Eastern Sierra Trout Season Fishing
<P>Howdy friends and Sierra Drifters. Best fishes to all for this Eastern Sierra trout season finale 2006. The last day you may fish in Mono County is November 15th. The Lower Owens River in Inyo County remains open year round. The Sierra Drifters Guides are dusting off our drift boats, pitting on the sinking tip lines and making sure we have some Advil handy for those first few row-a-thons!
Road trip! Sierra Drifters guide Tom Loe will be heading down to So-Cal on Saturday December 9th to visit his pals at the Fisherman’s Spot in Van Nuys. http://www.fsflyfishing.com. Tom will do a presentation on fishing the Eastern Sierra around noon and hang around most of the afternoon to talk fly fishing (off the record stuff!) and discuss gear. Well known and respected Sage rep John Sherman will also be in attendance. This will be a hoot and we are looking forward to seeing all our friends in the area. There will be a raffle and some great gifts given out.
Homecoming! December 10th will have Tom Loe showing up at his home town fly shop Malibu Fish’n Tackle in Thousand Oaks through late afternoon. www.malibufishntackle.com. Several of the CVFF gang have assured us they will be there to keep Tom honest as he does a presentation on fly fishing tactics for trout from a boat. Lots of laughs, some inside scoop on Tom’s favorite waters and door prizes for all in attendance.
Let’s retro back this season and reflect on some great memories. The unprecedented winter snowfalls of aught six gave us huge run-offs that flushed out creek and river channels well into the mid-summer months. Alpine lake and reservoir levels remained well above average into the Labor Day weekend. The spring and fall trout spawns benefited greatly from all the extra water. Fly fishing trout enthusiasts had a mixed bag of excellent conditions and at times horrid situations to deal with. Yipes! High water years are not always the best for fishing, but overall they attribute to the foundations that set the stage for excellent conditions in the normal seasons.
The East Walker River and Bridgeport Reservoir are arguable the candidates for the most improved fisheries in this area. Combined with plentiful water and a successful, aggressive trout enhancement program initiated by local businessman and concerned fisherman these fisheries took center stage for the first time in many years. The EW is back baby! Flows have dropped to winter releases (28cfs) and a trip into the Nevada section may likely be better at this time. Check out the awesome rainbow caught by Denny Kamens from Minden, NV whilst tubing on the “Bridge” using a Loeberg streamer pattern. Click on www.sierradrifters.com/fish.html to view this beauty.
Crowley Lake played a Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde drama all season long. The high water levels provided more “epic” cycles than I have ever seen on the lake especially in McGee Bay. They also gave us some of the densest and prolonged algae blooms that adversely affected all fishermen for extended periods of time. The tributaries of Crowley experienced above normal fishing in both spring and fall with a strong showing of big browns on the Upper Owens River this fall. The mild fall season thus far has also attributed to some stellar baetis mayfly and caddis hatches giving “rise” to some spectacular surface action recently. Crowley continues to fish well for both streamer and still water nymph fisherman and although the boats are long gone with the closing of the Fish Camp, tubers are enjoying open water and excellent late morning and afternoon bites. Check out the highlights of the last season’s memorable trout caught and released on Crowley by clicking on the pics at www.sierradrifters.com/fish.html. And more recently in October Sierra Drifters guide “Fill” Therrien guided some members of the Deep Creek Flyfishers on Crowley…here are their reports… www.deepcreekflyfishers.org/crowley_06.htm
Hot Creek made a comeback of sorts this season also. It continues to fish very well and the water levels remain very good for this late in the year. The highlights by far and away were the enormous brown C+R’d by the “trout ninja” Cary Kutzke this May and its’ counter part rainbow bested by David Kendrick in the same week. Overall less people here than in years past and a few more fish per day if you made the right call on the bug and had a decent drift.
The Lower Owens was washed out all last spring and summer and continues to be high for wade fishers in the wild trout section. Do not expect this release to change substantially in the near future as we are told to expect high water well into winter. Bummer indeed!
