Truckee River Fly Fishing Report December 10, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
Here’s a basic formula for you: Trout + Foul Weather = Excellent Fishing! With a shift in the weather patterns, we’ve seen an immediate improvement on our local fisheries and as of today a slight increase in flows on the Truckee. As the brunt of this storm cell moves in this weekend, we hope to see the river continue to rise and once again return to its average flows. With our area beginning the season with below average precipitation, this is a welcome sight for more than just the local fishing community as this forecast is projecting enough snow to open ski resorts and give us a little breathing room for our annual snowpack as we enter the first days of winter.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
Fishing on the Truckee has been good and will only get better in the next week with this storm moving through and dropping some serious precipitation. With this storm coming in nice and cold, we shouldn’t see any immediate runoff, but more of a steady increase in flows over the next week. This means the river will likely be running clear and very much fishable, this paired with very light fishing pressure and overcast days should make for some stellar days on the water. Even with a fair amount of snow expected here in town, by the time you drop into the canyon section of the river the few hundred feet elevation difference should keep snow to a minimum and access on the river wide open with minimal posthole-ing. While the water continues to run clear we recommend sticking with the smaller bugs under the indo such as BWO’s or midges and as flows continue to come up over the week try experimenting with some larger offerings like stones, worms, crawdads or streamers. Begin to fish more winter water now as fish move out of the faster pocket water and riffles and look for water that is walking speed or slower and with a depth of at least 3-4 feet. This is where the indicator shines as adjusting your depth and weight to match the run and fishing further away from where your standing is far easier.
With fish moving into the deeper buckets on the Truckee, they will often be more stacked up in fewer runs this time of year and taking your time when fishing any sure-shot runs will be increasingly important. If you’re not finding fish within the first few minutes continue to add more weight and fish deeper, if you’re still not hooking up try switching bugs. We have still been fishing down to a size 20 in midges and BWO’s this week and when fishing such small bugs using 5x is vital for getting a natural drift. With fish sitting in slower water, they will have more time to inspect your presentations and can be very discerning, so good drag free drifts, small flies and light tippet is the name of the game for now.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
The Little Truckee continues to run low and clear this week and fishing has been slow here. We are hopeful that this week’s storm will improve the dry fly bite, particularly on overcast days as BWO’s have a propensity for foul weather. Access will become increasingly tough over the next few weeks and if this storm lays down as much snow as their calling for it will likely be closed out for a while because they don’t plow this road. We see this as a positive, as these fish have seen more than their fair share of pressure over the last year. Let’s also hope that this storm brings in enough water to Stampede to allow the watermaster to raise the flows here, these poor fish haven’t seen flows above 35 for months now and are long overdue.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
We are now in the season for great shore fishing at Pyramid and the next few months out here will be your best shot at that 20+ pounder (A.K.A your biggest trout ever on a fly rod!). These stormy days this week should bring these large trout in closer to shore for longer periods of time keeping that window of good fishing open most of the day. With the colder weather ahead, it will be very important to be prepared for a full day of being in the elements, dressing in your warmest clothes and packing spare/additional layers is vital for being comfortable during a day of fishing here. If its your first time heading out here this time of year be sure to stop in the shop and check out our line of cold weather gear, including thermal tops and bottoms, wool socks, gloves, beanies, wading jackets and everything else you need to be comfortable for a day of cold weather and hot fishing at the ‘mid. Having some creature comforts such as a warm meal and thermos of hot coffee (have you tried out our neighbors Drink Coffee Do Stuff?) when spending the day out here can also be a huge moral boost and can help keep you focused for a long, cold day of fishing.
We fished here this week, and while the bite was admittingly spread out throughout the day and far from on fire as far as numbers, we only saw one fish at 20 inches with the rest all above 5 pounds and the biggest coming in at 13 pounds (see picture). We stuck with the bobber again this week, with no fishing coming on the strip. This will be an easier way to fish here during the colder months as there is less casting and handling of wet line keeping you drier and warmer. Indicator fishing will also be arguably more effective now as the fish begin to stay in shallower and higher in the water column and suspending a fly in the feeding lane keeps you in the zone longer. Leeches have been the fly to have over the last few weeks and only a handful of fish are being caught on midges. The colors vary on any given day so be sure to have a variety of sizes and colors to play around with. The general rule of thumb here will be, color: dark on dark days and light on light days, and size: small during periods of calm weather and large when waves are larger, and weight is important. But these are not rules to live by, only guidelines.
Thank you for your continued support of Truckee’s only dedicated fly shop. We are not only well stocked on gear but also last-minute holiday gifts for you or your “fishy” loved ones, so please stop in and shop local this holiday season!
- Miles and the TCO team