Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and area Reservoirs | early/mid May 2022

It’s been an unpredictable Spring here in Reno Tahoe. We’ve had a mix of weather and conditions over the last few weeks but are excited for the warmer weather this weekend. Currently there are a number of local waters in good shape and a bit of exploration can pay dividends. A number of our local reservoirs have fished well given the cold temperatures the last few weeks. Flows on the Truckee have also diminished due to the slowing of spring runoff. Have a great weekend and we hope to see you on the water. 

Truckee River

The Truckee River has come down in flow in the last few days. We had a cold storm blow through town this past week and really cooled everything off. As a result, runoff slowed and river flows dropped to under 800cfs. Clarity has improved considerably following the drop in flow throughout the Nevada side. Water temperature also decreased here in town which shifted the types of water fish were found in. 

With forecasts predicting a warming trend this upcoming weekend, we expect to see bug life improve down here on the Nevada side. With warmer temperatures and increased bug activity, fish will be eating heavily. A mix of bug types will get the job done. Caddis such as the OCD Caddis and the Ticket are great choices on those warmer days. Additionally, nymphs such as a bead head Birds Nest does a great job representing the Yellow Sally Stonefly which we are eagerly awaiting as our next seasonal hatch. 

European Style Nymphing (ESN) is the preferred method of anglers this time of year on the Truckee River and other local waters. As the water continues to warm, trout will move into faster water such as riffles and pocket water. This fishing method presents flies well in areas where a  short, deep drift is needed. We are starting to use many of the big anchor flies that often account for big Truckee Trout. Bugs like the TJ Hooker and the Mini Crayfish Jig will be good choices from here on out. While we are transitioning into warmer summerlike conditions it is best to select “suggestive” patterns more than “imitative” patterns. The shop favorite Firestarter nymph is back in stock here at the shop and has caught a good number of fish this Spring. 

It’s not too long until bugs start hatching in good numbers down here on the Nevada side. Warmer evenings in mid-late May call for opportunities at rising trout. This time of year, I always carry a few dry flies. High floating Elk Hair Caddis and Yellow Sallies can fish well in the last half hour of sunlight. Look for slicks and flat spots near the bank with a good amount of cover. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded operations at Marble Bluff Dam on the Truckee River  this season and recorded a total of 798 Lahontan Cutthroat Trout to the facility. 

Flies we Suggest: Firestarter #14, OCD Caddis #14, the Ticket #14, TJ Hooker #8, Masked Marauder #8, Mini Crayfish Jig #6, Elk Hair Caddis, Snowshoe Yellow Sallie, Heisenberg Cowboy

Pyramid Lake

With most anglers gone for the season, Pyramid Lake is quiet most days. Many other waters are fishing well, so anglers are drawn elsewhere this time of year. However if you make it out this time of year can still provide some great chances. Pyramid Lake fishes well in deeper water best accessed from a boat or float tube. For the remainder of May, water in the 15-30 feet depth range seems to produce best. Heavy flies are needed at deeper depths, so think big and heavy. Jigged Streamers or simple marabou/bucktail jigs work great. We most often fish these on the same shooting head lines used for stripping from the beach throughout the season. We like the Scientific Anglers Sonar Surf for this tactic. We have jig heads available up to a 1/8oz here at the shop. If tying your own jigs- colors such as white, chartreuse, or gray produce good results. 

Slip-indicator rigs also work well this time of the year. Fishing out of a boat, float tube, or kayak gets you into water in the ideal 15-30 foot range. Balanced leeches in colors such as Peacock or White work best on this rig. Ideally, the bottom fly will suspend within a few feet of the bottom of the lake. Swing by the shop and we can gear you up for the late season bite at Pyramid Lake.

Flies we Suggest: Jan’s Tui Chub Olive #2, Jan’s Perch Fry #2, Sculpzilla White #4, Sculpzilla Olive #4, Balanced Leech Peacock #8, Balanced Leech White #8

Other Local Waters to Note

Stampede Reservoir

Stampede Reservoir offers good fly fishing for smallmouth bass. Many of the rocky areas along the East side of the reservoir have produced quite large smallmouth bass this Spring. Typically you can find some solitude up here and the fishing provides a new challenge. Slow retrieves or indicator presentations are working well. I prefer an indicator rig with either a balanced fly or jigged fly underneath. Anything resembling a baitfish or crawdad can get a grab. Pick a section to fish and methodically work the structures, covering distance along the bank. 

East Walker River

The East Walker has been fishing well the last few weeks. With flows fluctuating between 40cfs and 70cfs, many sections of river are accessible currently that may not be at a higher flow. Following the California opener, the California side of the East Walker is open for fishing. This opens up a good chunk of water. If fishing the Nevada side, the water will likely be a bit more turbid so try fishing brighter flies, mylar prince, and squirmy worms. Streamer fishing can be a lot of fun this time of year with bright flies. Try Jan’s Tui Chub as an attractor streamer.

Stop by the shop to get set up and have a great weekend!

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