November 06, 2020

Mammoth Lakes Area

Weather Report

Don't forget your water bottles and sunscreen as you hit the lakes, rivers and creeks. The water's reflection seems to like to help the sun in its constant attempts to turn us all bright red and leave us sadly remembering the trip. Don't forget life jackets for the kids if you are fishing from a boat!

REPORT AS OF 11/5/2020

Most of the John Muir Wilderness has reopened but the road to Red's Meadow and the San Joaquin River is still closed. Smoke from the Creek Fire has been minimal for the past week but that could change as fast as the wind changing direction. Looks like we have a chance of rain & snow this coming weekend, and it's going to get cold again.

Mammoth Lakes Basin

Water Conditions: No report as of 10/1

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

No report as of 10/1

Recommended Flies:




Guide's Hint:

Hot Creek

Water Conditions: Fair, showing 5 cfs as of 11/5

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good

The BWO are starting mid to late morning. Caddis migration starts about 9 a.m. with the emergence starting late afternoon. The Caddis can range from a #14 to a #30 (no that's not a typo) so don't be afraid to experiment, including "skating" the bigger ones. Speaking of skating flies, now is the time to start skating #8-16 stimulators to imitate the Craneflies and October Caddis. The best dry fly action starts about 9 and includes light colored midges, BWO's and caddis size 20-24. The weeds are at the point where people have gone exclusively to dry and dry dropper. I have heard some Tricos are still miraculously hatching, but that should be done by the end of the weekend. Midge hatches midday in the slow water can be impressive.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: R.P. Emerger #22 | Para Caddis #16-22 | Elk Hair Caddis #14-!8 | Spring Creek Hopper #12-14 | Spider Variant #18-20 | Hi-Vis Baetis #20-24 | Yellow Stimulator #8-16

NYMPHS: Bottom Roller Phsyco Rycho #10-14 | T Midge #24 | Zebra Midge #18-22 | Grey/Olive Scud #16-18 | Translucent Pupa #16-18 | Nori Caddis #18-20 | Tailwater Scud Tungsten #14-18 | S&M nymph #20-22 | Juju Baetis # 20-22 | BH October caddis #8

STREAMERS: BH Bopp Leech Olive & Brown #12-10 | Wooly Bugger Olive & Brown #12-10 | Punk Perch

Guide's Hint:

San Joaquin River

Water Conditions:

No report as of 10/1

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

No report as of 10/1

Recommended Flies:



Guide's Hint:

Crowley Lake

Water Conditions: Good

ATTENTION: The outflow is down to fall levels and they are now pumping water in from Grant Lake so the lake levels have stabilized and are coming up slowly.

The lake is closed to Motorized Boating as of November 1st.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

Since the boats are off the lake, we are not getting much information, considering the weather forecast if you're going to be out there I recommend looking for the protected waters. Fishing has gotten tougher as the cold snap and winds have dropped the water temperature down close to 50 degrees. It's been harder to pinpoint fish this week, they seem to have scattered, possibly starting to move back to deeper water. The perch are still producing for people stripping streamers but hanging it under an indicator has not been as effective. Remember that unless you are ready to immediately cast to a boil there's no point in worrying about it. Those fish are flushing Perch fry off the bottom and then going right back down. Also some of the smaller looking rises are actually bigger fish than you thought, they just happen to have caught the fry below the surface. Don't be afraid to throw streamers up against the banks, you'll find fish in water 1-2 feet deep.

When midging I haven't seen that any one color is working better than others but I have done well with larger flies on the bottom smaller above. For the bottom fly I've been using red early and black midday. McGee Bay has slowed way down, the fish have to be somewhere if you want to explore the area. Well, people have done the exploration and they found fish between McGee and Sandy Point. The north end has picked back up and everywhere it seems 6-16 feet is best. Big and Little Hilton have had their moments as well, mainly midday.

