Hatch Report for Eastern Sierra, California Trout Fly Fishing Guide
Pat Jaeger based out of Bishop and Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes Fly-Fishing Guide
Jaeger Fly-Fishing Guide
DRIFTBOAT FISHING THE LOWER OWENS 2016-2017
A unique way to get away from weekend crowds and explore new, trout infested water is to go by boat. Since most of the Lower Owens River below the Wild Trout Area is not easily accessible by foot, drifting is the best way to get around. My 15-foot Hyde drift boat will accommodate two anglers in style. I chose this boat for its state-of-the-art profile, excellent draft in shallow water, and hull construction that keeps it warm in winter, cool in summer and quiet always. It is the finest drift boat in the Owens Valley.
During our drift trips, I teach and refine techniques such as nymph fishing with and without indicators, using streamers with sinking lines, and long- and short-line trout hunting with dry flies.
Drift-boat fishing can accommodate anglers of all kinds. Itís perfect for the beginner - advanced, the wader or non-wader, and the young to young at heart.
8 Hour Drift Trip Include: Flies, Complete Wading Gear, Rod/Reel, Terminal Tackle, Lunch and Beverages.
FULLDAY- 1 or 2 Anglers $425.00 HALFDAY- 1 or 2 Anglers $325.00
Necessity is truly the mother of invention. My objective as a guide is to teach the art of a drag-free drift and the comprehension and ease of proper fly rigging. Once these concepts are achieved, nymph fishing becomes truly NOT FAIR for catching trout.
The spin on this product is the two-tone color and its ability to show you when flies are directly under the indicator; or as we refer to -- when flies are HUNTING for trout.
Our color choices are Jose Feliciano Green, neon Orange and new to 2014, Stevie Wonder Red (you can even see it if you can't see) and White (the ultimate camo, water foam). They are highly visible to an angler but invisible to fish.
Another twist is the plastic pin we use. It doesn't get water logged and DOES NOT slip, even using the smallest section of leader or tippet.
The kit comes in a water tight plastic container with a dozen indicators, three different sizes, small, medium and large, extra pins and rubber bands for those of you that prefer different attachment techniques.
I will be selling FISHBALLS at your favorite fly shop, for now available at the Trout Fly/Troutfitter in Mammoth Lakes, Bob Marriottís, Fishermanís Spot, SoCal Flyshop and Reagans Sporting Goods in Bishop or on my shopping page in this site.
$11.95 for complete kit
Lower Owens River blog
The consensus on our weather phenomenon in the Eastern Sierra ranges from joyful to bliss.
Itís fantastic to see the area take a big olí drink of water. Itís not only moisture but literally money falling out of the sky that keeps our ski area world class, our town rocking and our rivers full of clean, clear, cold water.
With basically a winterís worth of snow in the backcountry, it feels good to have that under our belts. But itís only Valentineís Day and we have a lot of winter to come -- weíve seen winters last till June.
Our water systems, Crowley Lake and Pleasant Valley Reservoir, seem to be on track. The PV Reservoir is low and basically letting out as much as coming in. I have not seen much water released through the pipe from Crowley, most of the water coming in is from the Rock Creek drainage. The Owens Gorge is as small as I remember due to work on the fish ladder and projects up river.
Driving by Crowley a couple days ago, it look like the lake is ready to pop out of its icy shellÖ.most likely ice free by now. But it looks as is the DWP is keeping plenty of room for the major run-off (traditionally May ĖJune). The bulk of water of the Eastern Sierra is still in ice or snow form, and the majority of water that weíve received this winter has recharged our low aquifer of the Owens Valley.
I wish I could honestly tell you that I have it wired down here on the Lower Owens River but I donít. One of my claims to fame is the amount of years and history I have here in this area.
But my archived history does not have any data for the amount of snow and water we received this January. One reason, is as far as written history, it's never happened (but I did see a photo of local guys rowing a boat down main street Bishop January 25th 1914).
Currently the water flows are around 250 cubic feet per second out of P.V. Dam. Normal winter flows are around 100 cfs. These flows have been high since early January. This has truly changed the dynamics of the river and its fish. I have embraced the diversity and have done my best to roll with the punches knowing that the rivers are always changing and cracking the code of river is the goal of a guide and fisherman. And furthermore the health of the river relies on high water to clean and flush, the future looks bright.
Some guides have gone as far as asking the public to sign petitions to look at this Lower Owens for major fish population problems. I am all good on that but Iím not the kind of guide that calls fish kill every time I have a hard fish finding day. Granted, the DFW does not plant fish like they used to years ago, many of us didnít rely on the planter truck anyway. Frankly, we have never been afraid of the day we are not catching tailless trout that we could push to a camera lens to look bigger.
I donít have any data except I believe the fish population has taken a hit because of the droughts we've witnessed in previous years. So I think instead of 40 fish in each run there might only be 25. In my mind our biggest hurdle is turbulence versus water temps. Trout are cold-blooded and when turbulence is high fish will not move as easily. Fish are energy conscience. Thus, as days get longer water temps go up fishing gets better. If water flows go up -- well that might be another hurdle; we might not get an accurate reading till this fall. We call it Mother Nature's barbed wire.
