The Fish Report

January 21st 2021

The Troutfitter is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily

During the Winter Fishing Season we have Hot Creek, the Upper and Lower Owens River, and the East and West Walker Rivers open for fishing.  Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort is still open, but hotels and campgrounds are not. They're calling for a major drop in temperature and increased chance of precipitation over the next week. The BWO hatches are showing signs of late winter increase.

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The Fish Report - January 21st 2021

Click here to see 2020-2021 California Sport Fishing Regulations

Hot Creek - Flow Rates

Flow Rates and Water Conditions

Water Conditions: Fair, showing 4 cfs as of 1/21

 

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: Fair-Good

Good news, starting to see a few of the bigger BWO (#16-18) which means that the mid-winter hatches may have begun. Almost no hatches outside of the midges and a very few BWO so if you're looking for dry fly action be ready to wander looking for rising fish. Midweek has been pretty empty so plan your days accordingly. Subsurface bugs are tiny right now, try #20-30 mayflies and case caddis! This is typical for this time of year so try some bigger nymphs #12-14, they will often move a little further for that random bigger meal. Also, on the warmer days when the water gets a little off color try throwing some smaller streamer patterns.

 

 

Recommended Flies

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

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 #20-22 |  Tungsten jig Baetis #16-20 | Kingrey's Cold Turkey Baetis #20-22 | 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 109 cfs as of 1/21

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

Water temperatures are dropping fast.

 

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.

It seems like the big fish are up to their old tricks, keying in on specific sizes and styles of flies that doesn't seem to make any sense. One day it's size 20-24 midges the next day big pheasant tails and attractor patterns. Now that we are into January the fall/winter run rainbows are starting to head back to Crowley and the spring spawners are heading upstream. You'll also find that fish have moved out of the bends into the pockets in the long straight sections.

The fishing pressure has been heavy, especially on the weekends so the fish are getting well educated, you'd better get the drift and the pattern right. The lake fish are figuring out what there is to eat so don't be afraid to go really small and a little flash is a good idea. The fishing has been very inconsistent, one day good and the next day leaves you wondering where they all went.

Hatches are still weak, midges being the dominate bug. Outside of the midges (#22-26) there is a scattering of small mayflies (#20-22) midday, but they are very inconsistent. I have not heard of any bigger mayflies coming off like at Hot Creek. If you're into dry fly fishing look for any backwater, some of them will hold big fish feeding on the surface, but most of the rising fish are on the smaller side. Don't forget that the BWO spinnerfall is also midday so if you are not getting takes try a spinner pattern. If you want a real challenge forget the lake fish and key on the 6"-15" fish, prepare to be humbled.

 

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 |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 & 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 91 cfs as of 1/21

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:  Fair-Good

The last couple of nights have been much colder and the fishing has slowed down. Hopefully with the warming up that's going on things will pick back up. From the middle of December until mid-late January the days are short, water is cold, and the hatches are almost nonexistent. If you're looking for dry fly options keep moving, further upstream towards the dam has been better, cloudy is better.

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 BWO hatches are getting more sporadic but the nymphing is still going strong. Subsurface midge larva and case caddis are working well also. The BWO hatch should start to pick up around the end of the month. Like Hot Creek try to mix in some bigger nymphs.

For near future consideration: The bigger Stonefly nymphs are getting active and should start emerging in the next couple of weeks. 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 #12-16 | 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 | 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 21 cfs as of  1/21

Click "Flows" above for up to the minute info

 

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

Fishing conditions and Hatches: Poor-Fair

Well good news bad news, over the last week the temperatures went up enough that the ice disappeared and the fishing was decent. Good midge hatches mid-morning on and mayflies midday throughout the afternoon. Both the mayflies and the midges are extremely small. 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. Small streamers were also working. Now for the bad news. Starting this weekend, they are calling for overnight temperatures in the single digits and highs in the 30's.

 

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 |  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

Playbate Chartreuse #1/0

Guides Hint:

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