December 30, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake
by Miles Zimmerman
The word this week is rain, rain, rain. While most people would prefer this storm to have come in as snow, we’re of the opinion that this atmospheric river isn’t such a bad thing as the Truckee river and local lakes get a shot in the arm of immediate water. With how low the river was just last week, this quick bump in flows will recharge the water supply for the river in the short term and add more water holding water into our lakes. But a big snow pack will very much be necessary for the extended water supply coming into the spring and summer, so let’s all do our snow dances and hope to see some colder storms push through in the coming weeks.
While Truckee feels like winter, the Sparks side of the river still looks like fall.
With the likelihood of poor skiing conditions this week, we would encourage you to switch gears and trade in those skis for a fly rod and get out to Pyramid Lake or even the river. For a lot of anglers, fishing with weather like this can be a tough sell, and rightfully so, but we can tell you this will be a good opportunity at some large fish and can be a fun way to turn lemons into lemonade.
Truckee River Fly Fishing
We are happy to see the river come up this week on the big Truckee and while today it’s high and muddy, we should see flows settle down and the clarity improve in a day or two, especially as the tail end of this storm transitions from rain to snow coming into the New Year. It will be tough to tell how the flows will be after all is said and done with the torrential rain, but we’re positive that it will be beneficial for the short term health of the river, and fishing should look good for the start of 2023.
Scott and Winston out this week between storms.
If venturing out to the river over the next few days, focus on fishing larger attractors under an indicator such as stoneflies, worms and eggs, or focus on streamers in any kind of slow water you can find. There’s certainly no need for anything finer than 4X tippet and no need to fish small bugs such as BWO’s or midges until we see the clarity return to the river, which may be up to a week or so.
Little Truckee River Fly Fishing
The Access on the Little Truckee has opened up a bit to those with high-clearance 4WD vehicles, but be prepared if venturing back here for the day and carry a shovel, tow strap and be prepared for a long hike back if you get stuck as there’s no cell service back here. The flows here have been staying steady at 125 CFS for a while now and with great risk should come great reward if you are brave enough to make it happen. This tailwater should remain clear during the rain so stick with smaller offerings such as BWO’s and midges in size 18-20 will remain effective, but we’re sure the worm bite will be the most consistent at this time.
We should have a caption contest for this one.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing
While the bite out here remains steady, we wouldn’t say its been red hot. Typically the top months for winter fishing will be the months of February and March, as this is when shore anglers will typically run into the largest fish this lake has to offer, regularly weighing over 20 pounds. As for now, the average reports have been 3-5 fish days with a good number in the 10-pound range, certainly still nothing to shake a stick at and well worth the pilgrimage out here.
The best fishing has been under the bobber using balanced leeches, with the top colors being anything in black or olive fished at a depth of 6-10 feet. The strip bite remains spotty for now, but should pick up as we come into January. Regardless, we recommend carrying both a 7-8 weight switch rod rigged with the indicator as well as the 8-9 weight single hand rod with a fast sinking line and streamers to mix up your presentations throughout the day and break up the often monotonous “bobber staring”.
The bite remains pretty spread out throughout the day as well as throughout most beaches, with fish being caught throughout most of the day and being found along any beach with a decent drop off of 6 feet or greater. We recommend avoiding beaches with the gradual transitions such as windless, nets, and monument as these will typically fish better in the spring when fish transition to shallower water during pre-spawn behavior. On the south end of the lake we continue to get good reports at Popcorn, Sandhole and Wino, and up north, Spider and Warrior have been fishing well, again, due to the steep drop off found here.
From the Shop
We hope everyone had a great holiday season with your loved ones. It was great to see so many local friends come into the shop in December. Thanks for making TCO one of your holiday stops this year. We’re extremely excited for what’s to come in the New Year at Trout Creek Outfitters. Stay tuned for an announcement regarding all the events and in shop classes we will be offering very soon. If you don’t already, be sure to follow us on Instagram for updates, announcements and California conservation news!
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Schedule a January Guided Fly Fishing Day or Half Day