The Fish Report - September 20th, 2018

Check out the Fish Camp Cam with streaming video.
(Viewer may take up to 30 seconds to load depending on your Internet connection.)
Check out the Crowley Cam with streaming video.
(Viewer may take up to 30 seconds to load depending on your Internet connection.)


It's that time of year when evening temperatures are beginning to drop and fall colors are just around the corner.

We are on Fall hours in the shop:

7am - 7pm 7 days/week


Recent Photos of our Clients and Customers.



Troutfitter owner Kent Rianda took Paula Hess out on a trip, and it did not disappoint!



Bob Hess with a beautiful Crowley Cutthroat.


Bob Hess with a bent rod.



Catching bait on Crowley.



Click here and send us your photos to be included on this page and in our media gallery!

The Fish Report - September 20th, 2018

We only report first-hand info from our 16 guides

on the water daily from Bishop to Bridgeport.

Consult the DFG Regulations for specifics.


Mammoth Lakes Basin - Local Weather

Water Conditions: Great


Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

Fall is here and the fall pattern has begun with the brookies and browns moving towards the streams. Mayflies and damsels are a thing of the past so the only consistent hatches are the midges, on the surface early and late, hanging them under an indicator or big dry middle of the day. This time of the year with the fish trying to fatten up and the hatches fading the fish are opportunistic so streamers and large dries when it's windy.




Recommended Flies:

Streamers: Doc's Twin Lakes Sepcial #10-12, Crystal Bugger #10-12, Beldar Bugger #10-12, Pops Bugger #8-12

Nymphs: Barr's Copper John #12-18, Zebra Midge #14-18, Lightning Bug #16-18

Guides Hint:


Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are at 10 cfs as of 9/20

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


Fishing conditions and Hatches:Good

WARNING:To those who wade in Hot Creek, one of our guides witnessed 2 anglers being cited for wading in Hot Creek. Apparently they are using The Forest Service's explanation of the possible dangers.

It's that time of the year with the flows low, the weeds are just thick and the fish are highly educated. Presentation is key. Those long drifts are a thing of the past and now the indicator is a "depth regulator". If you wait for your indicator to go under the only fish you'll catch are foul hooked. Hoppers are done and the Tricos are fading fast. Mid morning try caddis emergers and adults.Midday Tiny BWO's and occasional PMD's with caddis on calm evenings.




Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Parachute Adams #16-20, BWO #20-24, Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Parachute Caddis, #16-20, trico and spinner patterns #18-20

NYMPHS: Leopard Midge #18-20, Tungsten Psycho #18-20, Bottom Roller Caddis #14-18, Nitro Caddis #16-18, Anderson's Bird of Prey #14-16, Mayfly nymphs # 20-24

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle, Crystal Bugger and D's Hoover Mover.

Guides Hint:


SAN JOAQUIN RIVER         Local Weather and Flows  ROAD IS OPEN (Closing October 8th)
Visitor Center Info (760) 924-5500

Water Conditions

Flows are at 13 cfs as of 9/13

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

Fishing conditions: Poor to fair

2-3 weeks until the road closes. Post Labor day is a great time to be down here, fishing is still the same so bring your 2 weight and enjoy the solitude. Fishing is still inconsistent as are the hatches and the size of fish is down dramatically. Good casting and a 1-3wt rod will provide plenty of entertainment with an encounter with one of the big wild fish leaving your mind and equipment frazzled. A surprise, nymphing has been more effective than dry. Zebras, # 16 bead pmd nymphs.

Recommended Flies: #18-20 Zebra Midges, #16 Golden Stone, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #16-20 Purple Prince Nymph

Dries: #16-18 Yellow or Tan Stimulator, #18 Elk hair Caddis, Ant and # 14-16 mayfly patterns

Guides Hint:


CROWLEY LAKE -   Local Weather    Fish Camp Cam  Crowley Cam     Surface Elevation UPDATED 9/20


Water Conditions:

Lake is now dropping about 1/2 an inch/day.Algae bloom getting worse but not a show stopper



Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good to excellent

I had a fish cough up a bunch of 1/4" clear fry this week so we might get a better fall bite with some of the perch hatching so late.

Typical Crowley, fishing is not consistent, but still good to excellent. The fish are starting to spread out even more as the perch fry grow and the mayflies and damsels dwindle. Even if you're catching fish, always have a variety of patterns on at all times, you never know when they might switch. Evenings are a little easier to figure out but the wind can be problematic.Getting reports that midging has picked up, Albino Baron and grey or green with flash.

Mcgee Bay has it's moments but the fish are concentrated in small areas with lots of barren water around them.

The lake has dropped to the point that fishing the stream mouths is difficult because there's very little water between shore and the weed beds.

North end has picked up all along the river channel in 10-14 feet but it's real streaky from day to day. If you don't like crowds remember the evening grab.

