A Fish Report for 10/18/16

Tommy Knoth made his second annual trip to Jurassic Pond for his fix on giants. He was not denied! Tom slammed many bigs, including this measured thirty two incher!
Photo Credit: Sierra Drifters

by Tom Loe
10-18-2016
Website

Pleasant Valley Reservoir, Hot Creek, & the Gorge located near Mammoth and Bishop Ca. will give you opportunities to catch trophy rainbows and browns while being guided by expert fly fishing pros. Sierra Drifters guides utilize top of the line center console bay boats, drift boats, float tubes, and high quality fly fishing tackle to guide you on these blue ribbon trout waters.

Quick look fish report 10/18/16


We recently received the first significant snowfall to begin the wet season. A slow warming trend will continue through this week; with another series of colder storms forecast to roll through next week. Flows have jumped up on the East Walker to 160cfs. The Middle Owens around Bishop is fishing very well. Winter flow rates are making for good wading conditions in the wild trout section, & drift boat trips are consistently kicking out trophy rainbows on streamers. Crowley is also fishing very well for the last days of the boating season. Sandy Pt. into the north arm is the best area. Fish Camp closes the gate two weeks before the season officially ends on 11/15/16. Upper Owens remains on the high side at 100cfs. Look for the browns to start moving in numbers this week. Attractor patterns while nymphing; or streamers are effective during migration periods. You will find some snow above 8000′ in the alpine lakes regions. Full sinking lines using larger streamers near the inlets and drop-offs are best for a shot at a trophy brown. Hot Creek flows are up thanks to the last wet storm. Take special care of those recently planted fish if you choose to fish here. Pleasant Valley Reservoir, & the Gorge are good calls if the weather is moody at elevation. Dry/dropper rigs fished in the moving water sections are deadly, while tubers trolling streamers from the launch ramp towards the inlet can do well on numbers.

It is not always possible to post all of our client pictures on this fish report page. I do my best to put them in our gallery. If we have previously posted your pictures on this page; or you have had a recent guide trip with us, you can always find them by going to the photo gallery and search for your name.

Crowley Lake 10/18/16


The bite continues to be excellent during warmer/calmer weather periods. This has been one of the best Octobers I can remember. Access to the marina will terminate on 10/31/16, & shore/tube fishing will be open until 11/15/16. The fish have moved around the drop-offs near Alligator Pt., Layton Springs, Six Bays, & Sandy Pt. The bite has been excellent along the submerged weeds in the north end also. 10-13 feet is the depth. Fall is the time for tubers to be looking to troll some larger streamers, & perch fry along what remains of the aquatic weed lines, & drop offs. The larger browns, and cutthroats are on the prowl for larger sources of protein to prepare for the lean winter months. Still water nymphing remains the most consistent way to get into big numbers, and quality fish. Hang your flies above a clean mud bottom in close proximity to a hard weed line for consistent action. The fish are primarily hunting the larva close to the bottom. Broken back midges, crystal zebra, or tiger midges (big ones), & leeches are all good calls while fishing below an “sliding” Under-cator. If you see those midges popping, get out those gillies, broken back gillies, & crystal emergers. These imitate chironomid pupa, the stage prior to becoming a winged adult. My go to rig has been an Assassin; or Drifters Punk Perch #14/16 as the upper, with a dark crystal tiger midge (#14), or broken back copper tiger (#16) as the larva pattern. I had some experienced clients score FIFTY fish in a half day using twin light assassins recently. Keep the tigers 6-12 inches off the deck. I have also been using twin Assassins; or a Punk Perch/Crystal Vandeleech with an Assassin dropper along the weeds. Keep them a foot or more above the bottom. The rookies have been planted in numbers, so treat them with care. You may get into lots of sub-catchable rainbows & browns in some areas like Hilton Bay, or Crooked Creek. ***Special angling regulations begin on 8/1/16 and will continue throughout the remainder of the season on Crowley. The entry gate to the marina opens at 7am instead of 6am now.

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th.


