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Sierra Drifters fishing report 8-1
Fish’N Conditions August 1st, 2012
Joe-Joe (fish) and Wildman showing that it is a good thing to love them, and leave them so they can get this size! Crowley Lake is the place to be, just ask these guys!
Many fly fishers prefer moving water and the sight of a trout rising to engulf a winged adult. Some may not prefer fishing with nymphs below an Under-cator, however-You really need to fly fish here this summer! Period. It is very, very good. The conditions are excellent with good water clarity. Combine this with the decreasing flow rates on the Lower Owens River and you have a stable lake level providing the template for consistent fishing. The chironomid hatches are fueling the morning feeding frenzy. The bite will slow down after 10 am, however picks up again if the south wind does not blow you out. Some of the best action is well after lunch when you get some texture to the surface from the wind.
McGee Bay, Little Hilton, Layton Springs & the north arm on both sides have been consistent recently. Stay in 9-12 feet-locate a weed free mud bottom, a weed line edge and you will get grabs.
I strongly suggest you have some broken back midges when the surface has texture (wind) they rock! Look at my online fly sales to see what they look like. The patterns wiggle when there is wind. Our tandem still water nymphing rig -set 10 inches off the bottom below your Under-cator; a #18 gillie and a copper or dark tiger midge #16-20. During the hatch “twin” gillies are killing it as well. You will also want to have some smaller punk perch patterns #14-16 and some damsel fly nymph patterns if you wish to troll or cast streamers along the weed lines. Another option for rigging is a #14-16 light or dark punk perch with a birds nest (Assassin) or flashback PT below. This is a good call when fishing along the weed lines as there are many small perch fry and damsel nymphs hanging in these areas.
Special angling regulations for Crowley are now in effect as of 8-1-12. Make sure you pinch those barbs down.
Crowley is back! Pictures are worth many words, and we have a bunch of Crowley pics to share with you. We have great guides with Drifters “fish magnets” open in August to put you on these fish.
"Ian Campbell with one of many he caught recently. “Best fly fishing I have ever had”
.Ian with another good one. He has fished Crowley with us for many years and had the best fishing ever.
Robert O with a golly whopper from Crowley!
Jeffery "Wooley" Whoolson. Crowley is great for kids, Jeff spanked them on the fly.
!Matt Woessner is a first time fly fisher and now believes in the power of the fly!
Kate Woolson and Doug R at Crowley. Way to go Kate Wooley!
.Jim Green had a great day on Crowley and this trophy rainbow was the icing on the cake.
.Julie with her awesome Crowley Brown.Julie & Two Bug with her awesome Crowley Brown.
Jeff”Wooley” Woolson shows he is the daddy with this great looking brown
!Jack Scanlon had a great day on Crowley. I have been guiding this young man since he was five! Nice fish Jacko!
“Tom- Thanks for the Hall of Fame day on Sunday. Crowley is such a love/hate lake and it feels good to be back on the love side again. Over 50 to the net and probably just as many missed opportunities. Out fishing every boat out there 5-1 sure is fun too. I am scouring the schedule to see when I can get back up there, and I am already having dreams about fishing for those pigs when they make their way up the O. Thanks again and hope to see you soon- Wild.”
The Wildman. Chris showing one of fifty five we caught on Crowley in late July. Great day Wilds!
.Joe-Joe & Wilds with another Crowley slammer. Consistent quality fish right now on the fly.
Greg Beeve and son Matthew got a great fish with Doug R. on Crowley. The fly fishing program we have on Crowley is a great place for father & son fishing experiences.
.Keith Roberts “another fine Bako Boy” hit this awesome Crowley silver bullet on a broken back tiger/gillie combo. Great looking fish Keith.
Veteran Drifter David Clemson had a fantastic day on Crowley and agrees that Crowley has come roaring back!
Lower Owens River
Flows have crashed to 125cfs. I have been torn because Crowley has been so good we have not been drifting or wading here this summer yet. It is still very warm most days in the OV and 100 degree temps can be downright unpleasant during the mid-day sun. Fishing in the early morns and late afternoons will be great right now at this release rate. Caddis and midge activity are strong and you can bank on fish being in the riffles and tail outs of the larger pools. Wading will be gravy at this flow. Use our crystal olive caddis larva patterns, Assassins-I like the light one, broken back zebra midges #16-20 for nymphing this time of year. Elk hair caddis adults #16-18, dark bodies, stimulators #12-16 are great as an upper in a tandem rig or if you see some hoppers or enjoy fishing dry dropper rigs instead of an Under-cator.
