Fishing Season: Year Round

Owens River - CA

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Jim Elias's Tip of the Week

With the flows are low as they are it's important to watch your shadows and where you're walking as not to spook any fish. Stay low and avoid bright colored shirts.

Directions open in app

Map of Owens River

5-Day Outlook as of 5/19/22

Windy today and tonight lingering through Friday. Warming trend starts tomorrow with temps reaching the 80s by the middle of next week.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/19/22

Streamers and Nymphing. Don't be afraid to euro nymph if the wind isn't blowing. Running a dry dropper through some holes might work better than a bobber, especially if they are suspended in the deeper pools.

Local Species Available Year Round

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    Trout - Rainbow

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Jim Elias's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Vernille San Juan Worm N/A 14-16
Micro Egg N/A 16
Lightning Bug N/A 14-16
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer N/A 10-12
Bird's Nest Black 16
Copper John Red 16
Flashback Hares Ear Nymph N/A 14-16
Bead Head Brassie™ Red 16
Prince Nymph N/A 14-16
Tungsten Psycho N/A 16

Vernille San Juan Worm

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Jim Elias's Recommended Gear

Description: About Owens River

Upper Owens River above Crowley Lake

Nearest Airport:

Mammoth - Yosemite (MMH)


The water is continuing to warm, the flows are stable since 15cfs of it are coming from West Portal and the rest is coming from the actual spring. I have a feeling much of the river below the confluence will be low, warm and weedy for the rest of the summer. With little flow to blow out the silt that's gathered the last several seasons holes that were once 5-6ft deep are barely 2ft deep right now. With this in mind, the spawning cutthroat will make their moves in the very early mornings and late evenings when they have their best chance at survival. There are fish on redds so keep an eye out and wade across only when you need to and in the deeper water. Bug activity has mainly been Midges early morning and Caddis in the afternoons. Mayflies have been more sporadic, and considering how low and poop colored the water down below the confluence is, I'm not surprised one bit. Stick to the deeper bends for your best shot either under a small strike indicator or running the euro rig. I usually need to run through a few bugs before I can convince one of them to eat, so be persistent. The water isn't super deep in most spots so they'll be very easy to find, just keep moving.

Best Time to Fish:

Mid morning to late afternoon

Best Stretch:

At or above the confluence

Best Access:

Left off Benton Crossing road right after the bridge.