July 29, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River Region
by Miles Zimmerman
As Truckee sees the warmest days of the year thus far, the local creeks and rivers will be seeing increasingly warm water temps. We have hit the voluntary closure window for most of our creeks as there is no longer any snowpack to keep good flows or water temps. At this point we encourage you to focus on the Truckee River early mornings, high elevation lakes in the surrounding area, or the handful of tail waters we have nearby. Better yet, try something new and go for smallmouth or largemouth bass, or carp for a new challenge and work on further rounding your skills as an angler by using new techniques, fly and tackle selection, and trying new locations.
Local smallmouth bass fishing in Truckee
For those that feel like fly fishing can only be done in mountains streams for trout, you are limiting yourself. Only when you begin to target other species on the fly does one realize that trout aren’t the end all, and that fly fishing can truly be done 12 months out of the year in a variety of waters. There’s no doubt that we all love trout fishing here in the shop, its what most of us started on in our journey into fishing, and these fish are the very reason that fly fishing was created, but we feel its important to recognize that as climate change increases it’s important to be aware of the increasing seasonality of our waters and to remain informed on how conditions effect a fishery, and when it’s best to just stay off of the water all together. Conservation is now more important than ever and the wild trout in California, like the salmon and steelhead along the coast, are now at a precipice. We encourage you to join local organizations such as your local chapter of Trout Unlimited or CalTrout and to petition and vote for increasing regulations for trout fishing limiting the keep, restricting bait and barbs and implementing seasonal, low water and warm water closures on waters to promote healthier fisheries.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report
The flows have begun to taper off out of Lake Tahoe and the dam at Tahoe City is currently releasing 234 CFS. This will likely continue to drop in the coming weeks and there are predictions that the lake will once again be below its natural rim this fall causing there to be no water coming out of the lake making the upper river go dry once again. As flows on the upper river begin to drop the releases from Boca will hopefully increase and keep the canyon section fishable through the fall, as Boca still sits at nearly 100% capacity, but this is just a guess. With the lowering water along Glenshire drive we recommend fishing in the canyon where flows have been relatively stable for most of the summer. From Hirschdale to the Nevada state line, there are many river miles to explore and some great fishing to be had, just make sure you get out early and you’re off the water by mid-day or when water temps hit 68 degrees. Please carry a thermometer with you and check temps regularly at this time.
Late evenings down in the canyon has cooler water temps
Summer means there’s a wide variety of bugs present, and your fly selection can reflect that. Don’t be afraid to try some curveball flies and see how fish react to them. The main bugs at the moment have been PMD’s, caddis, golden stones, crawdads, midges and BWO’s. Look for fish in faster moving water this time of year putting an emphasis on riffles and pocket water in the 2-5 foot range and running speed pace. When fishing this water type, be sure to use a lot of weight as getting down fast will be important when fishing short runs where fish will be concentrated in an area of 10-20 feet. This is where tight line nymphing will be incredibly effective, so don’t forget the euro rods if heading out here for the day.
Mile's Hare's Ear Variant
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report
The Little Truckee continues to hold at +/- 50 CFS and the water remains cold out of the dam. The fishing pressure here remains heavy and in general we recommend limiting your time on this fishery as these fish see very little reprieve year-round, but we do acknowledge that this is one of the few tailwater fisheries in the area and the best option for someone unable to capitalize on the morning fishing window on the main river. The main bugs here are PMD’s, midges, BWO’s and caddis. The PMD’s will be the most consistent hatch and for those looking to toss dries this will be the main bug of significance with a chance of midges in the morning and caddis in the evening. Tight line nymphing will be effective most points in the day when hatches aren’t present. 6x tippet will be a must for all methods of presentation as will a certain degree of stealth. Low light hours will provide the best opportunities for both the fishing and your shot at finding less crowds. Please give other anglers their space here and do your part to spread out and limit your time fishing this over-pressured tailwater.
Local Still Water Fly Fishing
This time of year is the best time for high-elevation lakes in search for cold water containing brook trout, golden trout and other various trout species. While we did have a handful of days containing heavy smoke from the Oak Fire, for the most part we have seen great smoke free weather and excellent conditions for a day hike or backpacking trip. With an abundance of lakes in the greater Truckee/Tahoe area, there’s a lifetime’s worth of exploration that can be done with a fly rod.
We have new rafts in the shop too.
If you are unable to hike to your destination, there’s still a good number of lakes you can drive right up to around, Jackson Meadows, Grouse Ridge or the Gold Lake basin. At our elevation we still have some fair trout fishing in some of the lakes, such as Boca, Prosser and Stampede as well as an increasingly good smallmouth bite at the latter two. We just got our order in from Outcast boats and currently have a good inventory on float tubes, but they are selling fast so stop in, because if you’ve never fished out of a float tube, it’s a fun, unique experience, which will open up a whole new variety of waters for this time of year!