A significant weather change has brought precipitation and cold temperatures to the Reno-Tahoe area. Fishing conditions have changed as a result at both Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River. Water temperatures have dropped across our region and have made trout fishing better across the board. Flows continue to drop into late-fall and winter flows on the Truckee and are pushing fish into slower and deeper holding water. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout at Pyramid Lake are being caught in greater numbers from the shore as a result of the storms. We hope you enjoy this week’s report and get to spend valuable time on the water.
Following the storm system in early November, fly fishing at Pyramid Lake has improved greatly with shore fishing becoming the method of choice for a majority of anglers. As water temperatures have decreased, fish have moved into shallower water and are now targetable from the shoreline. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout feed in slightly deeper water adjacent to the shoreline, so look for depth changes that occur close to shore. Cutthroat have seemingly switched away from baitfish patterns and are keying in more on smaller presentations. Both sinking line and floating techniques have produced fish in the last week and will target roughly the same areas.
When stripping flies on a sinking line, flies such as the Pyramid Lake Bugger in a variety of colors will be a good choice. Additionally, many of the stripping flies with foam incorporated into the tie will help add additional movement to the presentation. A staff favorite last season was the Mopcorn Beetle. This fly is a spin off the standard Pyramid Lake Beetle, but utilizes a Mop Body tail on the end for added movement. This fly has an almost unfair amount of movement and is sure to be a favorite for seasons to come.
Indicator fishing has also been effective as of late. With cutthroat cruising in 8-12’ of water, indicator fishing is a good choice. This setup allows you to suspend flies at a certain depth throughout the drift. Additionally, it allows you to keep the fly in an effective zone for a longer period of time compared to the sinking line setup. Balanced leeches and Mini Jig Leeches are great choices this time of year. When fishing two of these flies, it is best to rig the top fly on a tag to allow it to balance properly. On dark and stormy days, darker colors tend to work best. The Sizzurp Balanced Leech is a new addition and available exclusively at the Reno Fly Shop. Other colors such as Peacock and Midnight Cowboy have been top producers as well. Midges and chironomids on the other hand are not fishing well which is typical of this time of year. As the season progresses, these flies will become more effective.
The Truckee River has also fished well in the past week and has seen a reduction of flows. As flows have dropped, water has become increasingly clear and Brown Trout have begun to spawn. With the addition of eggs in the river, both rainbow trout and brown trout have been keyed in on egg patterns. Bead fishing is an increasingly popular technique and is an effective way of fishing an egg pattern on a fly rod. While the egg bite has been good this fall, smaller mayfly nymphs have also been effective in the clear and cold conditions. Mayfly nymphs in darker colors such as olive, brown, or black have been effective when fished in tandem with an attractor such as an egg or bright nymph. Flies such as the Psycho Mayfly or the Micro Mayfly are great choices.
As the water temperature continues to decrease, trout are holding in slower and slower water. Try focusing on deeper buckets and slower water where fish don’t have to work too hard to hold their position. With trout in slower water, tippet diameter comes into play and can make or break a day on the water. Thinner tippet material will help fool a few more fish as we go into the end of the year. 4x, 5x, and even 6x fluorocarbon tippet are needed when fish have more time to examine your presentation. Cortland Top Secret Tippet is a customer favorite throughout the year.
While many associate fall and winter with slower fishing, this can often be a great time to target large fish with streamers or even a dry fly. Stormy weather provides favorable conditions for both of these techniques and can offer some variety to your fall and winter trout tactics. Successful streamer fishing takes place in slower water this time of year. Heavier streamers in slightly smaller sizes catch large trout on the Truckee River. Additionally, dry fly fishing can take place on days with the same weather conditions. Overcast skies and precipitation create ideal conditions for Blue Winged Olive (BWO) mayflies to hatch. While dry fly fishing does not occur all the time on the Truckee, this is certainly one of the best times to do so. Pack your dry flies next time you hit the river.
RFS Custom Leaders
We are happy to announce our series of custom leaders are now available for purchase. These leaders are built in-house and are tied to assist in fishing specific techniques for use on our local waters and beyond. Custom leaders available include Jaydacator Leaders (both Medium and Large available), ESN Leaders, Stripping Leaders, and Indicator Leaders. Click the links to view or purchase.
RFS Jaydacator Leader
RFS Euro Leader
RFS Stripping Leader
RFS Indicator Leader