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by Miles Zimmerman

Winter has arrived in the Sierra as the first snow fell last week and we are expecting intermittent storms in the extended forecast. Due to this cold snap in the weather, fishing has slowed on the Truckee River as water temps plummet into the 40's. We are recommending to take your time when getting out at this point and focus on fishing mid-day when air temps and water temps rise and fish become most active.

The bug selection remains the typical winter selection of BWO's, Midges, Stoneflies as well as Worm and Egg patterns. Streamer fishing has began to slow as the trouts metabolisms slow with the cooler temperatures and they are less willing to move for their meal. Tight-line Nymphing the faster water has began to give way to the strike indicator in the slow deep runs as fish migrate towards the slower water as to not work as hard for their meal once again due to the slowing of their metabolisms. with the cloudy, snow-filled days expected for the coming weeks the avid dry fly angler can also expect to see sporadic hatches of BWO's which tend to come off when there is an overcast day with little to moderate wind. 

The trout on the Little Truckee seem to be done spawning and fishing out here will remain excellent for as long as the road is accessible, as they do not plow it in the winter. Although most fish are off their redds, caution should still be taken to avoid wading on or near these clear patches of gravel found in the riffles to ensure propagation of these eggs.


Due to this being a tailwater fishery the cold weather will not affect the water temps here as much and this will mean this fish will be more active throughout the day which should result is some great fishing with the right approach. As always we strongly encourage 6x tippet with both dry flies and nymphs for these weary fish. As with the main river the winter bugs here should remain the same for the next few months and BWO's, Midges, Stoneflies as well as Egg and Worm patterns will be consistent producers.

Pyramid Lake improved significantly this week as the cooler weather hit. Fish where caught almost equally under the indicator and on strip, although most of the large fish seemed to key in on the chartreuse popcorn beetle stripped behind a wooly bugger. Fish caught under the indicator where mostly on balanced leeches in black or olive while few came on midges. the average depth for success on the indicator was 8-10 feet and 8 pound test was a good bet for the indo while 10-12 would be best for stripping. Fishing was best mid-morning through mid-day with a lull around 1-3 and then it picked back up as the sun went over the hill until dark. Check out our recent addition of Pyramid Lake flies from Umpqua as well as some flies tied right here in house including popcorn beetles and midges with specialized balanced leeches coming soon!

Tight Lines

-TCO Staff

(530) 563-5119