The Fish Report

January 28th 2023

The Troutfitter is open from 8 am to 4 pm, wind and weather permitting.

Finally we're into a stretch of good weather. One small storm Sunday, Monday and then a warming (such as it is) trend predicted to last into the end of next week. I would not recommend fishing the Upper Owens or Hot Creek for the next couple of days. Temperatures are expected to be 5-15 below at night, mid 20's during the day.

Recent Photos of our
Clients and Customers.

The Fish Report - January 28th 2023

Link and Contacts

Hot Creek - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Fair, showing 16 cfs as of 1/21

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Remember, these are the flows just below Highway 395 on Mammoth Creek and ice can make this site unreliable.

The water has dirtied up and gotten colder.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: ?

Check out the pictures of the access into the canyon, and that was two weeks ago. If you're willing to do the trek now I'm pretty sure you'll have the stream to yourself. Due to the storm the parking for the canyon section is at the Hot Creek Ranch driveway, PLEASE DO NOT BLOCK THEIR DRIVEWAY.  The parking for the Interpretive site is just about impossible, probably better to park down at the end. One of the guides was out there two days ago and there was somebody who had decided to walk into the canyon. After slogging a short distance he gave up, apparently the waist deep snow was a little more than he bargained for.

With the return of colder wet weather the Baetis are through and the surface action midday will be all midges. Still midges, nymphs, adults and spent patterns. Generally, they'll be hatching until early afternoon and then egg laying and spent adults in the afternoon. Scuds and egg patterns will work all day. Don't forget the streamers and leeches.

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.

ALERT: Just like the Owens, if you are going to fish when the air temperatures are close or below 0 degrees do NOT take the fish out of the water! Their eyes and gills will freeze very quickly!

Recommended Flies

DRIES:  R.P. Emerger #22 | Mother Shucker #24 | Griffith's Gnat #20-24 | Stillborn Midge Black #20-22 | No Mercy Midge Camel #20-24

NYMPHS:  T Midge #24 | Zebra Midge #18-22  | Medallion Midge #18-24 |  Buckskin #16-20  |CDC Transition Midge #18-22 | Scuds grey #14-18 | Tailwater Sowbug Rainbow #16-18 |  Bling Midge Brown #24 | TB Millers+1LT #16-18 | Egg Patterns B/H Pheasant Tail #16-20 

STREAMERS: Mini Sculpin Orange #6 | Slumpbuster Natural #10 | Hornburg #10-14  

Guides Hint:

Upper Owens River - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Good

Flows have dropped to 52 cfs as of 1/21

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only. Below the bridge is artificial barbless and closes 11/15. The reason for the drop in flows is due to DWP shutting off the flows through the tunnel from Grant Lake.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair

 Once again the parking is at the bridge. With all the snow the parking is right at the turnoff, room for maybe for 6-7 cars maybe less depending on the number of trailers. Be careful driving out from 395, the road is not fully plowed. The bigger fish are spread out so you have to work hard for them. The midges are the only hatches going on right now. Besides midge imitations it's almost all attractor patterns from here until later in the winter.

 ALERT: if you're going to fish in temperatures close to or below 0 degrees DO NOT take the fish out of the water! Their eyes and gills can freeze very quickly!

It's good to remember that there aren't a lot of "resident" fish in the Upper Owens, it's basically a nursery for Crowley Lake and as they get bigger most of them will move down to the lake. The fish that haven't gone to the lake yet tend to be pickier because it's their natural environment. So much for the temperature gage, it lost its funding and has been shut down. Scratch that, it may be shut down but it's still functional. There was a temperature gage on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge. Right now, the water temperature ranges between the low 80s and high 90s.  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.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | CDC Transition Midge #20-24 |  Z Wing Real Midge #22-26 

NYMPHS:  Zebra Midge #16-22 | Copper John #14-16 | B/H Pheasant tail #14-18 | Bling Midge #22-24 | San Juan worms assorted colors | Birds Nest Natural #16-20 | Prince Nymph #12-18 | Egg Patterns #12-16

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

EURO Streamers: GD UV P/Jig White #12 | Kaslar M/G/S Olive #12

Guides Hint:

Lower Owens River - Flow Rate

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Improving

138 cfs 1/28

Water temperatures have dropped from upper 40's to lower 40's over the last week. And the water clarity is improving. 


Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair-Good

ALERT, ALERT: They are running water out of Crowley now and for whatever reason it is filthy. Check out the new pictures at the top of the fish report. Word has it that the work on the power plant at the base of the dam is done so water is coming out at the power plant but I'll check it out tomorrow morning. Correction: The water is still coming out of the pipe below the culvert below PVR. I heard from a DWP employee that the main reason that the water is murky is that when they shut down the power plant they start pulling water off the bottom of the lake, stirring up silt. 

With the snow up higher the Lower Owens has been crowded, but midweek is better. With the water temperature stabilizing fishing is picking up, including finding fish in the1-2 foot riffles. Midmorning on is all midges with an occasional Cranefly, especially the further downstream you go. The Baetis have started to show again and it seems to be an overlap between fall and spring insects. The fall hatch is #20-22 while the spring is #14-18. 1-2 is still the best time for them. Now that the water is getting colder, you'll start finding leeches on the fish. This is quite normal, when the water gets cold enough the fish start resting on the bottom.

Recommended Flies

DRIES: Stillborn Midge #20-22  | Giffith's Gnat #22-24 |CDC Transition midge #20-22 | No Mercy Midge #18-24 | Boroff F/Homie #20, 24 | Para CDC Baetis #16-22 | Para Adams #16-22

NYMPH:  Pheasant Tail #14-20 | Hares Ear #16-20 |Caddis Cased #12 | Zebra Midge #18-22 |Weiss BP light or dark #18-20 | Bottom Roller Phsyco Rhyco #10-14 | Pearl & Orange #16 |Chamois caddis #16-20 | TB Millers +1 Lt #16-18  | Lexi Girdle Bug Tan/Black #6 | HDA Fav. Variant #12-16

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

Guides Hint: Lesson learned the hard way, don't ignore the fish rising in the shallow water on the inside of the bends. They're usually a lot bigger than you thought.

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