The Fish Report

March 4th 2021

The Troutfitter is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily

WE'RE OPEN AGAIN! A little cluttered but good to go.  We can still do curbside pickup phone orders  but some product might not be available.  Call if you have any questions.  Access to the Upper Owens River and Hot Creek will continue to be difficult. Remember if you drive to the Upper Owens early you might have no problem getting close to the access but face impassable conditions as it warms up and you're trying to leave. Weather outlook is for increasing chance of  snow throughout next week. I will not be doing a fish report on the East Walker, there are conflicting stories but the new regulations say it is closed 11/15 until the last Saturday in April.

New Regulations started on March 1st.



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The Fish Report - March 4th 2021

Click here to see 2020-2021 California Sport Fishing Regulations

Click here for changes in 2021-2022 Regulations

Hot Creek - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Fair, showing 5 cfs as of 3/4


Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info.

The flow gauge on Mammoth Creek is not accurate, probably due to ice. I've stopped by the weir the last 2 days and the flows are definitely lower.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches Good

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:Good

You can drive in but 4-wheel drive is recommended and the trail down is icy but not too bad. The reduced fishing pressure has been a blessing in the canyon. If you're willing to work for it, the fishing is really good. Due to low water levels and spooky fish, dry droppers have been a great option at hot creek right now. Midges early and late with a sporadic mayfly hatch midday. Mayflies are in the #16-20 range and remember that the Baetis spinner fall coincides with the hatch so be prepared with patterns for multiple stages. Case caddis patterns have been the most productive nymph pattern. Streamers have also been producing well with olive seeming to be the preferred color.

Recommended Flies

DRIES:  R.P. Emerger #22  | Hi-Vis Baetis #18-20 | Yellow Stimulator #8-16 | Mother Shucker #24 | CDC Baetis Dun #16-20

NYMPHS:  Bottom Roller Phsyco Rycho #10-14 | T Midge #24 | Zebra Midge #18-22 | Grey/Olive Scud #16-18 | Tailwater Scud Tungsten #14-18 | S&M nymph #16-18 |  Tungsten jig Baetis #16-20 | Pheasant tail and Hares ear #14-18 | Wd 40's #20-22 | Pheasant Tail #16-20

STREAMERS: BH Bopp Leech Olive & Brown #12-10 | Perfection Perch #4-8 | Punk Perch #10-16 | Hornburg #10-14

Guides Hint:

Upper Owens River - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 108 cfs as of  3/4

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Temperatures have stabilized but the water is still cold

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

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.

Maybe it's all the wind as of late but the fishing has been slowing down. Also the spring spawners tend to spawn much higher up than some of the other strains so the number of fish in the public section is being reduced. The spring spawners are now spread throughout the system and have been eating bigger attractor nymph patterns (12-16). Slow water pockets, deep buckets, and back-eddies have been the most productive holding water. The resident fish have been keying into micro mayflies and midges, so we suggest trailing a midge or mayfly in the size 20-26 behind an attractor nymph to keep the action rolling between each lake fish. Midday there are scattered mayfly hatches including some enormous ones #12-14. On some afternoons the dry fly fishing can be productive but be ready to throw size 18 through 22 dry flies behind a #12-14. Streamer fishing has been OK. If you do decide to bring your streamer stick out on the water keep in mind that the cold water temps have caused the fish to remain sluggish. Slower is better in regard to streamer fishing right now.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Parachute Extended Body BWO #20-22 |Elk Hair Caddis #20

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 |Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Harrop's Surface Emerger #20-22 | Roza Pink Tag Jig #16d | Clearwater Emerger #18-20 | S&M Nymph #20-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24

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 80 cfs as of  3/4








Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:  Good

 Baetis hatches are getting stronger and go from about noon until 2 or 3. The best action has been from 10 or 11 until 2 or 3 and the middle of that has been very good. If you're looking for dry fly options keep moving, they tend to be holding on foam lines and tailouts.

Remember the colder the night before the further upstream you should start. Flows are now down to winter levels, making for easier wading and being able to reach more areas. Mornings it's midges, later in the morning a few caddis and BWO.

 The bigger Stoneflies are now hatching, don't expect to see many adults but it doesn't matter, the fish are looking out for them. We are also seeing a lot of the Grannom Caddis cases (the square sided case) which usually hatch for a couple of weeks somewhere between the middle of March and early April. This hatch only lasts for a couple of weeks but is very intense. This can be an incredible hatch that has not been very good for a couple of years but signs are this will be a good year. One thing about this hatch, it is extremely localized. I have talked to other guides who have been on the river at the same time only 4 or 5 bends apart and one has a great day and the other one sees nothing.








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

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 | Glass Bead Micro May Olive # 20-24

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 at 22 cfs as of  2/25

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info






Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing conditions and Hatches: There have been conflicting reports about when and how the new regulations are being enforced so we are erring on the side of caution and not doing a report until the end of April. The new season runs "last Saturday in April to 11/15 - 2 fish limit - artificial barbless"







Recommended Flies

 DRIES:   | Mother Shucker #22-24 | E/C Caddis #14-18 | Banshee Caddis #16-18 | Sparkle Flag Black #20-22

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 |  Glass Bead Micro May Olive #22-24 | 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


Guides Hint:

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