Updated:
September 13, 2019

Mammoth Lakes Area

Weather Report

Don't forget your water bottles and sunscreen as you hit the lakes, rivers and creeks. The water's reflection seems to like to help the sun in its constant attempts to turn us all bright red and leave us sadly remembering the trip. Don't forget life jackets for the kids if you are fishing from a boat!

REPORT AS OF 9/12/2019

Summer is winding down - flows are still good, water clarity is good, and hopper fishing is still going off!

We only report first-hand info from our guides on the water daily, Bishop to Bridgeport.

Mammoth Lakes Basin

Water Conditions: Good

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good

We are getting into fall and the end of Callibaetis and Damsel hatches, but still too early for the fish to be staging at the stream inlets. Stripping streamers is back to the top of the list, make sure to fish structure . Also fishing dry dropper rigs will work this time of year, especially with midge patterns. With the new hatches start concentrating along the weed lines and drop offs. Early and late fish midge dries in and around the weed beds.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Stimulators #12-14 | Yellow Sallies #12-14 | Parachute Adams #16-18 | Griffiths Gnat #20-24

NYMPH: Red Copper John #14-16 | Zebra Midge #16-18 | Everson's Filo Swiming Scuds #14-16 | Sierra Damsel #12 | Janssen Emerging Callibaetis # 14-16

STREAMERS: Docs Twin Lakes Special, Brown, Olive, & Black #10-12

Guide's Hint:

Hot Creek

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 19 cfs as of 9/12

Fishing Conditions and Hatches:

Flows continue to drop at Hot Creek. The weeds are now a factor, and Hoppers are everywhere. BUT, the fish have been hammered with hopper patterns all summer and can be very wary of all big terrestrials. Hoppers will still work but be ready to switch to smaller bugs like ants or beetles .Big news, Caddis are hatching in numbers all morning along with Craneflies.Tie on a Cranefly dry or a small stimulator and skitter it across the surface, you might get some splashy takes. Evenings are Midges with plenty of Caddis if the wind dies down.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Spring Creek Hopper #12-16 | Parachute Extended Body BWO #16-18 | Chernobyl Hopper #14-12 | Spent Partridge Caddis #16-18 | Stimulators #16-18 | Parachute Ant #16-18 | RP Ant #12-16 | CDC Baetis Dun #22-24

NYMPHS: Hares Pheasant #14-18 | Barr's Uncased Caddis #14-20 | Juju Baetis #16-20 | Zebra Midge #18-22 | Grey/Olive Scud #16-18 | Graphic Caddis #16-18

STREAMERS: BH Bopp Leech Olive & Brown #12-10 | Wooly Bugger Olive & Brown #12-10

Guide's Hint:

San Joaquin River

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 32 cfs as of 9/12

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

The San Joaquin is fishing well, but it's getting really low. Fish aren't being picky, any dry fly with a little sparkle is a winner . With the cooler weather midday might be the best bet.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Stimulators #14-18 | Flavilinea Dun #12-16 | Krystal Humpy #14-18 | Hippie Stomper Grillos #14-18

NYMPHS: Hares Ears #14-18 | Red Copper John #14-18

Guide's Hint:

Crowley Lake

Water Conditions: Good

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

I don't know what to blame now but the fishing is real streaky, one day decent and the next day brutal. The surface temps. are still below normal but the fish are moving towards the stream mouths. The damsel and callibaetis emergence are starting to fade but the perch fry are still the right size and midges are still plentiful. DWP has started the massive flows down the gorge for up to two weeks so we'll see what that does for the fishing with the lake dropping that fast. There are fish showing inconsistently all around the lake so with a little exploring you might find the next hot spot and have it to yourself for a while.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES:

NYMPHS: Copper Zebra #16-18 | Shaft Emerger #16-18 | Albino Baron #16-18 Copper Clowns | Anything gray

STREAMERS: Marabou Leech Brown #12 | Crystal Bugger Olive #12 | Punk Perch #14-16 | Balanced Birds Nest #14-16

Guide's Hint: If you've been consistently catching fish but somewhere around 10-11 things slow down try putting a callibaetis nymph on.

