also raised some money and purchased a healthy number of brown trout to add to the lake. Larger fish in the 20-24” range being hooked daily if you’re dialed in! During the heat and stress of summer water temps rose dangerously high and air temps where in the 90s playing a fish for an extended period and then holding it out of the water for a photo greatly increases the chance of mortality; best to keep the fish in the water and release it immediately. You may see the fish swim off strongly but they soon lie on their side trying to regain their strength in the warm water and some don’t make it! There’s never any evidence as the pelicans make short order of even the largest of trout floating on the surface. Best to hold the fish over the water in the net, snap the photo and call it good. Many fish flop out of the hand of good intention but end up flopping around on hot boat bottom this is never a good thing. Next time you’re in the sauna at 110 degrees try doing sit ups at a rapid pace then hold your breath. See how long it takes you to gasp for air more or less I’m sure this is how the fish feel.

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

September 1st, 2018 –

The flows have fluctuated just a little but still remain above the seasonal norm currently holding at 190 cfs flows should drop in the middle of Sept as the farmers in Nevada will start cutting alfalfa and the watering season draws to a close. Most of the water is used for downstream irrigation. Fishing wise there seems to be better results below the bridge in the pocket water and deeper runs where the water has more dissolved oxygen. Big fish are still present but not super prevalent. Insect wise Midges, Caddis and Mayflies, Water Temps mid-60s to 70 depending on the weather and should start to fall as the nights are getting cooler and longer. Pressure has been light for the most part but will increase this weekend. Best to fish early and late, if you plan an outing, as water temps are more suitable during those hours. Bridgeport Reservoir is about 75% full. No problem launching a boat.

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

September 1st, 2018 –

Crowley Tribs, Convict, McGee, Hilton and Crooked Creeks -OPEN

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 1st, 2018 –

Mammoth Lakes Basin -Partially Open

All basin lakes other than Horseshoe continue to be planted. There are plenty of hold-over fish from the summer planting and the crowds will start to thin after this weekend. 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 + Some sections fall under special regulations

September 1st, 2018 –

Good news, flows have dropped in the last few days currently holding at 275 CFS this is a major improvement from a week ago where flows were in the low 500 CFS. It will take a few days for the fish and bugs 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 Baetis, 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]

July 10, 2018 –

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 been fairly steady now running more normal for this time of year Current flows at present below Hot Creek confluences about 160 CFS. above the confluences 124 CFS. 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. Some lake fish present but no major concentration 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 calm Water temps are on the cooler side above the Hot Creek and warmer below. The fish key on the Trico spinner in the morning dry fly. If you cover enough water you will find pods of fish, mostly planter, still a fair number of hopper in the grass and in areas the fish have been keying on them.

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[toggle title=”WATER FLOWS”]
*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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MAMMOTH LAKES – It appeared to be another serene, lazy morning at Crowley Lake. It was warm, cloudless, windless and bug-free. The famous trout-fishing lake on the Eastern Sierra was devoid of anglers, too. But Harry Blackburn knew better.

“When the midges hatch, the bite will turn on,” the veteran Eastern Sierra guide said.

And then Blackburn looked to the south.

“Thunderstorms are building,” he said, even though all that could be seen was one small puff of a cloud, probably somewhere over Bishop. “The wind’s going to come up, it’s going to get choppy.”

Three hours later, Blackburn was proven correct. The midges hatched and the trout were chasing his artificial lures. Cumulonimbus clouds, precursors to thunderstorms, were building to the south. Eventually, Blackburn hightailed it out of McGee Bay as the winds came up and the water began to get choppy.

A prophet? Hardly. As a guide for the newest fly-tackle store in Mammoth Lakes, Wilderness Outfitters Guide Service, Blackburn has had one day off from fishing this summer: the Fourth of July.

“Matching the hatch is the essence of fly-fishing,” he said. “I’m on the water all the time.”

Blackburn, reared in San Diego and on the East Coast, settled in the Eastern Sierra 15 years ago.

“I love fishing and hunting, and in this place, it’s all there in front of you. You have this huge outdoors area all in your back yard. This is the place to live. That’s why this place is so great.”

He hooked up with Mike Peters and they spent most of their free time float-tube fishing in McGee Bay. One day, they took a canoe to the area and began fly-fishing.

“I immediately said that I was going to get a boat and start guiding,” he recalls. “People thought I was crazy.”