Middle Owens River (Bishop area) 10/18/16


Flows are now trending downward and running at 100cfs. The bigs are on the prowl thanks to some brood fish being planted. Drift boat trips are consistently landing some trophy rainbows using the “dip & strip” method of streamer fishing. Great conditions for drifting. Wading & crossing are not difficult at rates below 150cfs. Caddis activity will remain solid through late October, with Trico mayflies showing when it begins to cool down in the Owens Valley. I would not hesitate to book a drift trip this fall as I believe the “catching” will be very good early on. Chub & sucker fry will be the primary target for the bigs, so have a selection of streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-A-Bu’s, and Punk Perch with a moderate sinking tip line. Good nymphs to have are Assassins, flash back pheasant tails, Drifters Crawlers, olive crystal caddis, olive dubbed caddis, and broken back tiger/zebra midges.

This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream.


Upper Owens River 10/18/16


Looks good for a major move to begin with the moon, & cooler weather setting in. Flows remain at near 100cfs. Much higher than last year at this time, & more than twice what has been moving for most of this year. The migratory bigs historically show in late October. Conditions are fair downstream from the Benton Bridge due to heavy aquatic weed growth. Upstream from the bridge special regulations apply, & the conditions are better above the confluence of Hot Creek inlets. Fishing has been slow, with mostly smaller planted fish in the calmer pools. Use attractor patterns like crystal eggs, & Drifters Crawlers with plenty of weight. Nymphing below an Under-Cator with Assassins, FB PT’s, & olive crystal caddis will also get you grabs in the pools. The large wildfire that consumed thousands of acres near Big Springs, and the Glass Mountains is now out. Some historic structures at the old Alpers Ranch were destroyed.

The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year around with special regulations. Seasonal closures, and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section.


Hot Creek 10/18/16


Click on this link to read what the CDFW is now documenting as to how Hot Creek will be managed. In short, HC will be receiving some small sub-catchable sized rainbows and browns on 10/6/16. More fish are slated for next spring. This is a significant change in how HC is being managed since the new laws have been implemented several years ago. Hopefully we will get a solid winter to provide much needed flows.

This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.


*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.


Thanks to the CDFW, and passionate volunteers for their efforts to get fish planted in Hot Creek. Many 8-10 inch rainbows, & thousands of 4 inch browns have just been put into HC. If we can just get some help from mother nature on the water part…HC will comeback strong next summer. These are very small fish, and will have a long winter to face. Please take it easy on them if you choose to fish HC at all. Several public sections were planted. The Hot Creek Ranch granted access so that we could put fish in upstream from the property line. They were not planted on the ranch proper. Note the deer in the river drinking on lower picture. Drifters guide Doug Rodricks toting buckets back to the mother ship. CDFW biologist Jim Erdman showing the new arrivals their new home.

Pleasant Valley Reservoir 10/18/16


The reservoir level has come up, & is near perfect, which gives more water to work in the inlet section. Large brood stock rainbows have been planted recently here. The small river section can kick out some good numbers of hold over trout, as well as the big boys using dry/dropper rigs, & streamers. Flows have dropped, & this fertile little river can be really fun if you work the harder to reach brush areas accessible when the powerhouse is not generating. I like dry/dropper combos like Stimulators, hi-vis mayfly, or caddis as the upper. Use smaller Assassins, FB PT’s, or crystal tiger midges as the nymphs. Tubers can have a blast here as well, & it is a great place to fish as a back up spot for Crowley if the weather becomes nasty up the hill. Use full sinking; or heavy sink tips to get down ten feet quickly. Loebergs, Crystal Leeches, Agent Orange, Spruce-A-Bu’s, & Punk Perch will get you grabs.

This fishery is open year around.


The Gorge 10/18/16


Prime time now hat it is cooling down some in the Owens Valley.Flows are great at 52cfs. Use caddis adults, Hi-vis caddis, or para hi-vis mayflies as your upper fly. Good dropper nymphs are # 18 Assassin nymphs, or FB PT’s. Cooler temps improving conditions. Good call during weekends, or holidays.

