Truckee River Fly Fishing Report September 17, 2021
by Scott Keith
Things in Truckee feel a little more normal with less smoke and some cooler mornings. Miles has hit the road to Montana to fish, so we’re bringing you a collection of notes from staff and friends to provide a new report and forecast for the days ahead. The best news was that the National Forest Lands opened back up on Thursday which means more of the river is open for fishing. Specifically, spots above Hirschdale into Truckee, and from Truckee up to Tahoe City are ok to fish again. That said, with the lower flows up top, fishing will be limited, and we recommend looking for more water below Boca Dam towards Nevada.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
We have been doing well with nymphs, and those of us that have been tight-line fishing have been having some very exciting days. Our lead photo this week is from Jeff Sasaki using his MARVRK Stinger setup. My main European-Style Nymphing rig for this time of year includes a crawdad at the bottom of my 4x leader – yes that’s right – 4x because 5x might break with some of these larger fish going for the larger offerings. I also add some weight, a split shot just above the crawdad or stonefly, depending on the speed of the water and how long it takes for the fly to get down into the zone. Above the larger fly, 12-16” up, I add a smaller 16 Rainbow Warrior or Zebra Midge on a 3-4” tag end of a double surgeon’s knot.
Streamers have been improving daily and will continue to improve over the coming weeks. With the lower water, these Trout can be spooked easily, so hucking a weighted streamer across the water and stripping it all the way back can be a great way to work more shallow moving water away from your position. Be ready for the grab, especially in front of structures like a boulder just under the water, or behind it, and before drop offs. They are holding out where they get more protection, and one larger rock in a field of a bunch of small ones can be the spot. Again, think 4x tippet here coming off your tapered leader, or use a weighted leader if you have that. Sculpzilla in gray or olive has been working, or another with some flash might coax the big guys out. With streamers, the key is to keep moving and working the water.
We saw some more mayfly hatches this week after the rain, making your options for dry fly fishing broader. Late mornings have seen more activity, and now the evenings have started to improve with the cooler temps too. What Mile’s said last week still applies for this week here.
“PMD’s or BWO’s happening mid-day, and while this bite is spotty it’s a good idea to be prepared with your dry fly box when a hatch occurs and fish aren’t interested in you sub surface offerings. But do your work and check the riverbed for what bugs are moving about, or hanging on the rocks in the moving water.”
Check with Scotty or Chance in the shop for the latest news on what’s working now.
Recommended Flies for the Truckee River
Juju Baetis #16-#20, Anato-Mays #16-#18, Rainbow Warriors #16-#18, Lightning Bugs #16-#18, Flexy Floss Worms #14, San Juan Worms #12, Gummy Worms #12, Globugs #12-#14, Olive Mic Drops #16-#20, TNT PMD’s #16-#18, Bottom Rollers in sherbert #8, Zebra Midges #16-#20, Hackle Stackers #16-#18, Melon Quills #16, Mole Flies #16-#18, Morrish Hoppers #8-#12, Mimic Hoppers #10-#12, Chubby Chernobyls #6-#12, Para Adams #16-#18, Griffiths Gnats #16-#20
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Update
The Little Truckee is now open. Since we have not been out there yet, we can only imagine that fish appreciated the break from the angling pressure. This time of year, be aware of any area where spawning could occur and avoid their clean ‘redds’ at all costs. We need to protect this amazing fishery – and this is one important way to do that. This warning applies all fall as the fish work their way up the river from Boca to spawn.
If you choose the fish here, have a variety of nymphs as well as dries as fish tend to rise here with regularity. Perhaps a hopper dropper set up as we should see more Grass Hoppers in the dry grass now. An attractor fly like this can be a smarter choice compared to an indicator here to avoid a larger splash to these sensitive fish. And you just might get an exciting take on the big dry on the surface. The main bugs here are BWO's, Midges, Caddis and Worms. We recommend 6x tippet and long leaders for dry fly fishing here, as well as a stealthy presentation for you best success on the LT.
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
Thanks again for reading our report and supporting the shop. Share your news with us, as we love to hear what’s working for you.