Truckee Tahoe Fly Fishing Report July 30, 2021
by Miles Zimmerman
Consistent thunderstorms and cooler nights have helped current conditions on the Truckee and Little Truckee. However, we are far from out of the woods. Water temps are still hitting the 68 degree mark by mid-day so please continue to carry your thermometers with you and call it a day as water temps exceed 66 degrees to ensure that they are able to make a full recovery before it gets too warm. We have also heard a rumor that the flows will be dropped out of Tahoe City this week so please check the flows before you go or give us a call in the shop for the most up-to-date conditions here. You can find flows for the entire Truckee River drainage here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nv/nwis/current/?type=flow
This cooler weather has helped all fishing in our area and the lakes have been firing as well. For still water trout fishing in our area, we still recommending getting an early start or fishing in the evenings until dark as this is when they will be most active. These next couple of months will be the absolute best time for high elevation lake fishing in the Tahoe Basin and depending on where you hike to you can target rainbows, browns, brookies, cutthroat, tigers, and even mackinaw all off-shore on a fly, and all within a small radius of the town of Truckee.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report and Forecast
As of today (7/30) the Truckee River is flowing just under 500 CFS below the Boca confluence. These flows are fantastic for this time of year all things considered, but as stated before, we have heard through the rumor mill that flows are expected to be cut out of Tahoe City from 300 to 100 CFS on the 1st. This may make upper stretch unfishable, and will also make the water warm up faster due to light penetration. Please continue to keep a close eye on both the water temps and the flows to keep our fishery healthy, continue to do your part to avoid any loss of fish populations due to overhandling or fishing in water temps above 66 degrees. That being said, we have had some fantastic days on the river as of late and while we may not be big fans of getting up at 4 am to fish, the early bird has definitely been getting the worm. 6+ fish days have been common over the last week and we’ve been seeing a mix of all sizes of fish from 4-16 inches. Indicator remains king and stonefly nymphs paired with a PMD or caddis dropper has been a consistent producer. For those tight line nymphing using either a stonefly or a crawdad as your anchor with a PMD or caddis is the way to go, but remember that the CA side of the river can have some very deep runs and be sure to use a lot of weight to get you flies in front of those fish fast! Focus on the fast water at the top of pools, riffles, seams off of boulders or bubble lines.
Recommended Flies for the Truckee River
Stonedaddies #6-#8, Tungsten Trout Retrievers #8-#10, TJ Hookers #6-#8, Pat’s Rubberlegs #8-#10, Two-Bit Stones #6-#8, G6 caddis #14-#16, OCD Caddis #14-#16, Caddistrophic Pupa #16, Fox’s Poopah #16, Splitcase PMD #14-#16, Juju Baetis #16-#18, Olive Mic Drops #16-#18, Jigged PMD’s #14-#16, TNT PMD’s #16, Flexy Floss Worms #12, Zebra Midges #16-#18
Little Truckee River Fly Fishing Report
The Little Truckee has had consistent flows in the low 40’s and water temps have been getting to 68 degrees by the warmest points in the day (3-5 P.M.). Please consider fishing elsewhere and reducing angling pressure on these overworked fish. While the current conditions are considered fishable, they aren’t ideal, these fish have had very little chance to rest in some time as last year’s mild winter had people fishing out there most of the year. Please keep in mind that this is just a suggestion and we are not telling you that you are unable to fish here, but with an abundance of other fishing opportunities in our surround area we ask you to at least consider it.
Fish on the Little Truckee have been looking up quite a bit over the last few weeks and dry fly fishing here has been good, but they have been even pickier than usual due to the low water and heavy angling pressure. Small emerger patterns imitating PMD’s, BWO’s, Midges or Caddis have been out fishing the adults so have a good selection of these bugs as well as 6x tippet to conceal your presentation. Fishing during morning hours will be best as this is when fish remain most active and will ensure that you are fishing when temps are below 66. There is the chance of fishing the evening caddis hatch at dusk, but we ask you to please keep a close eye on temps as it is possible the river hasn’t cooled off enough by this point in the day. For those using the tight line rig, try two small flies in sizes 16-22 using 6x fluorocarbon and focus on any faster water, riffles or seams off of boulders. These fish are wise however, and if you’re not getting any bumps after fishing a few runs make adjustments. Change your flies, amount of weight and depths, but mostly your flies as this is what they can get most picky on. Keeping stealthy as you approach any given run will be extra important with the current conditions so take your time when fishing here, if you see them chances are they can see you!
Recommended Flies for the Little Truckee River
PMD Comparaduns #14-#16, CDC PMD’s #14-#16, RS2 PMD #14-#16, Mole Flies #18-#20, Griffiths Gnat #18-#22, Dandelion Midge #18-#22, Olive RS2’s #18-#20, Palomino Midge in black #18-#22, Zebra Midges #18-#22, Juju Baetis #18-#20, Anato-Mays #18-#20, Splitcase PMD’s #14-#18, Flexy Floss Worms #12-#14
Truckee Tahoe Still water Lake Fishing Report
While our nearby lakes have been on the warm side for trout fishing, the smallmouth bite remains good! The high elevation lakes in the Desolation Wilderness and Jackson Meadows areas have been still fishing well most of the day for a good variety of trout species. The cooler weather this week has made for great conditions for both hiking and fishing but be sure to carry a rain shell with you over the nest few days as we expect more thunderstorms through the end of the week. Float tubes are a great option for the lakes you can drive in to, but don’t count out shore fishing when there’s no other option. When shore fishing a new lake take a second to look at the shoreline and look for structure, similar to reading moving water, you’re looking for drop offs, weed lines into deeper water, shelves off of sand bars or any kind of color change indicating a change in depth. Trout often remain within 20-60 feet off shore most points in the year and usually within 6-12 feet of water depth. Even when fishing in a float tube I’m often positioning myself towards the shoreline fishing up to structure, most of which you can fish off the shore. The major advantage of using a float tube is being able to cover water quickly with little impediments. Please stop into the shop and let us run you through your many options to still water fly fishing.
Recommended Flies for local still water fishing
Pheasant Tails #12-#18, Hare’s Ears #12-#18, Copper Johns #12-#18, Chironocones #14-#18, Ice Cream Cone Midges #10-#16, Albino Winos #14, Cutbait Midges #12-#16, Damselfly nymphs #12-#14, Balanced Leeches #12-#8, Simiseal Leeches #10, Woolly Buggers #8-#14, Bellyache Minnows #8, RP’s Ants #12-#14, Carpenter Ants #12, Morrish Hoppers #8-#12, Mimic Hopper #8-#10, Callibaetis Dries #14-#16, Callibaetis Spinners #14-#16, Parachute Adams #14-#16, Griffiths Gnat #16-#22, Dandelion Midge #18-#22
Thanks again for being a part of the Truckee Tahoe fly fishing community. Stop by the shop for the latest information on where to fish, and what to use. And thanks for tagging us on Social Media so we can share your stories. We love it.
Tight lines! – Miles