Truckee River & Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report January 21, 2022
by Miles Zimmerman
We’ve seen a very dry January thus far and these sunny day and cold nights have gone a long way in packing down the snow here in town making access to the river easier and easier as the snow gets firmer and melts off completely at lower elevations. Let’s continue to pray for snow over the next few months to further bolster our snowpack, as historically February and March are our snowiest months here in the Sierra.
As for now sunny days and firm snow conditions make for a good time to do some exploring to some spots with difficult access during the stormy weather. Walking further from access points on the CA side of the river can get you into runs that haven’t seen anglers in the better part of a month and can provide some incredible fishing. Footprints in the snow are a dead giveaway whether someone else has paid a visit to the run before you and if the snow is undisturbed along the banks of the run you approach, expect to get a few takes!
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
The Access along the Truckee continues to get easier but still expect some limited parking in spots like Glenshire Drive and Hirschdale as well as no parking for areas like Horner’s Corner and The Schoolyard as dense snow berms block off these pull-offs along I-80. Further down the hill however, we are starting to see little to no snow at Floriston and Farad and for those looking to avoid walking in snow to get to the river these will be your best places to fish for the day here on the California side. Fishing in the Nevada side has been good even though the flows are still a little on the low side of our January average. In Verdi and West Reno look for long, slow, and deep runs, as the cooler water temperatures are causing the fish to push back into feeding areas with very little current.
On overcast days or during low light periods, streamer fishing will still be an option but it has seemed to slow down significantly in this area as water temps hang in the mid-30’s and fish are less willing to move on swung flies. By the time you get east of Sparks along areas like Lockwood, Mustang Ranch and beyond, the fishing changes significantly as the rainbows can still be found holding in pocket water and riffles, while the browns are looking for the tail outs and frog water. This area is where using streamers and fishing dry flies will be most effective as well as using a euro nymph set up in the medium speed water to locate the rainbows. With the water clarity significantly diminished on this eastern section of river, fishing flashy baetis nymphs when tight lining has been working best whereas with the clearer water found upstream we are still recommending smaller and more natural patterns such as Juju Baetis and Zebra Midges.
Little Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
While access is now made somewhat possible for an adventurous angler by a packed down road, the state watermaster has been doing some peculiar things with the flows here within the last week seeming to shut down the bite entirely. It looks to be that the flows coming out of stampede have been fluctuating from +/- 60 CFS rapidly down to 20 CFS every day for the last week. Let’s hope this is due to some work being done on the dam and it won’t resume much longer so these fish can see regulated flows again real soon as this is not a healthy was to maintain such a prized fishery.
While this pattern continues, we ask you not to fish out here and let these fish have their space. With that said, while the road is technically drive-able with a high clearance 4x4 vehicle equipped with good snow tires, there have been a lot of people getting stuck out here and extreme caution should be taken if attempting to get back here in a car, because while the road itself is packed down the sides of the road are still very soft and any little misstep can get you into trouble. So it’s probably best to just stay out of this area until flows stabilize and the snow melts off the road a bit more.
Pyramid Lake Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
The last week at Pyramid has seen some slow fishing as we get continued high-pressure weather and as the full moon came and went. Even though conditions are less than ideal in terms of the weather, the water temperatures are still keeping fish feeding to some extent and we are still in the midst of the best time of year to get a 20 plus LCT in the net. We encourage you to keep an eye on the weather and focus on getting out on days with increased winds or any cloud cover, as these factors can really up your odds.
Fish remain pretty spread out along most beaches and any beach with a good drop off will likely get you into some fish. Balanced leeches have been the most consistent producer under the indicator, and this will likely remain the case over the next couple of months as the midge bite usually picks back up around March, so be sure to keep a good inventory of leeches on hand. With the sunny days and lack of wind, the fishes’ depths have been a little less predictable so play around with your fly depth throughout the day. Our rule of thumb is to start shallower in the mornings and set our flies deeper as the day progresses, fishing anywhere from 6-12 feet throughout the course of the day. Stripping flies has been a good option along a number of the southern beaches or anywhere with sandy bottoms and where a significant drop off can be found. Buggers, boobies and beetles will all be good bets there, with color combos like midnight cowboys and chartreuse over white consistently producing. A well-presented, large streamer can also do well, but these behemoths tend to feed more like a trout than a salmon despite their size, so in general, smaller offerings tend to out fish the bigger ones.
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