The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 12/3/2018
Looks like winter has finally arrived with a good start to the month of December. A moderate winter storm moved through the area and dropped upwards of 42 on Mammoth Mountain. Couple this with cold nights and winter daytime temperatures, and this makes for a great base for the ski mountain and a great start for added moisture to our rivers, creeks, and reservoirs. Most roads are still accessible by vehicle, but you still have to watch the ruts as it is possible to get a vehicle stuck in certain locations. The fish have definitely switched over to winter mode with the decrease in flows on most waters. Some nice-sized fish have been coming to the net on most of our year around locations. East Walker producing well especially during the stormy weather. Hot Creek has a mix of small to large fish throughout the upper and lower sections. A solid all day bite here. Upper Owens River now showing a few bigger fish up river with the colder weather. Middle Owens river good some days and slower on others. Some good bites have been had pre and post storm periods. The new generations of BWO mayflies are now showing up. Pyramid Lake giving up some real giants and good numbers of cutthroat. Streamers and various nymph patterns getting them to bite!
Upper Owens River
A blanket of new snow has fallen here from the latest storm, but access by vehicle is still possible. With very cold nights and lower flows, some larger rainbows have moved up river. Another solid storm should lay the foundation for the snowmobile rigs to navigate around on. Solid midge and mayfly hatches have been taking place in the afternoons. The section from the Benton Crossing Bridge down to the fishing monument is now closed. Flows are now at 87 cfs. The cooler water has prompted the fish to feed in the deeper runs now and target nymphs and egg imitations. Look for rising fish in the late-morning and afternoons as the daytime temperatures climb. They will be found in the slower eddys around the bends in the river.
The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year-round with special regulations. Seasonal closures and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section. We walk and wade guide here. During winter we will access the UO with snowmobiles.
Middle Owens River (Bishop Area):
Great flows for drifting here currently. We are now seeing a release of 99 cfs out of PVR. This is making access to all the good runs and pools very easy and we are now able to really put our drift boats into the best positions to target these fall fish. The new BWO generations have been emerging daily around the 12-2 window on most days. Streamers like Loebergs, Spruce-a-bu's, and Punk Perch have been fooling some nice fish recently.We can fish up to 3 anglers per boat and offer half day trips (4.5 - 5 hours) or full day trips (7 hours) to meet your needs.
Flows now at 22 cfs due to the recent storm. A bit of runoff from melting snow and start of storm rains has the water up a bit. This small increase will relocate fish around the creek and open up a few more holding areas. Midges, mayflies, and a few caddis have been showing up daily. The newly planted fish have been taking advantage of the micro midge hatch all day. Larger size trout have been keying in more on nymphs, strymphs, and worm and egg patterns. It can get crowded here while the weather is mild so finding a good spot on the creek can pay off. #18 mayflies, #18-22 midges, #20 Brassies, and egg and SD worm patterns have been getting some serious looks and takes from the resident trout.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.
East Walker River:
The river received a good amount of snow as well. This normally puts the fish on a solid bite if your timing is right. The fish tend to concentrate in the deepest water this time of year as frigid temperatures and low water have them seeking out slightly warmer water. Lots of juvenile perch have been washing through the pipe and stacking up below the dam area. A good mixed bag of fish sizes are biting on properly presented flies. Target the deepest pools and runs and you can be rewarded with some real beauties. #18 Copper Tiger Midges, #14-16 Parallel Perch, #14-16 Level Leeches, and Assassins dark and light both Parallel and normal have been great patterns to hang. #18 flashback hare's ears, #18wd 40's, and SJ worms also working well.
This is a year round fishery with special regulations.
Some real brute sized fish are showing up now and the bite is building. Water temperatures have now reached the 52 degree mark and the big cutthroat trout have moved in shallow. We have been seeing fish to 14.5 lbs with some even pushing the 20lb mark. Popcorn Beatles, Midnight Cowboys,#12 Copper and Black Tiger Midges, Parallel Assassins, and Spruce-a-bu's working well.