Owens River Fishing Report near Lone Pine, California
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Fishing Tips for Owens River
by Jim S
on February 8th
For about 20 miles through a narrow gorge with steep walls from the base of Crowley Lake flows the lower portion of the Owens River. Above Crowley, amid mountains that peak a t 9,000ft, meanders what is known as the upper Owens. These two bodies of water share a name and are similar in some respects for the most part are very different. The lower river is relatively slow with flows seldom higher than 150cfps. In the gorge it goes from pocket to pocket where it supports good mayfly and caddis hatches, there are also some midge and Baetis, and smallish brown trout (think 12 instead of 20). Once the river leaves the gorge it finds itself in the Pleasant Valley Lake. From that point it emerges a cold, almost spring like, tailwater. For the next 3.3 miles you can find good trout action year round. Just because the season is open all year does not mean the fishing0s good all year. The best times to fish is in the spring and fall when energy needs and, as a result, current are at their lowest. However trout can’t go that long without eating. When the water is high you can find dozens bunched up behind eddies waiting for food (or your fly) to come swirling past. Once you find one of these eddies you can catch a dozen fish before having to move on. Caddis, of course, is the best pattern but mayflies and stoneflies produce well too. Above Crowley Lake the best time to fish the river is the spring and the fall when the lunker lake fish make their way up the river to spawn. Make sure you can fish for them before you go; the regulations change year to year. Nymphs like the gold-ribbed hare’s ears and pheasant tails, streamers like peacock and black woolly buggers, and big matukas work the best for spawners. Dry fly action is amazing in the summer but the fish only average about 10-12 inches. If you are interested i recommend you fish with terrestrials, caddis, and mayflies. There are special regulations for the upper section but, like i said, they change so be sure you know what the current ones are when you go. Good luck fishing!
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