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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River, High Mountain Lakes and Carp | mid August | Gear Highlight; Deeper Sonar and RFS HydroFlask

August is off to a great start with many places in our region fishing well. In this report, we will focus on the Truckee River but would like to highlight high altitude fishing as well as carp fishing. August heat will continue but there is still plenty of opportunity to fish a number of waters in the area. While a day in the mountains is always nice, carp and other warmwater fish can be an exciting pursuit this time of year. We hope you have a great weekend on the water.

Truckee River

Following a week of steady thunderstorms, the Truckee River has fished well and benefited from the recent rainfall. The storms here in Reno passed through and dropped enough rain to raise river flows to just over 700 cfs at the Reno gauge. As a result, water clarity decreased with each shot of rain but flows were quick to come down and fishing has improved in the last few days. 

On the Nevada side, fishing has been best in the morning while water temperatures are at their lowest of the day. Many fish are now in their summertime holding areas which means you’ll want to focus your efforts on faster and shallower water. If you are out early you can often find the trout in these shallow areas finishing a night of eating crayfish and while they still feel safety in low light conditions.

Crayfish and Golden Stoneflies have been very productive fly patterns lately. These meals are much larger than the typical food items (mayflies, caddis, midge) and fish have keyed in on the larger fly more often than not. Most of the time, these flies fish best in fast water since the trout have a short window to examine the fly and make a choice. The Mini Crayfish Jig is a great fly for fishing fast and heavy water. Matching the fly weight to the type of water will be key as heavy flies are best fished in heavy fast water. In pocket water, heavy flies are necessary. In shallow riffles and slower velocities, a lighter fly will drift at the correct speed leading to more hookups. Smaller mayflies and caddis have also been effective at times. The ESN rig has been very effective since fish are in fast and/or deeper water. Dry dropper is a good approach when fishing the shallow riffles.

The California side of the Truckee has fished well in the last week despite tributaries blowing out and bringing dirty water into the river. Bronco Creek was responsible for a majority of the sediment we observed. As clarity increases throughout the week, dry dropper rigs should find a few fish. With the trout pushing into shallower water, big foam flies with a nymph underneath will present well in fast and shallow water. Flies like Para Madam X or Stimulators work well as attractors on top. The nymph on a dry dropper rig could be a variety of patterns. Many of the ESN jig-style flies work well on a dry dropper rig. If you need to change your depth, consider changing fly weight before changing the tippet section between the dry and nymph. 

Flies we Suggest: Nemec Stone, Masked Marauder, TJ Hooker, Mini Crayfish Jig, Jawbreaker Orange, Jigged Brush Hog, Carot, Quill Jig, Mylar Prince, Perdigon, Stimulator, Para Madam X, Panty Dropper Hopper, Spring Creek Hopper

Other Area Waters

With the summer heat continuing, many local anglers are hitting the high country. The Sierra Nevada is well known for it’s backcountry lakes and streams. These high altitude areas experience long winters and as a result – are not accessible year-round. The window of opportunity is now for many of these lakes and streams. There are multiple species you can target within an hour drive of Reno/Tahoe. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are also prevalent in local waters and can offer a different perspective on the species as compared to fishing Pyramid Lake. Rainbows, browns, and brook trout also inhabit many of these waters. If you are looking for a challenge or a new approach, try some of our high mountain waters.

 High altitude fishing often requires a degree of stealth. Most lakes up high have good clarity and can make fish a bit picky. While many of our local still waters are approachable with a balanced leech and a bobber, fish in the high country can require a more accurate match to the food of choice. Bugs such as Callibaetis and Water Boatmen are important to many of these lakes. Additionally, hatches of small midges occur at most of these destinations so it’s a good idea to carry small chironomids. Thinner diameter leader and tippet can greatly increase success in the high country as well. A 9’ 5x leader and a spool of 5x fluorocarbon tippet will cover almost all high mountain applications. August is a great time to put on the hiking boots and head to the high mountain lakes and streams in our backyard.

Carp fishing around Reno has hit stride the last few weeks and many local anglers choose this as their primary target species until cooler weather arrives. Carp are feeding with regularity in the morning after the sun comes up and the water begins to warm. When choosing a day to carp fish, wind forecasts are useful and can show you the least windy times during the day. Ideal conditions for carp fishing is little to no wind with a high sun. Light penetration into the water will allow you to see the fish even in discolored water. The “drag and drop” technique is a popular method of presenting flies to carp. This technique suggests, slightly over casting the target fish and then dragging (retrieving) the fly into final position. It hopes to reduce spooking by having the fly plop close to their cone of vision during the cast.