Season open year around


Bridgeport Reservoir 10/18/16


No reports. The lake is very green from fall turnover. The Bridgeport Marina & RV Park are now closed until next season.

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th.


East Walker River 10/18/16


The recent rains have allowed an substantial increase in flows. These will be temporary, as Bridgeport Reservoir is very low. Currently running at 160cfs.

This fishery is open year around below the Bridgeport Reservoir dam to Nevada State line. Open year a in Nevada also.


West Walker River 10/18/16


No reports. The river has swelled, & will be off color due to recent rains, & snow melt. Look for conditions to improve slowly over the next week.

This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th in some sections, open year around along HWY 395. Check regulations for specific info.


San Joaquin River 10/18/16


No reports. Recent rains, and snow will cause turbid conditions for a short period.

*Tom Loe is under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.


This fishery opens last Saturday in April & closes November 15th. Access is prone to weather/road closures, & may not allow entry during open periods of the season.


Jurassic Pond 10/18/16


Beautiful Jurassic Pond is a private trophy trout fishery that is exclusively guided by Sierra Drifters pros. It is situated near McGee Creek, and overlooks Crowley Lake. We fish with streamers, nymphs, & dry flies during warmer periods. You will not find larger trout anywhere in the Eastern Sierra. If you want a dance with a twenty pound rainbow, or double digit brown-this is the best private fishery in the region. We will stop guiding here in late October unless the weather remains exceptionally warm.

This is private water, and access is by permission from Tom Loe of Sierra Drifters Guide Service.


Alpine Lakes 10/18/16


Fresh snow on the ground in many locations. The trees are glowing, & the scenery is amazing! Fall is prime time to get that huge brown in the upper elevation alpine fisheries. I hear that a nineteen lb. brown was C & R at Grant by a fly fisher! Tubers trolling streamers with full sinking lines can get into some larger fish while targeting drop-offs, inlets, & structure. Agent Orange, Crystal Leeches, Loebergs, Spruce-A-Bu’s, and Punk Perch patterns are good calls to use along drop-offs, structures like submerged stumps, and near inlets. Try dry dropper rigs using hi-vis mayfly patterns as your indicator/dry fly while suspending a small midge, Killa-baetis or Assassin nymph below it 2-3 feet during low light periods. The wild brookies and browns can be fooled using this technique during the warmer summer months.

These fisheries open the last Saturday in April & close November 15th. Weather related closures may prohibit access during otherwise open periods of the trout season.




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More Reports

Fly and Field Outfitters LLC Reports
for Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report
Owens River - Middle: Middle Owens River Fishing Report
Owens River - Gorge: Upper Owens River Fishing Report
Hot Creek: Hot Creek Fishing Report
Pleasant Valley Reservoir: Pleasant Valley Reservoir Fishing Report
Georges Creek: Georges Creek Fishing Report
Bridgeport Reservoir: Bridgeport Reservoir Fishing Report
Walker River - East Fork (CA): East Walker River Fishing Report
Walker River - West Fork (CA): West Walker River Fishing Report
San Joaquin River: San Joaquin River Fishing Report
Jurassic Pond (Private): Jurassic Pond Fishing Report
Alpine Lakes: Alpine Lakes Fishing Report

Fly and Field Outfitters LLC Reports
for Friday, October 14th, 2016

Crowley Lake: Crowley Lake Fishing Report
Owens River - Middle: Middle Owens River Fishing Report
Owens River - Gorge: Upper Owens River Fishing Report
Hot Creek: Hot Creek Fishing Report
Pleasant Valley Reservoir: Pleasant Valley Reservoir Fishing Report
Georges Creek: Georges Creek Fishing Report
Bridgeport Reservoir: Bridgeport Reservoir Fishing Report
Walker River - East Fork (CA): East Walker River Fishing Report
Walker River - West Fork (CA): West Walker River Fishing Report
San Joaquin River: San Joaquin River Fishing Report
Jurassic Pond (Private): Jurassic Pond Fishing Report
Alpine Lakes: Alpine Lakes Fishing Report