Upper Owens River

Water Conditions: Good

Flows are at 111 cfs as of 9/12

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Good

Not much is new but there are changes coming soon with more fall like weather expected by the end of the week. The larger fish coming out of Crowley are spreading out and with all the fishing pressure they're getting a lot more selective(see guide hint). Tricos are hatching at first light with the spinner fall mid morning but they're almost done, PMD mayflies have disappeared being replaced by the Tiny BWO( actually a member of the PMD family despite the name) that are hatching and egg laying midday. If you see fish sipping invisible food off the surface midday it's probably the tiny mayflies. With the cool weather BWO's can't be far behind. Caddis and male Tricos are hatching in the evening but that won't last much longer. And then there are the hoppers, Hoppers, HOPPERS. Hopper action is best when the wind blows but the Hopper population has declined significantly from even a couple of weeks ago. Fishing seems to shut down in the late afternoon, but picks up again around sunset.

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Stimulator #16-18 | Elk Hair Caddis #14-18 | Extended Body BWO #14-18 | CDC Spring Hopper Yellow #10-16 | Streambank Hoppers #10-14| Rubber Leg Parachute Hopper #10-16 | Parachute Adams #22-26 | Hi-Vis Parachute # 24

NYMPHS: Hares Ear #14-18 | Radiation Baetis #16-18 | Barr's Uncased Caddis #14-16 | Zebra Midge #16-18 | WD-40 black #18-20

STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger, Olive & Brown #12-10

Guide's Hint: We've had numerous customers come in complaining about missing take after take on hopper patterns. It's hard to tell where the bad news ends and the good news begins. First: you aren't missing the takes, the fish aren't opening their mouths when they first hit the fly. Second: The fish have reached a point where they come up, drown the fly, and then decide whether or not it's real before they eat it. If you've got nerves of steel place 2 hoppers within a foot of each other and then watch the one they don't blow up on, if that one moves unnaturally set the hook.

Lower Owens River

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are at 650 cfs as of 9/12

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Poor

The Flush Has Begun and the water high and dirty, reports will follow when there's something good to report

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Para Adams #14-16 | Spent Partridge Caddis #16-18 | Yellow and Tan Stimulators #14-16 | Brooks Hot Creek Caddis #20-24 | Emerging Female Trico #20-22

NYMPH: Pheasant Tail #14-18 | Tungsten Psycho #16-18 | Barr's Trico Emerger Black #20-22

STREAMERS: Wooly Bugger Olive & Black #10-12 | Mini Sculpin Olive & Black #10-12

Guide's Hint:

East Walker River

Water Conditions: Fair

Flows are at 265 cfs as of 9/12

Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair to Good

With predictions of near freezing nighttime temperatures in the near future things should be changing for the better, water temperatures should be good all day and hatches should improve. Until then water temps. have now gotten up to where it's 70+ by midday so it's best to keep your fishing to the early morning spinner falls and evening hatches for now. The early morning Trico emergence and following spinner fall is impressive along with the enormous (#12-14 2xl) orange and yellow midges flushing out of the reservoir. Caddis are most active early and late

Recommended Flies:

DRIES: Spent Partridge Caddis #14-16 | Chernobyl #6-10 | Trico and PMD Spinner patterns

NYMPHS: Tungsten Psycho #16-14 | Golden Bead Biot Epoxy Stone #8-10 | Dead Drift Crayfish #8 |BH Chiron Larva Blood #14 | Worm-Annalid #16-18

STREAMERS: Meat Whistle | Sculpzilla

Guide's Hint: Keep an eye on the water temps., with the nights getting cooler fishing should pick up.

 
 
 
 
 
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