TUES, SEPT 13 > FRED ROWE > Bishop – The Southern Gateway to Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing

Bishop – The Southern Gateway to Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing

Bishop – The Southern Gateway to Eastern Sierra Fly Fishing is a PowerPoint presentation on fly fishing opportunities for anglers staying in the Bishop, CA area. This presentation starts with an overview of fly fishing opportunities in the Mammoth Lakes area. All of these waters are an hours drive or less from Bishop. 

Next the waters of the Owens River Gorge are explored from the upper gorge, middle gorge, Horseshoe bend, and Control Gorge Power Plant. All of these waters require the angler to walk in to access the Owens River. All of these sections have an abundance of wild brown trout with an occasional trophy trout of over 18 inches.

Next the wild trout section of the lower Owens River will be explored. Most fly fishers concentrate their efforts on the Catch and Release section of the Owens River. This is primarily a winter fishery due to high water flows during the summer months. In the winter time flows are usually between 100 and 200 CFS allowing wading access to most of the lower Owens River. There is good nymphing and dry fly fishing all winter using midge and blue wing olive nymph patterns.

Bishop Creek Canal is an irrigation ditch that is used to water agricultural lands in the Owens Valley. This water comes off of the Owens River in the area of the Happy Boulders and is full of wild  brown trout that are willing to take properly presented flies. This is the water to fish in the summer time when the lower Owens River is flowing at 600 CFS and is near impossible to fish with a fly rod. This canal has good hatches of blue wing olives, caddis, hoppers and tricos.

Bishop Creek Canyon consists of four still waters, one pond, and three forks of Bishop Creek. All three creeks offer great summer wet wading fly fishing opportunities especially with a dry and dropper rig. South Lake and Lake Sabrina offer float tubers the opportunity to drag streamers around the lake or fish for rising trout taking midges. Intake Two and North Lake are small impoundments of water that offer shore and float tubers opportunities to fish with streamers, nymphs and dries. These lakes offer good dry and dropper fly fishing.  

The presentation concludes by taking a look at the warm water fly fishing opportunities in the Owen Valley. Fly fishers pursue bass, blue gill, and carp on the fly. This is a great spring time fishery when the Eastern Sierra streams are running high from snow melt and are unfishable.

Fred Rowe


Fred Rowe was born in 1956 in Los Angeles. While growing up in the San Fernando Valley he attended school, graduating from James Monroe high School in 1974. After high school Fred attended Pierce Junior College and then transferred to Humboldt State University where he graduated in 1980 with a degree in Fisheries Biology.

In the Fall of 1973 Fred took a fly tying class offered by one of the founding father of the Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers Jordan Lagman. I joined the Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers so the tying lessons were free. This was my start on the path of fly tying and fly fishing.

Fred learned to fly fish while living in Los Angeles. He was able to try out his new learned skills on local water like Santa Paula Creek, Sespe Creek, and the West Fork of the San Gabriel river. There were trips to the Eastern Sierra to fly fish famous waters like Hot Creek, and the Owens River.

While learning about fish, their watery habitat, and the organisms that they feed on at Humboldt State University there was plenty of time to fly fish for steelhead and salmon. With waters like the Klamath River, Trinity River, Mad River, and the Eel River to fish, it is amazing that any school work was completed. There were fishing safaris to the Redding area to fly on Hat Creek, the upper Trinity River and upper Sacramento River.

In June of 1981 Fred moved to Mammoth Lakes so that he could fly fish the waters of Mono County on a full time basis. He went to work for Safeway working graveyards so that he had time to fish. In 1982 Fred started SIERRA BRIGHT DOT, a company that specializes in fly fishing. It started out as a guide service, branched into a retail store that closed in the spring of 1992 and today is a guide service – fly fishing schools.

Fred is an experienced fly tier. He has taught fly tying since 1979. He has created fly patterns including the burlap caddis, the stoner nymph, and quill bodied variants of the RS2. He has tied flies commercially for the Fly Shop, Time Flies, and Fishermen Spot. He now offers his flies to his customers and social media followers on a limited basis.

Fred guides anglers of all levels on the streams and lakes of the Easter Sierra from Lone Pine on the south to the East Walker River to the north and everything in between. Fred’s guiding philosophy is:  Catching a fish is important, but learning the proper techniques of fly fishing will lead to a life time of fly fishing proficiency. Fred loves to teach about fly tying and flyfishing. He offers classes, seminars and lectures on fly fishing and fly tying on the waters of the Eastern Sierra.

Fred has become proficient with a camera specializing in photographing his clients on the waters of the Eastern Sierra. He posts his pictures on Instagram and Facebook under Sierra Bright Dot and on his webpage sierrabrightdot.com. He keeps his followers informed on the fishing conditions, methods, hatches, and fly fishing techniques for the waters of the Eastern Sierra.

Fred has put together presentations on the Fly Fishing opportunities of the Eastern Sierra, Bishop the Southern Gateway to the Eastern Sierra, Bridgeport the Northern Gateway to the Eastern Sierra, and Eastern Sierra Nymphing – Indicator Nymphing and Euro Nymphing Techniques. Fred has presented to fly fishing clubs, Fly Fishing Conclaves, and Fly Fishing Shows.

One day prior to moving to the Eastern Sierra , Fred married Cindy Phelps. Fred’s wedding anniversary, Von anniversary and move to the Eastern Sierra are all one day apart starting on June 21, 1981. Cindy and I remain married and have three children , Jamie, Taylor, Kelli. They are all successful adults. 

Fred is an experienced well rounded fly fisherman. He has  been living and fishing throughout California. He has had the opportunity to fly fish for trout, steelhead, salmon, and several salt water species from the surf and off shore. Fred resides in Bishop after spending 15 years in the town of Mammoth Lakes.  

Hwy 395 is the corridor that allows Fred to fly fish the waters of the Eastern Sierra from Lone Pine to the Nevada  border north of Bridgeport. When Fred is not at his fly tying table, he is out fly fishing the waters of the Eastern Sierra.