The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 4/29/2018
Looks like a significant cooling trend for the start of next week with a chance of snow, and rain on Tuesday. Air temps will dip into the teens in the upper elevations. Crowley Lake fished well for the opener; with the best fly fishing bite near Sandy Pt. Still a lack of migratory fish in the tribs coming into the lake. The Middle Owens has dropped below 200cfs. VERY good for "catching"! Hot Creek and the East Walker are the best moving waters to hit currently. Both have excellent water conditions and consistent action. Grant/Silver Lake have very good conditions and should be on the bite for the opening period during stable weather periods. Use streamers with full sinks near the edges, & ledges. The cooler weather will slow down the run-off temporarily improving water clarity in the larger freestone creeks.
The lake is at full pool to begin the season, with good water clarity. The chironomids (midges) are emerging during warmer periods. Historically the water temps will be higher around Sandy Pt., Alligator Pt., & the North Arm. Look for the trout to be relatively deep through May. The aquatic weeds will begin growing by mid-May pushing the fish to the ever deepening mud lines. We typically string our still water rigs to hang in the 16-22 foot range this time of year. Hilton Bay, and McGee Bay will hold fish deeper due to colder water temps. If you plan on still water nymphing- I suggest using copper/dark tigers, BB (broken back) tiger midges, BB gillies, standard gillies, crystal emergers/midge pupa, crystal leeches, & dark assassins. My choice for first casts would be a standard #18 gillie as the upper, with a #18/16 copper tiger midge as the dropper. BB patterns will fish better if the surface is textured due to wind. You can periodically "twitch" your Under-Cator to give some animation to the flies if it is glassy; or calm.
Upper Owens River
Still waiting for the cutthroat to arrive in numbers. The warmer weather will be the catalyst to get the fish moving up soon. Water clarity is good, although it remains higher than normal. Use extra weight to get those nymphs down below your Under-Cators. Access is currently better as the roads have dried out. The cutthroat numbers remain low. There are a few husky spring rainbows holding over, with decent numbers of catchable bows and browns on the warmer days. Crystal Eggs, San Juan Worms, #16-18 Assassins (dark and light), #14-16 Crystal Leeches, and #16-20 Copper Tiger Midge, Zebra Midge, and Gillies have been good patterns fished with plenty of weight below an Under-Cator.
The section upstream from the Benton Bridge is open year around with special regulations. Seasonal closures, and angling restrictions apply downstream from the bridge, check regulations before fishing in this section.
Middle Owens River (Bishop Area):
The levels are trending down recently making for much better water conditions on the drift boat runs. Flows are yo-yoing between 110-180cfs.belwo the dam at PVR. Wading the wild trout section is fine at these releases. Still a decent BWO hatch coming off with a few stoneflies showing. Streamers like Spruce-A-Bu's, Loebegrs, and Crystal Leeches used with a heavy sinking tip line are the right call under these conditions. Properly weighted nymph rigs with standard; or parallel Assassins, flashback pheasant tails, and parallel punk perch can get you grabs below an Under-Cator.
Water conditions and flows are great here. Numbers are good here during warmer periods; with fish holding in the deeper slots and pools. Best bite occurs during early afternoon when the BWO's are emerging. Large midge hatches coming off during a high barometer. Dry dropper rigs with a #16-18 Para Hi-Vis BWO and a #22 Gillie dropper 123-183 below is a consistent rig currently. When you observe those noses sipping the adults in the suds, remove the dropper, and dope up those high wings so they ride high on the surface. Longer leaders, & light tippet in the 5-6x class is best. During off hatch periods try attractor patterns fished with/without an Under-cator. You can get into some of the larger fish using this method during the spring months.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.
East Walker River:
Best game in the region. Water releases are currently around 185cfs. with great water clarity. Last falls planted rainbows are amazingly "rotund", & very healthy. At these release rates, you can find pods of rainbows in the deeper riffles especially during the emergencies. Warmer weather can trigger some solid midge, & mayfly activity. Assassins, Drifters Crawlers, crystal eggs, broken back midges. Tugging streamers like Spruce-A-Bu's and Loebergs in the larger pools can get a bad Leroy brown to come out and attack.
This is a year round fishery with special regulations.
It has been a number of seasons since BPR has been in such great shape to kick-off the opener. We are excited to see how this fishery has come back from the drought. Water clarity is great, & the lake near capacity with all the ramps, & boat docks operating. BPR will fish much like its big brother Crowley with respect to locating trout in deeper water, as opposed to cruising the submerged creek channels during the heat of summer. Rainbow Pt, the drop-off in front of the BPL Marina and RV Park, & the ledge around the public boat launch near the dam are historically where the trout congregate during the opening weeks of the season. Chironomids are not as prevalent on BPR; however they are a main food source until the callibaetis mayflies begin to pop in late May. The key to finding trout here is locating a weed free, mud bottom in the 15-20 foot range. I suggest you use the same still water nymph patterns as you might try on Crowley. There are also opportunities to troll streamers with a full sinking line around the marina. Fish are planted at least bi-weelky, and these rascals are more opportunistic than the holdovers on CL. Spruce-A-Bu's, Loebergs, Punk Perch, Agent Orange, & Crystal Leeches will get grabs. Use the darker colors in low light periods.
Run-off is light, with good water clarity. The cutthroat run has not begun; but historically occurs by mid-May.
Grant/Silver Lakes (June Lake Loop):
Both fisheries are in great shape to begin the season. Along with an aggressive rainbow stocking program to provide consistent "catching", these lakes have a reputation for kicking out large wild browns that spawn in Rush Creek and grow to trophy sizes. The spring period has concentrations of fish in deeper water near the inlets and drop-offs; but not on the flats. Streamers with full sinking lines are good calls for these alpine jewels. Water temps are much cooler in both locations due to higher elevations, so anticipate midge/mayfly activity to be later than their high valley cousins CL, & BPR.