October 7, 2022 Fly Fishing Report for the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake
by Miles Zimmerman
As we come into the first days of fall, the weather has been incredible, and the fishing conditions are great in most areas. Plus, the fishing pressure has been light since some angler’s switch gears and focus on fishing steelhead, salmon, and of course Pyramid Lake. The cold nights and warm days have allowed the lower stretch of the Truckee river to fish good all day while still being comfortable for the angler.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Truckee has seen a drop in flows this week, and the upper river is far too low for ethical fishing. The dam at Tahoe City is flowing at a whopping 10 CFS and by the time you get down to Glenshire Drive flows are just 32 CFS. This will mean that most of the river up here will have little to no flow and the few fish still in here are in survival mode. At some point we are hoping that they will begin to release water out of Donner Lake, putting more water in this section, allowing for fishing up here once again. Until this happens however, please give these fish a break and head down the hill.
With the flows out of Prosser dropping as well, the river won’t see good fishing until you get down below the confluence of Boca where they are dumping 300 CFS out of the dam. The canyon section of the Truckee continues to fish very well despite the low flows up high, and we’ve seen good action on nymphs, streamers, and the occasional dry fly from the Boca confluence the Nevada state line. The Nevada side of the river has been fishing excellently due in part to less water taken out this time of year from agriculture, cold temps, and light fishing pressure as Pyramid opens. The fish have really begun to key in on the winter bugs such as BWO’s, midges and stoneflies, and this week the bite on October caddis pupa has really picked up, but the adults have been non-existent thus far. With the combo of good weather and cool water temps, the fish are continuing to hold in a variety of water types and anglers should be thorough when fishing a run, making sure to fish everything from the riffles to the deep tail outs. Small adjustments such as using clear or white indicators, light tippet such as 5x and downsizing your flies to an 18 can make a big difference this time of year as the water is low and clear and the fish have seen angling pressure the entire summer. If fishing stones, worms, eggs, crawdads, or October caddis however, 4x will be fine.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report & Forecast
The Little Truckee has been fishing very well also, and with an increase in flows of 25 CFS it should only get better as it currently sits at 120 CFS. These excellent fall flows have allowed both the kokanee and the brown trout to more easily move upriver, and we’ve begun to see a few of these fish make their annual spawning redds. Please keep an eye out for these spawning areas over the next month and avoid fishing to or around these vulnerable fish so that they can successfully create the next generation of wild trout on the LT. While there are areas on the LT that are posted as spawning zones, the fish will still make redds in other areas and when wading it is incredibly important to watch for these oval shaped clearings in gravel and avoid walking on top of, above or near them to give these fish space and not put debris on these to keep eggs viable. The best way to avoid fishing over spawners will be to focus on the deeper buckets or areas with a muddy, grassy or weedy bottom and remain observant of any type of spawning behavior of these trout such as paired up fish, aggressive behavior between fish, or fish holding in abnormally shallow waters, especially shallow gravel bars and riffles. As always, if you ever have any questions on what to look for when avoiding spawning fish please ask, we are happy to explain.
The dry fly bite on the Little Truckee has really picked up in the last week and the BWO’s have definitely taken over as the primary hatch, although we are still seeing a fair amount of PMD’s and caddis mixed in as well. The BWO’s have been mostly a mid-day hatch and we’ve been fishing them mostly in a size 20 or down using 6x-7x. When no hatch is present, using a euro nymph rod or dry dropper set up will be a good way to remain stealthy when presenting nymphs.
Pyramid Lake Fishing Report
The season at Pyramid has started off well for the boat anglers, and we’ve seen an increase in fly fishers getting out on boats early season using heavy weighted Tui Chub patterns fished on fast sinking lines and searching for the bait balls of these fish and subsequently the LCT’s engorging themselves on the Chubs. As expected, we’ve seen a few 20 pound fish caught already, but overall the bite for the fly angler has been reported as fair with a few boats reporting a great bite when bait balls are located.
When we start seeing some storms move through and some cooler weather patterns the bite should get better, and typically around Thanksgiving is when the fly game will get more consistent from shore or on a float tube, for now it’s a boat game and the trollers and jig fisherman will have the best luck, with the fly fishers on float tubes typically working harder for less of a payout. The fish have been reported to be in 60-70 feet of water, meaning when boat fishing you are stripping off most of your fly line and giving long sink times to get in front of them. One group of local anglers reported over 150 fish up to 17 pounds boated on Wednesday using this technique. Find the bait balls find the fish!
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Be sure to check out our new article about Fall Fly Fishing on the Truckee River