Additionally, carp are receptive to a dry dropper presentation. The dry fly acts as an indicator for a nymph suspended 6-8 inches below the surface.  On the right day, a carp will sip your hopper off the surface.

Flies we suggest: Squirmy Hybrid, Carp Worm, Jan’s Carp Tickler, Para Madam X, Panty Dropper Hopper, Red Eye Damsel, Living Damsel, Birds Nest

Gear HighlightDEEPER Sonar/Fish Finders

We won’t lie and say we aren’t already thinking of the start of Pyramid Lake season. Just a couple months from now we will be driving out and hoping for a 20+pounder. As many of you know the early part of the season can be tricky. The surface temps can be warm and the trout can be deep. Coming up into shallow water to eat but to quickly return to depth.

We have found that knowing the depth of water we are fishing in can improve our liklihood of finding fish throughout the season but especially early and late. There have been many techniques to estimate the depth out in front of us that have been less than reliable and prone to losing whatever it is we have tied or clipped to our leader (if you know, you know…). For the past few seasons we have been using a castable sonar/fish finder from Deeper. This is a reliable and affordable tool that has increased our understanding of Pyramid and other stillwaters. We have secured a source of these devices and have gotten our first shipment in.

Deeper Pro+2 and Deeper Start castable sonars are in stock and ready to ship. These castable fish finders connect to a smartphone via an internal WiFi signal. These castable sonars allow you to read depth, structure and mark fish at specific depths. The Deeper Pro+2 has improved features as well as the ability to build a bathymetric map off the scans it makes. This is a must-have tool for all stillwater fishing. Stop by the shop or click the link to learn more. 

Reno Fly Shop Customized – 32 oz – Hydro Flask Bottle

The RFS Hydro Flask keeps your drink cool for a hot day on the water. These are available in-store and online!

  • Ideal size for all-day hydration
  • Fits most backcountry water filters
  • TempShield™ insulation keeps beverages cold up to 24 hours and hot up to 12 hours
  • Durable 18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel construction
  • BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with our Wide Mouth Flex Sip™ Lid and Wide Mouth Straw Lid
  • Lifetime Warranty
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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and local urban ponds | late July 2022

Truckee River 

The summer heat is finally upon us. After a long cool beginning to summer, the heat has caught up to us. Flows on the Truckee River are holding strong at 250 cfs through the downtown gauge, but water temps are rising above 70 degrees consistently at the Sparks gauge (the only gauge with a thermometer). We have started fishing earlier in the morning or further up the river system where morning temps are a cooler 61-64 degrees. We suggest keeping a thermometer with you and testing the water before, during, and after fishing and once the water hits 68 degrees consider fishing elsewhere. 

The Truckee River does not have Hoot owl closures in Nevada or California. We suggest, if you are practicing catch and release, that you consider water temps when making your decision to fish.  On a side note, the daily temps are forecasted to drop significantly next week with highs only in the upper 80s for Reno. This should get things back in great shape throughout the day. Until then bring a thermometer.

That being said, the fishing has been good during the early morning. The trout are feeding well, moving between fast shallow riffles and deeper moving water that may have a fast seam nearby. Takes have been quick and easy to miss in the fast moving water as trout dart side to side to grab prey items. The Hopper/Dropper style has been an effective way to target this shallow water with a few takes on the Hopper dry. Fly selection for the dropper is small size 16-14 mayflies nymphs and caddis pupa. Golden stones are beginning to show up in California, but I have yet to see one on the Nevada side. 

Truckee River Flies We Suggest: Fire Starter, Panty Dropper Hopper, Spring Creek Hopper, Mini Crayfish, Hot Cheek, G6, Mini Jig Leech, French Nymph, Bead Head Hares Ear, TJ Hooker, Truckee River Dozen

Truckee River and Urban Ponds

Carp fishing is an underutilized and exciting way to beat the heat. Carp will feed in the morning until the sun gets high and hot. We are fortunate to have Carp in the Truckee River, but also in local urban ponds and lakes making them a super fun target. Carp are a tricky fish to catch as they are extremely spooky and cannot usually be coaxed into eating. They are a blast and rewarding fish to catch with several reel spooling runs before they give up.

 Here are a few tips to catch your first carp!

  1. Consider booking a guide trip focusing on Carp. There is a lot of nuance to catching these fish. 
  2. Target only fish that are in shallow water, feeding with their nose down and tail up. 
  3. Fly presentation is key. Carp like the fly to drop vertically from the surface to the ground less than a foot in front of one of their eyes. 
  4. Watch the fish to know when they have eaten your fly. They should swim over to a well presented fly and “wiggle” that’s a sign that they may have sucked in your fly.

