Fly Fishing Report | Pyramid Lake & Truckee River | late December 2022

Dec 29, 2022 | FISHING REPORT, Pyramid Lake, Reno Fly Shop, Truckee River

2022 has been an exciting year and we want to thank you for the continued support. We hope you find time to get out and fish this week to finish out the year. Both Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River have been fishing well depending on the day and water conditions. The storm system that arrived earlier in the week brought significant precipitation to the area. With more storms on the way, conditions may change quickly on our local waters. Please call the shop or stop by for an up-to-date report.

Pyramid Lake

Fly fishing at Pyramid Lake continues to improve with each passing week as we reach the end of 2022. Active weather patterns have helped improve fishing conditions and should continue to do so through the first week of the new year. As fish continue to feed in areas adjacent to the shoreline, a variety of flies have fished well depending on the type of beach you are fishing. In sandy areas, flies stripped on sink tips have done very well when the fish are in. While the generality of “dark day, dark fly and bright day, bright fly” works, there are many times when bright flies with white or chartreuse incorporated work well on dark days. Tadpoles in white and chartreuse have been effective on these days when stripped along the bottom with a heavy sinking line. 

The indicator bite has varied day to day at Pyramid Lake. On the cloudy days, fish tend to stay closer to shore- resulting in a better indicator bite. On sunny days, they tend to move out into deeper water making the indicator bite slower. Depending on wave height, effective flies have changed significantly. When waves are large, Balanced Leeches have remained effective. When wave heights decrease, smaller flies tend to work better. Flies such as the Mini Jigged Leech in Diablo or any of the Holo Midge variations have caught fish in these conditions. As we inch towards 2023, the midge bite has improved and will continue to do so until April. Many fish are being caught on midges now, so it is worth making a few fly changes throughout the day to hone in on effective flies for the day.

Due to the recent storms, mudlines have formed in multiple areas along the shore of Pyramid Lake. These mudlines are the result of muddy water entering the lake as runoff from rivers and drainages that feed the lake. When a mudline forms, it limits visibility typically along the shoreline. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout tend to use the mudline as cover and feed along it as they work up or down the edge. Depending on the size of the cloud of mud, it may even corral fish in a specific way. By setting up and presenting your flies along the edge of a mudline, you put the flies in front of more fish. 

Flies we Suggest: Pyramid Lake Tadpole, Pyramid Lake Beetle, Pyramid Lake Bugger, Balanced Leech, Mini Jig Leech, Holo Midge

Truckee River

The Truckee River received a flush at the beginning of the week. Flows in Reno increased significantly on December 27th and have begun to decrease at a slow rate over the last two days. At the time of this writing, the Truckee River at Reno gauge shows 310 cfs. 

As of Thursday (12/29), river clarity has improved dramatically and flows have dropped into an ideal level. While the water still has a tint to it, smaller flies have continued to fish well. The high flows have a tendency to reorganize fish and freshen the river. Streamer fishing is a great option for anglers looking to target large rainbows and browns as clarity improves. When fishing a streamer this time of year, it is important to present the fly near the bottom and at a slightly slower speed than other times of year. With water temperatures being as low as they are, fish tend to move a bit slower.

Nymphing the Truckee River is an effective option when flows are in flux during a storm system. On days of improving water clarity, a two-fly rig with one bright  nymph and one dark nymph will find a few fish. The Neon Jig is an effective attractor nymph that gets down quick with a heavy tungsten bead. The Duracell is a go-to fly for many anglers fishing the Truckee River in the winter. Behind a Neon Jig, Duracell, or Fire Starter, try fishing a smaller nymph that represents either a small mayfly or a midge. The Micro Mayfly and Hot Butt both work great in this scenario.

Dressed up for a Party

Dry fly fishing has suffered as a result of the increased flows and diminished water clarity. Hatches may not build the way they would in more normal water conditions; so it will be best to wait for the storm to pass. After the storm settles down and water clarity improves, trout will continue feeding on midge and Blue Winged Olive hatches throughout the Nevada side of the Truckee River.

The Truckee River will likely rise over the weekend to an unfishable level by Saturday. The river will more than likely appear blown out with little to no visibility. Following the weekend, river levels should decrease at a moderate pace- returning to a fishable flow at the beginning of the week. With the anticipated increase in flow, anglers should adjust their rigging to match depth and flow. You can increase your effectiveness by adding more weight to the presentation or lengthening the distance between your indicator and fly. Below is a flow prediction from NOAA for the Truckee River at Reno NV gauge with an expected flow of around 4,000 cfs!

Flies we Suggest: Neon Jig, Duracell, Fire Starter, Micro Mayfly, Hot Butt

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