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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/

Check out the Digital Bishop Visitor Guide!

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19 hours ago

Look at this happy family! If you are thinking about traveling to Bishop with your dog, read about our dog-friendly city! Of course, please pick up after your four-legged family member! www.bishopvisitor.com/dog-friendly-city/
📷 by Bolt the Heeler
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Look at this happy family! If you are thinking about traveling to Bishop with your dog, read about our dog-friendly city! Of course, please pick up after your four-legged family member! https://www.bishopvisitor.com/dog-friendly-city/
📷 by Bolt the Heeler

 

Comment on Facebook

This looks beautiful. I miss you! We are due to meet somewhere!!!! Love you.

The most unfriendly dog town I have come across is Lodi,Ca. Me and my Border Collie haven’t had any issues on the eastern Sierra visiting or staying at motels and such.

Lea Belgarde

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1 day ago

It's summer. There are fish, beautiful lakes and streams, and long days to share with friends and family. Stop by the Visitor Center to find out where the best spots are right now. We know South Lake was just stocked yesterday!
📷 by @miz_moz36
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Its summer. There are fish, beautiful lakes and streams, and long days to share with friends and family. Stop by the Visitor Center to find out where the best spots are right now. We know South Lake was just stocked yesterday!
📷 by @miz_moz36

 

Comment on Facebook

I used to fishing at Owens river..a lot of mosquito and yellow jacket in summer time. South lake is good for fishing too

Let's go back Bea Garcia

IT'S NOT SUMMER UNTIL THE 21ST!!! Get the hell off my lawn

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1 day ago

Well this is always fun!! Thanks to our friends Parchers Resort & South Lake Landing !!!What happened at South Lake Bishop this morning? Trout Stocking Baby! First load of DFW fish for the season hit South Lake! Some nice quality fish cruising...and all of a sudden a lot of people lol. Hoping for boats & kayaks by Friday. Still have a few cabins left for the weekend...give us a call 760-873-4177. . . #bishopcreek #easternsierra #parchersresort #troutfishing #rainbowtrout #summerishere #highcountryfishing @ South Lake Boat Landing ... See MoreSee Less

Well this is always fun!! Thanks to our friends Parchers Resort & South Lake Landing !!!

 

Comment on Facebook

Yes I see water is still a little low

Wow, The water level is low...

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2 days ago

Camping and fishing in Bishop Creek canyon is happening! For information about camping in this local canyon, read www.bishopvisitor.com/ins-outs-camping-bishop-creek-canyon/
Photo credit: @bammman
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Camping and fishing in Bishop Creek canyon is happening! For information about camping in this local canyon, read https://www.bishopvisitor.com/ins-outs-camping-bishop-creek-canyon/ 
Photo credit: @bammman

 

Comment on Facebook

Loved camping at big trees campground ! Wonderful memories! ❤️

Real campers don't use selfiesticks.

I wish

Go RAMS!

I bet they brought a television

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