Flies We Suggest: Carp Worm, Squirmy Hybrid, Carp Tickler, Bead Head Prince Nymph, Mini Crayfish

Interested in more info on Carp? Check out the Reno Fly Shop Podcast Episode #55 with John Bartlett dedicated to nothing but carp!

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On-the-Water Report | Truckee River | mid July 2022

Truckee River Flies We Suggest: OCD CaddisJoe’s Mini CrayfishHot Cheek, G6 CaddisMini Jig LeechHair Wing PMDElk Hair CaddisJigged BuggerTJ HookerCarp Worm, Drunk and Disorderly, Truckee River Dozen

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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and other area waters | early July 2022

Truckee River 

We have been fortunate to be experiencing a mild summer so far. Flows and water temperatures are perfect and the fish are biting! Flows have been averaging 350 CFS through the downtown gauge. There are a lot of bugs the trout have to choose from. With the cooler temperatures all the hatches seem to be a little late this year. The crayfish bite is heating up as the Truckee river is consistently above 60 degrees through most of the day.

PMD May flies are a summer staple and can be represented either with nymph patterns, Redemption PMD, or with adults patterns, Hair Wing PMD. They are typically a size 16, but a few hatched adults have been close to a size 14. The Caddis hatch has also arrived and happens each evening. The G6 Caddis is a staff favorite to cover life stages of pupa through emerger. We are still waiting for the large golden stoneflies to appear, but as I said earlier, some hatches may be a little late this year. 

If you are lucky enough to get a windless evening, the dry fly hatches that I have seen have been some of the most prolific hatches in recent memory. Mayflies, Caddis, and even some tardy little yellow sallies are piquing the trout interest. It’s a short window, only the last hour of light or so. Dry dropper/hopper dropper has become more effective too as the water levels have dropped making most riffles and heads of runs shallow enough and fast rough to really make this technique work well. Steamer fishing has been ok. I think the trout are focusing more  on the crayfish in the last couple of weeks. 

Truckee River Flies We Suggest: OCD Caddis, Joe’s Mini Crayfish, Hot Cheek, G6 Caddis, Mini Jig Leech, Hair Wing PMD, Elk Hair Caddis, Jigged Bugger, TJ Hooker, Drunk and Disorderly, Truckee River Dozen

Other Area Waters 

With a few warmer days in the books, higher elevation fisheries are opening up and fishing well. I like to focus on using a lot of terrestrial dry flies on higher elevation creeks and lakes where there is not a lot of food diversity. Because these fish get so little pressure they are usually pretty eager to take most flies. Many of the same dry flies we suggest in the Truckee River portion should work well on these creeks. Wet wading is the best approach as you jump from rock to rock and bucket to bucket chasing these wild trout. Check out our wet wading guard socks from Adams Built we have stocked for just this purpose.

As far as our other local still waters are concerned, fishing is in full swing! It’s best to be out during lower light time like morning or afternoon as the fish will tend into deeper water as the sun gets higher in the sky. Terrestrials on high elevation lakes can be a ton of fun on a windy day. Fly selection might be a bit more critical as the fish have a bit more time to inspect our offerings. Take your time and identify the hatch and match it the best you can. When fishing from a tube or boat, vary your depth often trending towards deeper water as the day goes on. As always the windward side of the lake is best as it pushes all the food in that direction. 

Flies We Suggest: Red Eye Damsel, Hale Bopp, Elk Hair Caddis, Panty Dropper Hopper, Gilled Nymph, Yankee Buzzer, Holo Midge Brown/red and Red/Gold, Micro Booby, Thin Mint Bugger

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On-the-Water Report | Truckee River | late June 2022

Flies we Suggest: Elk Hair Caddis, E/C Caddis, G6 Caddis, OCD Caddis, Bead Head Crystal Caddis, Jigged Bugger, Hair Wing PMD, Hot Spot

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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and area Stillwaters | late June 2022

The Reno area has some exceptional trout fishing going on right now. The Truckee River has had prolific hatches of multiple insects in the last few weeks and fishing has benefited. Runoff has subsided and the river conditions have improved. With noticeably clearer water we suggest fly size and tactics must change in order to catch fish throughout the day. Have a great weekend and we hope to see you on the water.

