Truckee River Fly Fishing Report August 20, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
Flows dropped significantly along the Truckee this week as they continue to cut the amount of water coming out of Lake Tahoe and Boca Reservoir. This drastic decrease in water will likely slow fishing down over the next few days as trout will typically take a few days to adjust after a quick change in conditions. Look for fishing to really be best down in the canyon because flows will remain at their highest in this section, this will probably be the case from now through fall or until we see a big change in weather or releases from reservoirs. Cooler weather over the last couple of days and through next week will improve trout fishing as a whole as these ambient temperatures will help keep the water cooler later in the day, however we are still in hoot owl conditions and we ask you to please continue to carry thermometers with you checking temps with regularity and calling it a day when temps exceed 66 degrees.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
As the flows out of Lake Tahoe continue to be tapered off, the upper river will become increasingly tough to fish. As of today, flows out of Tahoe are 156 CFS and around Glenshire they are 186 CFS. At its highest flows down in Farad, the Truckee is hanging strong at 342 CFS and this is where fishing should remain best coming into fall. By the time the river flows through Mogul, NV it is back down to 164 as agriculture continues to take its lions share.
With cooler weather over the last few days, its finally beginning to feel like trout weather again and as long as we don’t get many more 90-degree days we expect water temps to continue to trend downwards. For now though, we are still seeing water temps hitting the mid to upper 60’s later in the day so please carry thermometers with you. The fishing still seems to be best in the morning hours, so get out early and get off the water mid-day for the best results.
We have still been doing best using nymphs either via high stick nymphing or under the indicator, but some fish have been coming up for dries such as grasshoppers, PMD’s, or midges especially when hatches are present. Streamer fishing is also putting fish in the net and using Sculpin patterns in olive, natural, black or white has been the go-to, but smaller baitfish patterns imitating trout, whitefish or Lahontan red-side minnows can provide some great success as well and are also a good alternative to stoneflies or crawdads as an anchor fly on your high stick set-up. We have noticed less interest in the larger offerings such as stones and craws and while we still recommend using them as a necessary weight, most fish have been coming on smaller mayfly patterns imitating PMD or BWO nymphs down to a size 18.
Recommended Flies for the Big Truckee
Juju Baetis #16-#18, Anato-Mays #16-#18, Olive Mic Drops #16-#18, Splitcase PMD’s #16, TNT PMD’s #16, Jigged PMD’s #16, Faucci Jigs #16, Zebra Midges #16-#18, Poxy Back Stones #8-#10, T’s Stone #8-#10, Two-Bit Stone #8, Pat’s Rubberlegs #8-#10, TJ Hooker #6-#8, Dead Drift Crays #8, Near Nuff Cray’s #8, Mini-Loop Sculpins #8, Sculpzillas #4-#8, Ziwis #6-#8, Morrish Hoppers #8-#10, Mimic Hoppers #10-#12, Beefcake Hoppers #8-#10, Chernobyl Ants #6-#8, Silhouette Duns #16-#18, Melon Quills #16, Griffiths gnats #16-#18
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
With the current low-water conditions on the Little Truckee, we recommend fishing elsewhere to help reduce fishing pressure on this overworked fishery. The water is very low at only 40 CFS and the overall size of this river puts most angling pressure on a small section of water. If you are still opting to fish out there, please try fishing the meadow section down to the inlet where the river sees fewer anglers. These small choices can go a long way to help preserve our local wild trout populations during the current drought conditions. Thank you for your consideration and please stop in or give us a call at the shop for any questions or concerns.
Truckee Tahoe still water fishing report
The lakes in the Truckee area are still seeing warm surface temps driving most trout deep except for maybe the early mornings. The cooler weather has continued to help in this respect and another few weeks of these cooler days should help fishing for both trout and bass in our near-by reservoirs. We have really started to see signs of fall this week and are very excited about the many still water options over the next few months, especially given the possible spotty fall conditions for our local rivers. Having a boat or float tube will be a big asset on a year like this and can open a lot of fishing opportunities, as we have a good abundance of lakes in our area, many of which are not dam controlled thus keeping good water levels coming into fall. As of now these cooler temps and smoke free days have us thinking about backcountry hikes to small waters containing eager trout, if you have any backcountry fishing on your to-do list now is a good time to make it happen. Check local regulations for National Forest Closures due to recent fire activity. We have seen quite a few bluebird days over the last week depending on which way the wind shifts so keep an eye on the forecast and plan your hike on a smoke-free day.
RecommendedFlies for still water fishing:
Balanced Leeches #12-#8, Albino Winos #12, Cutbait Midges #8-#14, Chironocones #14-#18, Zebra Midges #16-#18, Pheasant Tails #14-#18, Caddistrophic Pupa #16-#18, Fox’s Poopahs #16, Ak’s Callibaetis Spinners #14-#16, Callibaetis Parachutes #14-#16, Callibaetis Cripples #16, Para Adams #14-#18, Elk Hair Caddis #14-#18, E/C Caddis #14-#18, Griffiths Gnats #16-#18, Dandelion Midges #18-#20, Palomino Midges #18-#20, RP’s Ant #12-#14, Simiseal Leeches #10-#14, Bellyache Minnows #12, Woolly Buggers #8-#14
Thanks again for supporting your local, dedicated fly fishing shop. Things have slowed down from that wild July so we have time to help you gear up and get ready for an exciting fall fishing season.
Tight lines – Miles and the TCO crew