Apr 18, 2024 | Reno Fly Shop

Fly Fishing in the Reno-Tahoe area is changing with the start of spring runoff. Pyramid Lake should improve following the spawn and we are looking forward to fishing the lake as the water warms. Additionally, the Truckee River will remain fishable using a high water approach. There are a vast number of places to fish through both April and May – check the end of the report for a few suggestions. We hope to see you on the water soon.

Truckee River by Aden Breckner

Fly fishing on the Truckee River has been good over the last few weeks. Looking forward, flows are expected to increase on a daily basis as we enter spring runoff. Flows at the Reno gauge are just above 1,000 cfs as of this writing. With increasing flows, we will turn towards high water tactics. 

Fish get pushed up near the bank this time of year. You are looking for soft edges and protected water where fish can find relief from big flows. Inside bends are a great place to start looking for fish. Nymph and streamer fishing are the two favored techniques during this time. When nymphing, ESN setups can be effective since you are often fishing short drifts in close quarters. With decreased water clarity, fish can often be found in water as shallow as 12 inches. Adjusting weight and leader length are crucial to success this time of year. In some spots you may need a heavy rig to get down quickly; while other spots may require a light rig to suspend over submerged grass and debris. The Squirminator will be a hot fly over the next couple weeks since the banks will be submerged. Stoneflies like the TJ Hooker are also a good bet. If water clarity improves (changes day to day), try fishing standby patterns like a size 14 Carot or a Fire Starter in the same size.

Streamer fishing will be the quickest way to find “the one”. Many anglers look forward to spring runoff as the largest fish in the river get pushed to the bank and become catchable. Streamers should be large and flashy in most cases. Flies like the Articulated Trout Slider or Barely Legal are great options.

The following articles discuss high water tactics relating to the Truckee River but can be applied to most of our regional streams. 

Flies we Suggest: Squirmy Worm, Squirminator, Tunghead Stone, TJ Hooker, Firestarter, Carot, Jigged CDC PT, Articulated Trout Slider, Kreelex, Barely Legal

Pyramid Lake by Mike Anderson

The spawn is in full swing, but should be ending soon. The surface temps have increased quite a bit from our last report. This has accelerated the spawn and will get us back to good fishing soon. The bite has actually picked up some with the increased temperature, and should continue to do so until the surface temps get above 65+ degrees.

Both the indicator and retrieve bites have been working. Micro Holographic Midges have been the best bet in very shallow (4-6 feet) water. The fish will start to retreat into deeper water as the spawn ends but will not go into very deep water (+20 feet) until the surface really heats up. The Boobies and Beetles are still working but it seems as if the fish are focusing more on Pyramid Lake Buggers at the moment.

We believe we still have a good month of fishing left out at Pyramid Lake, and as stated above it should only get better until the surface temps are too hot. While there have been periods when conditions have been challenging this season, there are still large fish being caught with some regularity for those putting in the time! Get out and make the most of the season.

Flies We Suggest: Pyramid Lake BeetleBoobyPyramid Lake Bugger, Holo MidgeMicro Holographic MidgeBalanced LeechPyramid Lake BeetleBoobyPyramid Lake Bugger

Other Regional Opportunities

There are many other places to fish over the next month! Three locations our customers have had good fishing recently include the East Walker, Prosser Reservoir, The Little Truckee, and Davis Reservoir. All four of these waters offer a unique experience and diverse fishing situations.

The East Walker has seen a phenomenal month of fishing on the Nevada side. Nymphing in the morning turns into great dry fly fishing in the evening for both rainbow and brown trout.

Prosser Reservoir has fished well for Lahontan Cutthroat, Rainbow, and Smallmouth Bass. Trout tend to congregate around inlet areas and can be caught on dries, nymphs, and small streamers. The Smallmouth Bass can be found around rocky or woody structure and are eager to eat streamers or balanced leeches.

The Little Truckee is a great place to escape the high flows of the main Truckee River. Daily occurrences of mayflies can be found right now and the dry fly fishing in the afternoon can be tricky but very rewarding. The “LT” fishes well even in higher flows – as water coming out of Stampede Reservoir is consistently clear and cold.

Davis Reservoir holds a solid number of Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout. This is a local favorite stillwater option in the months of April and May. Indicator fishing tight to ledges and drop-offs is the most productive method as fish cruise for a good meal. Leeches and chironomids are your best bet and you can sometimes see good numbers of fish cruising these ledges.


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