Recommended Flies:


Albino Barons, Red Barons early and later in the morning go to Copper Tigers, Red/Black dubbed head Optimidges, then Flashback Gray/Black Optimidges, Shaft Emergers when sun is overhead - all small.

Guides Hint:


UPPER OWENS RIVER- Local Weather and Flows


Water Conditions: Fair

Flows have dropped to105 cfs as of 9/20.

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



Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

Same old story,Only thing I can add is with more fish starting to migrate, throw the kitchen sink at them.These fish seem to change what they're keying on from day to day and it doesn't have to make sense.The fish seem to be concentrating in specific holes so be careful about moving too fast. Look out for fish keying in on specific hatches midday. If it's action you want the numbers of Tui Chub are growing but if that's not your style take solace in the fact that they help the browns and rainbows grow up big and strong. Early and late are good times to throw some big streamers.


Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Stimulator #16, Extended Body BWO #16, Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Parachute Adams #16-20

NYMPHS: #12-16 Bead Head Prince Nymph, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, Flashback Hares Ear #14-16, Anderson's Bird of Prey #14-16

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle, D's Hoover Mover. Big and ugly. Dead drifted on stripped under the banks on a Type 3 sinking line.

Guides Hint


Lower Owens River - Local Weather and Flows

Water Conditions: Fair

Oh well it was nice while it lasted, 487 cfs as of 9/20.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

All this info is current, just a whole lot tougher to perform than last week.... The trico spinner fall was ending at 9:30 and the rest of the morning was pretty inactive bug wise until 11 or so when the tiny bwo's start hatching sporadically. Afternoon was caddis.The fishing was fair but the fish were fat and feisty.

Recommended Flies:

Griffith's Gnat #20, Extended Body BWO #20-22, Para Adams #18-20, Elk Hair Caddis #16-20, Parachute Caddis #16-18, Yellow and tan Stimulators #14-16

NYMPH: Zebra Midge #18-20, Baetis B/H $18-20, Barr's Uncased Caddis #14-16, Tungsten Caddis #14-18, Birds Nest Olive or Natural #12-16 Stonefly nymphs #14-16

STREAMERS: Big and ugly!

Guides Hint:


East Walker River - Local Weather and Flows

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are at 172 cfs as of 9/20

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


Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good

Things are picking with the cooling water temps, mainly caddis and midges but do not forget attractors, crayfish. Cooler temps also mean greater range of optimal fishing so plan a day of it. Fishing has been good but water temperatures have gotten up to 70 by midday, but with the longer nights the morning water temps are getting down to the mid 60's. Best reports are from 6:30am to 9 and again in the evening. Midday baetis should be starting soon and as the perch fry get bigger in the reservoir big hornbergs and white zonkers become effective. The Daphnia invasion is going on up by the dam as they get flushed out of the reservoir.


DRIES: Big flies to get fish to come up and eat them. Stimulator #8, Parawolf Purple #10, Chernobyl Ant #6-16, #20-22 dark mayfly patterns

NYMPHS: Copper Zebra #16, BH Prince Nymphs #12-14, Olive Birds Nest #10-14, Caddis Larva #10-18, Nitro Caddis #14-18, Stonefly Nymphs #6-10,Sparkle Pupa #18-20

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle #2, D's Hoover Mover Rust #4, Hornbergs #10-12,White Wooly buggers #10-14

Guides Hint: If you're up towards the dam look for some of Bridgeport reservoir's legendary monster midges that are getting flushed into the river.


Pyramid Lake, NV   - Report Courtesy of Chris Wharton Call 775-851-1558 for more info or bookings.

Water conditions:

Water will be in the mid 60's area, and is normally gin clear this time of year.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches

With the warmer water most of our fly fishing is done from the tubes and pontoon boats, until the water hits the high 50's. Look for the fish to be in anywhere from 10'-40' in the cooler thermoclines. Some fish can be in the shallows at times but it will be very early and late. The primetime  shore fishing usually starts about the first of Nov. which is my personal favorite time to fish the lake for hard pulling trophy fish.

Recommended Flies:

Best patterns for the fall fishing include, weighted Wooly Buggers in Olives and Whites. And Tui Chub baitfish patterns which acct. for 90% of the Cutts. food chain. We have a specialized imitation that accounts for many large fish and numbers as well.

Guides Hint: Heavy fast sinking lines and flies are the go to in Oct. Find the level they are at and stay on them.This report came from Chris Wharton. I met Chris for the first time several years ago at Pyramid and he was super helpful in getting my game on. I think you could not do better than getting the same treatment before you try your hand at Pyramid. He even has ladders for his clients. -kent

Stillwater Guide Service . . . or 775-851-1558.


Web site content is Copyrighted, 1998-2018 by Fluidix, Inc.
No part of this site may be reproduced or redistributed
in any way without written permission. All rights reserved.



Sign up here for our weekly fish reports!
For Email Marketing you can trust