Eastern Sierra Fishing Report

Big brown trout biting for Sierra winter anglers

BY ERNIE COWAN/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Nov 28, 2011

BRIDGEPORT — The big browns didn’t make much of an appearance during the regular Sierra trout season, but they are now putting on a good show for winter anglers on the East Walker River.


Rick Gieser at Ken’s Sporting Goods in Bridgeport said a group of fishermen checked in last week with a report of three browns topping 8 pounds each. “One they netted and the other two were remote release just as they got to the net,” Gieser said. “It’s a pretty good brown bite right now.”


Flows on the East Walker are at a low 24 cubic feet per second and that means the best action will be in the holes or deeper runs. Gieser said Cone head Zuddlers in #6 and Hornberg flies are working well right now. So far East Walker anglers have not had to fight snow.


Further south on Hot Creek, the action is being reported as good. Chad Brizendine at the Trout Fitter in Mammoth Lakes said there the action right now is pretty much a BWO Mayfly scene.


“There is a decent dry fly hatch from 10:30 until about 1:30 and the best bet is to fish with little bugs in the 20 to 24 size. Browns and rainbows averaging 12 to 17 inches are being caught. If you plan to fish Hot Creek, go prepared for extreme weather. Once snow begins to accumulate the road to Hot Creek is gated and anglers must hike about a half-mile to water.


Both the Lower and Upper Owens River fishing has been good during this period of mild weather.


Tom Loe at Sierra Drifters Guide Service offered a few tips. “Fall is streamer time on these two awesome rivers and the "dip & strip" technique is an excellent method to get into some big rainbows and browns,” he said. “Fishing from the deeper main channel side with an upstream position is necessary on the smaller Upper Owens, while seeking the softer edges and transitions will pay off on the larger & deeper Lower Owens.”


Gary Gunsolley at Brock’s Flyfishing in Bishop said the Owens River Gorge is always a good bet, but as the weather cools, the fish will become lethargic is colder water.


“Right now the Lower Owens is very fishable at a flow of 300 cubic feet per second and you can expect to get some nice browns in the wild trout section.

Gunsolley said one angler reported excellent success at the inlet at Pleasant Valley Reservoir, hooking up consistently from a float tube and using black and olive Woolly Buggers.



lower owens catch

LOWER OWENS CATCHCraig Feltman drifted the Lower Owens with Sierra Drifters Guide Service to bring in this beautiful rainbow trout as the winter trout season gets underway.

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