There are many small bait fish that thrive along the side channels and slack water on the Lower Owens this time of year as well as damsel fly and dragon fly nymphs which are quite large and can be imitated very well with a Loeberg, punk perch, or damsel nymph patterns. At current flows a moderate sinking tip line will suffice using the “dip & strip” method of fishing streamers from an upstream vantage point in a drift boat or while wading. We are going to have excellent streamer conditions by late August as the weather cools, with good dry fly opportunities as well. I am looking forward to a great season on the LO soon.
David Clemson with a super nice Loebow caught on Drifters trophy pond at McGee Creek.
Two Bug with a future fly fishing expert showing off a gorgeous Loebow on Jurassic Pond.
Despite low flows HC is still fishing well when the wind is not howling. There is strong caddis activity, but these PHD trout here seem to prefer the small mayflies and midges. The Trico hatch is not everyone’s cup O’tea as these tiny rascals are #22 and very difficult to drift. A slightly larger dry fly like a stimulator or caddis as an upper will help you see the area close to your target fly, however it does not fish as well as a solo presentation and will not get as many looks. The new rage is super long 12 foot rods that you can high stick over the weed beds to get a dead drift. What ever it takes! Hoppers are good to use in the afternoon when the wind blows, suspend an olive crystal caddis larva or emerger as the nymph if you get position in a deeper pool or run.
Flows remain very low here. Decent dry fly action with caddis and small mayfly imitations above the Benton Bridge, there are also a fair jag of planted fish that have worked upstream from the stocked areas and are fun on a 4wt fly rod. My suggestion here is a stimulator or caddis adult #14-16 with a 2-3 foot dropper of 6X tied to a flashback PT, Assassin, or olive caddis larva nymph #16-20. These are all bead head patterns and do not require weight.
East Walker River
Flows are finally coming up and improving conditions for the fish, not necessarily for the fisherman. Currently they are at 200cfs. The more water the better during the heat of summer with regards to the trout. This tail water has a tendency to get very warm during low water years because Bridgeport Reservoir is relatively shallow and weedy over a large portion of the south and west regions of the lake . It also gets very off color and has dead weed and algae emanating from the lake proper making sub-surface nymph or streamer presentations tough at times. Stick to the low light and cooler times of the day. Keeping your flies clean can be a chore here now and it is crucial to check every presentation if you see consistent weed or algae on the flies or line. Dry fly fishing can be good here in the afternoons and early mornings. The adult patterns will not be as prone to collecting goo. The days are getting shorter and cooling the water temps down significantly the last week making it better for the trout. The weed issue will be a factor here for a while longer.
We can teach anyone to fly fish! This is a good friend of Jefferies at the Bridgeport Marina on one of our fish magnets. Just say baaah when you see Jeffery.
Wish I could tell you that conditions have improved for fly fishers here. Due to the excessive weed in water depths of 17-20 feet still water nymphing has been very tough despite very good reports from anglers using other methods in deeper water. The lake is still at a good level considering the dry year with great access at the Marina for boat launching. I believe the fall season will be very good here for tubers near the dam and public launch ramp areas, just needs to cool down some.
Good in the mornings, slow afternoons now. Fishing damsel adults is fun here this time of year. Casting these larger dry flies along the grassy banks and watching the browns slam them is a riot! This is private water, call us for details as we fish it from our drift boats.
The San Joaquin River is fishing great with perfect flows and eager troutThe San Joaquin is fishing well but still has some closed areas.
San Joaquin River
Soda Springs and Agnew Meadows campground and day use areas remain closed. I have been told that they will not open this year due to the massive wind damage from a storm last fall. The remainder of the areas are fully open now. Don’t leave food in your cars, the bears are raising hell this year.
Fishing remains very good with nice flows and great water conditions. The short term weather forecast has some T-storm advisories, so as is always the case in the back country or higher elevations know the weather to avoid a bad experience. Dry fly fishing the pocket water with caddis and mayfly imitations #14-18 is a slam dunk. I use a para post BWO pattern that really works well in many areas. A #12-14 stimulator with a smaller dry as a trailer is a good way to fish fast water. Try to make upstream presentations when possible, start close-then work your way up to the sweet spot at the top of the pool.
Tom Loe owner Sierra DriftersThanks for reading my report friends, hope to fish with you soon
Be the fly…Tom Loe, Sierra Drifters Guide Service
Call Sierra Drifters at: (760) 935-4250
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