Soon, all the other Eastern Sierra guides had boats, too. Blackburn, Peters, Lenny Yee and Tommy April formed the Eastside Guide Service and quickly found themselves busy nearly every day during the April-to-October trout season.

Last October, Mammoth Mountain, which has expanded its summer programs, decided it wanted to enter the fly-fishing business, too. The resort, which already offers an extensive mountain-biking program, hiking trails and rock climbing, enticed the fly-fishing company, Orvis, to open a shop.

“We’re diversifying our business,” Mammoth spokeswoman Joani Saari said. “We saw this as an opportunity to expand and Orvis was interested. There is a lot of fishing in this town.”

Blackburn, who coaches on the Mammoth Mountain junior ski program in the winter, jumped on board and so did his fellow Eastside Guide friends.

With Crowley into its annual artificial lures-only mode, Blackburn says the lake will start turning on with a tremendous bite. On a recent morning, he hit the Crowley grand slam, catching the Kamloops and Eagle Lake strain of rainbow trout and cutthroat and brown trout. With the wind too strong, he then helped an inexperienced fly angler catch half a dozen trout in the Wild Trout section of Hot Creek.

But Blackburn will fish more than just those two waters. He regularly takes anglers to the East Walker River, Twin Lakes Bridgeport, the June Lakes Loop, around the Mammoth lakes and the lower Owens River, too.

Welcome Fly Fishing Enthusiast,

The weather has been unsettled over the last 2 weeks and will remain that way leading in to the Holiday weekend with below normal temps and chance for precipitation over the next 7 days. The recent storms providing some much need relief from the dry winter. Talk is out there that it may continue into the summer as sea surface temp continue to be elevated out near the equator and make be changing the over weather pattern. There is an accu-cast, for each of the areas, to see the current conditions and outlook.

Fishing continues to provide great action in many locations. There is no spring runoff to deal with that can occur during the late spring and early summer other than the West Walker River is a little elevated and off color on the warmer days. No snow on the ground below 9000 ft just some inconvenient weather conditions here and there and will take it after a dry winter, stream levels throughout the area remain low but stable. Some streams have flows well below historical norms like the East Walker, Hot Creek, Upper Owens River, McGee Creek, Rock Creek, Convict Creek Mammoth Creek, Rush Creek all very fishable. The warmer winter and spring has increased the insect activity and warmed the water temperatures. This is the good news, as it is increasing the trout’s metabolism and feeding behavior. The downfall is the continuation of the southwest drought with well below normal snow pack. What does it mean for the area? Don’t panic and run around saying the sky is falling, but it will be increasingly concerned. One thing for sure, it will remain out of anyone’s control. The best we can do is conserve water and look to the skies for some relief from Mother Nature. Right now streams are fishable and flows remain low throughout the area with a melt happening in the higher elevations so some streams will start to rise a little. This is nothing to get excited about but it will provide some better habitat for the time being. Area lake conditions will depend on which one you fish but most are in good conditions with the exception of Grant in the June lake area and Bridgeport reservoir in the northern Mono County area. Bridgeport is low but still very fishable at this time, with the lake level about the same as last year at this time. You can still launch a boat at a makeshift ramp on the north end of the Bridgeport reservoir. Crowley is slightly higher than last year at this time and had an added 50K more fish stocked than last year Great news! CADFW has stocked most area lakes, and will continue to stock throughout the season, although the frequency and size may not be the same as last year, but still with a healthy planting schedule. The Mono County Tourism Commission has funded a private company (Desert Lakes Hatchery out Oregon) and certain lakes will receive stock of trophy-size fish through September. The Tail Water Fishery of the Lower Owens is at a very fishable level and should remain that way for the bulk of the summer. Upper Owens River flows have returned to winter level above Hot Creek. Migratorty Lahontan Cutthroat present in the Upper Owens please handle them with care!

Only time will tell how this story turns out. We could have a wet and cooler summer with increased monsoonal moisture keeping the high country moist winter could make it appearance nest October. Anyone have a crystal ball? In the meantime, get out and CATCH the spring of 2015. We have plenty of quality fly-fishing at your disposal. You can look at the fishing in one of two ways, half-empty or half-full.

Some of the major passes are closed due to the unsettled weather 108 (Sonora Pass), 89 (Monitor Pass) and 120 can reopen only to close overnight if it snows. 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!

Best regards, Harry