The Fish Report - September 26, 2014


Highs in the 80's for the first days of fall here in

the High Sierra. Weather-wise it is up and down -

Crowley and the Upper Owens 70°F today and a

high of 56°F tomorrow and back to 70°F by Monday.

Some afternoon thundershowers here and there.


Kent's Picks


Now here is a liitle hidden gem in Mammoth that I found out about the other day. 'Tucked in around the corner from Nik 'n Willies and the Mogul on Tavern Road is the "Latin Market".

Skip the market part unless you crave Coke bottled in Mexico or the dulces that are the same color as fluorescent indicators but don't miss the take-out food they have in the back of the store.

The menu only has four items - Casa Dias, Tortas, Tacos and Burritos but this is the real stuff like you get in Mexico and delicious. The portions are huge and cheap prices to boot. They also have some picnic tables out front if you want to "dine in".

When I say "real" you have your choice of tongue, tripe, chorizo etc in all these dishes if carne asada and carnitas are not adventurous enough for you. 'Just like you were dining at a roadside Taqueria 100 miles off Highway 1 in Mexico someplace.

I mean . . . Is that like a Mexican poncho or is that a Sears poncho?     -Frank Zappa, 1973.

Tell them the Troutfitter sent you. -k


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We're on Fall Hours 7am to 7pm Daily


The Fish Report - September 26, 2014

We only report first-hand info from our 16 guides

on the water daily, Bishop to Bridgeport.



Recent Photos of our Clients and Customers.

Annual Kodiak Silver (Coho) Salmon trip was

great as usual sight fishing right near the

mouth of several rivers. "Steelhead on Steroids"

New twist this year we jumped in the float

tubes and cast to porpoising fish in the

shallow lakes upstream. Jim's 8-weight

bendo on another Silver.

I told the guys at Outcast the rulers on the

Super Fat Cat were woefully inadequate.

Landing these guys in a tube was a major

happening as in taking an unwanted bath.

We finally bought a cheapo big ass net

at Walmart - problem solved.

We are thinking of doing a hosted trip next

year for any of the Crowley tubing set

that need a heavier dose. "The tug is the drug"

E-mail if you are interested.

Justin Townsend with a denizon

of the Upper Owens.

Wade brought our favorite guide in Belize,

Bruce Leslie, up for a little try at Crowley

last week. Bruce did great as you can see

when he remembered to lift the rod and

not strip set when the indicator went down.

"Damn Permit fisherman!"



In Palcencia the guides occasionally find

a bundle of drugs jettisoned by a passing

'contrabandista' and they call it winning the

"Sea Lotto" or catching a "Square Gruper".

Bruce definitely won another Sea Lotto

when he met Wade, who is now on his

162nd Permit. Bruce is the only guide in

Belize who drives a Lambourghini.

(Well, almost true.)


The ol' man decided to hop in the tube

and go old school a week ago since the trout

are all over the Perch fry all over the lake.

Midging is wonderful but not even close to

getting your arm straightened out when

one of Crowley's finest whacks your

Perch fry imitation at speed.


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


Consult the DFG Regulations for specifics.


Mammoth Lakes Basin - Local Weather

Water Conditions: Good

Clear and cool


Fishing Conditions and Hatches:Good

Hearing George is fishing well, especially along any of the dropoffs into the deeper water.

Fish a full sink line and make sure you're getting it down there.

Probably don't need much more than an intermediate sinking line in upper twin or Mamie.

You can also fish under the indicator just like on Crowley and you'll see the occasional Callibaetis so don't be afraid to throw some dry flies before dark.


Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Griffiths Gnat 16-22, Parachute Adams 16-20, Stimulator #18, Yellow Humpy, Callibaetis Spinner #16

NYMPHS: Zebra midges 18–22, Tan and Olive Bird's Nests 14-16, Pheasant tails 14-16, Hare's Ear #16, Callibaetis Nymph, Copper Zebras. Copper Tiger, Red Copper John #16.

