Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River and Stillwaters | mid May 2020

Truckee River 

We are currently at 950 Cfs at the downtown Reno gauge. We have passed our annual natural peak flow. This is the peak flow of natural snowmelt and unregulated inflow. Flow in the Truckee River will gradually reduce to our “summer flows” coming from the 7 upstream reservoirs.

For those counting the 7 upstream reservoirs controlling water in the Truckee River are, Tahoe, Donner, Prosser, Independence, Stampede, Boca and Martis Creek. These lakes/reservoirs allow us to enjoy the Truckee River fishing year around and also provide a majority of the Reno/Sparks drinking water supply.

Amy with a Truckee River Meat Eater

Fishing on the Truckee has been difficult the last few weeks, but we are noticing a turn in the right direction as the fish are getting more active!

Flows are still strong, so getting your flies through the water column quickly will ensure the best results. European style nymphing with large heavy flies will ensure your flies get to and maintain depth throughout your drift. Size 14-10 nymphs are best but in some of the deeper sections of the river adding a larger (heavier) stonefly or jigged streamer will for a taught sighter at depth. 

Mike’s tying kits are back in stock

Focus on reading water and look for slower softer water in runs and glides. The difference in flow can be difficult to see as glides at this flow can look like a solid sheet of moving water but a patient eye can find the nuance in non-descript water. 

Bugs are in full swing and we are observing a lot of the normal hatches. Flying Ant were out last weekend (this week’s cold weather might reduce these), Caddis, Stonefly, Baetis. We are still waiting for the little Yellow Stoneflies (if you see some let us know). Green Drakes and PMDs should be on deck and appearing in the next few weeks, stay tuned.

Flies we suggest: Carot, The Ticket, G6 Caddis, OCD Caddis, Nemec Stone, Masked Marauder, CDC Red Tag, Parachute Adams, Parachute Madam X, Perdigon, ID Theft, Sculpzilla, Weirs Sculpin

Local Still Waters

Before a recent cold snap, we were noticing the annual carpenter ant “hatch” as afternoon temperatures were averaging 65 degrees and above. Fish were happy to sip off the surface,and were focusing on wind lines on the windward banks of that days given wind. This should pick up again once we return to warmer temps. 

“Pro-tip” Increase the size of your flies and tippet for stillwater fly fishing. Most flies will be from 14-10 with the occasional 16 for smaller midges on days where fish are picky, and tippet should be 3-4x. If you are concerned about lack of action with your fly on the heavier tippet a Non Slip Mono Loop Knot can help a ton.

Fish are in shallower water for most of the day(10 feet and less). Focus on shallow areas that have access to deep water or weed lines that likewise are near deep water. Fish are more aggressive in the spring so retrieving flies can be an effective way to target feeding fish. Vary retrieve speeds to find the sweet spot that fish are most willing to react to. 

Flies We Suggest: Gilled Nymph, Zug Bug, Red Eye Damsel, Flying Black Ant, Yankee Buzzer, Wooly Bugger, Belly Ache Minnow 

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