Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

This is a guest post by Sierra Bright Dot owner, Fred Rowe, and is part of a series of fly fishing stories written from the perspective of a guide.

As a fly fishing guide, I need up to date information on the waters I fish. I get this information from other anglers, from trolling the internet, and by getting out to fly fish. I keep tabs on the lower Owens river this time of year, anticipating a drop in the flows. It’s been flowing at 490 cfs (cubic feet per second) for awhile now and these are good flows for cleaning up silt and debris in the river, but not so good for fishing.

You can check the real time aqueduct data here: 

When the river gets down to about 250 cfs it is worth fishing, and anything under 200 cfs is great. When flows drop to about 100 cfs, the river is experiencing drought type conditions and fishing opportunities can be excellent.

Last year about this time I checked the flows and headed out to fish the wild trout section with a couple of fellow fishing guides. I was pumped to get back to the exciting fishing I’d experiences before the river went up. I hit the water with complete confidence that I would slay the fish that day. The river looked good. Wading was a bit tough, but I managed to get across in an area I’d never been to before and that few anglers fished. I worked the water hard looking for fish to take the trio of Czech flies I was casting.

Slowly I moved upstream deliberately fishing every possible tout-holding water I could cast to. I kept moving upstream working my way along the river bank. I left no water untouched, but the fishing was hard. After about an hour I landed one fish on a hot spot pheasant tail nymph.

I had wanted to work the far side of the river knowing that few anglers fish it. I know now why – I boxed myself in at the top end of the run and it took some work and some help from my fellow guide to find a safe place to get back across the river. While the far bank looked good; it was not the greener pastures I was seeking.

This is all in the day of being a guide; we’ve got to know what is going on, what’s good fishing, and what’s not. What is safe, and what isn’t. Getting out on the water is how we ensure that our clients have the best possible fishing day. I learned a lot getting out on this potentially fantastic fishing day and getting more of an education on the river than landing a lot of fish.

The river flows will be dropping and I’ll continue to make trips out the to river to determine when it is fishing great and when I can take a client out with confidence that he or she will catch fish. The advantages of living here and being a guide are the opportunities to explore all the waters of the eastern Sierra. When one water is off it is time to check another. Be sure to call a local guide when you come up to fish; we do the scouting for you so that you can concentrate on the fishing.

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

Archived Stories

Tell us:

Follow Us on Instagram

Join Us on Facebook!

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

1 day ago

Sunsets around here never get old. 😍
#nofilter #visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
Photo by Betsy Johnson
... See MoreSee Less

Sunsets around here never get old. 😍
#nofilter #visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
Photo by Betsy Johnson

Comment on Facebook

I've got a lot of nice trout up in Bishop I love it there

Beautiful picture

Love the sky's @ sunsets and sunrise. I have some beautiful pictures of the area. This looks to be below pleasant valley campground on the lower Owens. I fly fished all over the west, This is still my favorite water!!!

What a lovely picture of the beautiful, colorful ,peaceful sky it's so breathtaking. 💘

Classic Western Sky with cattle to add to the picture. Hearing some Western music in the back ground. Just need a windmill. <3

Those Happy Cows love the Bishop sunsets.


And I love Bishop!😊

I love it in the late afternoon when the Sierra's cast their shadow on the White Mountains

HOME ! !

These views never get old. MIss them.

Beautiful Sun 🌞set

View more comments

1 day ago

... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Snow in the mountains, but dry in the valley, that's why we love Bishop!


God I miss it!


Home sweet home beautiful

Ready to roll there!!!!


Every time I go south on 395 I'm amazed at the beauty of the eastern Sierra Nevada could spend a lifetime in the Mountains There

View more comments

1 day ago

Definitely feels and looks like winter around here these days.... this is a shot from yesterday.
📷 by Julie Faber
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard
... See MoreSee Less

Definitely feels and looks like winter around here these days.... this is a shot from yesterday. 
📷 by Julie Faber
#visitbishop #bishopBIGbackyard

Comment on Facebook

Wish you'd post what mountains we're looking at. Lovely photograph!

This is absolutely beautiful! 😊😀

wow, such a beautiful post, need long johns to stay longer then an hour in that snow ?

Awesome picture


... name of the "pyramid peak" please.....

Hello Tom!

Mt. Tom





I need to go fishing on the Owens or PVR, been a while.

View more comments

3 days ago

Who loves a little winter fishing???? We've got it year-round here!!Out side enjoying the lower Owens River. Snow storms are rare in the Owens Valley. Snow only lasts a few days at the most. Photo by @leviaguilera_photography ... See MoreSee Less

Who loves a little winter fishing???? Weve got it year-round here!!

Comment on Facebook

Glad to see L A didn’t get all the Owens valley water!

Beautiful background !

Looks cold, but what a great place.

plenty of brown trout,large trout at bridgport res

always did ice fishing onway to bridgport

He should wear one of those wrist bands or forehead bands which shows his temperature so he can regulate. Risky sports have science to make them safer.

Love to go fishing in this stream ! Look at the great snow.😁

Refreshing, stunning, incredibly beautiful and the bestest fishing ever ! I love Bishop !😲👍🇺🇸🦅🇺🇸🎅☃️🎄💥

Oh yea!! He’s gettin them native Browns right there!!

I have fished the Lower Owens for many years, winter is the best because of reduced flows. Great Blue wing olive hatches, and plenty of wild browns. I fished this same run pictured . Love this River and the town of Bishop.


Benton crossing?

That looks so amazing

Jo Nathan we need to go asap!

Do you know where your legs are?

Is that you Josh Beck?

Fred Powers



View more comments

Load more
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!