My job is to find the Eastern Sierra low-hanging fruit and I will.
I've been giving fishing and weather reports to my clients a week before our trips, giving them free range to cancel because of tough conditions.
I am truly lucky to be surrounded by true Fisher people. Those choose tactics, techniques, casting and fly control -- ultimately, the art of fly-fishing and the challenge of tricking trout, I am honored to spend the days with these folks, I teach Ďem how to fish with flies and they teach me what fly-fishing is truly about.
..Text written by Kevin Peterson Hot Creek Ranch..
Fish Report 2-20-17 The roads to Hot Creek and Upper Owens have snow on them. The gate at Hot Creek is currently closed, and the road is only plowed up to the ranch. It would be smart to park where the pavement stops, and walk in from there.
DFG has planted several thousand fish all in the sub catchable size range into hot creek from the lower parking lot all the way up throughout the ranch. These are not sterile fish and will be able to reproduce once they reach a certain size. A lot of people are on the fence about whether or not this was appropriate for a "wild zero limit" fishery. Keep in mind that the fish that were in hot creek were only there because they were planted a long time ago. Overall, this should help but it's going to take some time for these recently planted fish to shore up the numbers.
Report written by Kent Rianda Troutfitter Mammoth Lakes .. closed for the season
Upper Owens River
Written by Troutfitter guides Jan.26 2017
Flows are at 60cfs as of 1/19
Expect the water to be off color with the melting snow.
Fishing Conditions and Hatches:
The larger fish have moved in, but they are spooky. Try to fish area's that haven't had much foot traffic. Park below where you want to fish and walk upstream slowly and quietly.
The fishing is variable day to day, with several large fish caught one day, and not much caught the next. Stick with the basic attractor patterns down there as those larger fish are looking for a meal
East Walker River
Open year-round...Fish report written by Ken's Sporting Goods in Bridgeport Feb.20th Didnít hear of any traffic on the river this past week, the flows were at a whopping 850 cfs for most of the week due to the snowy and rainy weather weíve been having. Today the flows are at about 500 which is certainly more fishable but still very difficult. Itís hard to say what the flows will do over the next week or two, itís supposed to snow off and on all week so weíll just have to keep an eye on it. As I said last week, this high water is kind of a bummer for the fishing right now but it will make things on the river much better over the course of the season!! Less weeds, silt and algae will be a win, win, win!!!
The San Joaquin River
Road is closed for the season....see you next year!!!
McCloud, Upper Sacramento and Pit River Trip June of 2017
The Magic of the McCloud River
Experience fishing one of Californiaís finest trout waters
Intermediate to Advanced Anglers*
In the spring of 1995, I served an internship in Northern California under Dick Galland and the guides of the Clearwater House on Hat Creek. During this Ivy-League education in guiding, I fell in love with the waters of the area and vowed never to go long without spending time on them. One of these waters is the McCloud River Ė a 6-hour drive plus a bumpy, 30-minute, dirt road away from Mammoth Lakes. This river starts as a spring-fed creek, then dumps into the McCloud Reservoir. We fish the milky cobalt blue tailwater out of McCloud Dam, its source ancient glaciers high atop Mount Shasta. The riverís edge is surrounded by old growth pine giants that have seen hundreds of years of Native Americans, pioneers, and fishermen.
My daily goals are to teach the art of fishing a river. You might think of it as of to draw a parallel between being an accomplished golfer and accomplished angler; the drive, the approach and the putt are essential to having a complete game. I will teach classic puff-ball rigging and techniques for fishing the big, deep, slower pools that the Mac is famous for (the drive.) Then, shorten up our system to fish the tail-outs and deep structure (the approach shot.) Then, lose the indicator all together and hit the fast water (the putt.) Thatís where I teach my spin on Czech nymphing or Northern California tight line high sticking. After dinner we ditch the spit-shot all together and hunt fish until dark using the dry fly. Generally, we fish with four or five wt. fly rods with floating lines. The bug hatches you can expect this time of year are Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening Duns, Green Drakes, Caddis and Giant Salmonfly.
We camp streamside and enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of the land that time forgot (but with flushing toilets.) Our mornings begin with coffee at 8 am as we discuss the complexities of the day- whether to fish up river or down. We usually fish water about a stoneís throw from camp, or travel by car 15 minutes to the McCloud Nature Conservancy, where only ten anglers are allowed to fish per day.
If camping isnít your bag, then the charming little city of Mount Shasta is only 45 minutes away, offering excellent accommodations and restaurants. If youíre traveling light, I recommend a flight to Redding and a one hour drive by rental car to Shasta City.
I am also permitted to guide the Upper Sacramento and the Pit River, all in striking distance from the Mac.
Available dates: June-early July
FULL DAY ONE OR TWO ANGLERS - $ 425.00
ADD EXTRA ANGLERS - $ 125.00 per person
HALF DAY ONE OR TWO ANGLERS - $ 325.00
ADD EXTRA ANGLERS - $ 75.00 per person
*I recommend that anglers have good wading skills and some type of camping background for this trip.
I welcome you to bring your own gear and favorite flies, but our trips include any gear and flies you will need for the day.