Truckee River Fly Fishing Report August 6, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
With another week of cooler nights, both the Truckee River and Little Truckee are seeing improved trout fishing. The main river has seen a slight drop in flows out of Tahoe City going from 300 to 250 CFS, expect this to continue to drop over the coming weeks. As a whole, water temps still very much remain an issue on both waters, so please have your thermometer on you while fishing, and call it quits when temps exceed 66 degrees. Today we started seeing the smoke drift back into the area, and this weekend’s forecast has called for continued some smoky days. This should improve early next week with another wind shift. There are still plenty of options for fishing in our area, please feel free to call the shop to discuss the where, when, and how.
By the way, we've started a Gear Rental Program at the shop for rods, reels, waders and boots. Call to check availability and reserve as set. (530) 563-5119
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
Although the flows dropped slightly out of Tahoe City, they are now letting more water out of Boca Reservoir. If they keep this up, hopefully it will make for sustained viable trout fishing in the coming months. Lake Tahoe is now only 2 feet above it’s natural rim and the surface temps on the lake are over 70 degrees. It is very likely that it will get below its natural rim by this fall which will mean we could see the upper river run dry. Let’s continue to pray from some more thunderstorms and some early season snow over the next few months, every little bit of precipitation helps. Look for fishing to slow substantially in the upper river as the flows taper off over the coming weeks, but if there is a good amount of water coming out of Donner and Boca the river should make it through this year. One more drought year though, and our fishery might be in big trouble.
As of this week, fishing remains good in the mornings from sunup until mid-day. We have been seeing water temps exceed 66 degrees by about 11 so please do your part and limit your fishing to early in the day. Evenings have not cooled off enough to fish at dusk. The lower section of river which we refer to as “the canyon” has been fishing best as this is where flows remain most consistent, look for this to remain the case for the next few months as flows taper off up high. We have been doing well using nymphs and they have been hitting a variety of bugs. We are big fans of stonefly patterns and crawdads with a smaller mayfly nymph or caddis pupa dropper. Streamer fishing has begun to improve as we see the first signs of fall and this will be a great way focus on finding larger fish. Sculpin patterns in natural, olive or black are good go-to’s and we’ve had best luck with anything in the 2”- 4” range. Continue to look for fish in any medium to medium-fast current as they are looking for well oxygenated water and a good feeding lane. Riffles, the tops of pools, seams off of boulders and bubble lines are all great places to find fish. If you hook a fish, make a note of the type of water it was in and make sure to fish all similar water.
Recommended Flies for the Truckee River
T’s Stone #8-#10, Stonedaddies #6-#8, Tungsten Trout Retrievers #8-#10, Pat’s Rubberlegs #8-#10, Splitcase PMD’s #14-#16, Jigged PMD #14-#16, TNT PMD #16, Pheasant Tails #14-#16, Lightning Bugs #14-#16, OCD Caddis #14-#16, G6 Caddis #14-#16, Fox’s Poopahs #16, Bird’s Nests #14-#16, Zebra Midges #16-#18, San Juan Worms #12, Flexy Floss Worms #12, Perdigons #14-#18, Frenchies #14-#16
Little Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
Flows on the Little Truckee remain low for this time of year as they hover just above 40 CFS. Water temps are also an issue here especially in the lower river so please carry a thermometer when fishing here, checking temperatures regularly. Unfortunately, another huge factor here has been angling pressure. We ask you to please consider limiting your fishing here to give these fish a much-needed break. As stated last week, we are not saying you cannot fish here – but instead to think about your impact on this fragile fishery during less-than-ideal conditions. Able-bodied anglers should be looking at other options right now such as Stillwater fishing, hike-in lakes, warm water species, or dawn patrol on the main river.
Dry fly fishing will be best on the Little Truckee and there has been hatches of PMD’s, BWO’s, midges, and a handful of caddis. Fishing emergers can often out fish the adults for these wary fish. 6X tippet is also recommended as these fish can be very line shy. Dry droppers will be a good way to present nymphs given the current flows. Soft hackle fishing will also be good when bugs are actively hatching.
Recommended Flies for the Little Truckee
Comparadun PMD’s #14-#16, Melon Quills #16, Hackle Stackers #14-#18, Silhouette Duns #14-#18, RS2’s #16-#20, WD40’s #18-#20, Splitcase PMD’s #16-#18, TNT PMD’s #16-#18, Jigged PMD’s #16, Zebra Midges #18-#22, Don King Midges #18-#20, BH Back Midges #18-#20, Flexy Floss Worms #14, San Juan Worms #12, PMD Soft Hackle #14-#18, BWO Soft Hackle #18-#20, Griffiths Gnat #18-#22, Dandelion Midges #18-#20
Still Water Fishing:
While the lakes at our elevation are mostly warm and not fishing well for trout, the smallmouth bass bite has been a saving grace this year. Bass will remain very active at most points in the day and anglers can find them using a variety of techniques from under an indicator, to stripping streamers or even on top using grasshoppers, ants or bass poppers. Even they have shown signs of additional pressure and they’ve been seeming to get pickier over the last few weeks so keep on mixing up your presentations until you find consistent results. Look for them along the dams of Stampede or Prosser reservoirs or along any kind of rocky structure or submerged logs.
These coming weeks will be the height of backcountry still water fishing and those willing to hike to their location will find few crowds and lightly pressured fish willing to take a variety of bugs all while getting a good hike in. we have a number of lakes in the desolation wilderness and Jackson meadows area containing a number of trout species, stop in and lets get you in the right direction!
Flies for still water fishing:
Callibaetis Spinners #14-#16, Para Callibaetis #14-#16, Mosquitos #16, Elk Hair Caddis #14-#18, E/C Caddis #14-#18, Snowshoe Caddis #14-#16, Para Adams #14-#18, Griffiths Gnats #16-#20, RP’s Ant #12-#14, Carpenter Ant #12, Morrish Hopper #8-#12, Beefcake Hopper #10, Mimic Hopper #10-#12, Chironocones #14-#18, Zebra Midges #16-#18, Albino Winos #12, Cutbait Midges #12, Balanced Leeches #8-#12, Pheasant Tails #14-#18, Lightning Bugs #16-#18, Woolly Buggers #8-#12, Bellyache Minnows #12, Simiseal Leeches #8-#10
Thanks again for reading our weekly fly fishing report and being a part of our fantastic Fly Fishing community here in Truckee. Share this with your friends, and do what you can to adjust your fishing habits to help protect our rivers during this high pressure, warm temp season.
Cheers! ~ Miles & the TCO crew
Interested in fishing with a guide? Fill out the interest form on our website and we can help get your out on the water with a friendly local expert in August.