Rivers

One of the unique aspects of our area rivers is we consistently produce some of the largest trout in the world even though they never reach the sea. Whether it be dry fly, nymph or streamer, our waters offer quality year round fly fishing. Here are some of the waters that we feel are worth the time to explore and are excited to share our knowledge about with you.

TRUCKEE RIVER

OVERVIEW

The Truckee River starts in beautiful Lake Tahoe and terminates into Pyramid Lake. In it’s almost 110 mile path it spans alpine forests, steep rocky canyon, urban development and desert landscapes. The halfway point runs right through the heart of the Truckee Meadows that is home to the cities of Reno and Sparks. With the Reno Fly Shop only a few steps away from the riverbank, the Truckee River is more than accessible and full of strong rainbow and brown trout. Depending on the season for climate and flow conditions, the Truckee River fishes well from the USA Parkway area (east of town) all the way up through the town of Truckee, CA. About 55 miles of fishable water. 

The Truckee River can be a difficult river to figure out due to its complex currents and large stretches of pocket water. Traditional nymphing methods work, but European Style Nymphing (long rod with long leader and no indicator) is most efficient and has risen in popularity over the last five years. 

We specialize in this technique and are ready to support your day on the water. If you would like to shorten the learning time, we encourage you to schedule a half or full day with one of our guides. 


GUIDED TRIPS

Guided Trips on the Truckee River are done exclusively by walk and wade. All gear will be provided at the angler’s request at no extra charge (rod, reel, waders, boots, flies, and terminal tackle). Most often, clients will meet their guide at the beginning of the trip at the Reno Fly Shop. 

Call the shop for pricing.

Half Day Guided Trip

  • 4 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

Full Day Guided Trip

  • 8 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

SEASONS ON THE TRUCKEE

Spring (March-May)

Springtime on the Truckee is often one of the best times to hook one of the fabled trophy trout the river holds. Flows and weather vary widely. One year we may have lower flows that offer great nymphing and possible dry fly fishing, while the next year may include high flows from snow accumulating in the Sierras throughout the winter. In high water events, tactics change and the angler must adapt to current conditions. 

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Summer (June-August)

Summer on the Truckee is one of our favorite times of year. Bug activity is at annual peak and the fish respond. Throughout the summer the water temps continue to rise and push the trout into fast slots and pockets. During this time golden stones and crayfish tumble down the river and provide the rainbow and brown trout with an easy meal. Besides the big meals, caddis, PMD, yellow sallies, and midges float down the river and fill the trout’s bellies all day long.


Fall (September-November)

After the summer heat dissipates, autumn fills the air and the fishing continues to be strong. After swimming hard all summer and maintaining their spot in fast pockets, the fish push back into traditionally slower runs with calmer current. Continuing into late fall, the brown trout prepare for their spawn and begin to feed on big meals. Fishing an articulated streamer this time of year can produce some of the most aggressive grabs (and you usually see it all happen).

https://renoflyshop.com/three-tips-to-put-truckee-river-brown-trout-in-the-net/


Winter (December-February)

In the winter, water temps are low and the water is often very clear. When water temps drop, the fish push back into slower pools and deep slots. This time of year demands thinner tippet, smaller bugs (there are exceptions), and a much more subtle presentation. Blue winged olives and small black stoneflies will all move fish. Bright and obnoxious flies such as worms and eggs will move fish when they won’t look at any other fly.


SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES

European Style Nymphing has become the most popular and preferred style of fishing on the Truckee. This rig allows the angler to fish constantly changing water types, yielding fish in areas where fishing an indicator is near impossible.  


SUGGESTED FLIES

Nymphs

Carot #12-#16, Spanish Bullet #14-#16, French Nymph #14-#16, Hot butt #14-#16, Hot Spot #14-#16, G6 Caddis #14, #16, Nemec Stone #4, #8, Masked Marauder #8, #10

Streamers

Sculpzilla #4, Jawbreaker #1, Cheech Leech #1, Bellyache Minnow #1/0, 

Beldar Rubber Leg Orange #1

Dries

E/C Caddis #14, Missing Link Caddis #14, Yellow Sally Adult #14, Para Adams BWO #16, #18

LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER

OVERVIEW

The Little Truckee River is a four and half mile tailwater that flows out of Stampede Reservoir into Boca Reservoir. This small stream is only half an hour to forty-five minutes away from downtown Reno, making for a great day trip or a quick mission before work The “LT” flows through a scenic and lush meadow before dumping into Boca. While the LT is loaded from top to bottom with wild rainbow and brown trout, they are known for being picky eaters. These trout will test your ability to present a fly effectively and match the hatch. The Green Drake hatch is mythical if you catch it. Sight fishing and patience can provide an angler with an experience to remember. A perfect stretch of water for a guided trip.


