Hatch Report for Eastern Sierra, California Trout Fly Fishing Guide
Pat Jaeger based out of Bishop and Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes Fly-Fishing Guide
Jaeger Fly-Fishing Guide
Tenkara hits the Eastern Sierra
Tenkara fly fishing, Japanese, literally: "from heaven,” or "from the skies.”
Tenkara is an ancient Japanese form of fly fishing in which only a rod, line and fly are used — no reel. Tenkara has been practiced in the mountain streams of Japan for perhaps hundreds of years. Tenkara came to the United States in 2009 and quickly surged in popularity to the point that today the number of Tenkara anglers in the U.S. rivals the number in Japan.
A Tenkara rod is typically lightweight and relatively long (11 to 15-feet) telescopic rod , with a very flexible tip section. The specialized and extremely lightweight Tenkara fly line (usually lighter than even a 000-weight conventional Western fly line) is tied to the tip of the rod and generally measures between one and two times the length of the rod. About four feet of tippet is tied to the end of the line.
• A feather in hand
• Unbelievable accuracy
• Laser fast tip for quick strike
• Simple rigging
• Fast learning curve
As a novelty I bought a Tenkara rod; within a few casts I knew this was not a toy. I now own six rods and my daughter Isabella, 6, has her own. I have not put the rods down for four months now. We have fished our way through the Eastern Sierra and Northern California with unbelievable success.
Please don’t get me wrong, I will never quit casting loops of fly line. And hunting trout 50 feet away will always be a never-ending passion. I never tire of the sound of a big trout smoking fly line off my reel.
But, I will never quit looking for different ways to skin a cat.
The cross-over from intermediate to advance is crazy rapid (five minutes). Learning curve for anglers who have never dabbled in the craft is extremely user-friendly and, finally, the rod is light enough for kids and small ladies.
I am happy to introduce you and yours to this craft. I am willing and able to do classes and open a day in my calendar. My classes are all “on the water “and consist of
• Simple rigging
• tight line nymphing
• Indicator nymphing
• Dry fly tactics ( if we get targets)
• All gear needed for the day included
• I love simple; rod, line, fly, water…..trout
DRIFT BOAT LOWER OWENS 2014
The flows on the Lower Owens will drop late September/early October. We will see summer bug hatches, beautiful fall weather, perfect water temps and fish that have not seen flies in months. It is prime time to spend the day in a driftboat hunting trout... A unique way to get away from weekend crowds and explore new, trout infested water is to go by boat. Since most of the Lower Owens River below the Wild Trout Area is not accessible by foot, drifting is the best way to get around. My 15-foot Hyde drift boat will accommodate two anglers in style. I chose this boat for its state-of-the-art profile, excellent draft in shallow water, and hull construction that keeps it warm in winter, cool in summer and quiet always. It is the finest drift boat in the Owens Valley.
During our drift trips, I teach and refine techniques such as nymph fishing with and without indicators, using streamers with sinking lines, and long- and short-line trout hunting with dry flies.
Drift-boat fishing can accommodate anglers of all kinds. It’s perfect for the beginner - advanced, the wader or non-wader, and the young to young at heart.
8 Hour Drift Trip Include: Flies, Complete Wading Gear, Rod/Reel, Terminal Tackle, Lunch and Beverages-$400.00 1-2 anglers....HALF DAY TRIP 1-2 anglers $300.00
Lower Owens River blog
Open year-round January 21, 2015 Ask Eastern Sierra locals and they say if the weather were any nicer, it would be snowing.
Most Januarys are clear and cold and this holds true in 2015. Our days have been getting noticeable longer each day, slowly but surely kicking up water temperatures in our Lower Owens. The water flows are consistent for the last few months at a normal 79 cubic feet per second.
The blankets of hatching midge (small-22ish) have lengthened our fishing days; still gentleman-like but it’s not out of line to be wetting a line by 9 a.m. Hanging small beaded nymphs under a dry-fly or small indicator has proven productive on my watch. In the next weeks, we will see trout keying on midge clusters, so don’t forget to tie-up some Griffiths Gnats or pick up a few at your favorite fly shop.
The trout are holding in slower moving plunge pools and deeper runs before the tail-outs. The use of a little extra fly-line and stealthy approaches come highly recommended. Bottom ticking nymphs with split shot will be fruitful.
Every day Streamers with sink-tips have produced some of the bigger fish of the day, but as water temperatures rise this tactic will be a go-to. Overall fishing has been very good, really worthy of the drive up.
I truly have never seen so many fish in the river, these yearling brown trout, 6-10 inches, are a reflection of a healthy river and a bright future. The midday Mayfly hatch has been sporadic and with this San Diego weather, infrequent. But the rocks on the river bottom are full of mature Mayfly nymphs. This up-coming generation debut traditionally happens from Super Bowl Sunday on. This Baetis is no. 15 in size, truly one of our larger Mayflies of the Eastern Sierra. This bug loves cloud cover, wind, rain or snow, so don’t fret if you see weather on the horizon.