Report prepared by: Aden Breckner

Truckee River

The Truckee River has fished very well in the last week and should continue to do so through the end of June. With runoff in the rearview mirror, true summertime fishing is taking place. As the days have gotten increasingly warm, a number of anticipated hatches have started and provided good dry fly fishing. On the Nevada side of the river, Yellow Sallies have been hatching in large numbers just prior to sunset. These small stoneflies are enticing meals for trout on the surface as the sun goes down. You’ll want to look for slower water with structure mixed in if looking for rises. Flies such as the Snowshoe Sallie or a small Stimulator will get the job done.

Additionally, Caddis have shown themselves on a steady basis over the last few days. Caddis such as the E/C Caddis have worked well in the evening. These flies work best when bounced or twitched slightly to replicate the natural movement of a caddisfly depositing eggs. 

The last bug to keep an eye out for is the Pale Morning Dun Mayfly (PMD). These mayflies are typically a pale yellow with a hint of green, and can hatch during the early and then the late hours of the day. Cloudy days will help amplify the hatch and fish may key on these adult mayflies mid-day. Look for slow water similar to where you’ll fish the Yellow Sallie. A great imitation for the PMD is the CDC PMD Dun or the Hair Wing PMD. Lets not forget the “Trusty” Rusty Spinner either…

Nymph fishing will continue to be the most productive method of fishing the Truckee River. As flows have diminished, fish have been caught on smaller and smaller flies. When fishing in the morning hours, try a mix of small mayfly nymphs in the 16-18 size range. Flies such as the Redemption PMD or the Micro Mayfly. As the day carries on, start mixing in caddis to your nymph rig. The Carot has been a top producer with some anglers running two when the bite is on. If trout are not keying on the Carot, smaller caddis nymphs such as the G6 Caddis or the OCD Caddis in a size 16 have worked well.

 Bigger nymphs such as Nemec Stones, TJ Hookers and Mini Crayfish Jigs have fished best in the heavy pocket water associated with summer fishing on the Truckee. In the last few days we’ve caught many fish around rocks in fast water. Additionally, they have been eating at the tops of riffles and any other fast water available. Don’t be afraid to fish shallow water as big fish use these areas to ambush their food. 

The California side of the Truckee River has also fished better as a result of the warmer days and decreased flows. Bug life is similar to that of the Nevada side with the addition of Green Drakes. This large mayfly is both green and yellow, size 8-12 hook. The Sir Francis Drake is a great option when bugs are actively emerging and hatching. This dry fly incorporates foam into the tie and can suspend a lightly weighted nymph below. While the dry fly fishing is limited to certain conditions, trout will continue to gorge on nymphs below the surface. The size 12 Jigged Bugger in Olive is a great Green Drake nymph pattern. This fly can be fished effectively on both an ESN and indicator rig.

Flies we Suggest: Snowshoe Sallie, E/C Caddis, Sir Francis Drake, Redemption PMD, Micro Mayfly, Split Case Jig, Carot, Nemec Stone, TJ Hooker, Mini Crayfish Jig, Jigged Bugger

Other Waters in Our Area

Many waters have opened up in the high country in the last few weeks. Hobart Reservoir in Nevada has fished well in the last week. The reservoir has come alive with many different insects. Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, and Tiger Trout all live in the lake and are more than willing to eat a well presented fly. The shallow end of the lake consists of continuous weed beds. A dry/dropper rig can fish very well in this zone and will rack up numbers of brook trout. A simple Parachute Adams in size 12 or a Para Madam X in a size 8 will get the job done. Below the dry, you’ll want to place a dropper anywhere between 1-3 feet below. If moving over to the deeper end near the dam, intermediate and sink 3 fly lines will get flies down to feeding fish. Leeches, buggers,and damsels will all put fish in the net.

Flies we Suggest: Parachute Adams, Parachute Madam X, Hale Bopp, BH Wooly Bugger, Red Eye Damsel, jigged Mini Leech, Panty Dropper Hopper

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On-the-Water Report | Truckee River | mid June 2022

Flies we suggest: Snowshoe Sallie, Elk Hair Caddis, Masked Marauder, BH Pheasant Tail, Redemption PMD, OCD Caddis, Jigged PMD, CDC Pheasant Tail, Carotene, Truckee River Dozen

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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and area stillwaters | early June

Truckee River 

The conditions on the Truckee River have changed a lot from our last report. Flows have dropped considerably and are holding steady around 600-650 cfs through the downtown gauge. We are seeing some spikes in flows and turbid water, but these are isolated events and the water clears quickly. Fishing seems to be best on the downward side of the graph. As the water recedes more obvious channel structure is taking shape. This concentrates the trout in more obvious locations and makes them a bit easier to target.