STREAMERS: Olive and black Twin Lakes Specials 10-12, Olive and black Wooly Buggers 10--12, Flashabou bugger black or olive.

Guides Hint: Don't just fish one fly, tie a smaller nymph trailer off your streamer. You'll get a lot more grabs that way.


Water Conditions: Poor

Flows at 12CFS as of 9/26 Water is clear.

(Note flows include water from the springs, not just the gauging station at the highway so this is what is really flowing through the canyon)

Fishing conditions and Hatches:Good

No real change since the last report. Looks like our first hard freeze is on the way, which should have quite an impact on the weed growth.

The fishing is good, but landing any fish you hook is quite difficult, especially if they're sizable. Use heavier tippet and you can lift their heads up and over the weeds.

Weeds are still a serious problem, making long drifts impossible. Focus on making short perfect drifts in between the weeds and whatever clear or deeper water you can reach.




Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Extended body blue winged olive 18–22, CDC Caddis 18–22, Hot Creek caddis 18–20, parachute Caddis 18–20, parachute Adams 18–22, Elk Hair Caddis 16–20,

NYMPHS:Fox's Caddis Poopah Olive #20, Nori's Caddis Pupa Olive #20, Anderson's Bird of Prey Olive #18, Buck Skin Caddis #20, Hogan's S&M Nymph #20, Zebra midges 20–22, WD-40 20–22, Micro May Fly 18–22, Pheasant Tail 18–22, Grey Scud 16


Guides Hint:


SAN JOAQUIN RIVER         Local Weather and Flows

Visitor Center Info (760) 924-5500 - You can drive down Red's Meadow again - No manditory Shuttle Bus.

Water Conditions:Poor

Flows are down to 6cfs as of 9/26




Fishing conditions and Hatches: Poor

There is a good chance that the road down will close with expected snowfall upwards of 6 inches at 9000ft.

With the flows as low as they are, there isn't much in the way of moving water. Pretty much slow water moving between standing pools at this point. If you can find fishable water, there's probably a couple of fish in there.

Recommended Flies:

Dries: Parachute Adams #14-16 Yellow Humpy #14-16, Stimulator #14-16, Elk Hair Caddis #14-16, Chernobyl Mini #12-14, Fat Albert #14

Nymphs: Chartruse Copper John #14-16, Pheasant Tail #14-16, Prince Nymph #14-16, Hogan's S&M Nymph #14-16


Guides Hint:


CROWLEY LAKE - Local Weather           Crowley Cam          Surface Elevation

Updated 9-26

Water Conditions:

Lake levels continue dropping. 'Now at 6,756 ft versus 6,781 ft elevation at the spillway. The islands just outside the marina have finally popped out - be careful and give them a wide berth.

Water temperature is slowly dropping at 59°F (on the bottom) uniformly almost everywhere on the lake.

Water is almost crystal clear everywhere - just a tinge of algae.

Weeds across the lake are dying leaving single stalks for the fish to work.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

The fish have moved back into McGee and in deeper water like 15 to 20 ft. Everything from 6 inchers just off the truck to the 20" plus ones eating the recent arrivals.

North end off Green Banks has slowed and Hilton and Leighton are on and off but no crowds.

Six Bays has taken off. Mickey and Brennen and their clients plus 30 tubers were working them hard today - southmost bay.

Lots of Cutthroat in McGee and in the north end. Trifectas are commonplace.


Recommended Flies:

Dubbed head red/black Optimidge or Albino Baron early then swap the Albino for Copper Tiger as the sun gets overhead.

Fewer hits but bigger fish for those who want to try a Dubbed-head Olive Oprimidge in size 18 or a Shaft Emerger midday.  Really big fish rarely go for the flashy colors in crystal clear water. 

Stripping has picked up for the tubing set. Try a stillwater hare or trail a small PT or Hares Ear behind the usual Perch fry imitations - Hornberg's, Perfection Perch and Punk Perch.