I get phone calls all summer about drifting the Lower Owens River. My response is “when the sun shines make hay.” It’s time to make hay.
..Text written by The Troutfly. . January 20, 2015
Flows have been stable for quite some time now, and with rising temperatures come more productive hatches. Seeing plenty of midges on the water surface, but not much activity on the surface. Midge larva and pupa under the indicator or under a larger dry fly is working well. Starts to really get going around 11-1.
Plenty of scuds in the water but the flows haven't been high enough to flush them out so that the fish will go after them though.
10/29/14 report written by Kent Rianda Troutfitter Mammoth Lakes ...CLOSED
Upper Owens River
Flows at 46CFS Above the Hot Creek Confluence. as of 1/16
Water is clear above Hot Creek confluence, dirty below.
Fishing Conditions and Hatches: Poor
The river is now closed below the bridge until next season.
The roads have dried up and can now be accessed without 4wd.
Seeing big fish up high near long ears. They're pretty picky though and will bolt if they see you. Best bet is to approach low and slow and fish a hole blind for a few drifts, you never know what's hiding at the bottom honestly.
East Walker River Blog 2014
Open year-round...Fish report written by Ken's Sporting Goods in Bridgeport;
EAST WALKER RIVER December 21, 2014
Still getting very few reports from the EW, the ones we have been getting are saying the fishing is ok. Still most anglers getting into around 4 or 5 fish per day, with the majority of them going over 15 or 16 inches. Dry/dropper rigs seem to still be doing the best though we have had reports of some fish being caught dead drifting streamers. The weather is still a bit cold so you really don't need to get down there until around 10am or so and fish until around 3pm. Patterns to try include jj special, zuddler, wooly bugger, flashback emerger, wd-40, top secret midge, rainbow warrior, madam x, stimulator and chubby chernobyl. The Nevada side of the river still seems to be the best area to fish.
The San Joaquin River
McCloud, Upper Sacramento and Pit River Trip June of 2014
The Magic of the McCloud River
Experience fishing one of California’s finest trout waters
Intermediate to Advanced Anglers*
In the spring of 1995, I served an internship in Northern California under Dick Galland and the guides of the Clearwater House on Hat Creek. During this Ivy-League education in guiding, I fell in love with the waters of the area and vowed never to go long without spending time on them. One of these waters is the McCloud River – a 6-hour drive plus a bumpy, 30-minute, dirt road away from Mammoth Lakes. This river starts as a spring-fed creek, then dumps into the McCloud Reservoir. We fish the milky cobalt blue tailwater out of McCloud Dam, its source ancient glaciers high atop Mount Shasta. The river’s edge is surrounded by old growth pine giants that have seen hundreds of years of Native Americans, pioneers, and fishermen.
My daily goals are to teach the art of fishing a river. You might think of it as of to draw a parallel between being an accomplished golfer and accomplished angler; the drive, the approach and the putt are essential to having a complete game. I will teach classic puff-ball rigging and techniques for fishing the big, deep, slower pools that the Mac is famous for (the drive.) Then, shorten up our system to fish the tail-outs and deep structure (the approach shot.) Then, lose the indicator all together and hit the fast water (the putt.) That’s where I teach my spin on Czech nymphing or Northern California tight line high sticking. After dinner we ditch the spit-shot all together and hunt fish until dark using the dry fly. Generally, we fish with four or five wt. fly rods with floating lines. The bug hatches you can expect this time of year are Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening Duns, Green Drakes, Caddis and Giant Salmonfly.
We camp streamside and enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of the land that time forgot (but with flushing toilets.) Our mornings begin with coffee at 8 am as we discuss the complexities of the day- whether to fish up river or down. We usually fish water about a stone’s throw from camp, or travel by car 15 minutes to the McCloud Nature Conservancy, where only ten anglers are allowed to fish per day.
If camping isn’t your bag, then the charming little city of Mount Shasta is only 45 minutes away, offering excellent accommodations and restaurants. If you’re traveling light, I recommend a flight to Redding and a one hour drive by rental car to Shasta City.
I am also permitted to guide the Upper Sacramento and the Pit River, all in striking distance from the Mac.
Available dates: June 23-July 3
FULL DAY ONE OR TWO ANGLERS - $ 400.00
ADD EXTRA ANGLERS - $ 125.00 per person
HALF DAY ONE OR TWO ANGLERS - $ 300.00
ADD EXTRA ANGLERS - $ 75.00 per person
*I recommend that anglers have good wading skills and some type of camping background for this trip.
I welcome you to bring your own gear and favorite flies, but our trips include any gear and flies you will need for the day.