May 20, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Surrounding Waters
by Miles Zimmerman
We are now in some of the most prime conditions for trout fishing in our area. The Truckee River, Little Truckee, our various lakes and creeks and most nearby watersheds are all in great shape and fishing well. We are also seeing “The quiet before the storm” as far as the crowds go and this week leading up to Memorial Day will probably be the quietest our town will be for the remainder of the spring and summer. We encourage you to take advantage of this and get out on the water this week, Plus the weather couldn’t be much nicer!
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Truckee has been fishing well and continues to run strong over the last couple of weeks. At this moment we are seeing flows of around 800 to 1,000 CFS in Truckee around Glenshire Drive, and about 1,100 to 1,300 down in the canyon section at the Farad gauge. As the days become warmer the fluctuation of flows throughout the day have become increasingly apparent. In another few weeks this will be less of a factor, but due to this we are recommending putting time in on the river primarily in the mornings when runoff will be at its lowest point. Don’t forget we are now open from 7-7 daily, so stop in before you hit the water to get the very latest on conditions.
With the bigger water found downstream, now is a great time to check out the sections of river from Glenshire upstream, where the water will be running clearer and lower. We are seeing a great variety of bugs out there at the moment and fish don’t seem to be picky when it comes to what they are eating just as long as you are using enough weight and giving them a good drift. We have been doing best on stoneflies, worms, eggs, baetis, march browns and caddis pupa this week. We expect the carpenter ant hatch to begin any day now, and currently have great inventory on these, so stop into the shop and load up so you’re not empty handed when they present themselves.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Little Truckee continues to fish excellently as the flows remain 200 CFS few around a month now and the rainbows have finished their spawn. While we have started to see some hatches out here and dry fly fishing is becoming more consistent, we’ve found the best way to find fish is still euro nymphing as most fish hang in the medium-speed water. Using heavy weighted nymphs will be important right now to assure you are getting your flies down as fast as possible as most of the runs found on this river are short and the fish are typically only found in the most prime locations on any given run.
However, with the high water the fish will be a little more spread out at the moment, so be sure to fish any good looking water found in between the typical buckets, even if just for a few casts. If your presentation is good you should get a take within the first few drifts, and if you haven’t had any luck after fishing some prime water, changing up flies, weight and depth can help turn your day around. Maintaining some degree of stealth will also up your odds for these picky fish, even during high flows. 5x tippet will work well with the current flows especially when nymphing and we recommend only using 6x when fishing flies below a #18. The bugs have been very similar to what we’ve been having luck with on the main river, only dropped down a size or two, so if you head out here for the day make sure to have a good selection of midges, baetis, march browns, caddis, eggs, worms and even stoneflies, which will make for a great anchor fly with the current flows. If you are looking to head out here, we highly encourage you to try within the next week, as Memorial Day will likely bring some serious crowds on this small stream.
Other Local Waters
As the season at Pyramid Lake comes to a close, we will now be switching gears on our report and instead give a general overview of the other various waters in our region. With the warmer weather over the last few weeks, we have seen most of the remaining snow melt in our area with the exception of our highest peaks. This will open up some of the high elevation lakes and early season lake fishing is a great way to find excellent fishing will little to no crowds. This week we made a trip up to Jackson Meadows road and found patches of snow still present on the asphalt around Webber Lake, with another few weeks of warm weather this should open up to Jackson Meadows, but as of now access will be limited to only the most adventurous people, and a high clearance 4WD vehicle will be required to attempt to get back here, we did not travel past Webber and can not give you any info on the road conditions beyond here. Webber will also have their gates closed until June 17th, and while the lake is open to fishing year-round, you must currently hike any raft or float tube in a few hundred yards to get on the water here, there is also tree removal going on so please give any tree workers space hiking gear in, and park out of the way of any gates to allow equipment to get by.
Prosser and Stampede have seen a good start to the smallmouth bass bite thus far and as we see the warm weather continue, we should have some stellar fishing around the dams or any rocky shoreline for the majority of the spring and summer. These guys remain a very consistent option most of the season and can be a great outing for beginners looking to get into some fish on our notoriously difficult fisheries or for those just looking to get out for a few hours before other obligations, without the need to wader up.
The trout bite at Boca, Stampede and Prosser continues to be good as well and if fishing off shore we recommend focusing around any inlets and even the creeks themselves. If in a boat or a float tube try around the dams, inlets, or any significant drop-offs for best results. Our local creeks are mostly in great shape but will probably drop quickly this year due to the mild winter, so if you wanted to dust off your 3 weight, don’t wait too long or you may miss your chance. I made the trek to the Middle Fork of the Feather this week and found the upper section around Graeagle to be low, with a less-than-stellar fishing, after moving downriver to below Jamison Creek around Two Rivers, the river picked up some serious volume and was difficult to fish, but I was able to prevail and ran into a great carpenter ant hatch coming off mid-day which provided a few hours of fun dry fly fishing, seeming to bring every big fish in the river up to the surface looking for these meaty morsels, the nymph fishing was difficult and the only luck I had that day was on top.
We hope you enjoyed reading this week’s report and it gets you fired up to get outside and do some fishing. If you haven’t already, stop on in and check out the new space as we continue to work hard to get it ready for the summer. We are also continuing to get new brands in and this week we received orders from R.L. Winston and Howler Bros with much more on the way! Thanks for your continued support of Truckee’s only dedicated fly shop.
Miles, Scotty and the TCO Crew.