What a December! The Sierra have broken a previous record from 1970 with the most snow in the month of December. Over 200 inches of snow have fallen with still a few more days left to add to an ample snowpack. This is incredible news for the next spring and summer, as our reservoirs should get a healthy volume of water. The 10 day forecast is for an unsettled weather pattern to continue with disagreement on how much additional precip we will get. While we never would turn away precip it might be okay to be on the low end of the forecast this time to allow the Tahoe area to dig out and get prepped for the rest of winter. The Sierra Snow Lab has received 70% of the seasonal average in the first three months of the water year (Oct-Dec).
Flows through Reno responded to the front end of this storm period when things started warmer but have now stabilized around 300cfs for now. Water temps have dropped dramatically too with the daily high just approaching 35F. This may slow things down for a while, but they will adapt and begin feeding on smaller midges and baetis with just a few degrees warmer temps. Fishing more towards mid day when the water begins to warm and hits its peak temperatures will be best. Just be careful of ice and snow on the banks making wading difficult.
We’re getting closer to the blue winged olive hatch that begins usually in mid to late winter. Look for overcast, not windy days to begin this feeding pattern.
Surface temps have dropped considerably with these past storms. For the most part the LCT are feeding depending on wind conditions. We have been making a day by day call on where and how to fish depending on conditions. On days that are stormy, all bets are off and both retrieving flies and indicators should work well. It seems that retrieving flies yields better returns on these days though.
Calm days with cloud cover most often we will fish under an indicator. This technique keeps your flies in the strike zone longer, but retrieving flies can be effective in the morning and evening and if the wind picks up. Warmer nicer days are indicator days. Fish will push into deeper water, not necessary further from shore but deeper.
Balanced leeches have been most effective for the indicator bite, but I would not rule out a midge, as many fish are still looking for these smaller but plentiful food sources.
Woolly buggers have been the preferred retrieving fly, and because I’m focused on the technique on darker days my flies are darker too. Beetles and boobies have worked too, but not as much as a good ol’ bugger.
Check out our new buggers for Pyramid Lake online and in store!
Pyramid Lake Flies we Suggest: Pyramid Lake Buggers, Boobies (Spanish Olive, Cat Whisker, Diablo), Pyramid Lake Beetle, Bellyache Minnow, Jans Tui-Chub, Balanced Leech, Holographic Midge, Pyramid Lake Fly Selection