Truckee River Fly Fishing Report December 31, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
With a solid snowpack after a record-breaking December, access to our local waters will be very difficult in the week ahead. But those willing to do a little leg work will be rewarded with the shot at some big fish. Don’t forget that the California Department of Fish and Game changed the regulations allowing most trout rivers and creeks to remain open in the winter months for catch and release fishing, which opens up a lot of options for the ambitious angler!
The town of Truckee and local Caltrans are working diligently on snow removal and most major access point along the Truckee and other local waters are still limited. Please be cautious of where you are parking your vehicle when heading out to the water to allow for continued snow removal.
Truckee River Fishing Report and Forecast
While access to the river is limited, if you’re willing to make it happen you can be rewarded with a shot a some quality fish. One thing to keep in mind about fishing in the winter months is the type of water you are targeting, when water temps plummet, fish will push back down into deep slow water. When fishing this time of the year, we will often head to one or two deep runs in a day and spend a couple hours fishing them thoroughly, this is due to the fact that the fish are looking to minimize the amount of energy used to feed based on their lowered metabolisms. It’s also due to the fact that getting around will be tougher with the deep snow along the banks.
Another great thing about fishing right now (besides the non-existent fishing pressure) is the fact that the large fish found in this river must feed daily to maintain their mass. Because of this, your shots at hooking a Truckee River monster go way up! We have been finding most of our fish under the indo, fishing deep (6’-8’ and sometimes more) with a good amount of weight and targeting the slowest water we can find that still maintains some kind of current. Be sure when you’re fishing like this that you maximize the amount of time that your flies spend in the water by casting as far upstream as possible and mending your line in a way to allow for the longest drift possible, assuring your flies have enough time to sink and reach the proper depth, this is a very common oversight.
With the slow release of water from the snow right now, the visibility remains great in the river so small winter bugs such as BWO nymphs and midges are going to fish best, but worms, stones, crawdads and eggs are never out of the equation. Before the storm, streamer fishing was great on the Nevada side of the river around West Reno and we expect this to remain the case in coming weeks as the next few storm systems move through. This will also be a great time to explore the sections around Lockwood and Mustang Ranch as water temps will be a few degrees warmer making fish more active and due to the fact that there is an abundance of winter “frog water”. For those of you that kept your rafts accessible this winter, now’s a great time to try a float down here and will be great streamer and dry fly fishing over the next couple of months. If you have any questions about put-ins or take-outs along the river we are happy to help.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
Heavy snow will keep the Little Truckee inaccessible as the road out here is not plowed. We are happy to see these heavily pressured fish get a break after a long summer with low flows and warm water.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report
Fishing at Pyramid Lake will be great for those willing to make it out here through the winter weather and holiday traffic. These overcast days almost always improve the bite for the day as the weather helps keep fish in close most of the day. This week the bite along the southern beaches has been best and we recommend beaches like Popcorn, Wino, Sandhole and Blockhouse, but of course this can change in an instant and it’s wise to be adaptable and willing to move around accordingly. Fishing under the indicator will still be our primary way of fishing out here this time of year but stripping streamers can be a good way to mix up the day if staring at a bobber gets monotonous. We have Jaydacator’s online and in the shop. Having a variety of balanced leeches, midges, buggers, beetles and boobies in various colors and sizes will be important right now as fish can get selective on any given day. We also have a great set of Pyramid flies online and in the shop.
This time of year can also be absolutely grueling in terms of the weather and wearing the appropriate layers will be very important to a comfortable day out here, come on in and check out all of our great winter gear including thermals tops and bottoms, gloves, heavyweight wool socks, and heavy duty wading jackets, not to mention all of our tackle such as rods, reels, lines, nets and flies… we’ve got you covered!
PS – We just decided to have a New Year’s Sale at the shop to help provide more incentive for you to fish this winter. Now until January 9th, get 25% off waders, boots, and winter gear.
Be safe out there – and happy new year!
– Miles and the TCO crew