The following report courtesy Sierra Drifters Guide Service:
REPORT AS OF 5/27/13
Fish'N Conditions May 27th, 2013
Fish'N Conditions are pretty good all over the Sierra right now with only a couple locations being off their game. Flows on the Middle Owens have gone up considerably but are currently holding around the 300cfs. level. Bishop Creek (a major tributary of the MO) is also very high & has disrupted what was a pretty good drift boat bite until things mellow out. The EW has also dropped in releases again-59cfs at this time. As the water warms up this will make for some challenging conditions later on next month. I will be up at Eagle Lake in Lassen County all of June through mid-July so local reports may be less frequent, will do my best to keep you updated. We have a few days open at Eagle, check out "waters we fish" click on Eagle Lake at the top of this page for availability and info please.
Upper Owens River / McGee Creek:
Numbers have been great here. The section downstream from the Benton Bridge to Crowley Lake is now open, special regulations remain upstream from the Bridge. You will find above average numbers of 10-14 inch cutts and rainbows that have migrated up from Crowley. Nymphing with flashback PT's, Assassins, olive zebras, SJ worms and egg patterns-will all get grabs. Flows are just right and running at 110cfs. If the wind is ripp'n use a streamer with a light sinking tip and the "dip & strip" method along the cut banks. Caddis activity picking up on the calmer/warmer days. A dry dropper bead head is always a good choice here when you have some snouts poking up. Stimulators #14-16 have great floatation and a close enough profile to adult caddis flies to get grabs. McGee Creek also has good numbers of cutts and smaller bows staging up in the riffle water and gravel beds. The short water requires some creative presentations and you will have to alter your nymph rigs depth with respect to each section. Good caddis and midge activity here when the wind is down. Keep a low profile-these fish are spooky!
Middle Owens River:
300 cfs. is not considered to be a blow out here, however it is on the high side for wading and access to the wild trout section. Use adequate weight to get your rigs down-2 AB shot is possible in some pools and runs. I suggest plenty of flash in you nymph patterns also. Olive crystal zebra or caddis patterns work great this time of year as the point fly, #16-20. The drift boat sections have off colored water and debris as the irrigation ditches get flushed. Has not been red hot here for drifting, will improve as the flows stabilize. Heavy sink tips, Loebergs or #10-12 punk perch are best right now. Lots of sucker fry around.
The cooler windy weather has hampered tubing at times in most of the upper lakes. They are getting good numbers of planters this spring due to the early ice out and good access. I suggest full sinking lines and streamers that have red or orange built in. 15 feet is a good depth to start along drop-offs and flow areas. Look for some great "catching" as soon as the weather turns warmer.
When the wind is not howling at Crowley the still water nymphing has been pretty good. There have been a series of dry cold fronts that slash through about every two days lowering air temps and bringing strong westerly winds. Water clarity remains good, although you may encounter some floating algae at times that will drift through making roll casts with those long leaders a pain. Keep those midge imitations clean and check them out every cast if the green goo is present. The blue algae is not a factor yet; however I am seeing the buds begin to increase in number so look for a bloom to begin soon. No significant weed lines around. Big Hilton, Sandy Pt., Layton Springs, & Crooked Creek are all hot spots now. Ten to 16 feet. You will find a big mix of fish sizes this year and all three species can be caught-rainbows, browns, & cutthroats. The Sacramento Perch are also on their redds especially around Layton and Sandy Pt. The lake is currently dropping and is down a foot from its high point already-only up 9 feet from its low last October. Gillies, crystal emergers, & chironomid pupa patterns #18-20 are solid upper flies. Use crystal tigers & zebras as the lower #16-18. If you have some texture on the water I like the articulated broken back tiger midge patterns. The Crowley General Store and Deli (Shell gas station too) has a full Drifters fly box and Under-cators along with some great breakfast and lunch specialties.
East Walker River:
You will see the flows bounce around quite a bit here this summer and they will be well below historical averages for sure. Get your licks in early here folks, may be wise to leave them be when it starts getting hot in July. The calmer days have great mayfly and midge activity with surface opportunities in the tail outs and riffle water. PT's, birds nest (assassins), broken back zebras & tigers, olive crystal caddis larva-#14-20 good for nymphing.
Still good. The conditions improve with the higher water as the weeds get covered making extended drifts easier. Fish small midge or mayfly emerger patterns, soft hackles swung through the slots and across larger pockets can also be deadly. SJ worms & attractors will also fool finicky fish that have seen it all. June will be good, give us a call and we can show you trick's to fish the crick.
Hopefully the lake will come up some and keep the marina open through July. Call Jeffery for updates on launching here with larger boats. Still water nymphers doing fine on the nice days around Rainbow Pt. and the "bath tub" areas. 11-14 feet with chironomid/midge patterns. Tubers trolling streamers will also get into good numbers-had a report of a 50 fish day recently. Loebergs work well for perch fry imitations.
It has slowed way down here and we will be holding off bookings for a while until conditions change. Have some weed issues due to low water/flows as of late.
San Joaquin River:
Road is now open to Reds Meadow, this is early and flows will be high but not blown out. Dry fly attractors like Stimulators, Sofa Pillows, Trudes, Royal Wolfes, Humpies-all good calls right now. Focus on the softer water and meadow sections. Look for a great July through early September.
The Gorge/Pleasant Valley Reservoir:
Flows continue to be higher than normal but have dropped from the middle turbine to PV powerhouse to 100cfs. 36cfs above the middle according to LADWP sources. Very fishable and a good option to escape crowds if you do not mind the hike. Dries can crush them this time of year, caddis and mayfly imitations #16-18. At 100 cfs some pools will require an indicator and weight to get those nymphs down. If it gets warm look out for snakes and stinging nettle. PV is also fishing well for tubers near the inlet when the powerhouse in generating. The inlet section is high but will be good when they shut down. Caddis, Mayflies, and chironomids all on the menu here.