Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and Pyramid Lake late October – After the Storm


Your fly fishing report for late October has been a fun one to put together. It is much easier to discuss conditions on the Truckee River when there is water. The storm that moved through last weekend was obviously very big and in some areas record breaking in total precipitation. These will impact fishing conditions in the short term but can only help clean things out and improve things in the weeks to come.

You will notice that the some of the pictures in today’s fishing report aren’t from our watershed. Staff have been able to get out between storms and explore some great regional fisheries. We hope to put together some trip reports for your enjoyment soon. In the meantime if you are interested in finding out more please ask one of us here in the shop.

Brierley getting in a Fall afternoon on the Truckee River

Truckee River

At the downtown Reno gage the river is just over 500 cfs after peaking over 5,000 cfs at the downtown gage during last weekends historic storm. It was great to see water in the river again and we will take whatever we can get whenever we can get it. 

The fishing conditions have continued to improve through the week as water begins to clear and the fish have had the chance to reshuffle and find new places that have been dry for a couple months. We have been using Squirmy Worms and heavier stoneflies to help the fish find the flies but will transition to more conventional, small/dark nymphs, soon.

Lexi on the lower Sac in Redding, CA

We have been asked several times this week what the river is going to do following this storm. We anticipate that the flushing flows that we experienced on Sunday will only improve the overall health and condition of the Truckee River. While not ideal timing for the brown trout spawn cycle it is better to have a river with water in it then not. 5,000 cfs is a good volume of water with medium strong velocities to allow the movement of sands and gravels. The natural movement of sands and gravels will naturally clean the sediment and allow for not only improved fish habitat but also prime conditions for the macro invertebrates (bugs) to reestablish themselves for biodiversity and fish food.

John and Griffin on the Yellowstone River, MT

As you can see from the hydrograph above the water flows have dropped dramatically since Sunday and are now slightly higher than the median flow rate. We anticipate that these flows will be sustained for at least the next couple of weeks, if not months. Lake Tahoe raised over 6 inches during the storm and is now being allowed to naturally discharge to the Truckee River.

These flows combined with flows and natural runoff from the undammed tributaries should keep flow conditions near median flows for the next several weeks if not through the first of the year. We hope by then an active winter storm pattern will have more precip events lined up.

Does it get any better?

While the water is at these levels and remains slightly off color the streamer game should be amazing. We have quite a few articulated streamer patterns in the shop. Come check them out.

Flies we suggest: Carot, Hot Butt, French Nymph, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Quill Jig, Perdigon Olive and Red #16, Duracell, Zebra Midge Red and Black #18 and #20, ID Theft #14-16, Mini Leech Olive and Black, D&D, Heisenberg Cowboy, Cheech Leech


Pyramid Lake

Not sure how much Pyramid Lake raised over the week but can imagine it was measurable. Earlier in the week many of the beaches had muddy water conditions from tributary runoff. If you pull up to your favorite beach and find it uniformly muddy it might be best to pick another spot. If however, you can see a clearly defined boundary between muddy and clear water it is worth floating flies on the clear side or stripping fles from muddy to clear. If you are interested in more details on this tactic swing by the shop and we can cover it.

Dave on the California Delta

Fishing has been somewhat slow this week at the lake with muddy water and high pressure conditions. This should change through the weekend as a low pressure system is forecasted to move into the area on Monday. Focusing on low light conditions, early and late in the day, will provide the best opportunities for fish.

Pyramid Lake Flies We Suggest: Boobies (Spanish Olive, Cat Whisker, Diablo), Pyramid Lake Beetle, Bellyache Minnow, Jans Tui-Chub, Balanced Leech, Holographic Midge, Pyramid Lake Fly Selection

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