The Fish Report

July 29th 2021

The Troutfitter is open from 7 am to 7 pm daily

New Regulations are in effect this year so make sure you know before you go. Thunderstorms and rain through the weekend and then a drying pattern. Fire Restrictions are in place. So far we've dodged the smoke. Fish and Game has put out advisories for waters that are of special concern, there are some errors in it that are being addressed. 1) East Walker was omitted and Roger Bloom said that the East Walker and the Truckee river were the two most critical bodies of water at this time. 2) The Owens river below Pleasant Valley Dam is in Inyo County. With all the doom and gloom, the crowds are diminishing, there's still good fishing , with all the rain stream levels are hanging in there and it's getting close to September when the water temperatures will start dropping.   

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The Fish Report - July 29th 2021



Link and Contacts

Hot Creek - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Fair, showing 4 cfs as of 7/29

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Remember these are the flows just below 395 on Mammoth Creek



Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

The mud/rockslides were more extensive than I had first written about. Most of the damage was in the middle section and only time will tell if it's good, bad, or indifferent. Who would have thought the signs to stay on the trails were important. Yes, I'm a little bit punchy right now. GOOD NEWS, water temperature at noon today was 62.The water is getting warmer so it's probably best to fish the first 1/2 of the day and then give it a rest. The best thing you can do is carry a thermometer as temperatures fluctuate more than you would think. Caddis, Midges and Tricos (7-10 am) but the PMDs are done. The dry fly fishing is pretty slow, nymphing has been more consistent with the exception of terrestrials, hoppers and ant patterns alone or with a dropper are working well. Scuds and caddis are a good choice all day. Please be mindful of other anglers - there are plenty of spots to fish on Hot Creek. The fish (including the bigger ones) have moved into the faster, shallower water so shorten up and keep your drifts real short. The fish are in there and they're hungry. AND the weed beds are very thick, hence the comment about short drifts. I tell my clients that a 4 second drift is average and finish with an aggressive pickup, you will hook fish you never knew existed.



Recommended Flies

DRIES:  R.P. Emerger #22  | Sparkle Flag Black #20-22 | Yellow Stimulator #8-16 | Mother Shucker #24 | CDC Baetis Dun #20-24 | Para Caddis #18-22

NYMPHS:  T Midge #24 | Zebra Midge #18-22 | Grey/Olive Scud #16-18 | Tailwater Scud Tungsten #14-18 | S&M nymph #16-18 | Little Brown Bug #16-18 | Medallion Midge #18-24 |  Buckskin #16-20  |  Rainbow Warrior #18-20 | Barr's Emerger #16-22 | Deep Six Pupa #18

STREAMERS: BH Bopp SlumpBuster | Perfection Perch #4-8 | Punk Perch #10-16 | Hornburg #10-14   Mice

Guides Hint:

San Joaquin River - Flow Rates

Flow Rates And Water Condition:

Flows are at 36 cfs as of 7/29.

Thunder storms have brought the flows back up close to normal.

Fishing conditions and Hatches:

Fishing conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

 Lowering flows and heavy pressure mean it's time to start hiking. Anything close to the campgrounds has been hit hard and without fish being stocked the results are inevitable. First thing in the morning it's midges and caddis size #18-24. Around 10 some PMD's #16-18 start emerging sporadically. Fishing has been best between 9 and 1. It's best to keep moving as there aren't a lot of concentrations of fish.

Recommended Flies

Dries: Elk Hair Caddis #12-18 | Para Caddis #14-20 | Sparkle Flag PMD #16-18 | Lawsons Thorax PMD #16-18 | CDC Flavilenea Dun #12-16 | Tan Stimulators #14-16

Nymphs: B/H Flash Back Pheasant Tail #14-18 | Tungsten Black Beauty #20-22 | Nori's Caddis #18-22 | B/H Prince #10-20 | Hogan's S and M Nymph #18-22 | Iron Sally #14-16

Guides Hint:

Crowley Lake - Surface Elevation

Water Conditions

Water Conditions:  Fair

Lake Elevation at 6765.0 on 7/29

Algae has arrived and now it's the stringy stuff.  The lake level is dropping slower than it has all summer.

Update: the algae appears to be dying off, we'll see what happens.



Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Poor-Fair

Still tough but the fish seem to be keying in more and more on the perch. This means it's easier to pick the right patterns but it also means the fish won't be as concentrated. You still want to think about incoming flows for colder water but most of the stream mouths are so weeded in they're really hard to access. Keep moving and as soon as the action slows down continue the search. Most of the perch have moved out into deeper water. I've been hearing people say that this is going to be a great year because the lake is going to get really low. Unfortunately, a really low lake is great for next year but not necessarily this year. The further the lake drops the less defined the inlet channels are but the more they'll be scoured out for next year. It doesn't mean this year will end poorly, just that the fish will be less concentrated. Be aware that the currents are usually stronger than you would ever guess, without sufficient weight, in 25' of water you might actually be fishing 4' down 20' away.  Late morning the trout bite tapers off but keep moving around, the trout are eating at different times at different places. The fish are really scattered now. McGee Bay, Sandy Point, Christmas Bay and Hilton Bay have been the most consistent spots but with the fish keying more and more on perch they could be anywhere. Out in deeper water the fish are eating much smaller food than usual and some really wild combinations have been working so change flies frequently.




