Mid October Fly Fishing Report

Everything’s looking really good around the Reno area as we move into the middle of one of our favorite months of the year. In October and looking into November on the Truckee River you can expect shorter days, good BWO hatches on cloudy days, and a few days each month of streamer fishing madness.

Plenty of water and fish in the Truckee this fall. The browns are spawning right now, so if you haven’t seen them in your favorite runs lately that is why. Try to avoid shallow, gravelly areas as that’s where most of the redds are located. The rainbows are fired up though and are hitting hard as water temps are great during the mid morning into the afternoon time period.


There is solid nymph fishing on the Truckee River right now. Seems like it really turns on once the water temperatures warm up a bit around mid-morning. Winning flies have been the Biot Epoxy Stone, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Red or Brown Zebra Midges, and ID Theft Baetis. Some October Caddis crawling around out there too.

Both indicator and tight line nymphing are producing fish. It pays to be versatile and fish both methods.

A good general rule of thumb is to tight line around structure and then put on the bobber in the wider, longer runs. Fish are in all types of water right now. On the indicator set ups a good place to start is 6 ft. to split shot. With tight line rigs, 5-6 ft. from sighter to anchor fly has been spot on. Continue to experiment until you find fish.

I’ve been successful in tying my sighter tippet into my normal indicator and split-shot nymph rigs. There are multiple advantages to this. Really quick transition between techniques. Tight line your side of the river and then to reach the greener grass on the other side-put on the bobber and let it rip. When the sighter tippet is tied into your leader you can watch how your flies react to your movements. Sighter tippet angling away from your indo? Mend to slow down the drift and let flies sink to depth.


Overall the streamer fishing has been fairly consistent. A few grabs in a morning isn’t bad. I wouldn’t say great, but fish it hard and the rewards will follow. The days of pure greatness find their way in on the Truckee though. I hope for a few in October and a couple more in November. Great October/November streamers are the Beldar’s Rubber Leg, Weir’s Sculpin, Belly Ache Minnow, Cheech Leech and the Articulated Trout Slider.

Typical set ups are floating fly lines with longer leaders combined with heavy flies or floating lines with some sort of sink tip attached to the end. I prefer the VersiLeader. Why? VersiLeaders are super compact and effective. Stick them in your fishing pack and have a streamer rig ready to go in a moments notice. They come in varying lengths and sink rates. I keep the 7 Ft 7 IPS sink in my pack on the Truckee River.

Not many anglers go out and fish streamers for an entire day on the Truckee, certainly not on the Nevada side. Fisherman are sometimes too predictable. Breaking away from that predictably can sometimes lead to big fish.

Dry Flies

It is very possible to trick some fish on dries on the river right now. Usually not the big fish, but it is possible. Fish them when you see the fish, or the bugs. It doesn’t happen every day, but it can happen. Especially on the cloudy days. Mostly BWO’s out there right now, with midges mixed in here and there west of town. East of town too. Don’t forget about the BWO hatches that can come off East of town. Flies to try are the Morris May Emerger, BWO Pullover, Hackle Stacker BWO, CDC Comparadun and the Parachute Adams.

The Parachute Adams size 16 is a good bet. Some October caddis coming off right before dark too, although it seemed like there was more a couple weeks ago. The October Caddis pupa should still be present and good imitation should work for a few more weeks.

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake has really turned on the second week of October. Some cooler temps and big winds have cooled the lake off nicely. The baitfish are now scattered and the LCT are venturing into the shallower water more regularly. Stripping Midnight Cowboys and Boobys are a great approach right now and several clients have picked up nice fish on Balanced Leech in peacock and olive.

Mike has a few days open here and there for the rest of the month. So if you want to learn how to fish that awesome resource in our backyard be sure to give us a call and we’ll set you up.

At the Reno Fly Shop

We have continued to bring in lots of new rods, fly lines and flies in the shop. Including a single hand spey line from Rio. Paired with the 6wt. One Hand Spey (O.H.S.) Rod from ECHO and you have a great streamer and nymph rod for the Truckee River and a versitle rod for Pyramid Lake. One rod for two great world class fisheries!!

We still have some great SIMMS Fishing waders, boots, gear and apparel on sale (20% off). Come grab yours soon.

Feel free to give us a call for an up to date report if you’re headed this way.

Reno Fly Shop is Open 10-6 Monday-Saturday.


Matt Needs is a staff member and guide at the Reno Fly Shop.  He is also a student at the Univ. of Nevada studying Geological Engineering. When not in class or the shop Matt is fly fishing all of our local waters and the steelhead Rivers of western Oregon.  Early in the summer Matt is a fly fishing guide in Montana and will be found most days on the oars of his drift boat with clients throwing dry flies. Late summer and Fall/Winter Matt is available to share his experience and enthusiasm of the Truckee River as a Reno Shop guide.

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