Recommended Flies

Dries: Horny Damsel #10

Nymphs: Shaft Emerger #14-16 | Albino Baron #14-16 | G/B Opti Tiger #16-18 | Optimidge Olive/Dun #16-18 | Double Bead Zebra slvr/blk small | B.H.Chiron Blood #14-16 | V Rib Red #14-16

Streamers: Crystal Bugger Black #8 | Marabou Leech Burgundy or Brown #12 | Punk Perch #14-16 | Perfection Perch #4 | Hornberg #8-14 | Baby Fat Minnow

Guide's Hint:

Upper Owens River

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 108 cfs as of 11/5

Water temperatures are dropping fast.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair

OKAY IT'S TIME TO CLIMB UP ON THE SOAPBOX: DFG is no longer stocking fall spawning rainbows. Every fish laid in the dead grass, carried away from the water, held with a towel or squeezed is another fish that won't be spawning.

Today looks like the last warm weather for a while. The weekend calls for windy with rain and snow squalls with temperatures from single digits to mid 30's. Even later in the week is teens to low 40's. Hatches are still weak, midges being the dominate bug.

DWP has been pumping water from Grant Lake into the upper Owens for a couple of weeks. The water has cleared and some of the weeds and silt have also been cleared out and hopefully attracting the fall spawners into the river.

Outside of the midges there is a scattering of small mayflies throughout the day. Remember we're getting into that time of year when more and more lake fish are moving in so don't be afraid to throw some bigger midges ( #12-16) and perch patterns.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Stimulator #12-16 | Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | EC Caddis #16-18 | Parachute Extended Body BWO #20-22 |Elk Hair Caddis #20

NYMPHS: Zebra Midge #16-22 | Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 | San Juan Worm #12-14 | Harrop's Surface Emerger #20 | Barr's Flashback Emerger #20-22 | Juju Baetis #20-22 | S&M Nymph #20-22 | V-Rib Midge #12-16

STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White, Olive & Brown #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16

Guide's Hint:

Lower Owens River

Water Conditions: Good

Flows have come down to 85 cfs as of 11/5

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good-Very Good

This weekend should drive more people down to less frigid conditions. Flows are now down to winter levels, making for easier wading and being able to reach more areas. Same old report, except that the fishing is getting better and better. Flows are good, temperatures mid-day are pleasant, lots of flying insect to be seen and nobody around. Mornings is midges, later in the morning is craneflies, caddis and BWO. Evenings are caddis and midges. Reports from up by the dam have not been as good as downstream.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Large dry with #22-26 midge emergers and adults | Stimulator #12-16 | Spider Variant #18-20 | Elk Hair Caddis #14-20 behind the Stimulator, lots of skating

NYMPH: Pheasant Tail #14-22 | Hares Ear #16-22 | Zebra Midge #18-22 | Olive Hot Spot Jig #18 | B/H Prince #10-14 | Chamois Caddis #14-18 | Bottom Roller Phsyco Rhyco #10-14 | Uncased Caddis Green #14-16 | Juju Baetis #18-20

STREAMERS: Wooly Bugger Olive & Black #10-12 | Mini Sculpin Olive & Black #10-12

Guide's Hint:

East Walker River

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are down to 20 cfs as of 11/5

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

So much for the warming trend, between the drop in flows and the weather forecast all bets are off. Both the mayflies and the midges are extremely small. Perch fry patterns are losing their appeal, fish are getting a little wary of them. The perch fly patterns can be stripped or dead drifted under an indicator. If under the indicator and you're not getting grabs, try lifting and dropping the indicator to give the streamer movement. A lot of smaller fish are getting caught but there are plenty of big fish too. Attractor patterns are working including worms and slush eggs. Mainly small mayfly nymphs but larger nymphs like Pheasant Tails that also imitate caddis larva are working also.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: REALLY big Chernobylly Mousey looking stuff | Mother Shucker #22-24 | E/C Caddis #14-18 | Banshee Caddis #16-18 | Sparkle Flag Black #20-22 | Para Crane Fly #14-16

NYMPHS: Prince Nymph #12-16| Dead Drift Crayfish #8 | Bottom Roller Psycho #10-12 | Copper Zebra #16-22 | T's Stone Drummond Light #8-10 | JuJu Baetis #22-24 | Slush Egg | Pheasant Tail Midge Pupa #12-14 | Blood Midge #12-16 | Barr's Trico Emerger #20-22 | S&M Nymph #20-22

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle | Sculpzilla | Hornberg #10-14 | Belly Scratcher Minnow Chub #2 | Bank Robber Sculpin #2 | Punk Perch Light #10-14 | Playbate Chartreuse #1/0 | Baby Fat Minnow #8

Guide's Hint:

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