GUIDED TRIPS

Half Day Guided Trip

  • 4 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

Full Day Guided Trip

  • 8 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

SEASONS ON THE LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER

Spring (March-May) 

During Spring, the flows rise on the LT. while the water may hit over 1,000 cfs, it still fishes well. Since Stampede Reservoir is a bottom release dam, a constant flow of cold and clear water rushes down. This eliminates the problem with most rivers during the spring: water clarity. The fish key in on tailwater worms, blue winged olives, and midges. 

During this time the population of wild rainbow trout will spawn. Please be aware of trout redd locations and stay clear of them. If you have any questions on how to identify a trout redd please call the shop and we can help out.


Summer (June-August)

The summer is one of the most exciting times on the Little Truckee River. Pale Morning Dun (PMD) mayflies fill the riffles and shallow pools all summer long. Besides this prolific hatch, carpenter ants become an easy meal for the many fish. Green Drakes make an appearance around Father’s Day. Nymphing in the morning and fishing a dry in the evening will provide the best opportunity.


Fall (September-November)

The fall is also a special time on this tailwater. The brown trout prepare to spawn and feed aggressively on larger forage. Kokanee Salmon enter the river from Boca Reservoir and make their annual run to spawn in the rich waters. This is a great opportunity for inexperienced anglers to fine tune their skills. Browns, Rainbows, and Kokanee respond positively to egg patterns and big articulated streamers this time of year.


Winter (January-February)

With snow blanketing the Sierras, fishing the LT in the winter can be a challenge. Unless you have access to a snowmobile or are willing to hike in via snowshoes or skis, it is inaccessible (road is not plowed past Boca Dam. Midges and blue winged olives are the main food source throughout the winter.


SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES

Nymphing in the morning and fishing a dry in the afternoon will give the angler the best chance of hooking fish. European Style Nymphing is a favorite of locals. A dry-dropper setup will also fool a few fish and gives the angler some variability.


SUGGESTED FLIES

Nymphs 

Spanish Bullet #14-#16

French Nymph #14-#16

Tungsten Redemption PMD #16-#18

Split Case PMD #16-#18

Zebra Midge #18-#22

Tungsten Ready Baetis #14-#18

Psycho May BWO #16-#18

Dries

Parachute Pink #16-#18

Hare Wing PMD #16-#18

Pull Over BWO #16-#20

Carpenter Ant #12

Para Madam X #14

Rusty Spinner #14-#16

Streamers

Bellyache Minnow #1

The One #4

Sculpzilla #4

Olive Wooly Bugger #8

EAST CARSON RIVER

OVERVIEW

The East Fork of the Carson (EFC) River is a truly beautiful freestone river about an hour south of Reno. This special river has been designated as Wild and Scenic by the State of California between the Hangman’s Bridge and NV/CA stateline. This will protect this beautiful river from future development and construction of dams.

Both rainbow and brown trout inhabit the river. The section upstream of Hangman’s Bridge are regularly stocked by CDFW. This section holds many pools and deep riffles ripe with hungry fish. Downstream of the bridge all the way to the Nevada stateline, a section of pocket water littered with large boulders hold the highest density of both wild rainbows and browns on the East Carson. Designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the East Carson River flows through one of the most beautiful canyons in the Eastern Sierra and is well worth the adventure .


SEASONS ON THE EAST CARSON

Spring (March-May)

Being a free-flowing river and a very high elevation watershed the early season on the E.C. depends largely on flow conditions. The river typically runs high and muddy the first couple of months in the spring. Fishing is doable during this time, but the Truckee River offers much better fishing during runoff season. Once the flows subside, large stonefly patterns are responsible for a majority of grabs. Worms, eggs and other flashy flies such as mops due the job as well. 


Summer (June-August)

When clear, cold water flows through the canyon in the summer, fishing really turns on. A host of insects including golden stoneflies, PMD’s, yellow sally’s, and caddis all fill the river and feed the fish. Given the abundance of food, trout aren’t too picky this time of year. Dry dropper rigs with a caddis dry on top with a PMD nymph down below will surely fool a few fish. Later in the season, hopper dropper rigs produce fish in fast riffles. Don’t forget the sunscreen this time of year.