There are still a lot of bug varieties available, and during afternoon/overcast skies you can find dry fly action. Most of the fish are targeting mayflies on the surface in a size #12-14, but I’ve seen rises for caddis and little yellow sallies as well. As far as nymphing goes, the smaller stoneflies like the Masked Marauder are key. The Yellow Sallie Stonefly hatch is short but dense and the trout are looking for them. Searching nymphs in sizes #12-16 have been working too. 

Streamer fishing has been less predictable, but on most days it is worth a fish or two, and some days it’s the main food item they are looking for. I like to combine soft hackle nymphs with streamers as this smaller presentation can sometimes change a territorial strike into a feeding one. 

Truckee River Flies We Suggest: Perdigon red, Masked Marauder, Snowshoe Yellow Sallie, Jigged CDC PT, Assassin, Parachute Adams, Para Madam X, Psycho Mayfly, Prince Nymph, Truckee River Dozen

Local Stillwater 

Our local still waters are fishing very consistently. Fish are in shallow water in the early morning and late afternoons the fish will tend towards deeper water as the sun warms the surface, but they will probably not be deeper than 10 feet. Look for weed lines and fish parallel to them. It is suggested to use a float tube this time of year as the fish are going to begin moving into deeper water as we continue to get warmer days. Always remember, the trout will towards the lee side islands and points to hide from wind. This is crucial in being effective especially if you intend on throwing dries. 

Flies We Suggest: Red Eye Damsel, Mini Jig Leech, Elk Hair Caddis, Flying Ant, Gilled Nymph, Yankee Buzzer, Holo Midge Red/Brown and 49’er, Micro Booby Fly, Micro Beetle

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Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and area lakes | TJ Hooker Tying Tutorial and Tying Kit

Memorial Day weekend is here and the beautiful weather has turned stormy. It is almost reassuring to have this element of consistency in a rather unpredictable world. This stormy period isn’t supposed to last long and if there is any silver lining is that the cooler temps and light precipitation will all help to delay runoff farther into the summer months. With all of that said, our area waters are really waking up. The Truckee and our area lakes are all fishing well and the typical seasonal hatches are showing up. We hope that you can get out soon and enjoy some great time on the water.

Truckee River 

The Truckee river is flowing around 900 cfs through the downtown gauge. This is good for extending our summer fishing season and keeping flows we are hoping into August. It does make fishing a little difficult as there is more water in the river and more room for the fish to hide. We suggest that one should cover water effectively and methodically and assume the trout are everywhere. 

There are a lot of insect varieties in the river, flying ants, PMD, Caddis, and Little Yellow Sallies are all starting to appear. We’re finding the fish are active on the pale morning dun nymphs which are usually a size 16 and are a light brown to tan coloring. We have some great patterns to represent these. Staff favorite. Crawfish and other baitfish are getting active as well so we are seeing more activity on streamers. 

Fish are still in medium to slow water at the moment, but they are venturing into faster water during warmer days and later in the afternoon. 

Truckee River Flies We Suggest: Perdigon red, E/C Caddis, Masked Marauder, Redemption PMD, Psycho May, TJ Hooker, Drunk and Disorderly, Flying Ant, Truckee River Dozen

Local Area Stillwater 

Water temperatures are starting to warm nicely, bringing hungry trout into shallow water to feed. Look for fish to be chasing prey items along weed lines. Damsel flies are getting active, as are terrestrials. Carpenter ants will be active on warmer days. Look for ants to fall into the water during windy afternoons. They will stack up on wind lines and be blown into coves. Callibaetis are still hatching in the mornings and evenings, as are caddisflies. Fish will be closer to shore until the water really warms up. Having a boat or a float tube is not necessary this time of year. 

Stillwater Flies We Suggest: ID Theft, Red Eye Damsel, OCD Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Flying Ant, Callibaetis Nymph

TJ HOOKER TYING KIT AND TUTORIAL –

We have prepared a tying kit and tutorial for one of the shop staff favorites, the TJ Hooker. This is a variation on the classic, the Pat’s Rubber Leg. New to this version is a barbless jig hook,  Life-Flex legs and a premium Marabou tail. Follow along with Mike Anderson as he ties the TJ Hooker.

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On-the-Water Report | Truckee River | mid May 2022

Flies we Suggest: Duracell, Psycho Mayfly, Masked Marauder, Jigged Pheasant Tail, Assassin, Split Case PMD, May’s RFS Truckee River Dozen

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