CALIFORNIA: San Juan Worms, Broken Back Midges All Getting Grabs

The Upper Owens continues to kick out quality trophy sized rainbows and the weather remains extremely mild for December. The water can become off colored at times below the confluence of Hot Creek due to mild run-off. We are finding this actually makes the big bows less spooky and easier to approach. Flashback nymph patterns, light colored egg imitations, San Juan Worms, broken back midges are all getting grabs.

Flows on the Lower Owens continue to be ideal for waders and bank fisherman. The weather has been awesome in the Owens Valley with mild afternoon temps triggering a solid midge and small may fly hatch daily. Streamer fishing from the drift boat has been excellent and the numbers of medium sized rainbows and browns coming to net are the best we have seen in several years.

Hot Creek has been off colored at times but the fish are still actively feeding on the surface. 10-2 will get you in the sweet spot of the day. Para-midges, small mayflies #20-24 are the bug de’jour currently.

East Walker release rates remain very low so look for the fish to be concentrated in only the deepest pools. The mild winter is keeping the trout far more active than in years past. Mornings are still very cold in
Bridgeport but as the sun climbs air temps become very pleasant. Redundant drifts with midge and mayfly nymphs #16-20, properly weighted to keep your rig near or on the bottom will get you into fish consistently on the “Miracle Mile”

Pleasant Valley Reservoir has been very good near the launch ramp and inlet section for tubers and shore fisherman. Streamers #8-12 used with a full sinking line will get takes when fished along the drop-offs. The small creek section emanating immediately below the powerhouse has also been productive for those wading in the brush. Dry/dropper bead head nymph rigs are deadly in this area. The reservoir proper is very high currently and is making access difficult in the “transition” area between the lake and the river.

The Gorge is fishing very well for this time of year due to the mild weather. The wild browns are consistently rising to midges and small mayflies in the softer, deeper pools. This is a great time of year to hike in and hit some less trafficked water. The foliage becomes less a factor in the winter. No significant snow or ice here to hinder your walk in.

Merry Fish-Mas!

Capt. Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
p: 760-935-4250

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