Water Conditions: Good
Flows are 81 cfs as of 12/30
The stretch of river below Benton Crossing Road to Crowley Lake is closed to fishing until next season.
The stretch of river above Benton Crossing Road is artificial, barbless, catch and release only.
Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Fair Or Very Good
Access by car is now limited to right above the bridge. With access becoming more problematic and fishing pressure dropping the fish are a lot less wary, still the same flies such as eggs, worms, and other attractor patterns. Not a bad idea to trail them with a #20-24 midge pattern. With all the new snow access has gotten a lot tougher but a word of caution, if you're venturing upstream on a snowmobile and you're thinking it might be nice to get closer to the stream...the ranchers are not real happy and would love to find out who it is that's cutting fences.
The fall spawning rainbows are no longer being planted so what you see is what you get. This fishery is entirely up to natural spawning so be on your best behavior or this fishery will cease to exist. There are some fish spawning in the public water so avoid wading in the tailouts/shallower than knee deep
The number of lake run fish in the river continues to increase giving anglers a much better chance of either catching, or spooking big fish. Don't be too patient if you don't get grabs fairly quickly, keep moving. BUT if you have a habit of walking up to a pool and staring down into it looking for fish don't expect to get anything over 8". Unlike resident fish the lake fish have no allegiance to one spot so not only will they not necessarily stick around until you're gone but after a couple of these experiences their jaws will lock shut.
Luckily as temperatures drop Hot Creek water is becoming beneficial. The difference between above and below Hot Creek is at least 10 degrees so if you get out there early it might be better to start out closer to the bridge. This helps trigger the fish in Crowley to move up into colder, cleaner water of the river. We're already seeing some lake fish all the way up into the private ranches with more to follow. There is a temperature gauge on Hot Creek right above the Owens River Road bridge. You can tell fall is here because instead of 97-112 temperature range of summer it's all the way down to 94-107 degrees. If you're not familiar with it, to get to the upper most branch of Hot Creek, go through the first drive through gate on the main road and immediately turn left. The confluence is between the first and second walk-thru gates.
DRIES: Griffiths Gnat #20-24 | Para Adams #20-24
NYMPHS: Zebra Midge #16-22 | B/H Prince Nymph #12-16 | Copper John #14-16 | Tungsten Jig Baetis #18-20 | Black Beauty #22 | S&M Nymph #18-22 | Medalion Midge #20-24 |Bling Midge #22-24 | Tungsten Olive Mic Drop #16-18 | San Juan worms assorted colors | Egg Patterns assorted colors
STREAMERS: Shock Collar Leech #10 | Woolly Bugger White or Olive #6-14 | Punk Perch light or dark #10-16
Britni and Brett managed to sneak in a couple hours on Hot Creek between storms this week. #thetroutfitter #hotcreek #winterflyfishing......