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November 15 is a sad day in the life of an Eastern Sierra trout angler. It is the last day of the general fishing season. Fortunately, there are a handful of special regulated waters that offer winter fishing opportunities in the off season. They’re the West and East Walker River, Hot Creek and the upper and lower Owens River. This will satisfy the needs of anglers until the season reopens on the last Saturday in April.

In big snow years access to the special regulated waters is very limited. The lower Owens River is accessible all winter making it the primary water to fish.

The best winter fishing opportunities on the Owens River are from the penstock above Pleasant Valley Reservoir to Warm Springs Road bridge. The river below Pleasant Valley Reservoir is split into two sections by regulations. From Pleasant Valley Dam to Five Bridges Road, the river is managed as a wild trout stream with three sections of regulations (check with California Department of Fish & Wildlife for the rules in each section). From Five Bridges south, the river is stocked by CA Fish & Wildlife along with supplemental stockings from the Bishop Chamber of Commerce.

Fly fishers take advantage of low winter flows, blue wing olive (BWO) mayfly hatches and mild winter weather on the wild trout section of the lower Owens River. Fly fishers use BWO imitations to fool wild brown trout from 5 to 15 inches. On a day with a good hatch it’s easy to land 20 to 30 trout in a couple of hours.

Beware of congestion from three-day holiday weekends and fly fishing club outings. Mid-week anglers will find more serenity when plying the waters of the wild trout section. As the days begin to get longer in January, and are just starting to warm up, the fish and insects become active offering great fishing opportunities. This will continue through May until the weather heats up for another summer.

The farther south on the Owens River you get from Pleasant Valley Reservoir the wild trout population wans and the trout population is augmented with stockings of rainbow trout. These trout will readily take lures, flies and bait.

Access to the river is inhibited by dense stands of riparian vegetation – mostly willows. Anglers who explore the river will find holes and runs to ply with their favorite offerings.

Anglers who continue to fish on the Owens River in winter time are treated to wonderful warm days with lots of trout to be caught. Winter fishing on the Owens is really good. It might be better than summer fishing.

Guest post by Fred Rowe, Sierra Bright Dot Guide Service

For more information, check our webpage on fishing! https://www.bishopvisitor.com/activities/fishing/

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1 day ago

Enjoy this bird's eye view of Mt. Whitney!

Visit California
Just an average weekend soaring through the skies of Inyo County and getting a front-row seat view of Mount Whitney, California's tallest mountain. 😉 http://bit.ly/2E0A7dl
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Comment on Facebook

That looks so cool! Thanks for sharing.

It's one way to get to or over the summit. Would still like to do it the old fashioned way. Will be sharing. Thanks. :-)

Bamos

Letsgo

Ann Craig

Marcela Sedano-Jensen

Bree McNamara...you hiked that monster!! It's beautiful :)

Joe Shermer can see you doing this

Roger Klein lookie here.

I wouldn’t even fly a small plane into that area. Death wish.

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3 days ago

Should be a good week for wildflowers! Stop by the Visitors Center to pick up a copy of our guide to the eastern Sierra wildflowers and be sure to tag @visitbishop and #trackthebloom in your photo posts. Happy wildflower hunting!The wildflower bloom moves both northward and higher in elevation as Spring progresses. During the past week flowers were spotted as high as 5,000 feet in the eastern Sierra footslopes. Several wilderness areas west of Ridgecrest offer great wildflower viewing opportunities. Several canyons offer access points for hiking and flower viewing as visitors climb the footslopes. Thank you to all public lands visitors practicing #LeaveNoTrace principles while you #TracktheBloom! ... See MoreSee Less

Should be a good week for wildflowers! Stop by the Visitors Center to pick up a copy of our guide to the eastern Sierra wildflowers and be sure to tag @visitbishop and #trackthebloom in your photo posts. Happy wildflower hunting!

4 days ago

Great news - and if you haven’t been to Bishop during the High School Rodeo Finals - you are missing out! Come watch the finest California high school horsemen and women compete in June! We’ll post the dates and more very soon.If you haven’t heard yet, the CHSRA State Finals will be held at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds through 2022! 🤠 ... See MoreSee Less

Great news - and if you haven’t been to Bishop during the High School Rodeo Finals - you are missing out! Come watch the finest California high school horsemen and women compete in June! We’ll post the dates and more very soon.

 

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Cool

All the best to those who still believe in that really old school horse power.

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