November 12, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake
by Miles Zimmerman
We’re excited to see this quick transition into winter over the last few weeks. Last week’s stormy days did not get much above freezing, and while the fishing was still really good in the early afternoons, we saw very few people getting out to fish. With the cool, sunny days expected next week, the conditions should be easier for the angler in terms of weather and less snow on the ground but should still provide good fishing mid-day. Access remains open along all stretches of the Truckee, and most of the Little Truckee as long as you have an AWD or 4WD vehicle.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Truckee River saw flows change along most sections of the river this week with the new precipitation. While the upper section of the river along 89 has all but dried up with no water coming out of Tahoe, the creeks along 89 are providing little-to-no relief until Donner creek, where they are now letting 125 CFS out of the lake. This will make the Glenshire stretch fishable once again with flows below Martis creek at 132. Not bad for November during severe drought conditions.
With the confluence of Boca pumping out another 93 CFS the lower river continues to hold right around 300 CFS, and like the flows, the fishing here will be most consistent. As the water temps continue to drop, we’ve noticed most of the fish now holding in the typical winter lies; slow, deep buckets. If fishing here on the CA side, don’t waist your time fishing any water faster than walking speed, while there may be a handful of fish still sitting in this water type, it will often be the smaller fish, while the big trout hold down the tailouts, deeper pocket water, or any place where they don’t have to work too hard for their next meal. The bug selection from here on out won’t change much until we see our early spring hatches such aa Skwalas and winter stones. So from here on out make sure you’re well stocked on stonefly patterns in brown, olive and black and in a run of sizes from 12-6, midges in black, red, brown, or olive in sizes 16-20, and of course, worms, especially during or just after big rain events.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
Access on the Little Truckee remains mostly open, with only a little bit of tromping through the snow required right now. With a few patches of snow on the road, having an AWD or 4WD vehicle with moderate clearance is recommended. The flows have dropped this week and as of today they are sitting at 75 CFS. While we like the number 125 way better, with how low stampede was getting, it was just a matter of time before they lowered it. The baeits and midge hatches out here have been great, and fairly consistent, but with this recent drop it could be until early next week before we see the dries come off en masse again.
Euro nymphing or dry droppers remain the best way to present subsurface right now and the fish will continue to hold in various water types here as this tailwater isn’t quite as affected by ambient temperatures. The fishing remains good most of the day here, and typically that last hour of light will provide the best window for activity, even during the winter months, with the dry fly fishing normally peaking mid-day. Like the main river the LT won’t see any changes in bugs until early spring so if fishing out here you can rely on winter staples such as baetis in sizes 18-22, midges in 18-22 and worms and eggs, and we do recommend 6x even during the winter due to lower flows, clear water, and of course the picky fish found here.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
We’ve seen the best November fishing out here in recent memory. The shore bite has been surprisingly consistent for this early on in the season, and there have already been a number of big fish caught by shore anglers. This is most certainly due to the series of storms in the area causing the water temps to drop earlier this year, and as long as we see some more storms in the coming weeks, the bite should only get better as we head into 2023. The name of the game when fishing off the shore right now will be indicator fishing using balanced leeches or mixing it up by throwing streamers on full sinking lines in a type 5-7. The leech color of choice will vary depending on the day, and when fishing out here yesterday we stuck with the golden rule of color choice, fishing light colors when it was bright and switching to darker colors as clouds rolled in later in the day.
We have had a few reports of fish caught on midges as well, and the most important factor when choosing what to fish is having confidence in your selection and keeping your flies in the water, in front of the fish. When stripping streamers, the usual suspects are producing pretty equally, and between beetles, boobies and buggers, the sizes and the colors don’t seem to make a huge difference. We do notice that retrieval speed, depth and structure seem to be bigger factors, and a slow and steady retrieve on or near the bottom of the sandy gradual bottoms has been most consistent. Most beaches have been fishing close to the same and the bite will be spread out throughout the day, while we found out best fishing up north from around 2-4 PM, this does change daily so always be mixing it up out here if you’re not having any luck.
Hope to see you in the shop soon. The fireplace is on and the shop is warm and full of winter gear for your next adventure.