, Fishing News
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


Sierra's fishing report and forecast

By Tom Loe
05/07/15 -- It is so ironic that we have received more precipitation in April and May than for much of the winter. No complaints from me mind you - I am certain you are all aware of how dire the water situation has become, and any moisture is most welcome. The long range forecast continues to trend towards above average moisture associated with T-storms & some northern fronts that will hopefully add some additional snow on the Sierra.

The “catching" has been very mixed. After a slow start to the season on Crowley (which began with a six inch snowfall on opening day at elevation) - we have seen a very good early season bite with the midge hatches being more substantial than normal. Water conditions are good currently and the fish are concentrated in much shallower water than is typical for May. 11-15 feet will get you into fish at Crowley in many areas of the lake that have deep water close by. The fish are larger than normal. The mild winter and lack of ice cover on the lake supported growth during the winter months. All three species of trout can be caught currently. The “Crowley slam” (rainbow, brown, & cutthroat) are all feeding on chironomid patterns. Despite very low water levels to start the season, the boat launching facilities are fine and the lake is dropping very slowly. For those of you who have fished Crowley in the past; the lake looks like it does in the fall. Because Crowley is the largest reservoir in this area it will most likely be at the top of the list as the summer rolls on. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power controls water levels here, and we have no specific information as to how much water will be pulled out of the lake by fall. That is dictated by how much water is consumed by its customers of course.

Photo courtesy of Sierra Drifters and tom loe. Man holding large fish
Photo courtesy of Sierra Drifters and the author
The water that flows out of Crowley Lake and into Pleasant Valley Reservoir becomes the Middle Owens River around Bishop. I’ve been fishing this area for over 40 years, and in only a few instances in which there was a maintenance issue with the aqueduct, have never seen flows as low as they are currently in May. 200cfs. Is just about perfect for drift boating, and wading this tailwater. Due to the extended period of 75cfs. releases this winter the drift boat sections have had lots of debris and turbidity initially as the levels came up. That slowed the “catching” down considerably for a time. This condition is now stabilizing, and we are looking forward to some very good fishing before the heat sets in this summer. Look for strong caddis and mayfly activity as the spring turns to summer.

The Upper Owens River flows into Crowley Lake. It is primarily a spring fed river, with additional water piped in through a diversion from water that feeds Mono Lake via Rush Creek. After a brief period of high flows the river is back to winter levels, and this has provided a unique opportunity to target some amazing spawning cutthroat trout that migrate up from Crowley. Historically the UO is very high as the LADWP lowers Grant Lake (via the diversion) to accommodate snow melt. The allotment has been already used this year, so we can expect these flows to remain low for the majority of the summer. The cutty’s we have been seeing are as large as I have ever seen. Truly trophy fish with spectacular colors and seriously bad attitudes when they get hooked. We have developed some unique techniques to catch these special fish. Give us a call if you would like to refine your nymphing skills and get into a screaming screen saver! Click here to fill out a trip request form.

Bridgeport Reservoir and the East Walker have really taken it on the chin with this drought. The flows have finally come up on the EW. The 100cfs. that is now running down the channel will no doubt help the immediate silt situation, but is not a game changer. The resourceful owner that operates the Bridgeport Marina is running rental boats, and maintaining a courtesy dock by the dam. The lake got a healthy planting of browns and some trophy bows. Conditions are good right now, but I suggest you fish here early this season as the late summer and fall may be tough.

The natural Alpine Lakes are all in fine shape with regards to water levels. The decreased CDFW plantings will have an overall negative impact this season. Most of these lakes are almost totally dependent upon subsidization. If you are close behind the hatchery truck, fishing will be good. They can be inconsistent without weekly plantings. I find it boggling that the majority of quality trout plantings will be emanating from a hatchery in Oregon due to laws regarding aquaculture in Ca. The cost of these fish is very high. If you catch a 5 lb. triploid rainbow in one of these alpine lakes, you hit the mini lottery! That fish cost about $35.00. My frustrations with how the new laws have impacted fisherman in this state, and are shared by many of you I know. Vote the bureaucrats who are ignorant, or oblivious to what has happened to the Sierra’s fisheries out.

Hot Creek is fishing pretty good right now in the limited open water. The warmer days have solid caddis hatches coming off. There is a little extra water coming down Mammoth Creek currently. Mid-summer will be tough for sure.

The road into San Joaquin R. will be opening on May 16th this year unless we get a string of significant snow storms. Conditions will be good early on as you may have guessed. Flows will be much lower than normal, and resemble those that we see in the late summer. The difference is that the water will be colder. Dry fly fishing with attractor patterns will be best.

The Gorge is getting some additional water. As time goes on this will improve habitat, & increase the size of the fish. This may be the most consistent dry fly fishery we have in the Sierra. The fish are wild browns here. Moderate hiking and rock hoping mandatory. This is not a “drive to” fishery.

I will be making an effort to update the website and our Facebook page frequently. You can see what flies we are using to get into all those big fish you see on the report. Click here to view the fish report. Like, or friend us on Facebook.

Tom Loe is 'Be the Fly' at Sierra Drifters Guide Service, 760-935-4250 business, 760-937-2015 Iphone,, Don Quilici contributed to this report.

Fishing Reports

A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries,

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.