Fly Fishing Report Truckee River and Area Lakes | Late September 2018

Sep 21, 2018 | FISHING REPORT, Reno Fly Shop

Truckee River

Flow in the Truckee River is bouncing between 350 to 290 at the downtown gauge. These changes are pretty typical this time of the year as the Federal Water Master begins to throttle back the irrigation season and our municipal demands reduce. Remember that 85% of our communities drinking water comes from the Truckee River (why we always need to conserve water usage). The good news is that the flows we are experiencing now should largely be the minimum flows that we will have until winter storms arrive. This should make for some amazing Fall and early Winter fly fishing conditions!!



Fishing has been very good! The brown trout are definitely getting more active, and we are catching them in faster water. Streamer fishing is starting to pick up with the sun lower in the horizon more often through the day. This is a really exciting way to fish as the size of the fish eating other fish will be larger on average. The key to streamer fishing is covering water. Only a small population of fish will be willing to take a streamer so fish quickly and “stick and move”. Otherwise, european style nymphing has still been key on the Truckee River. You just can’t beat the ability to dynamically change depth and speed of your drift while fly fishing! We’re still using stoneflies with some success. Don’t be afraid to let those large flies swing at the end of your drift as this can trigger a predator/prey response in trout. PMD (pale morning dun) mayflies are still present, but we’re seeing some Baetis early in the morning when it’s cold.

Fish have been rising! It’s sporadic and difficult to target, but may be a more reliable option as we move farther into Fall.

We’ve also been using smaller mayfly and caddis nymphs (hook size #16-#18)

Flies That We Suggest: Carat, Spanish Bullet, Perdigon black and red, G6 Caddis, Tunghead Stonefly, Masked Marauder, Sculpzilla and Weir’s Sculpin

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Area Still Waters


Water surface temps have really cooled off with colder overnight lows. Fish are moving into the shallows in the morning and only retreating to around 10 feet during high sun. It’s a great time to get the float tube out and target these fish all day long. A couple of weighted wooly buggers or sheep creek specials are an exciting way to target trout in these lakes in the morning. Streamer action should dwindle as the sun rises unless you have a full sink line and let the line get down to where the fish are holding. Floating line with or without indicators is also an effective way to fish right now. Balanced leeches and midges should get the job done.  

Flies That we Suggest: Flying Ant, Chironocone, Gilled Nymph, Wooly Bugger, Sheep Creek Special, Zebra midge, Red Eye Damsel, Balanced Leech, Yankee Buzzers


If you want to try an exciting stillwater this Fall, try a RIO Midge Tip Line. The InTouch MidgeTip Long is a floating line with a 6ft long, clear intermediate tip that sinks about 1.5 inches per second, made in a clear-camo. This line is deadly effective on windy days and when fishing in shallow bays, close to lake shores and over the top of weed beds, and perfect for fishing nymphs, emergers and chironomids (buzzers) in the top 24 inches of the water column.


We are starting to get geared up for Pyramid lake! My next report will include Pyramid Lake. Until then follow us on social media @RenoFlyShop to get daily posts about fishing opportunities and on the water reports.  

I’m excited to see what this fall has instore for us! It should only get better from here.

Mike Anderson @mt_anderson

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