Fly Fishing Hot Creek – Intermediate
Boasting more trout per mile than any other stream in California, Hot Creek is a fly fisher’s paradise. Hot Creek winds its way through the high desert setting of the eastern sierra. Looking at Hot Creek’s moon like landscape one could hardly believe that there are about 11,000 trout per mile. Hot Creek’s bug life is not only diverse but thriving.
Hot Creek is quite small in size and requires very little wading. This is good news because the river has been infested with NZ Mud Snails which hitchhiked on angler’s boots from other streams. Make sure to take the proper steps in cleaning your gear or consider a hot creek specific pair of boots if you find yourself fishing Hot Creek often. Hot Creek is spring fed and is largely private with exception of a small stretch below the Hatchery and another below Hot Creek Ranch. Hot Creek flows through Hot Creek Gorge and eventually into Lake Crowley.
The Difficulty Rating of Hot Creek:
Hot Creek is a very easy river to wade and fish. There are well worn trails up and down most of Hot Creek. With all of the eager fish and few back cast hazards I would have rated hot creek a beginner river with exception of the water clarity. It does take a bit of stealth to catch fish.
Tips for fly fishing Hot Creek:
Fishing is best in the morning and evenings during the hot summer months.
Fish hopper dropper rigs to catch a lot of fish and keep your flies out of the weeds.
Cast Streamers quartered up stream near the cut banks and strip fast to catch the large brown trout.
Use short indicator rigs and more exact flies as the water moves slowly and the fish have plenty of time to inspect your fly.
Access on Hot Creek:
Upper Public water: If you are on 395 headed south from 203, Turn onto Hot Creek hatchery road. Just before you get to the hatchery there is a parking area. You can fish upstream and downstream from this parking area.
Below Hot Creek Ranch: if you are on 395 headed south from 203, Turn onto Hot Creek hatchery road. Pass the hatchery and past Hot creek ranch. You will notice a few pull outs with similar bulletin boards. I usually look for the one with the least amount of cars.
Hatches on Hot Creek:
Caddis: April – September
Midges: April – September
Scuds: May – September
Blue Winged Olives: April and May and September
Camping and Lodging on Hot Creek:
Pleasant valley Campground: While not actually on Hot Creek it is on the Owens River. It is a behemoth with over 200 campsites and the closet legit campground to Hot Creek.
Hot Creek Ranch – If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing fly fishing experience, you’ve come to the right place. At Hot Creek Ranch we offer clean, comfortable cabins right on the stream. 760-924-5637
Recommended reading for Hot Creek:
Fly Fishers Guide to Northern California
California’s Best Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing The Eastern Sierra
Best Guide on Hot Creek:
Mammoth Fly Fishing – Brad McFall 209.484.1114
Fly fishing gear for Hot Creek:
The epic dry fly fishing on Hot Creek makes the Red Truck 486-4 balanced dry fly outfit the perfect set up for Hot Creek.