Fly Fishing Report | Truckee River, High Mountain Lakes and Carp | mid August | Gear Highlight; Deeper Sonar and RFS HydroFlask

Aug 11, 2022 | FISHING REPORT, Reno Fly Shop

August is off to a great start with many places in our region fishing well. In this report, we will focus on the Truckee River but would like to highlight high altitude fishing as well as carp fishing. August heat will continue but there is still plenty of opportunity to fish a number of waters in the area. While a day in the mountains is always nice, carp and other warmwater fish can be an exciting pursuit this time of year. We hope you have a great weekend on the water.

Truckee River

Following a week of steady thunderstorms, the Truckee River has fished well and benefited from the recent rainfall. The storms here in Reno passed through and dropped enough rain to raise river flows to just over 700 cfs at the Reno gauge. As a result, water clarity decreased with each shot of rain but flows were quick to come down and fishing has improved in the last few days. 

On the Nevada side, fishing has been best in the morning while water temperatures are at their lowest of the day. Many fish are now in their summertime holding areas which means you’ll want to focus your efforts on faster and shallower water. If you are out early you can often find the trout in these shallow areas finishing a night of eating crayfish and while they still feel safety in low light conditions.

Crayfish and Golden Stoneflies have been very productive fly patterns lately. These meals are much larger than the typical food items (mayflies, caddis, midge) and fish have keyed in on the larger fly more often than not. Most of the time, these flies fish best in fast water since the trout have a short window to examine the fly and make a choice. The Mini Crayfish Jig is a great fly for fishing fast and heavy water. Matching the fly weight to the type of water will be key as heavy flies are best fished in heavy fast water. In pocket water, heavy flies are necessary. In shallow riffles and slower velocities, a lighter fly will drift at the correct speed leading to more hookups. Smaller mayflies and caddis have also been effective at times. The ESN rig has been very effective since fish are in fast and/or deeper water. Dry dropper is a good approach when fishing the shallow riffles.

The California side of the Truckee has fished well in the last week despite tributaries blowing out and bringing dirty water into the river. Bronco Creek was responsible for a majority of the sediment we observed. As clarity increases throughout the week, dry dropper rigs should find a few fish. With the trout pushing into shallower water, big foam flies with a nymph underneath will present well in fast and shallow water. Flies like Para Madam X or Stimulators work well as attractors on top. The nymph on a dry dropper rig could be a variety of patterns. Many of the ESN jig-style flies work well on a dry dropper rig. If you need to change your depth, consider changing fly weight before changing the tippet section between the dry and nymph. 

Flies we Suggest: Nemec Stone, Masked Marauder, TJ Hooker, Mini Crayfish Jig, Jawbreaker Orange, Jigged Brush Hog, Carot, Quill Jig, Mylar Prince, Perdigon, Stimulator, Para Madam X, Panty Dropper Hopper, Spring Creek Hopper

Other Area Waters

With the summer heat continuing, many local anglers are hitting the high country. The Sierra Nevada is well known for it’s backcountry lakes and streams. These high altitude areas experience long winters and as a result – are not accessible year-round. The window of opportunity is now for many of these lakes and streams. There are multiple species you can target within an hour drive of Reno/Tahoe. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout are also prevalent in local waters and can offer a different perspective on the species as compared to fishing Pyramid Lake. Rainbows, browns, and brook trout also inhabit many of these waters. If you are looking for a challenge or a new approach, try some of our high mountain waters.

 High altitude fishing often requires a degree of stealth. Most lakes up high have good clarity and can make fish a bit picky. While many of our local still waters are approachable with a balanced leech and a bobber, fish in the high country can require a more accurate match to the food of choice. Bugs such as Callibaetis and Water Boatmen are important to many of these lakes. Additionally, hatches of small midges occur at most of these destinations so it’s a good idea to carry small chironomids. Thinner diameter leader and tippet can greatly increase success in the high country as well. A 9’ 5x leader and a spool of 5x fluorocarbon tippet will cover almost all high mountain applications. August is a great time to put on the hiking boots and head to the high mountain lakes and streams in our backyard.

Carp fishing around Reno has hit stride the last few weeks and many local anglers choose this as their primary target species until cooler weather arrives. Carp are feeding with regularity in the morning after the sun comes up and the water begins to warm. When choosing a day to carp fish, wind forecasts are useful and can show you the least windy times during the day. Ideal conditions for carp fishing is little to no wind with a high sun. Light penetration into the water will allow you to see the fish even in discolored water. The “drag and drop” technique is a popular method of presenting flies to carp. This technique suggests, slightly over casting the target fish and then dragging (retrieving) the fly into final position. It hopes to reduce spooking by having the fly plop close to their cone of vision during the cast.

Additionally, carp are receptive to a dry dropper presentation. The dry fly acts as an indicator for a nymph suspended 6-8 inches below the surface.  On the right day, a carp will sip your hopper off the surface.

Flies we suggest: Squirmy Hybrid, Carp Worm, Jan’s Carp Tickler, Para Madam X, Panty Dropper Hopper, Red Eye Damsel, Living Damsel, Birds Nest

Gear HighlightDEEPER Sonar/Fish Finders


We won’t lie and say we aren’t already thinking of the start of Pyramid Lake season. Just a couple months from now we will be driving out and hoping for a 20+pounder. As many of you know the early part of the season can be tricky. The surface temps can be warm and the trout can be deep. Coming up into shallow water to eat but to quickly return to depth.

We have found that knowing the depth of water we are fishing in can improve our liklihood of finding fish throughout the season but especially early and late. There have been many techniques to estimate the depth out in front of us that have been less than reliable and prone to losing whatever it is we have tied or clipped to our leader (if you know, you know…). For the past few seasons we have been using a castable sonar/fish finder from Deeper. This is a reliable and affordable tool that has increased our understanding of Pyramid and other stillwaters. We have secured a source of these devices and have gotten our first shipment in.

Deeper Pro+2 and Deeper Start castable sonars are in stock and ready to ship. These castable fish finders connect to a smartphone via an internal WiFi signal. These castable sonars allow you to read depth, structure and mark fish at specific depths. The Deeper Pro+2 has improved features as well as the ability to build a bathymetric map off the scans it makes. This is a must-have tool for all stillwater fishing. Stop by the shop or click the link to learn more. 

Reno Fly Shop Customized – 32 oz – Hydro Flask Bottle

The RFS Hydro Flask keeps your drink cool for a hot day on the water. These are available in-store and online!

  • Ideal size for all-day hydration
  • Fits most backcountry water filters
  • TempShield™ insulation keeps beverages cold up to 24 hours and hot up to 12 hours
  • Durable 18/8 Pro-Grade Stainless Steel construction
  • BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with our Wide Mouth Flex Sip™ Lid and Wide Mouth Straw Lid
  • Lifetime Warranty
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