Truckee River & Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report January 14, 2022
by Miles Zimmerman
These sunny days in the Truckee/Tahoe area make for a good time to get outdoors, and with skiing on most people’s mind, our local waters will be available for those thinking outside of the box and the reward will be a quiet day outside with a shot at some incredible winter fish. As the snow continues to melt at lower elevations and packs down to a base at higher elevations, this will be a great time to try some other locations either on the less-fished sections of the Truckee or maybe busting out the cross-country skis or snowshoes to try some of our local lakes or creeks that have had difficult access since the storm moved through.
Weekends have been very busy here in town and ski traffic has caused multiple-hour traffic jams along 89 and 267 causing further backups along I-80 and Donner Pass Rd. The parking lots at these resorts have been filling up by 8 o’clock and the traffic has not been letting up until the afternoon. This frustrating occurrence is something we’ve seen in Truckee for years, but it seems to get worse every season. We encourage you to explore other options when looking to get outside for the day, especially on weekends. Human powered sports such as cross-country skiing, splitboarding or skinning, snowshoeing, and fishing are great alternatives to burning up fuel while sitting in ski traffic or standing in long lift lines at crowded resorts this time of year. Please think about your carbon footprint when choosing how to enjoy your day in the Tahoe Basin.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
With the extended forecast calling for continued sunny days, access on the California side of the Truckee River will become easier and easier, and while this mild weather will make being outside more pleasant the bite could get tough with the combination of low and clear water and bright sun. While there is still enough snow to limit parking along areas like 89 South and Glenshire Drive, as you drop in elevation you will see the snow levels dissipate by the time you get to Hirschdale and both the Floriston and Farad exits will have plenty of parking with little snow to impede you from getting to the river.
These high-pressure weather patterns have made the bite a little tough and with that we’ve been seeing improved fishing in the evenings when water temps are at their highest and when the sun starts to go over the hill. We’ve still been using typical winter patterns such as zebra midges and baetis while occasionally throwing in some attractor flies such as worms, stones, copper johns and prince nymphs for those aggressive fish tired of looking at size 20 bugs. The streamer bite up high has seemed to shut off with the shift in weather and the water temps being at their lowest point in the year. Hopefully, as day become longer, and we begin to see more overcast days, we can expect this method to improve. The lower stretch of river could be a different story however as the areas east of Sparks will be a few degrees warmer and will have more turbidity to the water which should make those fish a bit more grabby, still though, any stormy weather or overcast should really switch these fish back on and that will be the best time to chuck meat.
Little Truckee Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
Access on the Little Truckee will still be closed out to all vehicles and only accessible via cross-country skis or snowshoes. For those willing to put in the leg work we would expect good dry fly fishing using BWO’s and midges in sizes 18-22 and possibly good action on streamers for the fish that haven’t seen flies in a bit! Due to this being a tailwater, water temps will typically be a few degrees warmer than freestone rivers and fish should be more active throughout the day.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
The bite out here remains a little tough during these sunny days and while the larger fish are still moving around this time of year. During days with bright sun and little to no wind, the fish will often be just out of reach for the shore angler. Using streamers can help up your odds with conditions like this and we recommend putting in some time with your sinking lines during the low light hours here. Don’t forget you can fish an hour before sun-up and an hour after sun-down, and these times can be the best bet at finding that big fish cruising in shallow. The bite remains more consistent along the southern beaches right now, although the fish seem to be smaller. For a better shot at numbers try beaches like Popcorn, Blockhouse or Sandhole. If hunting for the bigger fish we suggest the beaches Warrior Point, Spider Point or Pelican. Either way, it’s not a numbers game right now and landing any more than 3 fish should be considered a successful day, but of course when a small fish is 5 pounds there’s not much of a reason to complain! With the average size of fish continue to go up at this lake, this incredible fishery will provide you with your best shot at a PB trout and even a potential world record. Always bring your A-Game here and use heavy tippet (in the 12-15 pound class), make sure your flies are tied on strong hooks, and most importantly pay attention and make sure every take counts as that 30 pound fish is always just a cast away! February is arguably the best month for your shot at that record fish, so check the extended forecast and try planning your trip here over the next few weeks and ideally during a storm system.
Hope to see some of you at the shop this week and out on the water.