The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 9/1/2020
Fires are burning all over the state, with some really bad ones that have left a lot of devastation and destruction. We are sending our thoughts out to those that have lost their homes during this fire season and hope others that are currently threatened make it through this. Weather in the eastern sierra has been very nice, with some afternoon breezes coming at just the right time to cool things off. A few rain showers here and there have taken place. Crowley Lake is still the winner for trophy trout and the best numbers. We have been seeing some 60 + fish days for the month of August, and September is staged for the epic fishing to continue. The fish have flooded both ends of the lake where the biggest tributaries are. The Upper Owens River is still producing with various dry flies, but water is low and clear so some sneaking up on the little rascals is in order. Hot Creek is also fishing well but can be challenging as we get into the later weeks of summer. The fish have seen it all, so get those drifts perfect, especially when fishing the micro-bugs. The East Walker River is fluctuating slightly up and down but holding around the 90 cfs average. There is some good fishing here with not as much pressure. The Lower Owens River is still running high for now, but we may see a flow drop this month. We will keep you posted.
The fishing around McGee Bay and the North Channel have been extremely good. It is safe to say that the majority of the fish in the lake are now in these areas due to the number that are being caught now. It is a mixed bag of trout sizes and species currently with some fish as small as 6? and ranging up to 24?. Rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout are all in the mix now and feeding heavily on midges over the mud and perch fry along the weeds. Our assassins in dark and light along with perch fry patterns in dark and light are accounting for many of our catches. Midges can be fished tight to the bottom or up a few feet higher currently for best results. Stripping streamers along the weeds especially when the wind kicks up can get you into some nice fish this time of year.
Best Flies: #12-16 Parallel Punk Perch Dark and Light, #16 Parallel Assassin Light, #14-18 Assassin Dark, #16 Parallel Assassin Dark, #16-20 Crystal Copper Tiger Midge, #18-22 Crystal Tiger Midge Long, #18-22 Crystal Chironomid Emerger Black, #18-22 Gillie light and dark pupa, #14-16 Level Leech, and Damsel Nymph dark and Light.
Lower Owens River (Wild Trout Section):
High flows and hot weather warrant fishing elsewhere till conditions improve.
Best Flies: Spruce-a-Bu #8 Light and Dark, Loeberg #10 all colors, Agent Orange #8-10, Crystal Leech #8-10, Punk Park dark and light #8-12, Flashback PT #16-18, Copper Tiger Midge #18-20, San Juan Worm Brown #14, Crystal Caddis Larva #18
Some great dry fly fishing has been taking place daily. A few hoppers still flying around out here. Sunrise, sundown, and mid-afternoons are you peak times here. You many also have to go extremely small at times to imitate the tricos and micro midges. The mayfly nymphs are also incredibly tiny and the fish are keying in on them as they dislodge from the weeds.
Best Flies: Flashback PT's #16-#20, Tricos Spinners #20-22, SD Crawlers in Red #14, Copper Tiger Midges #18-20, and #18 Assassin Dark, Tangerine Opaque, Kiwi Flash, and Apricot Flash Otter Eggs have been excellent.
Upper Owens River
The fish have now seen every hopper pattern thrown their way so they are getting selective. Try stimulators as an alternative when the wind kicks up. A good selection of dry flies for different times of the day will be useful now. Smaller nymphs drifted through the deeper pools will get you fish. Sneak attacks are necessary now with low and clear water.
Best Flies: Stimulator - 12, 14, 16; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge - 16,18; B100FB - 14, 16, 18, 20; Spruce a bu dark and light; Loeberg Mallard Silver; Loeberg Guinea Silver, Crystal Midge Pupa Black - 18; Crystal Chironomid Emerger Copper - 16, 18; Broken Back Copper Tiger Midge - 14,16,18, Tangerine Opaque, Tangerine Red Flash, Kiwi Flash and Flamingo Otter Eggs.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place. We walk and wade guide here.*Doug Rodricks, Doug Dolan, Hans Grotewold, and Devin Preston are under permit from the Inyo National Forest Service to guide Hot Creek.
East Walker River:
Flows are fluctuating a little upward and a little downward. This is not enough to adversely affect the fishing though, as they are staying fairly consistent. Fish in the faster riffles in the early and late parts of the day. Crawdad patterns, hoppers, pheasant tails, midges, and san juan worms are doing the trick.
Best Flies: B100FB - 18, 20; Crystal Copper Tiger Midge -16; Crystal Zebra Midge - 16, 18; Punk Perch Light and Dark - 14, 16; Parallel Punk Perch Light and Dark; Crystal Leech - 12, 14, 16; Agent Orange 12, 14, 16; Parallel Agent Orange - 14, Spruce-a-bu Dark and Light, Eggs: Tangerine Red Flash, Dead Egg, Tangerine Opaque, Flamingo.