Truckee Fly Fishing Report May 21, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
Rain, sleet, hail and snow… All in the same week! Welcome to spring in Truckee. Trout are a cold water fish, and fishing during these spring storms can make for some pretty excellent days so don’t let the forecast determine whether you make it out for the day. These storms are definitely a welcome sight with the lack of precipitation this winter and at this point any little bit really helps so let’s continue to keep out fingers crossed for more intermittent storms throughout the spring to keep the fish happy and fire danger down.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report
While a lot of people see the Truckee swollen with spring run-off and assume it’s too fast to fish, now is actually one of the best times to get out there. Yes, the fish won’t likely come up for your dry fly when flows are at their peak, but if you know where to look and how to present a fly during high flows you could very well run into that trophy Truckee River fish right now. The key is where you position yourself. You want to be fishing the breaks from current, cushions of soft water created by obstructions (E.G. boulders, log jams, eddies along the side of the river) as well as the typical deep buckets where the current speed towards the bottom will be significantly slower. These fish don’t have the luxury of leaving the water when conditions are less than ideal, they just reposition themselves into better suited areas where they don’t have to work as hard to hold in a feeding lane. Indicator fishing remains best out here as you are able to work most water types with a quick adjustment of weight and depth. Don’t get fixated on trying to fish that great looking run on the opposite side of the river and instead focus on the water that is right in front of you, as getting a drag-free drift in front of the fish will be the single biggest factor to success on this river.
Streamer fishing remains great as well and a variety of colors and sizes have been working. If you’re chucking streamers, we recommend to cover as much potential holding water as possible with a few quick casts and move on, if a fish doesn’t move on your streamer on the first few cast you will be unlikely to convince it to after another 15-20.
There has been a wide variety of bugs around and you have quite a few options when it come to fly selection. We have been seeing a good amount of caddis throughout most of the river and olive pupa patterns in a #14-#16 have been steady producers as of late. For mayflies we have seen a good amount of PMD’s as well as some march browns, baetis, and green drakes. A good general imitation for these would be a pheasant tail in a #14-#16. With the run-off at it’s peak, the grabbier bugs such as worms, eggs and stoneflies will also make for great attractor nymphs but have also been putting their fair share of fish in the net. Most of the river is in great shape and there is plenty of good places to run into good fishing so feel free to try a different section of river than you might normally and just look for those breaks from the fast water.
Recommended Flies for The Truckee River
Pat’s Rubberlegs #8-#10, San Juan Worms #12, Gummy Worms #12, Poxy Back Stones #8, Glowbugs #14, OCD Caddis #14-#16, G6 Caddis #14-#16, Caddistrophic Pupa #16, Nitro Caddis #14-#16, Splitcase PMD’s #14-#16, TNT PMD’s #16, Jigged PMD’s #14-#16, Juju Baetis #16-#18, Anato-Mays #16-#18, Olive Mic Drops #18, Hunchback Green Drakes #10, Hunchback March Browns #12, Mini-Loop Sculpins #8, Sculpzillas #4-#8, Swim Coaches #4
The Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report:
Fishing on the Little Truckee continues to improve as is appears the last few fish are done spawning. Flows are a little on the low side for a typical spring but overall there is plenty of water for these fish to hold in and we recommend fishing anything that looks like it could hold a fish. The ongoing joke here as of late is “if you need to ask if you should fish it, fish it.” Euro nymphing has been a very effective way to fish out here with the size of the water and due to the fact that these fish can be sitting in such a great variety of water types. In this last week of foul weather, very few hatches have been present but when we start seeing some sunny days again (middle of next week) the caddis and PMD hatches in the evenings should resume and we could even start seeing some action on terrestrials such as carpenter ants. As the rainbows finish up their spawn in the next few weeks, they should be looking to put the feeding bags on to regain lost calories and fishing should be great here over the next month. For nymphs we have been doing well on caddis pupa, PMD nymphs, baetis nymphs, midge pupa, and good fall backs would be eggs and worms.
Recommended Flies for The Little Truckee:
Zebra Midges #18-#22, WD40’s #18-#22, Juju Baetis #18-#20, Anato-Mays #18-#20, Splitcase PMD’s #16, TNT PMD’s #16-#18, Flexy Floss Worms #14, San Juan Worms #12, Glowbugs #14, RS2’s #18-#20, Mole Flies #18-#20, Silhouette Duns #18-#20, Para BWO’s #18-#20, Hackle Stackers in PMD or BWO #16-#18, Melon Quills #14-#16, Comparaduns in pink or olive #16-#18, dandelion midges #20-#22, Griffiths Gnats #20-#22
Truckee Tahoe Stillwater Fishing Report
The local lakes and reservoirs have been fishing well and will be a excellent way to fish for a good variety of species. At Prosser Reservoir the lake level continues to rise, and fishing has currently been a little spotty for smallmouth as they are looking to begin their spawn. The trout bite here has been best in mornings and evenings and fishing around the Prosser Creek or Alder Creek inlets will be the best way to find them. Stripping streamers on a float tube or boat in these arms of the lakes can be a great way to fish while also potentially running into a bass. We have seen a good amount of cutthroat in this lake over the last few years which is a great indicator that the DFG stockings of these native fish has been a success.
Boca Reservoir also continues to come up this week, and after many years of low water here as they did construction on the dam this is a great thing to see. The Little Truckee inlet on the north end of the lake has been a popular place to fish as of late as the trout look for the consistent water temps, current and food. Dry fly fishing has been good around here in the evenings as well for Caddis and PMD’s especially during times with little to no wind. Fishing around the dam will usually get you into bigger fish but the bite on this end of the lake can be sporadic and you may have to try various tactics until you find what’s working.
Stampede Reservoir Has been fishing well for both bass and trout and fishing around the dam can be a great way to find both. If targeting bass we recommend using crawdad patterns either stripped or under an indicator and for trout various attractor nymphs under the indo has been best (think late season at Pyramid, small midges and mayfly nymphs). Using a float tube or boat around the various arms of this lake can be a lot of fun this time of year as there is such a variety of species found in here, you could run into Smallmouth, Rainbows, Browns, Cutthroat, Mackinaw or Kokanee!
For those of you that have been calling asking about access out to Jackson Meadows, you can now get out there and fishing at Jackson and the surrounding waters has been great. Get out and do some exploring!
Recommended Flies for local lakes and reservoirs
Ice Cream Cone Midges #14-#18, Zebra Midges #16-#18, Pheasant Tails #14-#16, Albino Winos #12, Cutbait Midges #14, Balanced Leather Leech #8, Balanced Leech #12, Pyramid Beach Leech #8, Woolly Buggers #6-#8, Bellyache Minnows #12, Twin Lakes Special #8-#10, Flexy Floss Worms #12, San Juan Worms #12, Glowbugs #14, Copper Johns #14-#16, Hare’s Ears #14-#16, Birds Nests #14-#16
Thanks again for digging into our weekly fishing report. We hope you enjoy the news and we always appreciate hearing from you all.
Miles and the TCO crew