TCO Fishing Report – January 16, 2020
by Miles Zimmerman
The weather has been nice in the last week or two... A little too nice! While it has made for some good fishing conditions for now we desperately need some precipitation to ensure a good snow pack to keep the creeks and rivers full of good cold water during the summer months. We are expecting a very weak storm front at the end of this week and at this point any little bit helps. Let's all do our snow dances and hope this weather pattern changes soon.
In the Truckee River the fish seem to be responding positively to this mild winter weather and the fishing has been good most of the day. We expect this small storm front in the forecast will have little to no affect on the fishing conditions. As of now the best section of the Truckee will be from the confluence of Boca Reservoir to the state line of Nevada where the flows will be at their highest. This is a great time to explore some of the less accessed parts of the river and try your luck on some different runs that may be tough to fish during higher water or when there is a lot of snow on the ground. Think outside of the box and you could be pleasantly surprised with the quality of fish you encounter!
The most productive method of fishing has been using an indicator with a good amount of weight and fishing your flies 5-9 feet under your indicator (that's right we said 9 feet, there are some incredibly deep runs on this river). while most of the fish are being found in their typical winter water, slow deep runs, don't overlook the medium fast water you look for during the spring while this nice weather continues. The main bugs on the menu continue to be baetis and midges and these can be very effective when paired with attractor nymphs such as stoneflies or worms. 4x has been a good bet for your larger nymphs such as stones and worms and 5x has been working well for the small baetis and midge patterns.
The Little Truckee continues to have great flows for this time of year but the fishing pressure remains very significant. Please do your part and release fish in a timely manner when fishing here and limit handling fish whenever possible. We have seen a few dead trout here due to their mishandling and this breaks our heart to see.. If we do get much more of this mild weather and access stays open here anglers might consider doing a voluntary closure to try and give these fish a much needed break. The baetis hatches have seemed to subside here and it seems to be switching to more midges and winter stones. These small stoneflies are a size 16 to 18 and have just begun to make their presence, they should be a good bet for the next couple of months. we still recommend having some BWO dries in your box in case they start hatching as they will remain a contender until late spring. Search for fish in a variety of water here as they can be found in typical buckets and seams as well as riffles and slow tailouts. If it looks "fishy" fish it.
Pyramid Lake has been slow for us in recent weeks as we are working to find only a handful of fish a day. Of course when a fish can push 20 pounds it can still be worth the effort, but it hasn't been easy going. You're best to time your outings here on days when there is any kind of weather be it snow, rain, wind or even just if its overcast. This can make all of the difference. Ideally if there is wind coming out if the east as this can stir up some solid activity from the fish and bring them closer into shore. we have found fish on both leeches and midges when fished under the indicator and we find midges to be best fished during calmer conditions and leeches are best when any significant chop is present. Stripping has been working equally as well using a bugger beetle combo and can help break up the monotony of staring at a indicator all day so its always a good idea to have both set ups available.
At the shop, we've put together a set of 12 flies for Winter fishing on the Big Truckee. A nice mix of some big meaty stoneflies, baetis, midges and worms that have been working well and should be effective throughout the next couple of months. Check out the online shop for more details here.