Recommended Flies

Dries: Damsel Adults

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 |  Copper Clown | Damsel Nymphs #14-18

Streamers: Crystal Bugger Olive #8 | Marabou Leech Burgundy or Brown #12 | Perfection Perch #8 | Hornberg #8-14 | Baby Fat Minnow | punk perch #14-16 | Olive Matuka #12-14

Guides Hint:

Upper Owens River - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are  52 cfs as of  7/29

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

Water temperatures are down from last week which is a good sign. Fishing has been inconsistent, but the pressure is reasonable. Plenty of Tricos, 6-8 for the female emergence and 9-10 for the spinner fall. Also early, midges and some bigger caddis. Midday the Hoppers are out, nothing like the last couple of years but still fun. Craneflies are covering mid-morning, try a chamois caddis #14-18 sub surface. Also, midday are the Tiny BWO, # 24-26 and they're idea of egg laying is a dive bombing technique from way up high making them hard to spot. If you see a flash out of the corner of your eye you weren't hallucinating. 

With the resident fish being schizophrenic, one day eating attractor nymphs and the next day they're into the mayflies and midges, we suggest trailing a midge (#18-24) or mayfly (#16-22) behind an attractor nymph. That 1/2 moth 1/2 caddis white insect you see zig zagging close to the water is an aquatic moth. Not much is known about their life cycle, but you may have run across the larval form and not even known it. If you get hung up on the bottom and what you bring up looks like a small, ragged leaf, turn it over. If there's a line of organic matter down the middle that's the moth larva.

DF&G calls it the 4th of July run. With the temperatures getting warmer in Crowley and the algae growing the 12"-18" browns are starting to move up and should be throughout the river system in the next couple of weeks. Once in the system they will stay until spawning late fall to early winter.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Elk Hair Caddis #20-22 | Para Caddis #16-22 | EC Caddis #16-20 | Baby Boy Hopper #14-16 | Para Adams #20-24 | Spring Creek Hopper Tan or Yellow #14-16

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 |Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Black Beauty #22 |  | Chamois Caddis #14-18 |  S&M Nymph #20-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | OCD Caddis #14-18 | Spring Creek Hopper Tan #10-16

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

Guides Hint:

Lower Owens River - Flow Rate

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 227 cfs as of  7/29


Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:  Good-Very Good

This is the perfect place to be a responsible angler. You can tell people the reason you quit fishing at 11 was to protect the fish when the truth is that you're getting delirious from the heat.

You may have noticed that we've reached the time of year that the timing of the hatches and the bugs has become very stable and should stay that way into September. The hatches are decent, no big bugs coming off but lots of Midges, Tricos, Caddis and Tiny BWO. The only real downside is the heat but perfect for early starts and late finishes. The summer hatches maybe small but big nymphs (Pheasant Tail, Hares Ears and Prince Nymphs) #12-14 are still working. Key on the riffles and against the outside of the slow bends with terrestrials. The Trico and micro caddis start around 6 and the Trico spinner fall starts around 9 followed almost immediately by the Tiny BWO and Craneflies. Evenings are male Trico emergence, caddis, midges and then the Aquatic Moths that are flying rapidly back and forth just above the water.


Recommended Flies

DRIES: Extended Body BWO #18-22 | Hi-Vis BWO #18-22 | Large dry with #22-26 midge emergers and adults | Stimulator #8-12 | Para Caddis #16-22 | Spider Variant #20-22

NYMPH:  Pheasant Tail #12-18 | Hares Ear #14-18 | 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 | Glass Bead Micro May Olive # 20-24 | Caddistrophic Pupa #16-18 | Gold Bead Epoxy Stone #8-10 | Drowned Trico Spinner #18-22

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

Guides Hint:

East Walker River - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions:  Poor

Flows are 55cfs as of 7/22

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info



Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing conditions and Hatches: Flows are up some more and nighttime temperatures are down to the 30's for a couple of nights. But then next week the temperatures come right back up so I'm still staying away.

Even with the rain and overcast my feeling is STAY AWAY. The river might actually survive this summer and we can get back to it next year. The problem with what's going on now is with the flows this low there's very little oxygen generation. Couple that with the dirty water the fish aren't that spooky and are sluggish, leaving them as sitting ducks. At least during the winter there's plenty of oxygen and water clarity is good so if you get a fish or 2 out of a hole the rest will shut down. As the lake drops the water going into the river gets warmer and warmer and dirtier and dirtier.

Flows have gone back down and only about 10% of normal and that combined with warming water temperatures will not help the fishing.  This will be the 2nd year with limited stocking of fingerlings and a computer programing glitch which removed "barbless" from regulations on any body of water that is stocked, no matter how limited it may be.

SO, it is up to us to protect this fishery, or we can be more concerned with ego gratifying pictures and videos and watch the death spiral of a once great fishery.


Recommended Flies

IGNORE FOR NOW!!!!!!!            DRIES:   | Mother Shucker #22-24 | E/C Caddis #14-18 | Caddis Adult Tan #14-16 | Sparkle Flag Black #20-22 | Chernobyl Ant #6-10 | Chernobyl  org/grz  #6-8

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 | Tung Stud Black #18-20 |  Glass Bead Micro May Olive #22-24 | S&M Nymph #20-22  | Tungsten Jig Baetis #16-20 | TTS Opal B/L #14-18| Tungsten Z- wing #14-18

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle | Sculpzilla | Hornberg #10-14 | Belly Scratcher Minnow Chub #2 | Bank Robber Sculpin #2 | Punk Perch Light #10-14


Guides Hint:

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