Be sure and just twitch it up slowley the last 10-15 ft just like a Midge or Callibaetis acending.

Guides Hint: Watch out for islands now sticking up just outside of the marina on your way to McGee. Go around them on the east side.


UPPER OWENS RIVER- Local Weather and Flows


Water Conditions:Fair

Flows at 50CFS Above the Hot Creek Confluence. as of 9/26

Water pretty clear above Hot Creek confluence, off color below.

The lower you go, the more "green slime" you'll have to deal with. Pretty bad down in the bait section and below, almost non existant up above the bridge though.

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good

Starting to see some lake fish in the mix now. Picked up a few Crowley rainbows today before the wind picked up.

Water below the HC confluence is still fairly dirty and loaded with grass. Makes for some harder fishing as you have to clean your flies off on a regular basis.

Up high is a different story, the water is very clear making it somewhat difficult. These fish can see you coming for sure so fish way below your fish and try not to cast a shadow with your rod.

Not seeing much in the way of rising fish still except the tiny 3-4 inch fingerlings.


Recommended Flies:

DRIES: EC Caddis 16-20, Elk Hair Caddis 16-18, Parachute Adams 16-18, Stimulator 14-18.

NYMPHS: Red Copper Johns 14-18, Prince Nymph 14-18, Flashback Hare's Ear 14-18, Flashback Pheasant Tail 16, Zebra Midge 18-20, Red San Juan Worm 12, Anderson's Bird of Prey Olive #16, Nori's Caddis Pupa Green #16-18, Black Bead Bird's Nest #14.

STREAMERS: Perfection Perch, Punk Perch, Red or Wine leeches. Black conehead wooly bugger.

Guides Hint:


Water conditions: Good


Clear and cold.


Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

No recent reports.



Recommended Flies:

DRIES: parachute adams, extended body bwo, cdc baetis dun, stimulator

NYMPHS: Hogan's S&M Nymph, Flashy PT, prince nymphs, hares ear, birds nest, wd40, zebra midge, disco midge

STREAMERS: Matuka, Goat Leech, Crystal Bugger, hornbergs

Guides Hint: 


Pleasant Valley Reservoir - Local Weather   

Water conditions:

Water levels are dropping.



Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

No recent reports.

This place should start to go off soon as soon as the temps start to drop.



Recommended Flies:

DRIES: CDC Baetis DUN, Parachute Adams, Groffith's Gnat

NYMPHS: Red BH Optimidge, Mickey's Red Baron, Copper Johns, #18 Black Beauty, WD40, Disco Midge, Zebra Midge #18-#20,

STREAMERS: Docs Twin Lakes Special, Olive Matuka #10, Flahabou Buggers Olive, Rickards Seal Bugger, Big and Black Streamers

Guides Hint: 


Rock Creek - Local Weather and Flows

Water conditions: Fair

Flows stable at 30CFS as of 9/26

Creek is clear

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:Good

The road in might be closed at least temporarily this weekend with snow expected above 9000ft.

Hike in a bit and fish the lakes along the trail. Chickenfoot and long lake usually hold fish in the shallow waters at the edges and outlets if you're willing to walk a bit.

Same thing goes for Ruby lake up a bit higher, lots of brookies up there that will eat just about any fly you throw at them!

The creek isn't fishing bad either, the water is really clear and the fish can see you coming a mile away though, so stay low and keep your shadow off the water. That is if you can find water deep enough to hold any fish.



Recommended Flies:

Dries:  Parachute Adams #16-18, Hi-Vis Blue Wing Olives #16-18, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Kicking Hopper, Fat Albert, Chernobyl Ant.

Nymphs:  Crystal Hunchback Baetis #18-22, Tungsten Psycho #18-20, Split Wingcase BWO #16-20, Zebra Midges #18-20, Pheasant Tails #18-22, Hares Ear #16-18.

Streamers:   Olive or black Wooly Buggers #10-12.

