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Intro

Located below Pleasant Valley Reservoir and just north of Bishop, the Lower Owens River parallels Highway 395, making it easily accessible and a perfect spot for winter fly fishing. The river makes its way through a valley surrounded by the striking peaks of the High Sierra, so the views aren’t that bad, either.

What Makes It Great

The picturesque setting and good trout fishing in this area make it a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. Fly fishermen wade the Lower Owens River with nymphs and dry fly combinations, taking advantage of lower flows in the colder months. The ideal flow for wading is 250 CFS (cubic feet per second) and the flow here rarely exceeds 500 CFS in the cooler months.

The fish love hiding in all the little features that provide cover for them, such as undercut banks and aquatic vegetation. The most common catch from the Owens River is rainbow or brown trout, typically around 10 to 12 inches, though you might find some up to 18 inches.The Bishop Chamber of Commerce and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife stock rainbows in Pleasant Valley Reservoir and the river year-round.

The 3.3-mile stretch of the river below Pleasant Valley Reservoir is a designated Wild Trout Area and is catch and release. Farther downstream, the water is a little warmer and hosts other fish species including bass, bluegill and carp. Just east of downtown Bishop, the Buckley Pond area offers easy access, where wading, float tubing, and drift boating are all popular options.

Who is Going to Love It

The banks of the Lower Owens are nutrient rich, attracting a large population of aquatic insects and ensuring reliable dry fly fishing. It’s a great place to learn to fish given that there is a really dense trout population, or improve your skills if you have been fly fishing for a while. There are plenty of guides in the area that can assist with outfitting and lessons for new fly fishers.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

To access the Wild Trout area on Lower Owens River, take Highway 395 North to Pleasant Valley Rd (about 6.5 miles north of Bishop). Follow Pleasant Valley Rd. northeast for about 1.8 miles. Cross the river and make a right onto Chalk Bluffs Rd, where you will see several access sites.

If you want to reach the river below the Wild Trout area, turn off Highway 395 north of Bishop from Highway 6 at Five Bridges Road or at Laws Railroad Museum. Access the Owens River East of Bishop from Line Street, Warm Springs or Collins Road.

Featured image provided by Patitucci Photo

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3 days ago

Happy Friday! It doesn’t get much nicer than this. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
❤️ Bishop

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #whitemountains #canalwalk
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Happy Friday! It doesn’t get much nicer than this. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 
❤️ Bishop 

#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #whitemountains #canalwalk

Comment on Facebook

My dream for retirement!

What a beautiful spot! I just love that town...💐

Wish I was there's now...

Thanks for sharing this!! So beautiful 😍

just got home from spending four days there

So beautiful and amazing picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

Beautiful.

See you next week bishop 🤗🤗

Pretty picture!

where is this? Mill Pond?

see you next week.

Buckley ponds?

How much snow does bishop have in winter time?

Beautiful

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4 days ago

Laaaaaabor Day Weekend plans? How about the fair?Oh hey there! 👋 Happy days from a friendly local 🐐 - Looking forward to more interaction with humans. Hope to see you at the Fair! Laaaaabor Day Weekend.

Photo credit: Jeff Simpson
#inyocounty #tricountyfairgrounds
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Laaaaaabor Day Weekend plans? How about the fair?

Comment on Facebook

Wish I could be there! 🤗💞good times

Labor day? Go home goat, you're drunk.

Christina Flores-Hinojosa

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5 days ago

Who’s been up here? The trailhead and campground are clear of snow, the aspen are preparing to grow leaves, and it is BEAUTIFUL!! 🍃😍
(The trail undoubtedly has snow on it, so please be prepared and be EXTREMELY cautious crossing streams this time of the year!)

📷 by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler
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Who’s been up here? The trailhead and campground are clear of snow, the aspen are preparing to grow leaves, and it is BEAUTIFUL!! 🍃😍 
(The trail undoubtedly has snow on it, so please be prepared and be EXTREMELY cautious crossing streams this time of the year!)

📷 by Betsy Forsyth
#visitbishop #RecreateResponsibly #mindfultraveler

Comment on Facebook

Yay. Me, me but, oh yeah, not for 45 years.

Yes I’ve been there!

2003, I did this loop, Lamarck Lakes to Evolution Valley to Piute Lake to Trailhead.

Hike to Lamark lake is lagit, straight up the mountain, takes about 3 hours

About 54 years ago. 🙂

I’ve been there years ago

Sara Kvaas

Ben to Paiute pass and beyond many times, no bears there!

Been going to Bishop for years on are way now to Mule Days

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6 days ago

Thank you to the Fairgrounds!!Let's give it up for our local Fairgrounds to step into a summer full of safe outdoor fun; featuring more space for RV and tent camping, plus big events like Mule Days, California High School Rodeo, a Drive-In and Tailgate Concert series - all at the Tri County Fairgrounds, in Bishop! They're planning for a bigger and better year, bigger stage, better sound, bigger acts, and better seats! 🎥🍿--

#inyocounty #tricountyfairgrounds #driveinmovie
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Thank you to the Fairgrounds!!

Comment on Facebook

Be there soon

That sounds so fun.

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7 days ago

Look at this sweet foal that was born yesterday!! 😍 Quite a Mother’s Day gift!

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop
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Look at this sweet foal that was born yesterday!! 😍 Quite a Mother’s Day gift! 

Photo by Julie Faber
#visitbishop

Comment on Facebook

How cute!

Awww. Congratulations momma

Hi sweet baby.❤️

Sweet baby horse.

Aww adorable

Truly beautiful ....well done Mummy ❤

Beautiful!!!

Beautiful horses!

Que belleza 😊 me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con los caballos, lindo y hermoso día

Beautiful

Sara Kvaas ... not sure if you follow this page, given how we love Aspendell!

💞

Sweetheart.

So pretty.

So cute

Ohhhh cute!

Awww 🥰

❤️🐎❤️❗️

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