Bishop Visitor Logo

Bishop Visitor's Center

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!

Archived Stories

Tell us:

How do you enjoy OUR BACKYARD?

Follow Us on Instagram

Join Us on Facebook!

2 days ago

Anyone going to be here this weekend? This will be a great program.Interested in the night sky and nightscape photography? Please join us this Saturday, August 24th at Grandview Campground at 9 pm for a fun and educational program discussing the constellations, planets, importance of the Dark Sky, and an introduction to nightscape photography with ESIA Naturalist, John Kelly and ESIA Board Chair, Don Chambers. 🌟 Photo by Don Chambers ... See MoreSee Less

Anyone going to be here this weekend? This will be a great program.

 

Comment on Facebook

Sounds great, have taken grands to similar programs at Kensington in Mi. Loved it!

+ View more comments

2 days ago

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in doing a run for a good cause, please check this out!! Fight against cancer on October 5th by running or walking through iconic John Wayne movie locations and rugged western landscapes of the Alabama Hills. 1/2 marathon and 10K options.
johnwayne.org/jwgs-alabama-hills/
Photo by @matthewcodyhudson
... See MoreSee Less

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in doing a run for a good cause, please check this out!! Fight against cancer on October 5th by running or walking through iconic John Wayne movie locations and rugged western landscapes of the Alabama Hills. 1/2 marathon and 10K options.  
https://johnwayne.org/jwgs-alabama-hills/
Photo by @matthewcodyhudson

 

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful picture

Love the Owens valley Alabama hills

Alabama Hill's a great place to visit

Beautiful shot!

Lone Pine Peak- Joe Kidd, Eastwood and Duwall

I imagine most folk on FB have no idea who John Wayne is 🤪

Kimberly Masters Huffman

Rachel Eads

Hey Dennis Cook Ever been to Bishop?

Tom Morgan lets go!!

+ View more comments

3 days ago

Not only are the bristlecone pines amazing, but the sunsets are pretty spectacular there as well!
#visitbishop
Photo: @samrtoo
... See MoreSee Less

Not only are the bristlecone pines amazing, but the sunsets are pretty spectacular there as well! 
#visitbishop
Photo: @samrtoo

 

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful

This is a great place. If you have a chance go see them.

I must get there before winter sets in!

Simply Beautiful☺

It’s a beautiful town

Loved my fall visit last year with a special opportunity ...a later than normal closure of the ancient Bristlecone pine forest ! Checked that off the bucket list

When we visited the Bristlecone. On the way up we would stop and pick Piñon nuts. The female comes of the Bristlecone is a beautiful blue/purple cone.

Have not been up there since 2009.

+ View more comments

4 days ago

Fishing fun! Check out our local guides!

Outside TV
Kayak fishing on Lake Sabrina in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains! outside.tv/August19 Congrats to our latest August Campfire Video of the Week winner, Ed and Ed Go Fishing without Ed! Enjoy your prizes from FRDM, Sight Line Provisions, and Postfly! Grand prize winner will also win a rod from The Wade Rod Co. Show us your adventures for a chance to win and be featured on Outside TV, and stay tuned for other ways to win cool prizes from other brands like BUFF!
... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

Great times fishing there

My favorite place to be. I miss going to fish there. So many fond memories.

Miss being there. Bishop creek.

Awesome video

My bride of 42 years and I were just there last week! Such a great place to relax, fish & get away.

+ View more comments

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