Pleasant Valley Reservoir Fishing Is Good
Tom Loe is on the road again and will be visiting Buz’s Fly Shop Too in Bakersfield on Saturday February 24th 2007 for their “Grand Opening” at the new location. Loe will be doing a Power Point presentation on fishing the waters of the Eastern Sierra as well as some major BS-ing with all in attendance. Owner Larry Goates will be inviting other pro fly fishing personalities to attend this party. Come on by and shoot the breeze, win some door prizes and get some free guidance on fishing the waters of the Eastern Sierra. The shop opens at nine and will close at 4 in the afternoon. The Power Point show starts around eleven and will be about an hour in length. Contact Buzs at 661-390-0032 or email them at email@example.com
Sierra Drifters guide Tom Loe will be heading down to So-Cal to visit with his great friends at the San Diego Fly Fishers meeting on the evening of February 5th 2007. Tom will be doing a Power Point presentation on innovative fly fishing techniques for the Eastern Sierra. The public is welcome and sincerely invited to attend. You can get details by calling Stroud’s Tackle (619-276-4822) ask for the “mighty Osprey”, or by visiting the SDFF website at…… http://www.sandiegoflyfishers.com/
Tom will also be doing a Power Point seminar on March 31st 2007 at Bob Marriott’s Fly Fishing Store in Fullerton. This show will be in conjunction with Bob’s Sierra preview and there will be other industry pros and great gear on sale to get you ready for the new Sierra trout season. Put this one on your calendar and come by and talk trout, pick up guide tips and pointers on fly fishing trout in the Sierra. Contact Marriott’s at 800-535-6633 and ask for Kevin Bell, or visit Bob’s web at http://www.bobmarriotts.net
This winter is shaping up to be in sharp contrast to last season’s deluge of snow. We are experiencing a very dry pattern thus far and the long range does not show a significant change. The extremely cold weather we had previously has been replaced with spring like days and mild winds in the Owens Valley. This current condition has warmed the water up about five degrees and the fishing has picked up considerably the last several days. Flows have finally stabilized at 125cfs on the Lower Owens R. although you will currently see different data on the LADWP real time web link out flow at Pleasant Valley Reservoir. This is what we have been waiting for all winter, come and get em’!
Lower Owens River: Very Good-fair
The LADWP is doing extensive repair and upgrades to the generation facility located at Pleasant Valley Reservoir and we have seen some very unstable water releases this month. We are told that things will stay “pretty much the same” for the remainder of this month and into the later part of February in which the flows are expected to drop even lower as a major repair is scheduled to be performed on the aqueduct pipeline.
This is good news for a change and the last few days of lower flows and stable releases have proven this to be true for all sections of the Lower “O”. The wild trout section is very wadeable and those who enjoy nymphing under an indicator are having fair- good success using #16-20 mayfly nymph imitations like PT’s, birds nest’s and poxy back hares ear with and without beads. Midges are always a good bet this time of year and you will find that crystal zebras and tigers #16-22 (I like the olive bodies best) will get you grabs in the deeper pools. I have observed the midge hatches are smaller this year and this could be attributed to the lack of silt and mud that was washed away by the long period of flushing flows through December of last year. The channel has been etched out and there is more gravel and additional riffle water in all sections of the Owens this year. The baetis hatches are still small but increasing and if the water continues to warm (36-41 degrees on 1-26-07) we should begin to see some significant bwo emergences by early February if not sooner.
The drift boat sections have been getting better day by day as the water warms and the flows level off. The fish are settling into predictable lairs and this is making life a whole bunch easier for the Drifters guides these days! Some quality rainbows are beginning to show each drift as well as a spike in the brown trout counts. The “dip and strip” is our preferred method of casting streamers with Loebergs and light Punk Perch patterns being the fly’s d’jour.
We have had the pleasure of welcoming some new faces to the Sierra Drifters family of clients and they have caught and released some really nice fish on recent floats.
Marty “the Chief” Thouvenell and his fly fish’n bride Nancy from Upland, CA took their first drift with us and spanked over thirty rainbows and browns with Nancy taking a chunky rainbow in the morning to get big fish honors in a heated contest of dueling six weights! The couple enjoyed a seventy degree afternoon for the icing on their cake! Check out the pics of Nancy’s bow and the Chiefs colorful brown by visiting our website at http://www.sierradrfiters.com/fish.html
Drifters guide “Fill” Therrien hosted first time clients Bobby Manoukian and son Garrett from Burbank, CA with Bobby fooling a very large rainbow on a Loeberg pattern towards the end of the float as the sun went behind the Sierra’s crest. Sweet finish guys, way to go!
Chuck Bodie made his first casts with a fly rod recently on a drift boat trip accompanied by veteran Drifter, Rick Mintzlaff both from Northridge, CA. Chuck has seen the light and become a “brother of the fly” after he caught and released a bunch of fine trout on his two day float. These guys also had back to back seventy degree air temps in the afternoon!!! Check out Chucky’s neon rainbow by looking at our website fish report page.
Pleasant Valley Reservoir: Fair-Good
It truly was freeze tubing a week ago and few fly fishers ventured out to test the waters as the air temps seldom got above the forty degree mark down in the canyon at the “Rez”. Conditions have improved and the dam section is fishing best right now on the far side using heavy sinking tips or full sink lines and streamer patterns fished around ten feet. Some large rainbows are being taken in this section. I suggest you troll until you get a grab or solid hookup, then cast while remaining stationary if possible. Work the edge of the rims shadow in the afternoon as it makes a great transition area.
The inlet is still on the slow side as the Rez’s water level remains high in the small river section making access and presentations difficult. You can still get into some decent dry/dropper bead nymphing in the riffle water located just below the powerhouse, however there are not the historical concentrations of fish here as in seasons past. Look for this area to improve in the near future.
The Gorge: Good
Some effort will get you into some eager wild browns that are partial to dry dropper combos. Have mayfly and midge patterns in the #16-18 range. A 1-4wt. rig is best. The warmer weather has made for some pleasant conditions down here and this is the start of the optimum period to fish this area. We have been told that the flows will drop substantially (they are currently about 35cfs) in late February and that the LADWP is seeking an exclusion permit from the DFG in order to do so. Not good news for this section; we will keep you posted as we get information.
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!): Kittredge Sports in Mammoth Lakes, 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!
FISH ON BABY!!! Now that I have your undivided attention we need you all to write the Cal DFG Commissioners and express your approval of the new regulations opening sections of the Upper Owens River, Hot Creek and the tailwater section of the East Walker River to year round fishing beginning on March 1st 2007. We have included a link to the new regulations and as usual you can click on the button providing important DFG news by visiting our website at www.sierradrifters.com. DFG commission info at http://www.fgc.ca.gov/
We at Sierra Drifters Guide Service support the new regulations and feel the additional year round water will benefit all catch and release fisherman with little impact on the fisheries, enforcement or search and rescue organizations. Get the word out friends we need to make our opinions heard.
Be the fly friends…
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.