Guides Hint: 


Rush Creek - Local Weather and Flows

Water conditions: Poor

Flows above Grant Lake are at 11FS and 34CFS below as of 9/26


Fishing Conditions and Hatches:Fair

A few friends on standup paddleboards informed us that there were quite a few fish at the mouth of the creek at Grant lake. Might be worth a try.

The water is very low, so keeping your shadow off the water you're trying to fish and wearing muted colors will go a long way towards not scaring away the fish you're trying to catch.



Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Elk Hair Caddis 14-18. Stimulator 14-18.

NYMPH: Copper Johns 14-18, Prince Nymphs 14-18, Micro May Fly 16-20, Micros Stome 10-16, Zebra Midge 18-20, Pheasnt tail 14-20, Bird of Prey, Tan #16, Hare's Ear 14-18.

STREAMERS: Wounded Sculpin, Matuka, BH Carey Bugger, Crystal Bugger, BH Pop's Bugger, Rickard's emerger bugger

Guides Hint: 


Lower Owens River - Local Weather and Flows

Water Conditions: Good

Flows bouncing around but are at 221CFS as of 9/26

Water is tinted green.

Water temps have come down a bit in the past couple of weeks.




Fishing Conditions and Hatches:Good

Most of the fish are holding at the end of the deeper pools. They're eating mostly mayflies. Black and green were working best. Didn't see many Caddis in the water, but there were plenty of BWOs hatching yesterday morning. Not many risers except the dinks.

They are still messing with the flows, seems to be on the downswing. Check before you go here







Recommended Flies:

DRIES: CDC Baetis DUN, extended body bwo, parachute adams, stimulators, griffith gnat, CDC Trico emerger.

NYMPH: RS2 Grey #18, Black Flashy WD 40 #20, Copper Zebra midge #20, Tungsten Black Beauty #20-22, Micro mayfly Olive #18, Olive birds nest, Flashback Hare's Ear #18, Tungsten Psycho #18-20

STREAMERS: Muddler Minnow 6-10, Olive and Black Wooly Bigger 10-12, Mini Sculpin 6-10

Guides Hint:.


 Bridgeport Resevoir - Local Weather -

Water Conditions:   

Very Low Water


Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

No recent reports.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Callibaetis by the inlets.

NYMPH: Zebra Midges16-20, Shaft Emerger #16, No Name damsel #12, Bird's Nest Olive 14-16, Jensen's Callibaetis 14-16, Richards AP Emerger 12 -16, BH Sparkle Ex-Leech 10-12.

STREAMERS: Twin Lakes Special #12. Hornberg 6-10, Matuka 10-12, Wooly Buggers, Olive and brown, 10-12, Hale Bopp Leeech 10-12, Punk Perch 10-14.

Guides Hint:


East Walker River - Local Weather and Flows

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows steady at 21 CFS as of 9/26



Fishing Conditions and Hatch:

With the flows nearing 20cfs we definitely feel for the fish at this point as the flows usually don't drop this low until wintertime. Hopefully we'll get a big snow year and this fishery will bounce back.



DRIES:   Parachute Adams #14-18, Hi-Vis BWO #14-18, Griffiths Gnat #18-22, Elk Hair Caddis #16-18, Stimulators.

NYMPHS: Zebra Midge 18-22, Barr's Flashback BWO 18-20, Nori's Caddis Pupa 18-20, Z Caddis 16-20, Buckskin Caddis 14-20, Nitro Caddis Pupa 16-18 WD-40 18-22 Olive, Rainbow Warriors 18-22, Tungsten Psycho, Crystal Hunchback Baetis, Micro May Fly 18-20, JuJu Baetis 18-20, Split Case BWO 18-22, Two-bit Hooker 18-20.

STREAMERS: Black or Olive Wooly Buggers #8-12, Matuka #8-12, Punk Perch 10-14, Hornberg 6-10.

Guides Hint :


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