Fall (September-November)

Fall brings on cooler water temps and aggressive fish. Depending on flow conditions, the E.C. continues to fish well. Streamer fishing becomes hot and often moves more fish than any other method. If there is still a decent flow, bug life continues to thrive and gives way to continued caddis hatches. 


Winter (January-February)

The California side remains closed throughout the winter (upstream of Hangman’s Bridge is open from the last Saturday in April to November 15th). The Truckee River provides the best winter fishing in the area. Check out the Truckee River section and give it a shot.


SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES

Nymphing in the morning and fishing a dry in the afternoon will give the angler the best chance of hooking fish. European Style Nymphing is a favorite of locals. A dry-dropper setup will also fool a few fish and gives the angler some variety in approach and tactics.


SUGGESTED FLIES

Nymphs

Carot #12-#16

Spanish Bullet #14-#16

French Nymph #14-#16

Hot butt #14-#16

Hot Spot #14-#16

G6 Caddis #14, #16

Pat’s Rubber Legs #8

Nemec Stone #4, #8

Masked Marauder #8, #10

Streamers

Sculpzilla #4

Jawbreaker #1

Cheech Leech #1

Bellyache Minnow #1/0

Beldar Rubber Leg Orange #1

Dries

E/C Caddis #14

Missing Link Caddis #14

Yellow Sally Adult #14

Para Adams BWO #16, #18

EAST FORK WALKER RIVER

OVERVIEW

The East Walker (EW) flows out of Bridgeport Reservoir and flows southeast towards the Nevada border (2 hours south of Reno). The river meanders downhill through beautiful meadows and canyons while the Sweetwater range towers above. Most notably, the “EW” is home to a large population of surprisingly large brown trout. Sacramento Perch get flushed out of Bridgeport Reservoir and provide an easy meal as they tumble down stream. The EW is also home to many small baitfish and large aquatic insects (golden stones). In summary, this river is the place to be when targeting big aggressive brown trout. 


GUIDED TRIPS

Half Day Guided Trip

  • 4 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

Full Day Guided Trip

  • 8 hours of fishing
  • 1-2 People, additional angler (1 maximum) for an additional charge

Private Water- Sceirine Ranch

  • Call for details

SEASONS ON THE EAST WALKER

Spring (March-May)

Spring on the EW varies year to year. In low water years, Nymph and dry fly fishing can be unbelievably productive. A host of insects and forage pack the river to the brim. In high water periods, the streamer fishing can be phenomenal… stories of 30-50 fish days on streamers is surprisingly common. 


Summer (June-August)

During summer, the fishing is as hot as the desert that surrounds the river. Water temps rise and the fish will move down an entire run just to get a small break from the heat. In the summer, caddis are the favorite insect of most trout here. If fishing the small bug doesn’t do it for you, crayfish and the biggest streamer in your box are the most promising way to catch a trophy.


Fall (September-November)

Streamers, streamers, streamers. Tell your friends. This time of year on the EW offers the best streamer fishing in our area besides the Truckee River. As the brown trout go into pre spawn mode, they become incredibly aggressive. One of our favorite ways to fish this time of year is with a mouse fly or floating baitfish on a floating line. This style of streamer fishing will entice some of the most exciting grabs of a lifetime.


Winter (January-February)

Winter on the EW can be hit or miss. Success during this time of year largely depends on flows coming out of Bridgeport Reservoir. If flows fall below 40 CFS, the water temps drop dramatically, and it shuts off for the most part. On the flip side, if flows stay above 40 CFS, the blue wing olives


SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES

As noted above, streamer fishing is hard to beat on this river. Whether fished on a sink tip or on an ESN rod, the streamer bite is hard to beat. The fish on the EW are reactive and quick to eat a fly, so just about every decent presentation can get a strike. This is a favorite among locals willing to do a day trip.


SUGGESTED FLIES

Streamers

Cheech Leech #1

Morrish Mouse #1/0-1

Bunny Cray #2

Dead Drift Crayfish #4

Bellyache Minnow #1/0-1

The One #4

Sculpzilla #4

Beldar Rubber Legs #4

Jawbreaker #1

Nymphs

Nemec Stone #4, #8

Masked Marauder #8, #10

Tunghead Stonefly #8-10

Carot #12-#16

Spanish Bullet #14-#16

French Nymph #14-#16

Hot butt #14-#16

Hot Spot #14-#16

G6 Caddis #14, #16

Dries

Chernobyl Hopper #4

Panty Dropper Hopper #4

Spring Creek Hopper #4

Chernobyl Ant #6

Momba Ant #8

Hare Wing PMD #14-18

Brook’s Baetis #16-20

Griffith’s Gnat #18-20