The Truckee River starts in beautiful Lake Tahoe and terminates into Pyramid Lake. Through the river’s 110 mile path it spans alpine forests, steep rocky canyons, urban developments 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. 

The Reno Fly Shop only a few steps away from the riverbank, full of strong rainbow and brown trout. The Truckee River fishes well from the USA Parkway area (east of town) all the way up through the town of Truckee, CA, adding up to 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. 

Brown Trout thrive on the Truckee River.


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 will change, but fishing can remain productive.

Truckee River Rainbow Trout grow large quickly.

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.

European Style Nymphing (ESN) is a preferred technique on the Truckee River.

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).

Fall is a great time to fish streamers on the Truckee River.

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.

Two anglers working typical winter water on the Truckee River.


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.  


Browse our online store for Truckee River flies. The Truckee River Dozen is a monthly selection of our favorite flies for the month available in store and online.

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