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Fishing Reports

December 16, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake

by Miles Zimmerman


December 16, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake

by Miles Zimmerman


We’ve seen some really nice days in town this week with fresh snow on the ground and bluebird skies. Unfortunately, the river is running low throughout most of the California side until around Farad where it’s at +/- 115 CFS. The forecast is calling for some mixed rain/snow days next week and this wet weather will hopefully bring the river up slightly, but we anticipate these low flows to continue for a while longer.

On a positive note, Pyramid Lake continues to get better by the week and the coming months are prime for finding the biggest fish this lake has to offer. January through March are widely considered the best months for headhunting the 20+ pounders that roam this lake, and this is when the anglers in the know clear time out of their schedules to chase the biggest cutthroat trout in the world, at this destination fishery.

Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast

With low flows and limited access here in town, anglers looking to fish the Truckee are encouraged to head downstream in search of the slight increase in flows around Farad. The city of Reno continues to take water out of the river around Mogul, decreasing flows back below 100, and it doesn’t gain more volume until east of Sparks around Lockwood or Mustang Ranch.

Walking the Truckee River on the Nevada side

Tyler walking out to the big T on the Nevada side

In our opinion, this lower river will be the best fishing on the T right now not only in terms of flows, but also due to it being a bit lower elevation making fish and bugs a bit more active. This will make for good shots on fish using both baetis dries in size 18’s, and streamers imitating sculpins, whitefish or juvenile trout. The nymph game also remains strong down here with some fish still sitting in slow speed riffles, just off of fast seams, or in pocket water. The fish down here will often hit larger, brighter and flashier nymphs as well, with attractor patterns such as Blowtorches, Duracells, Perdigons, and rainbow warriors being consistent producers. One thing that we love about this time of year is that the best fishing will be found mid-day through early afternoon, making it easy to take care of chores, go skiing in the morning, or just sleep in and still find a few hours of excellent fishing.

Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast

The Little Truckee continues to be inaccessible for any vehicles and the only way to get back here would be via cross country skis or snowshoes. This would be worth the effort however, as the flows hang around 125 CFS which is higher than a lot of sections of the main river. If you’re heading out here for the day, be well prepared as it’s a few miles back and there is no cell service back here.

Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report and Forecast

The lake continues to improve as surface temps drop, and fish remain higher in the water column later in the day and they can also be often be found just 20-30 feet off the shoreline where any significant drop off is located. When fish are found in shallow like this, fishing an indicator will work best as it keeps your flies in the potential cruising lane for longer periods of time, whereas stripping streamers can cause anglers to present past where the fish are found and cause the fish to miss intercepting your fly. Moreover, indicator fishing involves less casting and handling of the line, preserving your shoulder and keeping your hands drier and warmer. Fishing Pyramid Lake this time of year is an endurance game and remaining focused on the task at hand can be difficult if you’re uncomfortable, so be sure to bring a lot of warm layers, gloves, handwarmers, a thermos with a hot beverage and don’t forget to take a break and eat lunch to keep you going if you’re out for a full day on the lake. These seemingly small details will really make for a better time out here.

Miles with a Pyramid Lake Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

Miles with a serious Pyramid LCT from earlier this week

We’ve seen a somewhat consistent bite window form over the last couple of weeks here, and the fish are most active from 9:00-3:00, often starting off slow in the mornings and dying altogether much after 4:00. These windows of slower fishing in the mornings and evenings will be the best times to strip streamers looking for the more aggressive fish, so if you’re in it for a full day, switching tactics up this time of day can pay off when the bobbers aren’t going down.

Thanks for reading our fishing report and being a part of our greater fly fishing community. Don’t forget to stop by the shop and get stocking stuffers or maybe this is the year to gear up for Pyramid. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

  • Miles
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