Owens River Fish Report for 2-21-2018
Wild fire update on the Owens River
Owens River - CA
by Tom Loe
This aerial shot shows the Chalk Bluff Road that parallels the Owens River near the Wild Trout section. The fire is contained; but still smoldering as of 2/20/18. Road leading into PVR Campground and Five Bridges are closed. This devastating fire totally destroyed the Owens River from the Campground to Five Bridges Crossing. It did not impact sections we primarily drift, and so far the water is not showing signs of turbidity from ash, or silt in our traditional runs.
Sub zero air temps forecast throughout this week, & all through next with strong winds, frigid temps, and light snow accumulations. Upper Owens remains slow, with low fish counts. Windy/cooler weather not helping what few Crowley Steelhead are left in the system to get fooled. Flows are still elevated above mean levels; however water conditions are excessively not bad. Looking ahead, I see positive signs of an earlier than normal run of cutthroat this spring. Could see larger fish moving as early as next month.
Sub zero air temps; with highs well below freezing all week. Flows on the East Walker River have dipped to 28cfs. This release reduces fishable water significantly, & concentrates the fish in the deepest depressions only. Drifters guides are letting the EW rest under these conditions as stress on the fish is considerable. Numbers not the game here; but the rainbows are thick bodied and average 16 inches.
Hot Creek conditions have been relatively stable with decreases in flows due to the colder air temps. Hot Creek access remains fine, with a little snow in the shadows. Numbers are fair/good for smaller fish that are eager to hit midge clusters, and first generation blue winged olives after mid-day. Aquatic weeds are a nuisance; but not impacting dry fly presentations.
Water levels at Pleasant Valley Reservoir are on the high side; but trending down. The pocket water below the power house has decent numbers with a few large fish holding in the deeper water. Dry/dropper best here. The slow moving/ deeper water near the lake mouth has some trophy sized fish that will take a parallel Assassin fished on a dead drift.
Gorge water releases are very low. LADWP is doing major maintenance on the hydro electric generation facility. Fish jammed into the deeper pools.
If you would like to go fly fishing with Sierra Drifters give them a call at (760) 935 4250 and for more information visit their website www.sierradriters.com.
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