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Fishing Reports

January 14, 2023 Fly Fishing Report

by Miles Zimmerman


January 14, 2023 Fly Fishing Report

by Miles Zimmerman


With yet another week of snow, the Truckee area has seen around 250 inches of snow so far this year, with more on the way! This is not only a great thing for the ski resorts and the local tourism but also a great thing for the state’s watersheds after multiple drought years. The local fishing conditions in the summer months over the last 3 years have been very tough, and while we are certainly not out of the woods yet, as long as we continue to see these winter conditions persist over the next few months, we should have some amazing summer days spent on the river this year, with cold running water all season.

Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast

The flows on the Truckee River have stabilized over the last week, and as of today we are seeing flows around Hirschdale sitting at +/- 600 CFS. With these flows the river is considered fishable, but there will be some challenges present if heading out for the day. The first challenge when fishing here on the California side and into Verdi will be parking. As the snowplows continue to play catch up on clearing the roads, expect the typical pullouts for river access to be non-existent. While some parking may still exist, it will be much more limited and at times, even where you could potentially park you just want to be cognizant of blocking off any areas to other motorists or any snow removal equipment.

Truckee River fly fishing in January

Hiking through snow on the Truckee River in between January storms.

For those with Nevada fishing licenses, the access to the river will be great once you hit West 4th street and beyond as the snow tapers off, and the river won’t be running much bigger as they pull water out around Mogul, however, expect a decreased level of water clarity down here. With the lower visibility, fishing streamers, or attractor nymphs will be the name of the game, so now is a good time to bust out your trout speys in search of the large fish displaced from their typical lies with the increased water volume. Using indicators with flies imitating stoneflies, crawdads, worms, or eggs will be best, but as equally as effective will be using the tightline set up with heavy (and I mean HEAVY) jigged streamers, paired with an attractor nymph and stout tippet such as 2x-3x, focusing on fishing the edges of seams, behind boulders or anywhere out of the brunt of the main current. As the river heads east it continues to pick up steam and around mustang the flows are over 800 with further decreased water clarity, this will be tougher fishing as of this week, but if/when we get a break in the weather expect this section of river to really turn on. We expect a great spring out east with these solid winter days, so be sure to keep this area on the radar heading into March and April.

Sunrise at Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report & Forecast

Pyramid has really kicked into gear over the last few weeks, and a big part of this is due to the continued low-pressure systems in the area. Last week Tristan Best of Truckee netted an impressive 23.8 pound fish, caught under an indicator. The bite for both techniques has been pretty even, with the strip bite and indicator bite both having their days and even their best hours when they produce over the other. Having both set ups at your disposal is highly encouraged.

Tristen Best with Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Pyramid Lake

Tristen Best from Truckee landed this 23.8 pounder last week!

When setting up your sinking line, using the standard bugger & beetle combo is hard to beat, and having contrasting colors such as black buggers and white beetles is definitely a classic for a reason. For the bobber game, the balanced leeches and midges have been catching at a near 50/50 percentage, we’ve found that color selection for this method of presentation can be more important and having a good assortment of colors to choose from will help you find fish more regularly. For balanced leeches, having flies in shades of black, olive and white are must haves and for midges, using reds, blacks, and browns in sizes 6-10 have been top producers so far this winter.

Jeff Sasaki and Miles Zimmerman at Pyramid

Jeff Sasaki with what looks like a wild Pilot Peak and Miles with a colorful Summit strain. Jeff's could be a silver Summit with that adipose fin in tact.

This week, the southern beaches from Popcorn up to Sandhole have been consistently muddy due to the heavy inflow of water coming down from the Truckee, and this will likely slow the fishing down around here. We recommend focusing on the beaches from Pelican north to avoid this as week expect this to continue for a while longer. The bite has been pretty consistent most of the day, so keep your flies in the water and switch up presentations, depth, colors and beaches until you find consistent fishing.

At the shop, we had Fly Tying Friday last night, and tonight (Saturday 1/14) will be running our Intro to Fly Fishing event starting at 6:00pm. We welcome everyone that is new to fly fishing or simply curious about how to get started.

Thanks for supporting your dedicated local fly shop!

Reminder!  Get your new California Fishing License at the shop! 

  • Miles