The mornings are getting colder as we draw nearer to fall. We may not see much of a change in the afternoon temps being in the mid to high 90s, but with such lower temperatures overnight and in the morning fishing has been good. The Truckee River has been somewhat dirty in the last few weeks due to strong thunderstorms. As of recent, the river has really cleared up, but stray thunderstorms possible in the next couple of weeks may introduce more turbidity to the river.
The trout are starting to gear up for fall as well. We’re finding fish in all water types; slow, medium, and fast water. We’re also noticing that the brown trout are beginning to group up more as they get closer to spawning in a few weeks. The streamer fishing has not kicked off just yet, but they are happily eating large and small nymphs equally well.
Crayfish are a large part of the trout’s diet this time of year. August is usually the month that we see a lot of molting from crayfish making them a little more vulnerable until their exo-skeleton returns. (Guide Tip: crayfish that have just molted will be a lighter color for a few hours as their skeleton harderns.) After cycling through your crayfish patterns try smaller nymphs. From doing net samples recently a lot of the food items are #16-18 both caddis pupa and mayflies nymphs.
Carp fishing has still been very good. The carp are feeding primarily in the late morning until 1 o’clockish. We’ve noticed some interesting behavior recently as the carp have been taking flies that are not sitting on the bottom of the river or pond but in the column below the water surface. Some fish have been taking flies on the drop or even when slightly stripped moving the fly and keeping it from the bottom. This observation and adjusting our tactics has produced some great fish.
High mountain lakes are still fishing well, but they will begin to cool off with over night lows and will begin to ice over on the edges towards the end of September. Using terrestrials is always a good idea on high mountain lakes as well as flies that have a little movement. (Small streamers, Gilled nymph, or soft hackles), Using a dry/dropper rig is a great technique for these lakes. Change your depth every 30 minutes as needed, and don’t get caught up fishing from one or two spots around the lake. Just like any fishery, some areas will fish better than others and might take many and frequent adjustments until you “crack the code”.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
The summer heat is finally upon us. After a long cool beginning to summer, the heat has caught up to us. Flows on the Truckee River are holding strong at 250 cfs through the downtown gauge, but water temps are rising above 70 degrees consistently at the Sparks gauge (the only gauge with a thermometer). We have started fishing earlier in the morning or further up the river system where morning temps are a cooler 61-64 degrees. We suggest keeping a thermometer with you and testing the water before, during, and after fishing and once the water hits 68 degrees consider fishing elsewhere.
The Truckee River does not have Hoot owl closures in Nevada or California. We suggest, if you are practicing catch and release, that you consider water temps when making your decision to fish. On a side note, the daily temps are forecasted to drop significantly next week with highs only in the upper 80s for Reno. This should get things back in great shape throughout the day. Until then bring a thermometer.
That being said, the fishing has been good during the early morning. The trout are feeding well, moving between fast shallow riffles and deeper moving water that may have a fast seam nearby. Takes have been quick and easy to miss in the fast moving water as trout dart side to side to grab prey items. The Hopper/Dropper style has been an effective way to target this shallow water with a few takes on the Hopper dry. Fly selection for the dropper is small size 16-14 mayflies nymphs and caddis pupa. Golden stones are beginning to show up in California, but I have yet to see one on the Nevada side.
Carp fishing is an underutilized and exciting way to beat the heat. Carp will feed in the morning until the sun gets high and hot. We are fortunate to have Carp in the Truckee River, but also in local urban ponds and lakes making them a super fun target. Carp are a tricky fish to catch as they are extremely spooky and cannot usually be coaxed into eating. They are a blast and rewarding fish to catch with several reel spooling runs before they give up.
Here are a few tips to catch your first carp!
Consider booking a guide trip focusing on Carp. There is a lot of nuance to catching these fish.
Target only fish that are in shallow water, feeding with their nose down and tail up.
Fly presentation is key. Carp like the fly to drop vertically from the surface to the ground less than a foot in front of one of their eyes.
Watch the fish to know when they have eaten your fly. They should swim over to a well presented fly and “wiggle” that’s a sign that they may have sucked in your fly.
We have been fortunate to be experiencing a mild summer so far. Flows and water temperatures are perfect and the fish are biting! Flows have been averaging 350 CFS through the downtown gauge. There are a lot of bugs the trout have to choose from. With the cooler temperatures all the hatches seem to be a little late this year. The crayfish bite is heating up as the Truckee river is consistently above 60 degrees through most of the day.
PMD May flies are a summer staple and can be represented either with nymph patterns, Redemption PMD, or with adults patterns, Hair Wing PMD. They are typically a size 16, but a few hatched adults have been close to a size 14. The Caddis hatch has also arrived and happens each evening. The G6 Caddis is a staff favorite to cover life stages of pupa through emerger. We are still waiting for the large golden stoneflies to appear, but as I said earlier, some hatches may be a little late this year.
If you are lucky enough to get a windless evening, the dry fly hatches that I have seen have been some of the most prolific hatches in recent memory. Mayflies, Caddis, and even some tardy little yellow sallies are piquing the trout interest. It’s a short window, only the last hour of light or so. Dry dropper/hopper dropper has become more effective too as the water levels have dropped making most riffles and heads of runs shallow enough and fast rough to really make this technique work well. Steamer fishing has been ok. I think the trout are focusing more on the crayfish in the last couple of weeks.
