The Fish Report

October 25th 2021

The Troutfitter is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily

We had big rain in town for 24 hours, then it turned to snow.  Flow rates are on the rise in a big way, that will probably last for a few days.  Use caution when wading.  Mask mandates are back in Mono County for all indoor businesses. Remember there are several streams that closed September 30th so check the regulations carefully.  

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The Fish Report - October 25th 2021

Link and Contacts

Hot Creek - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good, showing 51 cfs as of noon on 10/25

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     

Seriously, please show respect to other anglers and don't overcrowd. Best to drive by and if there aren't more than a few cars head on down, lots of cars, head on down....to the Owens.

For this time of year the fishing reports are surprisingly consistent. 10 am seems to be the witching hour. The fish are eating an emerging small black caddis and Baetis, they will also take pupa patterns but why not have fun with the dries. Better yet fish dry dropper and see if you can get any double hookups.

There are still a few Tricos around, hatch is 9:30-10 and spinner fall 11-12. By now this is an interpretive site event only. The Baetis are starting to emerge late morning, they are on the small size, #20-22. Either dry/dry or dry/nymph try using big stimulators, the October Caddis are getting active. With the colder water the weeds are starting to die off but I still 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 #6-10 | Mother Shucker #24 | CDC Baetis Dun #18-24 | Para Caddis #18-22 | E/C Caddis #16-20

NYMPHS:  T Midge #24 | Zebra Midge #18-22  | S&M nymph #18-20 | Little Brown Bug #16-18 | Medallion Midge #18-24 |  Buckskin #16-20  |  Barr's Emerger #16-22 | Deep Six Pupa #18 | RS-2 Gray #18-22 | Olive #20-22 | CDC Transition Midge #18-22

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

Guides Hint:

Crowley Lake - Surface Elevation

Water Conditions

Water Conditions:  Good

Lake Elevation at 6758.1 as of noon on 10/25

Update:

The algae has cleaned up considerably. I haven't heard any reports of bad algae for the last few days.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Poor-Fair

EXPLORE, EXPLORE. EXPLORE. The water temperature is down close to 10 degrees in the last couple of weeks, hopefully this week's weather will stabilize it. The midging has been really tough, stripping streamers has been somewhat more effective. The lake is  pretty much down to 2 food sources, midges and perch fry with midges taking the honors. Try mixing and matching fry and midge patterns.

If you have a fish finder and you see fish suspended don't spend much time on that spot, they're probably eating Daphnia. Also, if you see what looks like a Christmas tree standing on the bottom it's a school of big Chub. Keep moving and as soon as the action slows down continue the search. The north end has been the most consistent but right now that's not saying much, not only with the fish but also the boats that chase them. West side fish the mouth of the Owens channel down to the chalk bluffs and the east side anywhere off the weed beds in 10'-20'. If you're trying to hide the rest of the lake is pretty empty with random flashes of good days, mainly around McGee which has lots of fish, mainly on the smaller size.

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.

Recommended Flies

Dries:

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 | G/B Zebra Tan #16-18 | Palamino Midge Gray #20-22

Streamers: 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 143 cfs as of noon on 10/25

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

Luckily as temperatures drop Hot Creek water is becoming beneficial. We are now seeing the water temperatures in the low to mid 60's all the way down to the lake. This helps trigger the fish in Crowley to move up into colder, cleaner water of the river. We're already seeing some lake fish all the way up into the private ranches with more to follow. There is a temperature gauge on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge.

You can tell fall is here because instead of 97-112 temperature range of summer it's all the way down to 94-107 degrees, a good rule of thumb is fish below Hot Creek in the morning and above later in the day.  If you're not familiar with it, to get to the upper most branch of Hot Creek, go through the first drive through gate on the main road and immediately turn left. The confluence is between the first and second walk-thru gates

The resident fish are starting to smarten up, requiring better presentation and fly selection. Add to that, with the increased flows the migratory fish seem to be moving through faster (or sneakier) the results being that  between that and the increased crowds fishing has gotten tougher. The Tricos are starting to fade but the fish are still eating them, the down side being they're #24-26 . The Trico emergence is still around 6-8 for the female emergence and 9-10 for the spinner fall. Don't forget that the fish will eat drowned Trico spinners well after the egg laying. As they drift downstream they will hold their attention long after the spinner fall ends. BWO hatch has just started back up and the fish are getting interested.  The caddis are fading but the midges are around forever. The Lake fish are a little skittish when they first enter the river and also completely ignorant to the food sources so don't be afraid to throw perch fry, #14-18 midge imitations and large attractor nymphs, their comfort food. The most effective technique is nymphing with an attractor pattern and a small midge or mayfly nymph trailing.

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. When the temperatures get warmer in Crowley and the algae growing the 12" - 20" browns have moved into the river and are throughout the system. Once in the system they will stay until spawning late fall to early winter.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24 | Hi-Vis Baetis #22-24 | Foam Back Dun BWO #16-18

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | B/H Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 | Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Black Beauty #22 |  S&M Nymph #18-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | Tungsten Olive Mic Drop #16-18 | San Juan worms assorted colors

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

Guides Hint:

Lower Owens River - Flow Rate

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are at 150 cfs as of noon on 10/25

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

Good news, we now have a lot more water to fish! Midges are around all day with caddis and a very good BWO hatch starting around 11. Some surface activity but mainly nymphing. One thing to keep in mind, After rain or snow melt the river can be dirty below the Petroglyph parking (#9) from Horton Creek. If you're down below and it's dirty just move upstream until you find clean 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 #18-22 | Glass Bead Micro May Olive # 20-24 | Caddistrophic Pupa #16-18 | Gold Bead Epoxy Stone #8-10 | Drowned Trico Spinner #20-22

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 at 29 cfs as of 10/21

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing conditions and Hatches:???

At these flows I'd wait and see.

With the extreme cold and low waters, I don't recommend fishing it anytime soon.

Recommended Flies

DRIES:   Caddis Adult Tan #14-16 | Chernobyl Ant #12-14 | 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 #18-20 | TTS Opal B/L #14-18 | F/B B/H Pheasant Tail #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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