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Weekly Fishing Guide:   from the San Jose Mercury News 
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Steve Ostermen
Performance Guide Service
September 23, 2001

CROWLEY LAKE: Prior to the Double Haul in the Fall float tube tournament on Sat. fishing here was good. The effects of the pressure by the hundreds of tubers wont be known for a few days. Hornbergs, olive matukas, black crystal buggers and hares ear nymphs.

UPPER OWENS RIVER: A bit better last week although the bulk of the fish caught of late have been on the small side. Try hares ears, zug bugs, bead head pheasant tails and streamers.

HOT CREEK: Getting tougher as water levels continue to lower. Most of the hatches are over although the ever present caddis provide some surface action. Small nymphs and emergers are the best bet here.

JUNE LAKE LOOP: The best lake fishing in the area is at Silver Lake with any black streamer or leech pattern. Rush Creek is fair with adams, elk hair caddis and cdc caddis emergers.

EAST WALKER RIVER: The water flow is currently 80cfs.Fishing is somewhat better but not great. Lots of tricos in the morning and caddis in the afternoon

MAMMOTH LAKES BASIN: Fall is here and that means good fishing in the lakes basin. Try Lake Mary with gray ghosts, hornbergs, matukas and spruce flys.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER: Somewhat tougher as the water level continues to drop. The best fishing can be found by hiking a bit to get away from the harder fished areas near the campgrounds. Parachute adams, parachute caddis, bwo’s and small stimulators.


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Tom Loe
Sierra Drifters Guide Service
(760) 935-4250
September 10, 2001

Howdy friends and Sierra Drifters. May this update find your universe happy and in order. 

The Aspen trees at the 9000-foot elevation have just a trace of yellow starting to show along the many groves that grace the Eastern Sierras face. Mornings have a distinct bite to them with air temps dropping into the upper and mid 30's here this week. Daytime highs remain very warm with upper 70's and low 80's the last few days. We have had some periods of wind in all areas, but it looks like a stable pattern for the forecast. 

The Owens Valley remains hot, with highs in the 90's and lows in the 60's. Very dry conditions exist in the valley and in the backcountry regions. Fire danger is extreme in most areas and this will continue if the weather persists. 

Fishing is spotty in some areas with low water being a factor. Crowds are light in most areas this time of year especially during mid-week. The fish are just starting to get "spawny" in some areas. It will not be long before the first heavy frost or snow starts the fall migration of some big trout out of Crowley into the 

Lower Owens River: 

Flows have been increased this week to 250 cfs. after being 150cfs. for a couple of weeks. This will affect fishing for a few days as the fish adjust to the new level. I suggest you fish the early mornings and afternoons in the wild trout section. Some caddis activity on the surface will bring smiles on the larger pools. Stick to larva type nymphs in olive and black #16-18. Grasshopper imitations work well in all areas this time of year, try a hopper and a bead head dropper in the riffles. 

Upper Owens River: 

The area above the Benton Crossing Bridge known as" Long Years" is spotty but still worth the effort if the wind is down. Caddis flies with dark bodies in #18 will do the trick, as will a dry and nymph dropper combo in the riffles. This area will get better as the fall rolls upon us. Some fish are staging at the river mouth as we speak. Plan on some streamer patterns with a light to medium sinking tip line if you plan a trip within the next 30 days. Hornbergs and spruce flies are my choice for this area, #8-12. 

East Walker River: 

Flows are at 80cfs. and the watercolor makes split pea soup look pale in comparison. The water temp is still high but should be coming down this week as the air temps are cooling off at night. I do not suggest fishing here at this time, as tremendous strains will be put on these trout during a long battle. The Nevada section of the Walker is in better shape. There are a couple of springs that flow into this area adding oxygen and cooler water. Get a Nevada license in Bridgeport and fish this section of the river if you are in the area. 

Bridgeport Reservoir: 

The algae bloom is so thick here it has penetrated the entire water column. The lake level is very low and the fish will all be around the dam section hanging on for dear life. Think snow! 

West Walker River: 

The flows are very low, however it is fishing well in the Pickle Meadow area. You can expect to hit planted rainbows as well as wild Brook, Browns, and Cutthroats. There are also Mountain Whitefish in this freestone creek as well. Nymphing was best this week as we had a lot of wind. This area is prone to gusty westerly breezes so get here in the morning for optimum opportunities. A dry/dropper nymph is killer. Use 6x as the water is crystal clear and the fish can be spooky. 

Hot Creek: 
Fair -good 

Although the flows are low and there is a lot of weed to deal with this area is fishing well when the wind is not flapping your ears off. The crowds have been light for this area also. We have had good success on small black midge patterns fished below a strike indicator (small) or use a caddis or hopper imitation. The caddis flies are dark bodied and #20. The key to success here is high sticking your rod on a drift, and keeping as much fly line off the water as possible. Use a long leader tapered to 6x. Fish the channels in the weed beds and the deeper holes. 

Rush Creek/June Lake Loop: 

The crowds are down on Rush and this is a nice time of year to visit this area. There will be spawning fish in short order moving up from the lakes like Silver and Grant. Do not hesitate using some knarly looking streamers, like zonkers and crystal buggers with a medium sink tip. 