The gorge is a year round fishery and will be a great alternative for those wishing to hike and wade this region with light gear in the immediate future. The browns are on the chew down here and most #16-18 caddis or mayfly imitations will get you looks on top.
The really good news is the drift boat sections are fishing well at this time and we are not as affected by the high water this time of year (as opposed to high cold spring water). We historically enjoy great success in the fall despite high flows and if you want to fish the Lower Owens a guided drift boat trip is the way to rock the trout’s world and visit the river like few can see. Check out what you can expect this year by looking back at a few of the highlights of last seasons drifts! By clicking on www.sierradrifters.com/fish.html
The San Joaquin fished great during the late summer and well into fall. The road closed down to Reds Meadow on 10-31. Look for a tremendous jag of wild fish for next season.
The West Walker continues to be on the mend and in wonderful shape currently after a series of setbacks over the last several years including a 500 year flood, massive wild fire and prolonged drought. The canyon sections are providing dependable dry fly hatches this fall. Aggressive stocking from the DFG around the bridges and campgrounds are giving fly fisher’s ample opportunities if an extended hike into the more fertile wild trout sections is not in the game plan.
The “drive to” Alpine lakes in the Eastern Sierra have fished great most of the year and have benefited immensely from the “rebirth” of the Cal DFG and a bunch of money being put in the kitty by local businesses and chambers of commerce for the planting of the much in demand Alpers rainbow trout. After a slow start due to the immense snow pack at the upper elevations the alpine lakes enjoyed a long and extended summer and fall season. Lower Twin Lake in Bridgeport continues to be the best and only spot recently for double digit lake browns in this area.
The entire staff at Sierra Drifters would like to thank all of you who booked trips last season and spent some quality time on the water with us. We truly appreciate your business and friendships. We look forward to future trips with you making the wonderful memories they provide us all.
You can pick up our Authentic & Improved Sierra Drifters Guide Flies, Sungicators & Killer Kits only at the following stand out locations (don’t be fooled by any of the imitations out there!): Crowley Lake General Store/Deli in Crowley, Kittredge Sports in Mammoth Lakes, Bridgeport Reservoir Marina in Bridgeport, Malibu Fish’n Tackle in Thousand Oaks, The San Diego Fly Shop and Stroud’s Tackle in San Diego, The Fishermen’s Spot in Van Nuys, Bob Marriott’s in Fullerton, Buz's Fly Shop Too in Bakersfield and online at www.bigfishhappen.com. There are links to these locations at www.sierradrifters.com/resources.htm. We pride our Guide Service & Products on Innovation not Imitation
For those starting to think about holiday gifts…we offer gift certificates for your favorite angler…just email us your requests…
Be the fly friends…Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
About The Author: Captain Tom Loe
Company: Sierra Drifters Guide Service
Area Reporting: Eastern Sierras - Lower Owens River
Bio: Tom Loe grew up in Thousand Oaks Ca. and married his high school sweetheart Michele after attending Moorpark Jr. College.
The next 20 years Tom spent harpooning broadbill swordfish as the owner/operator of offshore commercial fishing vessels on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He is currently a licensed Coast Guard captain and year round fly-fishing guide residing full time with Michele on McGee Creek overlooking Crowley Lake in the Eastern Sierra. Tom has had a maniacal fascination with trout his entire life. He began tying flies at 12 years to assist him in financial support of his addiction to fishing. The truant officers had no problems locating Tom if he turned up absent at school, find trout, you found Tom!
During extended periods his sword boats would be tied up in port Tom would spend large blocks of time fishing the Eastern Sierra developing and perfecting unique methods of fly-fishing for trout in the area. Tom pioneered guided drift boat trips down the Lower Owens River and the “dip and strip technique” in 1998 after selling the swordfish boat “Bandido” that same year. Sierra Drifters Guide Service was founded and has been in operation since 1998 and to date has assisted thousands of fly-fishers in pursuit of trout in the Eastern Sierra.