Updated 1-27-2023 Wind has given way to warm days in the Owens Valley. Upper elevation waters are full of snow and fly fishers are snowmobiling, skiing, or snowshoeing to access the waters. Only the most diehard fly fishers are putting in the effort to fish upper elevation waters. Day light is getting longer by a little bit each day. Water temps are in the mid 40’s and the trout are not feeding aggressively. Working nymphs and thoroughly covering trout holding water is the most productive way of fly fishing right now.
From the peak of Mount Whitney to the depths of Death Valley—that’s how many options there are for things to do near Bishop, California. If that’s a bit extreme, here are a few more ideas: birding and fishing, cool rocks and hot springs, 4-wheel drive and all-star skies. Written by Visit USA Parks. Story also available in French and German.
Known as the Pipeline, the run actually spends very little mileage beside the prominent water pipeline. The route makes up a section of the Bishop High Sierra Ultras on a combination of dirt roads and trails, and takes you through some diverse landscapes; from Bishop sage to burns, old growth and high tundra terrain.
The trail angles evenly uphill for 4.5 miles where it meets Lower Rock Creek Road. Turn around and come right back down, or if you’d like a longer run, the trail continues up to Whisky Canyon and the top of the Sherwin Grade.
The lakes really steal the show. South Lake to start, and then Bull, Chocolate, Ruwau, and Long Lakes along the loop. Chocolate Peak itself is a sight with its unusual chocolatey-brown color surrounded by the more typical gray granite. From the top you’ve got a fantastic view of Cloudripper, Picture Puzzle, Mount Goode, Hurd Peak, and down on all those lakes.
Enjoy the mellow lake views, the playful running back down through the forest, and winding along the Rainbow Pack Station Trail to where you started.
Bishop may be high desert, but its littlest residents are the reason why it’s home to world-class fly fishing. Artificial flies or fly lures used in angling are an imitation of the aquatic insects that are the natural food of trout and other species. So, let’s take a magnified look at the dragon flies and butterflies that you’ll see in our big backyard.
The fresh and fragrant smell of wildflowers. The warmth of the sun against your skin. Even though every season has its merits, spring in Bishop’s big backyard is our favorite… or until the next season arrives. Like a well-orchestrated symphony, wildflowers start slowly typically in February and climax with blooming fireworks in the high country around early July. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect and where to find the best wildflower displays in the Owens Valley and Death Valley.
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