June Lake has been heavily planted recently, so you put and take guys should have some fun with the stockers. I have had good reports from streamer fisherman trolling from a tube along the banks here this week. 

San Joaquin River: 
Fair -good 

This area got hammered over Labor Day, but it has thinned out this week and is fishing well. The flows are low but there is still ample riffle water in all areas. Fish have been stocked in and around the campground areas. I suggest you hike a tad upstream from Upper Soda Springs and you should find some good fishing on both dries and nymphs in the deeper pools and runs. Fish upstream and use 5x and 6x fluorocarbon for best results. Most caddis and mayfly imitations will work here in #16. Use bead head #16-18 in olive as a dropper for best results. 

Crowley Lake: 
Good-very good

The Brown trout bashing that was going on here last week has slowed down considerably. Fishing remains very good with fish counts as high as 74 to the net in a single day by Jake "the beef" Brower from Orange, Ca., and his sidekick Daryl "Heavy D" Dworakowsky, from Anaheim Hills, Ca. 

The planting program has begun as of last week with over 40,000 lbs. of Kamloops Rainbows being stocked at the Crowley Lake Fish Camp launch ramp. You can expect to hook some small 6"-10" fish in all areas as they are moving around the lake shoreline. 

The algae bloom has become a factor once again this year as water temps remain in the upper 60's and the lake level continues to fall. There are still some significant weed beds in the north arm and along the south shore area near McGee Bay. We are finding fish concentrations in 7.5-10 feet of water in most areas. 

Tubers who plan on fishing Crowley in the near future, SPREAD OUT!!! There are fish in many areas. I saw what looked like the 405 frwy. this weekend along Green Banks and there are fish everywhere. The fish are smacking what is left of the perch fry spawn in the mornings and then slurping #16-20 olive/gray chironomids when the hatch goes off. You will get more grabs fishing the nymphs all day so keep this in mind if you only have a one-rod system. 

The weather has been a factor this week with a lot of east and south wind coming on around noon. The forecast calls for more of the same through the weekend. Check out the pictures of Lance and Bill Geiger from Yorba Linda and La Habra, Ca., and the huge rainbow that Guy Sandeson from Fullerton, Ca., landed while on a trip with us recently on Crowley. The Browns went nuts this day and Lance and Bill both landed many Browns to 19", while Guy spanked a 23" Kamloops on a #22 gray bodied chironomid!!! Great day guys, way to go! 

You can check out their pictures on the web at 

Best fishes to all, be the fly 
Tom Loe, Sierra Drifters Guide Service 
Phone 760-935-4250


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Local Guides / Sources

Bishop Area Chamber of  Comm.
690 N.Main Street
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-8405
June Lake Loop, Ca
Barrett's Outfitters
2212 N. Sierra Hwy
Bishop, CA 93514
Bishop Creek Recreation
2100 So. Lake Road
Bishop, CA
(760) 873-4177
Annett's Mono Village
P.O.Box 455
Bridgeport, CA 93517
(760) 932-7071
June Lake's Big Rock Resort
(800) 769-9831
Brown's Campgrounds
219 Wye Road
Bishop,  CA 93514
(760) 873-8522
June Lake Marina
P.O Box 26
June Lake, Ca 93529
(760) 648-7726
Crowley Lake Fish Camp
P.O Box 1268
Mammoth Lakes, Ca 93546
(619) 935-4301
Paradise Resort
Route 2
Bishop, California 93514
(760) 387-2370
Lower Twin Lakes Resort
P.O Box 248
Bridgeport, CA 93517
(800) 407-6143
Vagabond Inn
1030 N. Main Street
Bishop, Ca 93514
(760) 873-6351
Walker River Lodge
Bridgeport, Ca 93517
(760) 932-7021
Double Eagle Resort
Rt.3 Box 14C
June Lake, Ca 93529
(760) 648-7017
Sierra Drifters
Crowley Lake, Ca
(760) 935-4250
Eastside Guide Service
P.O Box 7679
Mammoth Lakes, Ca 93546
(760) 924-8177
Tube Tenders Guide Service
Crowley Lake, Ca
(760) 934-6922
Tioga Pass Resort
P.O Box 7
Lee Vining, Ca 93541

Tackle & Bait

Bell's Sporting Goods & Hdwr 
Highway 395
Lee Vining, CA
Big Rock Resort 
Big Rock Rd
June Lake, CA
Crowley Lake General Store 
520 S Landing Rd
Crowley Lake, CA
Ernie's Tackle & Ski Shop 
2604 Highway 158
June Lake, CA
Gull Lake Boat Landing 
Po Box 65
June Lake, CA
Kittredge Sports 
3218 Main St
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Rick's Sport Center 
3241 Main St
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sandy's Ski & Sports 
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Trout Fitter 
Highway 203 & Old Mammoth Rd
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Trout Fly 
26 Old Mammoth Rd
Mammoth Lakes, CA


Crowley Lake Fish Camp 
Hc 79 Box 138
Crowley Lake, CA

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