The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 10/12/2017
The first drift trip for the 2017 season has been logged and it was a good one. Flows remain too high for wading; however water clarity is good, and access by guided drift boat is fun and productive fishing streamers. Nighttime temperatures have been reaching freezing levels and early mornings are getting cold. Once the sun starts to climb in the sky, the weather has been beautiful for this time of year. These changing weather conditions have triggered the fish to go into full feeding mode. They have become very opportunistic feeders in rivers like the East Walker. Bridgeport Reservoir is experiencing similar conditions, and the fish are willing to hit most offerings. Upper Owens is holding fish in the deep pools. San Joaquin River is still accessible, but the Forest Service will close the road soon. Crowley Lake still producing some killer late season fish.
We got flies! The hottest flies of the season are now back in stock. The amazing "Parallel Punk Perch", "Parallel Assassins" , "Level Leech", & "Parallel Agent Orange" are the hottest flies on Crowley, and other fisheries. Go to our fly sales page and put these red hot patterns in your box.
Fishing continues to shine here. The lake bite has been changing daily, but once the fish are located it has been very good. Small midges, leeches, assassins, and perch fry have all been on the menu for the fish. Large rainbows and cutthroats have been making a daily showing in the North Arm. The winds have been coming up in the afternoons and fish have been moving into the Owens River channel to feed. It can be an all day bite with some slow periods here and there. The quality of fish has been excellent.
San Joaquin River
Flows cut in half since last report and now at 18 cfs. Still a ton of fun down here with a light weight rod and some dry flies. They may be closing the gate mid-month, so here's your last chance to get in for some fun clear water fishing. #18 BWO's and midge droppers are getting the job done.
River now at an excellent flow rate at 75 cfs. Up slightly in flows now. Nymphing in the deeper pools and runs seems best now. A few caddis flying around after the sun warms the water. Crystal eggs, SJ worms, midges, and Assassins are good bugs this time of year.
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/PVR/Wild Trout section (Bishop Area):
The first drift trip for the 2017 season is on the books and it was a good one! Flows remain on the high side (450cfs); however the water clarity is great. Combine this with the warm air temps that are the norm for the Owens Valley in October, and we can expect favorable floats as the fall moves forward. Wading the wild trout section is still difficult at this release. There is limited water that can be safely fished along the banks in the upper reaches of the MO. 200cfs, & below is the sweet spot for wading. We will see strong caddis, trico's, and PMD's throughout the month of October. The chub fry are in the one inch range, and are present in large numbers hiding along the weeds in the pillow water. Streamers like Loebergs, & Spruce-A-Bu's are solid imitations for these forage fish. Heavy sinking tip lines used in conjunction with our patented "dip & strip" technique will get you into some nice fish. Due to the high flows we are still encountering limited access to some of our beats. Heavily weighted nymph rigs fished in the slower sections, and shallower tail outs will get results. Use bead head patterns like Assassins, FB- PT's, & hares ear profiles below an Under-Cator.
This fishery remains open year around. Special regs from the footbridge at Pleasant Valley campground to the fishing monument 4.7 miles downstream.
Flows now at 19 cfs. Now back to more seasonal flow rates here. Smaller nymphs still working with small indicators or dry flies used as attractors/indicators. A bit thin on fish in this area, but the yearly stocking program will continue and try and restore this section to what it once was.
This is a year around fishery with special regs in place.
Flows back to moderate releases once again. May be worth taking a look up here. Now at 119cfs. Try nymphing the deeper sections and fish dry dropper setups along the edges and foam lines.
Season open year around.
East Walker River:
River now at 172 cfs. It has been holding at this level for a couple of weeks now. The bigger fish have been showing up on a regular basis. They are feeling the temperature changes and stocking up on food before the winter arrives. Most areas can be safely crossed now and we have been seeing and catching much bigger fish on our recent outings here. Nymphing with weights in the faster water has been good and fishing to the drop off pools has yielded some hogs. Stoneflies, Rubberlegs, SJ worms, Copper Johns, and midges have all been good.
This fishery is open year around below the Bridgeport Reservoir dam to Nevada State line. Open year around in Nevada also.
They are still showing up here pretty good in the channel. Find the clear channels with a good mud bottom between the weed lines. Hang assassins and punk perch with a midge dropper and it's game on!