With a few warmer days in the books, higher elevation fisheries are opening up and fishing well. I like to focus on using a lot of terrestrial dry flies on higher elevation creeks and lakes where there is not a lot of food diversity. Because these fish get so little pressure they are usually pretty eager to take most flies. Many of the same dry flies we suggest in the Truckee River portion should work well on these creeks. Wet wading is the best approach as you jump from rock to rock and bucket to bucket chasing these wild trout. Check out our wet wading guard socks from Adams Built we have stocked for just this purpose.
As far as our other local still waters are concerned, fishing is in full swing! It’s best to be out during lower light time like morning or afternoon as the fish will tend into deeper water as the sun gets higher in the sky. Terrestrials on high elevation lakes can be a ton of fun on a windy day. Fly selection might be a bit more critical as the fish have a bit more time to inspect our offerings. Take your time and identify the hatch and match it the best you can. When fishing from a tube or boat, vary your depth often trending towards deeper water as the day goes on. As always the windward side of the lake is best as it pushes all the food in that direction.
The Reno area has some exceptional trout fishing going on right now. The Truckee River has had prolific hatches of multiple insects in the last few weeks and fishing has benefited. Runoff has subsided and the river conditions have improved. With noticeably clearer water we suggest fly size and tactics must change in order to catch fish throughout the day. Have a great weekend and we hope to see you on the water.
Report prepared by: Aden Breckner
The Truckee River has fished very well in the last week and should continue to do so through the end of June. With runoff in the rearview mirror, true summertime fishing is taking place. As the days have gotten increasingly warm, a number of anticipated hatches have started and provided good dry fly fishing. On the Nevada side of the river, Yellow Sallies have been hatching in large numbers just prior to sunset. These small stoneflies are enticing meals for trout on the surface as the sun goes down. You’ll want to look for slower water with structure mixed in if looking for rises. Flies such as the Snowshoe Sallie or a small Stimulator will get the job done.
Additionally, Caddis have shown themselves on a steady basis over the last few days. Caddis such as the E/C Caddis have worked well in the evening. These flies work best when bounced or twitched slightly to replicate the natural movement of a caddisfly depositing eggs.
The last bug to keep an eye out for is the Pale Morning Dun Mayfly (PMD). These mayflies are typically a pale yellow with a hint of green, and can hatch during the early and then the late hours of the day. Cloudy days will help amplify the hatch and fish may key on these adult mayflies mid-day. Look for slow water similar to where you’ll fish the Yellow Sallie. A great imitation for the PMD is the CDC PMD Dun or the Hair Wing PMD. Lets not forget the “Trusty” Rusty Spinner either…
Nymph fishing will continue to be the most productive method of fishing the Truckee River. As flows have diminished, fish have been caught on smaller and smaller flies. When fishing in the morning hours, try a mix of small mayfly nymphs in the 16-18 size range. Flies such as the Redemption PMD or the Micro Mayfly. As the day carries on, start mixing in caddis to your nymph rig. The Carot has been a top producer with some anglers running two when the bite is on. If trout are not keying on the Carot, smaller caddis nymphs such as the G6 Caddis or the OCD Caddis in a size 16 have worked well.
Bigger nymphs such as Nemec Stones, TJ Hookers and Mini Crayfish Jigs have fished best in the heavy pocket water associated with summer fishing on the Truckee. In the last few days we’ve caught many fish around rocks in fast water. Additionally, they have been eating at the tops of riffles and any other fast water available. Don’t be afraid to fish shallow water as big fish use these areas to ambush their food.
The California side of the Truckee River has also fished better as a result of the warmer days and decreased flows. Bug life is similar to that of the Nevada side with the addition of Green Drakes. This large mayfly is both green and yellow, size 8-12 hook. The Sir Francis Drake is a great option when bugs are actively emerging and hatching. This dry fly incorporates foam into the tie and can suspend a lightly weighted nymph below. While the dry fly fishing is limited to certain conditions, trout will continue to gorge on nymphs below the surface. The size 12 Jigged Bugger in Olive is a great Green Drake nymph pattern. This fly can be fished effectively on both an ESN and indicator rig.
Many waters have opened up in the high country in the last few weeks. Hobart Reservoir in Nevada has fished well in the last week. The reservoir has come alive with many different insects. Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, and Tiger Trout all live in the lake and are more than willing to eat a well presented fly. The shallow end of the lake consists of continuous weed beds. A dry/dropper rig can fish very well in this zone and will rack up numbers of brook trout. A simple Parachute Adams in size 12 or a Para Madam X in a size 8 will get the job done. Below the dry, you’ll want to place a dropper anywhere between 1-3 feet below. If moving over to the deeper end near the dam, intermediate and sink 3 fly lines will get flies down to feeding fish. Leeches, buggers,and damsels will all put fish in the net.
We wrapped up the 2022 Summer League last weekend. The competitors logged their results over 6 weeks of varied conditions. The weather and water conditions varied greatly week to week. The overall results were slightly lower versus previous season and it is felt that this was a direct result of difficulty (windy) weather conditions seemingly every week.
That being said the anglers made the best of it and just about every one of them at some point put up some good numbers.
And the on to the winners of the 2022 Reno Fly Summer League
Total Inches through 6 Weeks
The big fish isn’t actually part of the league but as anglers it is a statistic we all keep. Here are the top three fish caught during the six weeks.
We want to thank all of the competitors that came out. We truly hope you had as much fun as we did to put it on. We will announce our Fall League towards the end of summer so please keep an eye out to get involved.
Until then have a great summer and we look forward to seeing past and new competitors this Fall.