October 22, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake
by Miles Zimmerman
As we rigged up our rods at the car, my buddy Michael and I were deep into a conversation as we often are when we fish together. He asked how a change in weather affects the bite. Quick to respond, I said something along the lines of the barometric pressure changes are felt in the trout’s lateral lines and it makes them feed more aggressively, and how the fishing should be good today as the pressure is dropping with the first storm of the fall moving in quickly. Well, yesterday ended up being one of my best days on the Truckee in recent memory, with one of my biggest rainbows and countless other fish caught throughout the day.
A good trout angler is one that can take an unlimited number of factors into account not only including hatches and flows, but things like weather, water clarity, water temperatures, moon phase and even barometric pressure, just to name a few. This is equal parts accumulating information over the years as well as a strong sense of intuition. To me that is one of the things that I love most about this sport. The reason I wrote this is to hopefully encourage you to look at all of these factors and do your homework on how and why they affect the fishing, and in doing so you will undoubtably up your odds for having an epic day of catching on a river that is touted as one of the toughest in the US. Don’t get discouraged from a slow day of fishing, they happen to everyone and even on a skunk day you should take away at least one or two lessons on what you could do different as well as reassure yourself of what was done right.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
With the stormy weather this weekend, the fall fishing should really pick up – and in reference to my diatribe to open this report – shifts in barometric pressure like this are typically great days to fish. With a dropping pressure being the best, and the low pressure during a storm front as well as the rising pressure afterwards being the next best. When overcast skies are present, the streamer bite should be great especially as it coincides with fall.
We had luck on a variety of bugs yesterday and the biggest factors were getting good dead drifts, minimizing drag on your flies, while using a lot of weight. This has always been a presentation fishery and these fish are typically willing to eat junk flies if presented correctly. Currently, we have stoneflies, crawdads, BWO’s, midges, October caddis and smaller caddis around not to mention worms and eggs. Yesterday the larger fish came on stones, specifically an Olive Pat’s Rubber Legs in a size 8, but we did also find fish on size 14 caddis pupa, BWO nymphs and some larger attractors such as Frenchies. So don’t be afraid to mix up your fly selection, but more importantly don’t be afraid to mix up your weight and depth – and, if your flies haven’t touched the bottom, then you’re not deep enough.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Little Truckee continues to have great flows for this time of year and as of today it is sitting at 125 CFS – an excellent flow for the fall. The fishing pressure continues to be heavy out there as the word seems to be out about the productive fishing. The shift in weather could either really turn on the BWO hatch on the LT, or it could go the other way and make it mostly a nymphing game until things even out in a few days. Tough to say at the moment. When using nymphs, we recommend fishing them on a tight-line set up to up your odds by maintaining a better degree of stealth, and to that end try hard to minimize wading here and fish off shore whenever possible. The main bugs on the LT will be BWO’s, midges, worms and eggs and this won’t really change until spring except maybe the egg bite dying down mid-winter. Using 6x tippet will be a must here for both dry fly fishing and nymphing with some anglers even dropping it down to a 7x to get a bit more of an advantage.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
With reports of the lake flipping this week, which we have not confirmed, we expect both the trout and tui chub bait balls to begin to disperse and fishing will likely slow out here until the water temps drop further and the trout begin to cruise the shorelines. This will typically happen around December and until then getting on boats or float tubes will remain the best way to find consistent fishing and using a fish finder will be beneficial right now to ensure you’re fishing to the fish. Using heavy jigged flies on fast sinking lines off a watercraft has been the name of the game this fall, but as water temps drop with the cooler days you should be able to get away with lighter flies over the next few weeks with fish now being marked in 20-30 feet of water more regularly.
Thanks again for supporting your dedicated local fly shop. For more news about fall fly fishing, check out our recent article here. And for even more about Pyramid, read our 4-part series that gives the history, when to fish, and where to fish too.
Online and instore, we have a Pyramid Fly Selection ready to go if you’re interested.