June 3, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River Region
by Miles Zimmerman
As we see the majority of our spring runoff subside and flows begin to taper off on most of our waters, we are now in the first bit of summer fishing conditions and most of our waters will be seeing some of the best fishing of the year over the next few weeks. The Truckee, Little Truckee, and our local creeks and lakes are all fishing well thanks in part to our extended cold and wet spring, which we will see continue through this weekend with a small storm expected this Saturday and Sunday before once again warming up into the upper 70’s through next week.
As expected with last week’s stormy days, the streamer bite really picked up when cloud cover was present and we expect to see similar results this week, so don’t let a little spring storm deter you from getting out there as these days can provide some stellar fishing opportunities with few other anglers on the water. We are only a few weeks away from our busiest time of year here in Truckee, so we encourage you to get out on the water ASAP to get the best Truckee fishing experience.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The flows on the Truckee have been steadily dropping and in just a week it has come down nearly 400 CFS throughout the entire California side of the river. We haven’t seen this affect the fishing negatively, and in fact, the fishing has been seemingly better as water temps rise into these trout’s ideal range, increasing their activity during all points in the day. As temps come up, we have noticed fish begin their typical summer holding patterns, and fishing medium speed water, riffles, pocket water and the likes will be increasingly effective. This means that the euro nymphing setup will be a good bet especially along sections like here in town, Glenshire Drive, or Hirschdale where more of this water type is present.
If fishing in the canyon section down highway 80, using an indicator to reach more water will still be wise as flows remain around 800 CFS at the Farad gauging station. We’ve began to see the emergence of PMD’s in the area, and while the dry fly bite is probably still a few weeks out for these guys, nymphing them has been putting quite a few fish in the net for us. We are continuing to fish a very mixed bag of fly patterns right now as it seems like the fish are not really keyed in on any one hatch and good go-to patterns for us over the last few weeks have been; stonefly nymphs in both brown or yellow in sizes 8-12, Pheasant tails in sizes 14-18, split case PMD’s in sizes 16-18, Perdigons in sizes 16-18, Juju Baetis in sizes 18-20 and olive caddis patterns in sizes 14-16 to name a few. With this weekend’s spring storm expected, try stripping streamers in the 2–4-inch range in olive, black or brown to entice some of the big dogs our river is known for, and we recommend using 1x-2x mono for this to lessen the chance of breaking off when lightning strikes.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
The Little Truckee has dropped 50 CFS this week and as of today it sits at 150 CFS, which is still a very respectable flow for this time of year. This will make for great fishing using a variety of techniques, and one can effectively fish with a euro nymph setup, a dry dropper rig, or a dry fly right now. Like the main river we’ve seen the PMD’s really begin to take off, and anyone that’s fished the Little Truckee before knows the significance of this bug here, they will be a mainstay for the entire summer and most of the fall, so if you don’t have a good assortment stop in and load up, we are well stocked on these. The dry fly bite has become more consistent recently as the water temps rise, flows drop and we see some nicer weather, and the hatches of midges, BWO’s and now PMD’s have become consistent enough to justify having a dedicated dry fly set up rigged up and ready to go if/when these hatches ensue. With the additional fishing pressure and recent drop in flows, using 6x-7x tippet and maintaining a stealthy approach onto a run will become increasingly important, and can help you tie into one of the trophy fish this tailwater holds, of course actually landing it on such light gear is another story.
Fly Fishing Local Lakes
As we come into spring, we wanted to address one of the most overlooked fishing opportunities; our abundance of lakes. While the common perception of fly fishing would lead you to believe it’s an activity for rivers, in truth fly fishing can be effective in a variety of fisheries from warmwater lakes for bass, sunfish, and carp, to saltwater fishing targeting striped bass and surf perch along the north coast and corbina, spotted bay bass and calicos in the southern part of the state and for various species around the world. So why then do people not think to try targeting trout on fly gear in our number of different lakes? To some it’s intimidating, as reading the water on a lake, knowing the rigging and understanding where fish are holding may be seen as daunting. To others it may just be as simple as they prefer fishing moving water, while this is understandable and we will be the first to tell you that there is something magical about a river, this is also how anglers limit their skillset and eventually hamper any growth in the sport. Trial and error is something all career anglers know well and it is also what eventually makes us better at what we do. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and seeing the rewards that come from it can be another level of gratification in this sport that many of us miss if we let it.
With that said we highly encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone this summer and try a new style of fishing you may have never done before; still water fly fishing. It can be done off the shore, in a float tube or on a boat. It’s a great way to spend time with a group of friends and is often more social than fishing on rivers. It is a great way see more of what our area has to offer and help to take pressure off of our heavily fished rivers, which on a drought year such as this will be very important to keep our rivers viable for the long haul.
In addition to offering weekly guided fishing trips, we will be looking to do multiple introductory still water fishing clinics this summer to help anglers new to the lake fishing game be able to effectively fish a lake of any size, and we will be announcing these very soon. We look forward to opening up new doors for you in the sport and show you one of our favorite fishing options throughout the summer. Stay tuned!