Pleasant Valley Reservoir-Eastern Sierra

Pleasant Valley Reservoir
Lower Owens Wild Trout Section

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Pleasant Valley Reservoir

Suggested Flies for Wild Trout Section:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Streamers:
Woolly Bugger #8-10
Krystal Buggers #8-10
Muddler Minnow #6-10
Matuku #6-10

Baetis:
Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18
Hare's Ear Nymph #16-20
WD-40 #16-18
RS-2 #16-20
Blue Wing Olive #16-20
BWO Paradun #18-20

Caddis:
Caddis Emerger #18-22
Emergent Sparkle Caddis #12-16
Elk Hair Caddis #16-22
Rycho Psycho #10-14
Uncased Caddis, Green #14-16

Nymphs:
Zebra Midge #16-20
Copper John #16-20
Bird's Nest #16-20
Olive Hot Spot Jig #18

Directions:

Pleasant Valley Directions

Pleasant Valley Reservoir is 9 miles north of Bishop. Take Hwy 395 to Gorge Road. Turn east and go .5 miles to Y. Bear west about 1 mile to yellow gate; continue 1.4 miles to boat ramp.
To get to the Wild Trout area, go 6.5 miles northon Hwy 395 from Bishop to Pleasant Valley Road. Turn northeast 1.8 miles to river. Cross river, turn right on Chalk Bluffs Road. (leads to Hwy 6); for frequent downstream access sites.

Notes:Lower Owens River Wild Trout Section
Pleasant Valley Reservoir is primarily a fishable area during the Winter through Spring months of Oct. through April. The reservoir has an active powerhouse during the rest of the year which basically makes fishing conditions spotty. During the Winter and Spring, you can wade the inlet river portion with nymphs and dry fly combinations. The reservoir part may be float tubed with streamer patterns.Rainbows are planted here during that time,large Browns also reside here. Below the dam is a tailwater area that is designated as a Wild Trout Section. The river meanders through a flat valley with undercut banks, riffles and aquatic vegetation providing cover. This area is also best fished during the Winter and Spring periods due to water flow and temperature. Browns rarely exceed 18" but constitute one of the densest, quality trout populations in the Sierras. Primarily a nymphers paradise, a good Baetis hatch can come off during March and April. When flows drop in late Summer or early Fall, a caddis hatch takes place in the early evening. Further down the River below Five Bridges, you need to take a drift boat. Guides are in the area to provide the service. Generally these areas are fished with streamer patterns such as muddlers, buggers, and leech patterns.

The section from Pleasant Valley Dam downstream to the footbridge at the lower end of Pleasant Valley Campground is open from January 1-September 30 with no special gear restrictions and the limit is 2 fish. During the period from October 1-December 31 only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used in this section in order to protect spawning fish. There is a 0-fish limit during this period. In the section from the Pleasant Valley Campground to the redwood sport fishing regulation sign on Chalk Bluff Road only barbless artificial lures may be used with a zero limit. This section is open all year. Below the redwood sign, general trout regulations are in effect and the designated Wild Trout area continues downstream about six miles to the Five Bridges road crossing. The remaining bit of the Lower Owens is open all year with no barbless/artificial rules and has a five fish bag limit. The Lower Owens is typically fished according to the flows which can fluctuate greatly due to the need for water in L.A. or heavy run-off conditions. When flows exceed 300 cfs, fishing can be difficult. Baetis start to show up in the first part of February and continue through May. A slight Golden Stone hatch will also come on in early Spring around late March. Callibaetis and PMD's show up in May through June while a major Caddis hatch occurs during June and July. Nymphs and emergers are the first choices for mornings, cold conditions, and times of heavy flows. When the water warms in the afternoon, most will switch over to dries like BWO's, Caddis, Adams, Blue Duns, stimulators with a midge dropper, and even Stoneflies. When the bite slows in the afternoon many will tie on streamers to some sinking line and throw them into the pools and eddies. Wooly Buggers, Matukas, and leeches tend to work rather well. Watch for the BWO hatch in the evening as it might be necessary to switch back to small dries and emergers.

 

Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Pleasant Valley Reservoir:

Open all year, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession.

Owens River from Pleasant Valley Dam downstream to footbridge at lower end of Pleasant Valley Campground.:

Last Saturday in April through November 15th. No restrictions, 2 trout, 4 in possession.
Nov 16th through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April. Artificial lures with barbless hooks, 0 trout.

Owens River from footbridge at lower end of Pleasant Valley Campground east (downstream) to 5 Bridges Road:

All year. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 trout

Owens River from 5 Bridges Road to Tinemaha Lake.:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

All other creeks and tributaries:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

 

Fishing Maps Available

Covers the Owens River between the Middle Gorge Power Plant to the Pleasant Valley Reservoir.Shows road access, GPS Long./Lat.and trails. Special Features are the Hatch Chart, Fishing Season and Regulations, Fish Identification, Nymphing Rigs, and Stream Etiquette guidelines.

Middle Owens 2, Middle Gorge to Pleasant Valley Reservoir

Middle Owens 2

$12.95 ea



 

Covers the Owens River between the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and 5 Bridges.Shows road access, GPS Long./Lat.and trails. Satellite photo background depicts vegetation surrounding the river. Special Features are the Hatch Chart, Fishing Season and Regulations, Fish Identification, Catch & Release Procedures, and Stream Etiquette guidelines.

Lower Owens 1& 2, Pleasant Valley Dam to 5 Bridges

Lower Owens 2

$12.95 ea



 

© 2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

 

Pleasant Valley Reservoir Wild Trout area Wild Trout Pine Creek Canyon Lower Owens River Bishop Creek